goodbye old man
Meditation and Reflection

Remembrance Sunday: ‘Goodbye, Old Man’

‘Goodbye, Old Man’, watercolour, by Fortunino Matania (1881-1963), depicts a British soldier saying farewell to his dying horse. It was commissioned in 1916 by the Blue Cross animal welfare charity, and now hangs in the board room of the animal hospital in Victoria, London. More than a million horses saw service with the British Army during the First World War, and the Blue Cross treated many thousands.

With a long bloody gash in his right flank, legs writhing in agony, the horse’s head is gently cradled by the soldier’s strong hands, who strokes and kisses his friend’s snout. The horse’s neck lies against the soldier’s lap, where there is comfort, security and support. Perhaps the soldier is crying; it’s hard to tell. The horse is looking up at his friend, but the soldier’s eyes are closed. He is not just a friend right now; he is mother, father, and whole world. He sustains and caresses; confirms and consoles. “It will be alright, Old Man,” he whispers, “I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere.”

With bombs still blasting, fragments flying, dust choking, his colleagues call him to march on, but the soldier will not leave his friend to die alone. He is not just mother, father, and whole world: right now he is God, in whom all love, security and peace are present. If a mother cannot forget the baby at her breast, a man cannot forget his faithful beast. “I shall not leave you or forget you,” he breathes into the horse’s ear, “You are engraved in my heart.”

The harness has been gently removed. The horse is more free than he has ever been, yet there is no place now he’d rather be than resting next to his loving father. There’s less pain in this tent; more love beneath these wings. It is a womb of refuge and salvation. God holds him still and safe. There is trust and compassion; suffering and wonder. And there is infinite love, mingled with dews of peace. “Goodbye, Old Man.”

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

  • bluedog

    Superb, Your Grace. Very moving, and a wonderful description of the deep bonds that can exist between man and beast.

  • Chris Bell

    And your words to, do justice, give dignity and an infinite Silence to that moment between two suffering souls so divinely captured all those years ago.
    Thank you.

  • Manfarang
    • carl jacobs

      That’s pernicious. It effectively argues that the collateral impacts are what should be remembered.

      • Manfarang

        All should be remembered.

        • carl jacobs

          There are people and there are things. Animals are things. You remember people. You don’t demean the sacrifice of people by juxtaposing that sacrifice with the loss of things.

          The point of the painting is not the objective death of the horse, but the impact of that death on the soldier. He is the focus and not the horse. The focus must always be on the man.

          • Kennybhoy

            Saint Eligius disagrees.

          • carl jacobs

            Reason #1461 for “Why I am not a Roman Catholic”.

            Patron Saints of [Insert random nouns here]

          • Kennybhoy

            Poor soul. You are in my prayers Maister J. 😉

          • Manfarang

            And not an army veterinarian.

          • Kennybhoy
          • One doubts that very much.

          • Kennybhoy

            Really? You think he would agree with Maister J that “animals are things”?

          • No, but he wouldn’t put them on a par with human beings.

          • Kennybhoy

            Indeed but I was replying to Maister B.

            Apologies. I usually excerpt that part of the original post to which I am replying in quotation but yesterday I was on a mobile device and somewhat distracted. My bad as the weans say. 🙂

          • Manfarang

            The man that loved his horse,
            My father fought WW2 so that we can express our opinions and not bow down to some emperor. As a councilor he campaigned successfully for the local British Legion club to remain in existence and the WW1 memorial recreation ground not to be built on.

          • carl jacobs

            What has that to do with purple poppies? Those things are an implicit accusation. They transform the discussion from “See what the sacrificed for us” to ” See what terrible things they did”.

          • Manfarang

            Freedom to also remember the role animals played in the military.

          • carl jacobs

            If you read the article, you will see that they were remembering (among others) dogs put to death to save food for people. There is no equation between what men sacrifice and what animals sacrifice.

          • Manfarang

            The article doesn’t mention dogs. Sniffer dogs save lives when it comes to landmine clearance.

