Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday, November 18, 1939
What is At Stake
Darfield Rector Outlines Our Present Cause
Remembrance Day is observed with great fervour by the people of Darfield and Houghton, and this year all the enthusiasm manifested on the Remembrance Day immediately following the Great War was shown by the crowds who thronged the Parish Church.
A muffled peal was rung before the service.
One of the biggest parades ever see at these gatherings assembled at Low Valley and was marshalled by Lt. John Hayes of Little Houghton. It consisted of Darfield police. Houghton Main Band councillors from Darfield, Little Houghton and Billingley, ex- Service men. Legionaries, S.J.A.B. members, Special Constables, A.R.P. workers Guides and friendly societies.
During the singing of “O God our help in ages past,” which the Houghton Band accompanied the choir, clergy, and representatives of the British Legion, marched to the Church Memorial, where 1 the Rector. the Rev. H. Drown, read out the names of those who fell in the last war and the name of one who has already died in this war (Mr. F. Makings).
Bugler H. Wolsey sounded the Last Post and Reveille from the church tower and Mr. J. Newbury placed a wreath of poppies on the Memorial on behalf of Darfield British Legion.
Lessons were read by headmasters of the Church and Council Schools, Mr. Wm. Price and Mr. P. W. Clayton. The anthem, “Give ‘Peace in our Time” was given by the choir. Following prayers by the Rev. J. R. Bassett, the Rector preached from the text “For the foundations will be cast down and what hath the righteous , done?”
He said a certain irony attached to the gathering that morning and a certain exultation. Cruel circumstances had forced us to link up with the memory of those who gave their lives in 1914-18, the memory of those who, during the last few weeks had given their lives in another war. Even neutral countries were impressed with our willingness to serve in a cause which we considered just and right.
We believed that something deeper than riches, lands, racial pride, or any other of the lesser or more barbarous causes, had caused us to take up arms. The foundations of all that made life worth living were at stake. If the Nazi spirit was allowed to prevail, peace, happiness, truth, justice, religion (abstract things we could not see, but the only real things) would be taken away from us. They were the very essence of our lives.
The service concluded with the singing of “Once to every man and nation and the National Anthem. The parade re-formed outside the church and headed by Houghton Main Band paraded to the cenotaph in Church Street where a large crowd had congregated. Following the singing of “Rock of Ages,” and prayer by the Rector, the National Anthem was sung.
Legionary W Fletcher placed a wreath of poppies on the memorial, and other legionaries and friends placed wooden , crosses in a ‘field of remembrance” on the lawn surrounding the memorial.