Enniskillen Presbyterian Church, Co. Fermanagh
The Names of the FALLEN.
Lieutenant Noel D. Trimble, Lieutenant John Darling, M.C., with Bar;
Captain F. D. Mitchel,
Sergeant-Major W. Wilson,
Lieutenant H. Briscoe,
Lance-Corporal J. C. Caldwell,
Captain A. E. C. Trimble,
Lieutenant J. McKean, M.C., with Bar;
Lieutenant Cecil D. Whaley,
Corporal David Lynn,
Sapper Thomas Shaw,
A. Victor Caldwell,
Edwin H. Caldwell
R. H. Inglis.
James Alan Wylie,
These also Served.
Captain C. Garrett, Captain H. Hanna, Captain J. M. B. Stuart, Captain C. M. Stewart, Captain J. B. Stewart, Lieutenant Reg. S. Trimble, Lieutenant H. M. Harvey, Lieutenant John Stewart, Lieutenant V. Mitchel, Lieutenant R. J. Porter, Lieutenant Ralph Carson, Lieutenant John Erwin, Lieutenant W. Whyte Inglis, Q.M.S. T. Miles, Colour-Sergeant W. Crothers, Colour-Sergeant J. M’Gowan, Sergeant H. C. Caldwell, Sergeant S. Erwin, Sergeant E. F. Erwin, Captain S. Caughey, William Shaw, Royal Navy; George M. Marcus, George B. Whaley, Sapper James Rankin, G. C. Mitchel, Thomas J. Harvey, H. M’Kean, R. M’Corkell, William Erwin, James Erwin, George Erwin, William Scott, J. H. Lynn, Sister J. M. Stuart, R.R.C.; Harriet Johnston, Barbara Devonport, Janie Shaw.
Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony.
The unveiling of a Memorial to those who fell in the Great War, and to those who served and survived, took place in the Enniskillen Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning 17th April, 1921. The occasion was also availed of to unveil a memorial tablet erected to the memory of Rev. S. C. Mitchel, who had been pastor to the congregation for 33 years-1882 to 1915.
The church was well filled by members of the congregation and their friends. A guard of honour was furnished by the 9th Lancers and a bodyguard of Colonel Sir James Craig, M.P., was composed of men of the “A” Class Special Constabulary under the command of Captain Andrews, who had personal charge of the distinguished visitor during his stay at Riversdale, as the guest of Right Hon. E. M. Archdale, P.C.
The guard of honour was posted at the entrance to the church and received the Right Rev. Dr. Simms, Major-General and Senior Chaplain to the Forces, with a general salute.
The service was of a simple character, and was opened with the singing of ‘The Doxology.’ Dr. Simms led with an invocation prayer, after which the 100th psalm was sung. A scripture reading followed, and then came the dedication prayer.
Colonel Sir James Craig, Bart., M.P., who occupied a seat in the pulpit, performed the unveiling ceremony, the congregation standing, and the Lancer party standing at the salute.
Addressing the congregation, Sir James Craig said it was needless for him to say on such a solemn occasion he entered fully into the feelings of the members present who had lost their dear ones in the war. But as one whom duty has taken ever since the unveiling part the great memorial Cenotaph in Whitehall, he had come to look upon all these war memorials as the same. But as they would later listen to one so distinguished in name and reputation who would deal with the matter of the memorial they would excuse him if he merely mentioned two of those thoughts which particularly entered his mind on such a solemn occasion as this. One thought was the enduring nature of the memorial which would perhaps appeal more to the younger generation than to the older. The younger would look upon this war memorial not in a mournful nor in a spirit of depression, but upon it is something which cheered their hearts, and it would recall to their minds the bravery of those who had gone before; because their Empire had been built up by men such as those belonging to their congregation who had laid down their lives in the Great War. The second thought which occurred to him was that they should regard them from the angle of men who went out from all parts of the world to fight for this freedom of the country. The members of that congregation, whether they were passing the great Cenotaph in Whitehall, or inspecting a memorial in some small out-of-the-way village should say to themselves: ‘That memorial should appeal to me.’ He felt sure that the members of this congregation, and the youth in their historic town, would offer up an articulate prayer, that this window, which perpetuated the memory of those who had fallen, would remain them that these men had done their duty, that they had been honourable and upright Fermanagh men. It was the greatest pleasure to be with them on this historic occasion and as a last message to them, let them bear themselves as these men had done in their trying time, no matter what might befall their beloved country. Remember that a duty rested upon all of them, bear themselves like men, do their duty and go forward in the same paths that made Derry, Enniskillen, and other towns in the North, historic throughout the whole wide world. He thanked their pastor for inviting him to be present that day, and affording him also the honour of been associated with a distinguished General and an ex-Moderator of their churc.