          • Kennybhoy
          • carl jacobs

            And an estimated 750,000 dogs were killed in one week in Britain at the outbreak of World War Two as the government told pet owners they would not have enough rations to feed animals

            I was something like the second paragraph in the “Purple Poppy” story.

          • Manfarang

            Military handlers and their working dogs form a uniquely strong and close relationship both in barracks and when deployed.

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t disagree. But a dog isn’t a soldier. A dog shouldn’t be remembered as a soldier. The handler remembers his dog. I remember the soldier. The latter has infinitely more value than the former.

          • Manfarang

            I remember as a very young boy the laundryman who couldn’t pick up dropped change because he had had his finger nails ripped off when he was a POW. Of course I remember the soldiers but as in the picture above the animals are not forgotten. Hats off for Corporal Wojtek.

          • Anton

            This has to be right. Christ was willing to sacrifice dozens of pigs – highly intelligent animals – just for the sake of the sanity of one man.

          • Chris Bell

            If you had half the faith of a dog and a quarter of the animal’s innocence you would be twice as intelligent and 4 times as brave.

          • Sarky

            To be blunt, any service animal is just a tool, nothing more, nothing less. Any more is just humans projecting.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Curiously, my grandparents, living not far from Tower Bridge, had their dog all through the war, even when bombed.

          • Manfarang

            My mother worked at a kennels at the start of WW2 in England. She often stayed with the dogs when there was an air raid and after would get told off by her mother my grandmother.

          • carl jacobs

            Of course it had to be a dog. A cat would have been a Nazi sympathizer.

          • Anton

            Ah, but the cats in Germany would have been Allied sympathisers.

          • carl jacobs

            No, they would have been part of the Gestapo.

          • Anton

            No, it is dogs who obey orders.

          • IanCad

            British people would do no such thing Carl. No! Surely not! I do not believe such a thing could happen -at least not among those I know.
            I most sincerely hope you haven’t any evidence, for it would make me even more disillusioned with my fellows than I already am.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s a quote from the Purple Poppy story that Manfarang posted at the top of this subthread.

          • IanCad

            Shame on them. I can’t imagine Americans submitting to such a diabolical edict.

          • Manfarang
          • IanCad

            I feel sick.

          • Anton

            Wasn’t there a zoo that shot its animals at the outbreak of war and laid on a charity meal with them on the menu, with proceeds to the war effort?

          • Manfarang

            I don’t know about that.
            There is the Zookeeper’s Wife
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zookeeper%27s_Wife_(film)

          • Redrose82

            I find that very hard to believe. I lived throughout WW2 and I never heard anything of that nature. We had a dog as did most of our neighbours and there was never any chance that any of us would take such action.

          • Anton

            The point of any painting is its intended impact on the viewer, surely?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. Through identification with the soldier.

          • Chris Bell

            You are afraid of something….what is it?

          • carl jacobs

            That 21st Century ideologues will smear the memory and service of these soldiers via these animals in the service of some obnoxious cosmopolitan “progressive” cause.

          • Chris Bell

            Ok. So its not the animals but the sentimental mind of man? Not forgetting of course that an uncountable number of 1st War men were saved by animals.

    • Dreadnaught

      People from all walks of life civilian and military all faiths and none, are remembered by the one size remembers all Red Poppy. That’s it; enough of this virtue signalling rubbish. What next a rainbow coloured poppy FFS?

      • Manfarang

        The poppy variety Papaver rhoeas is commonly referred to as corn, Flanders Field or Shirley poppy. The latter name was given in tribute to the late 19th century vicar of Shirley, England, who found the flower growing in his garden. Shirley poppies are annuals and present thin, single-petaled blossoms in pink, mauve and lilac.

        • Dreadnaught

          RED was the colour chosen as representing those that bloomed on the Flanders killing fields. Save your knowledge for Gardener’s Question Time will you.

          • Manfarang

            Red is the colour of the poppy on Thai poppy day( Feb 3rd), although the poppies look a bit like another famous variety of poppy

    • Ray Sunshine

      … And this, from the same page:

      http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/12/man-arrested-for-urinating-on-cenotaph-hours-before-remembrance-service-7072762/#mv-a

      Reminds me of Oriana Fallaci’s encounter with an immigrant at the fourteenth-century doors of the Baptistery in Florence.

    • Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler, explains a change of emphasis for our animal victims of war initiative.

      When we at Animal Aid launched our purple poppy initiative – to commemorate the animal victims of war – no other organisation seemed to be addressing the issue. Our aim was to make it clear that animals used in warfare are indeed victims, not heroes. They do not give their lives; their lives are taken from them.

      But too often the narrative promoted by the media has been one of animals as the valiant servants of people in violent conflict. This is precisely the opposite message to that which we intended. An equivalent situation would be if animal victims of laboratory research were to be presented as brave heroes in the service of human beings – with Animal Aid’s name attached to that idea. Having said that, many of our poppy sellers have worked extraordinarily hard and with great passion on this campaign. Certainly, our message, via their work, has to a degree got through. But the dominant narrative (animal victims of war are heroes who died for us) is so deeply embedded that only a huge effort (costly in every way) can uproot it and lay down something that will benefit the animals. We considered the massive-effort option but decided that Animal Aid’s finite resources are best used on other urgent, more productive campaigns.

      We are, therefore, replacing the purple poppy with a purple paw badge that will commemorate all animal victims of human exploitation. It can be worn all year round – at special events or day to day. Rest assured that we will continue to promote our victims-not-heroes message every year in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday (but without the purple poppy), and we will continue to produce our Animals: the hidden victims of war booklet and other resources.

      https://www.animalaidshop.org.uk/accessories/the-purple-poppy

      • carl jacobs

        And we should remember all those animals we killed during war in order to eat! They were victims as well. And those radishes! They were victimized when they were ripped from the ground against their will! Just so people could eat and live! Where is the sense of proportion?

        • Not just in war, Carl. The purple poppy is worn everyday and also protests on behalf of animals used in medical trials.

      • Ray Sunshine

        “…animals used in warfare are indeed victims, not heroes.” True. The same can be said – indeed has been said, repeatedly – of the people used in warfare. I wonder whether Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler, is familiar with the expression “cannon fodder”.

      • Manfarang

        I first read about the purple poppy initiative in a local newspaper report. It had a picture of servicemen founders and supporters.

  • Ray Sunshine

    Thank you, Your Grace, for this unexpected but well chosen tribute on Remembrance Sunday. A reminder that the pain and suffering of war are never far away from us.

    In the last few days I have begun to feel very uneasy about what’s going on in the Middle East. The Iranian ayatollahs have apparently been quite successful in their penetration of the Arabian peninsula. Hizbollah is firmly established at the heart of power in Lebanon, the Houthis are stepping up their attacks in Yemen, and now Iran is said to have established a land bridge along the Iraq-Turkey border, linking up with what it envisages as a prospective satellite state in Syria. The resulting pressure on Saudi Arabia has split the House of Saud into bitterly opposed antagonistic factions. Is Mohammed Bin Salman truly a modernising, westernising Kemal Ataturk, or is he just another strutting, mouthy Kim Jong Un—as if one of those wasn’t already more than enough?

    • Anton

      Iran vs Saudi Arabia, Sunni vs Shia, a civil war within Islam.

  • Dolphinfish

    Sentiment.

    • Anton

      And worrying that a man who could so love a horse might next day have some shell-shocked man condemned to death by a court martial for cowardice. Classical music could still move Auschwitz guards to tears. So fallen are we. Come, Lord Jesus.

  • Norman Yardy

    Beautiful words dear Cranmer. It eats your heart out.

  • ….. and then the soldier shot the horse in the head.

    • carl jacobs

      And you say I have no poetry…

      • Jack isn’t sure the love of a man for a dying horse can be equated to the love of God for man.

        • carl jacobs

          As a metaphor it has its limitations, I agree. But just go with the flow here. Read some Shakespeare.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Is there any human love deep enough be more than a faint reflection of God’s love?

          • No. The only human love capable of selflessness and sacrifice is perhaps that of a person who enters religious life or for, lay people, that of husband and wife or a parent.