Rev. A. J. Jenkins, pastor, read the Roll of Honour as follows:-
Trumpeters of the 9th Lancers sounded the Last Post, and the 66th paraphrase being sung, the trumpeters blew the Reveille, and the unveiling ceremony concluded.
Memorial to late Pastor.
Right Hon. E. M. Archdale, P.C., M.P., here entered the pulpit, and unveiled the memorial tablet to the late Rev. S. C. Mitchel and said he felt very grateful to have the unexpected honour of unveiling a memorial to an old friend of his own, who was what they had all known him to be-a Christian gentlemen.
The singing of the hymn ‘For all the Saints who from their labours rest,’ followed.
Rev. Doctor Simms’ address.
The preacher was the Right Rev. Major-General Simms, C.B., C.M.G., D.D., LL.D., K.H.C. He took as his text Hebrews, II, verse 13, ‘These all die in Faith,’ and before dealing with the subject, he said he would like to thank all the friends who had come there to assist them. It would be out of place to see anything about Mr. Archdale in their presence. The name Archdale was as familiar to him as Fermanagh.
Then to Sir James Craig they were under a deep debt of gratitude, who had come a long journey to serve them. So James Craig had made a great sacrifice. He had laid down high office, and had cut himself off from the work he loved and the pleasures of life in the metropolis, to make his home with them. He had put his hand to the plough and it was a hard furrow, they all knew, he had to cut through, but they wished him God speed in his work. If there be one message that would come to them all that morning, it was the words that Isaiah uttered when he called out during the dark days of his life ‘Watchman what of the night,’ and the reply came ‘The night cometh and also the morning.’ That was their hope, the darkest hours came before the dawn-and with dawn came the morning light.
Dealing with his subject, Dr. Simms reminded his audience that those who gave their lives in the war were in no way different to those who returned to them who were now by their side listening to him. It was only by the immutable mercy of God that some of their names were not among those which were counted worthy to be held in everlasting honour. They too had heard the beating of the wings of the Angel of Death, and today they paid their tribute and affection to their comrades who had fallen because they understood the meaning and the fruitfulness of their sacrifices they had brought victory and peace, and there ?????? inviolate and homes intact were purchased by those men who laid down their lives.
Breaking away momentarily from his subject, Dr. Simms referred to the great coal strike. The conduct today of the miners, he said, was beneath contempt. If those miners with think of what was done in France and Flanders, by the men who were to- day walking the country starving begging for a job; if they realised their duty as men, the word strike would be banished from the British dictionary for many years to come. There would be no talk of restricted output. It would be for them to put every ounce of strength they had to heal the bleeding wounds left by the war, and to fill the barn long empty after the strain of years of conflict. But for their soldiers and sailors these strikers of today would be the galley slaves of the cruel Hun, working for him and not for the wages they were getting now.
Speaking as one who went to France with the first British troops that landed in 1914, the ‘Old Contemptibles’ Dr. Simms dealt with the history of the war from the point of view of his text. He traced the vicissitudes of the campaign, its horrors, its setbacks, the disasters that overcame our men. How the conscripts caught the contagion of the heroic spirit of the men that it gone before them, how unconsciously they were lifted above themselves by the very atmosphere of chivalry which was everywhere around them. And it was the conscript army which in the end won the fight for them. They were not as trained or as well disciplined as the men of 1914, but they made up for that by their stubborn valour and their magnificent contempt either danger or death.
Before the war military writers declared modern scientific warfare would be so instant that the period of conflict must be short-six months at the most. The war was infinitely more intense than any soul yet conceived, yet it lasted four years, and the terrible strain never for one moment slackened, but increased right onto the end. Death rained down from the skies, death leaped up from under their feet, it mowed them down in the front trenches, it played havoc with their organisation in the rear, death crept into their billets and poison them as they slept. And as they buried their dead they passed rows of graves prepared for the living, and many a man as he passed would wonder if one of those lairs would be his resting place ere night fall. He had known a battalion to spend 36 days on end in a water-logged trench in the middle of winter, and men half frozen, would slip off the fire step exhausted and be drowned in the mud, and never missed till the officer going his rounds would tread on the dead body in the mud. How did their men endure these horrors? It was their faith, and as a nation they would never know how much they owed to God who brought them to the supreme test in their history in defence of a righteous cause. Shakespeare said ‘Thrice is he armed that has his quarrel just.’ They had proved the truth of that up to the hilt in this Great War.
The arrangements for the unveiling had been perfectly carried out by Mr. T Harvey, and the musical portion of the service was conducted by Miss H. Johnston at the organ.
The Fermanagh Times, April 14, 1921.
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