          • Jon of GSG

            I agree with your “no”, but as for the rest…
            “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”
            Not spouse, or child, or, er, co-monk.

        • IanCad

          But in 2 Samuel the love of a man for his lamb is equated with God’s love of justice.

          • Metaphor. It’s the same in Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep.

    • Anton

      A decent feast that night!

  • Anton

    With a long bloody gash in his right flank, legs writhing in agony, the soldier gently cradles his friend’s head in his strong hands with a firm grip.

    The soldier looks uninjured to me!

  • Inspector General

    Do regret our war dead past. Don’t regret we have the Hydrogen Bomb present.

  • Kennybhoy

    Lovely post sir.

    I have a copy, weel a framed contemporary illustrated magazine supplement, of Matania’s “The Last General Absolution of the Munsters at Rue du Bois” on my study wall. Six of my family were present that day. Two of them were KIA and the remainder wounded immediately following.

    God be good to them all…

  • Dreadnaught

    For the first time since my military service, I entered my small town CoE church; well I confined myself to the annexe. What stuck me was the sense of community and shared human experience. This was a service of Remembrance and equally as important for me, inclusion. It’s this feeling of belonging that is sadly being expunged from British society and replaced with
    the world of the virtual community. Not that this is all bad by any means hence my acceptance on this venerable site. The big difference between we who existed before we had a dial up telephone on a shred line, experienced the direct interface with our peers for good or bad. we survived without Facebook, texting and sexting or so-called ‘reality’ blogging and mind numbing crap that seems to occupy the lives of today’s younger crowd.
    I am a cultural Christian by default but today, I was at one with you lot and enjoyed the experience. I have on several occasions stood at the Cenotaph and been deeply moved, not by the words of the Bishop of London, but more by dwindling band of brothers, once from WW1 and now the diminishing number of my father’s generation involved in WW2.
    I’ll never be a religious person, but I would stand up for Christians and the culture they gave to the Nation.

  • len

    Man brought this horse to its death.Just as man sent out his fellow man to die in a hail of machine gun bullets to recover a piece of worthless land lost the next day.
    Then in a short period of time time man repeats the process.
    Perhaps the only lesson learnt by several catastrophic wars is that man now does things by deception rather than force.

    • Dreadnaught

      Wars and Battles are always ‘catastrophic’ for the vanquished but the losses in WW1 in particular were not, by the price of the human slaughter involved simply for ‘worthless’ pieces of land. That is the nature of the 20th Century world wars. Please don’t write off these men’s lives so casually.
      Who knows what lives we would have lead if Germany actually won in either scenario.

  • Inspector General

    Today is the one day of the year when we give God the benefit of the doubt. Was He really our comfort and succour at times of bloody conflict. Did He really throw His arms in the air in a manner of speaking and despair of us for what we had to do. Or were we merely enacting out our divine destiny to entertain.

    Love God, but at the same time be in fear of the Almighty…

    • carl jacobs

      Or were we merely enacting out our divine destiny to entertain.

      Do you truly not understand how pagan that concept is?

      • Inspector General

        Women priests are pagan. When you have ended that abomination, we’ll talk…

        • carl jacobs

          A woman priest is decidedly less pagan than asserting God that requires diversion in the same manner as a man. The pagan immanentizes God by making him a part of Creation. That is what you do when you re-imagine God in such an anthropomorphic manner.

          • Inspector General

            Your Inspector is somewhat amused that anyone who holds the Trinity fabrication so dear has the brass nerve to talk about anthropomorphic supreme beings…

          • carl jacobs

            You understand that’s a total non sequitur, right? In fact, it’s such a non sequitur, I’m not even sure what point you are making. Something along the lines of “Trinitarianism anthropomorphizes God”? The exact opposite is true.

          • Inspector General

            Don’t think the Inspector is unsympathetic with your plight, Carl. Man’s Trinity concept is a hard one to try to justify. But it is your belief so you deal with it…

          • carl jacobs

            OK, Jack. I tried. It’s time for you Catholics to straighten out your own.

          • Inspector General

            What’s this! Your surrender must be unconditional…

          • carl jacobs

            Oh, I wasn’t surrendering. I was just reminding Jack that you are RC and not Protestant. Therefore you are his responsibility.

            I was just helping him out.

          • Given he places his own interpretation on scripture, relying on his own “higher understanding”, he falls squarely within the protestant tradition and not Catholicism.

            “The Inspector self-identifies as Roman Catholic but his religious understanding has no vague relationship to RCism.”
            (Carl Jacobs 27th October 2017)

          • carl jacobs

            Ooh! So he’s as Catholic as the Pope, then, huh. And soon all those other Catholics who will decide they have to ignore the Pope. I guess that explains the Inspector attending a Catholic Mass in a Catholic church conducted by a Catholic priest in communion with Rome.

          • One is at perfect liberty to consider and reject the personal teachings of any Pope. Being in communion with the Bishop of Rome doesn’t require a Catholic to accept every word uttered by the Pontiff as binding on one’s conscience.

          • He’s a proddie, Carl.

          • bluedog

            He’s not even a proddie. He’s off with the Higher Understanding that makes no reference to Christianity at all. This communicant offered him, tongue in cheek, the Deeper Meaning, on the basis that New Age beliefs and practices will not be complete without Schism. But no interest.

          • Hs beliefs are no longer Christian, agreed.

          • Anton

            Insofar as I recall they’ve never changed, Jack. He has consistently denied the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus Christ. He seems nearest in belief to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the real question is why he prefers to be in a Catholic congregation and hoodwink the priest. There is a history to our Inspector…

          • Jack doubts if he attends Mass at all. If he does and he receives the Eucharist then his heresy is compounded by sacrilege. Does he think he’s receiving the body and blood of a created a being – an angel?

          • He’s been posting here since 2011 and it’s only in last few years he’s openly declared this nonsense.

      • Anton

        Behind that comment lies bitterness rather than paganism, I suspect.

    • Silly, silly man.

      Go to confession.

      [Book a private session. Take a packed lunch and refreshments for the priest and yourself as you’ll there some time]

      • carl jacobs

        You just told me he was a Protestant, and here you are telling him to go to Confession! The hand betrays what the heart knows.

        • Like any baptised and confirmed Catholic he has a simple way back from heresy i.e. the sacrament of reconciliation.

          • carl jacobs

            Like any baptised and confirmed Catholic …

            Game. Set. Match.

            Feel free at your leisure to jump over the net to congradulate me.

          • Luther was a Catholic, as were all those associated with the Protestant revolt. Once a Catholic always a Catholic. You can’t undo a baptism. However, a faithful Catholic is one who continues to follow the dogma and doctrine of the Catholic Church. If you fall into error and spread heresy, you are not speaking as a Catholic but as someone who has separated himself from communion with the Church.

            Ironically, given you were baptised according to the rite passed down from Christ b the Church, you too will have become a member of the Catholic Church – there is only one Church.

          • carl jacobs

            So, now you are arguing that the Inspector isn’t Catholic because everyone is a Catholic?

            I’ll grant you this. That’s novel. New, even. You might go so far as to call it innovative.

          • Any baptised Christian in a member of Christ’s Mystical Body i.e. the Catholic Church – and any benefits and graces they receive come through the Church. One severs oneself from the Church. In the Inspectors case, it is culpable as he’s had the benefit of a Catholic formation. In your case, it might conceivably be through invincible ignorance given you were unfortunate not to be raised and educated as a Catholic.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack, you have now managed to both assert and deny that the Inspector is Catholic, and all in the course of one thread. This has become a perfect little microcosm of RC apologetics.

          • One thoughts are clarified through the process of discussion. Baptism is irrevocable for all Christians. Your not baptised a Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. but baptised into Christ. In one sense, the term “Catholic” is superfluous. It’s necessary to use it today because of the errors of schism and heresy. The Inspector was baptised and, one assumes, at one time accepted the truths of the faith passed onto him. He has rejected them and so what he believes now is no recognisable as Christian, let alone Catholic. It’s possible to reject the gift of faith and lose one’s relationship with Christ and His Church.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Baptism is only valid if the one baptised believes by faith that their sins are laid on Christ. Any other baptism is just water.

          • Ah, Bless.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Check out the early Church’s practice:

            Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way:
            Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of
            the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living
            water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in
            warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the
            name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer
            fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized
            to fast one or two days before.

            I don’t see any babies fasting before baptism.

          • Interesting that you are using the Didache -The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles – as an authoritative reference.

            Check out scripture:

            Lydia was converted by Paul’s preaching and “She was baptised, with her household” (Acts 16:15). The Philippian jailer whom Paul and Silas had converted to the faith was baptised that night along with his household. We are told that “the same hour of the night . . . he was baptised, with all his family” (Acts 16:33). And in his greetings to the Corinthians, Paul recalled that, “I did baptise also the household of Stephanas” (1 Cor. 1:16).

            In all these cases, whole households or families were baptized. This means more than just the spouse; the children too were included. If the text of Acts referred simply to the Philippian jailer and his wife, then we would read that “he and his wife were baptised,” but we do not. Thus his children must have been baptised as well. The same applies to the other cases of household baptism in Scripture.

            Granted, we do not know the exact age of the children; they may have been past the age of reason, rather than infants. Then again, they could have been babes in arms. More probably, there were both younger and older children.

            The Catholic attitude accords perfectly with early Christian practices. Origen, for instance, wrote in the third century that “according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants”. The present Catholic attitude accords perfectly with early Christian practices. Origen, for instance, wrote in 244 that “according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants”. The Council of Carthage, in 253, condemned the opinion that baptism should be withheld from infants until the eighth day after birth. Later, Augustine taught, “The custom of Mother Church in baptising infants is certainly not to be scorned . . . nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic”.

            None of the Fathers or councils of the Church claimed that the practice was contrary to Scripture or tradition. They agreed that the practice of baptising infants was customary and appropriate since the days of the early Church; the only uncertainty seemed to be when an infant should be baptised.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The Didache is certainly an authority on what was normative in the early Church.

            If you examine households you will find that the period during which they have infants is a very small proportion of the time that a household exists and it is quite clear that baptism was based on confession of faith.

            Your quotes, for which you give no references, are clearly much later and, seeing how there was corruption of doctrine even in the apostolic age, are probably due to such corruption.

          • So baptism is not itself an instrument of salvation? What purpose does it serve if one is already saved by faith in Christ? Do you believe that at the instant of acceptance of Christ, when one is “born again”, the adult becomes a Christian and salvation is assured forever? Baptism follows, though it has no actual salvific value?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Firstly, no one accepts Christ. Like the Lord’s Supper, Baptism is symbolic, but in obediently taking part in such God does bless the believer.

          • Anton

            Were the Pharisees invincibly ignorant?

          • According to scripture, they were hypocrites not ignorant of the Mosaic Law. Jesus believed they were ignorant of what they were doing when He called on His Father to forgive those who crucified Him. Would any man in his right mind kill the Christ, the Son of God?

          • Anton

            No man has been in his right mind since Adam fell.

          • Including the Apostles after Pentecost?

          • Anton

            Point taken but not many of us live out our new identities radically differently from our old.

          • When we are baptised we die and rise with Christ. Sanctification takes a bit more time and effort.

          • Anton

            Exactly so. But when I followed though on your first sentence some months ago you denied it.

          • Jack hopes he would never deny the ontological impact or nature of baptism. You must have misunderstood him.

          • Anton
          • Jack has been through that thread and cannot see where he has denied the ontological nature of baptism.

          • Anton

            I wrote: a new self is installed in the committed believer. The old self is relegated to being “the flesh” and it does its utmost to convince the new self that it, the flesh, is the real self. But it isn’t. That’s part of Romans. The first word of your response was that this view was “Horrific!”

          • As Jack said there you are dividing body and soul and making the soul a prisoner of the body. The grace received at baptism initiates a change in man and frees him to follow God’s will. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and supernatural life, destroyed through original sin, is restored. This means, over time, the natural passions and inclination are brought into line with God’s intentions and integrated.

          • Anton

            When Albert said I take the view that someone doesn’t really change, he couldn’t be more wrong. Identity is fundamental. The challenge is to explain that someone may undergo a radical conversion over a weekend and it might not even be noticed by his workmates in a secular milieu.

            We can discuss whether righteousness is imputed or imparted, but that is the sanctification or justification question again. I am concerned with identity. Forget about Chef and Albert; you (Jack), discuss it with me, please. Try looking at my words on that thread with the aim of agreeing with as much as you can rather than disagreeing with as much as you can.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Is baptism by immersion or by sprinkling? Should the baptised person decide for himself/herself to be baptised or should someone else make the decision for them?

          • The New Testament contains no explicit instructions on how physically to administer the water of baptism. Baptism by pouring, immersion and sprinkling are all accepted as valid by the Church, as is infant baptism as well adult baptism.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I do remember you are supposed to say the words whilst pouring the water. Baptism of desire is different.

          • Anton

            It’s meant to represent a death/burial and a rebirth, which is a clue of how it should be done wherever possible, though.

          • Martin

            Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way:
            Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of
            the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living
            water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in
            warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the
            name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer
            fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized
            to fast one or two days before. Didache

          • dannybhoy

            Who decides whether you’re a Christian or no?

          • In the final analysis, only God can judge.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Baptism is the only sacrament which can be bestowed by another Christian and not necessariy a priest.

          • dannybhoy

            “Luther was a Catholic, as were all those associated with the Protestant revolt. Once a Catholic always a Catholic. You can’t undo a baptism. However, a faithful Catholic is one who continues to follow the dogma and doctrine of the Catholic Church.”
            Oh dear! So it IS a cult..
            You follow the rules, and does what the Church tells you to..
            Otherwise it’s purgatory or Hell for you.
            Depending on how serious the Church considers your misdemeanours to be…
            How very very sad.

          • Jack is a follower of Christ. The Church is His Body on earth and He teaches His truths through her bishops who carry His authority and are protected from error in faith and morals by the Holy Spirit. It is you who is following a cult. The cult of individualism which means you can pick and choose which teachings you accept or reject based on your private interpretation of scripture. One doesn’t follow “rules” as a Catholic. One comes to learn what is sinful and then conforms one’s will, mind and body to these truths with the aid of grace received through the sacraments. Then, through the grace of God, there increasingly comes a point in one’s life where the commands of Christ become natural.

          • dannybhoy

            “One comes to learn what is sinful and then conforms one’s will, mind and body to these truths with the aid of grace received through the sacraments. Then, through the grace of God, there increasingly comes a point in one’s life where the commands of Christ become natural.“
            One learns what is sinful, what is grace and what is sanctification through attending a church where the Gospel is honoured and preached, and where the Bible is the essential guide and reference book.
            In that sense Catholicism is no different to any other denomination.

          • No sacraments – no sacramental infusion of grace and no sacramental forgiveness of sin.

          • Martin

            HJ

            But Rome is not part of the Church.

          • ardenjm

            Ah. Bless.

          • Martin

            I knew you couldn’t prove me wrong.

          • dannybhoy

            Jack, I came across this article…
            https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/fr.-dariusz-oko-responds-to-gay-priests-accusations
            Not to malign your church but simply to point out that Catholicism is just as vulnerable to corruption and vice as any other Christian church…

          • *gasp*
            To think Jack was totally unaware the Catholic Church, being comprised of human members, contained sinners.

          • dannybhoy

            Jack
            I see you have (sarcastically*) replied but I couldn’t follow the reply link as it always comes up as ‘dodgy’ and won’t let me proceed….
            *Does the Catholic Church encourage sarcasm??

          • Martin

            HJ

            But Rome isn’t Catholic, fir it separated itself from the rest of the Church.

          • ardenjm

            Ah bless.

          • Martin

            As expected, you have no answer.

          • ardenjm

            Aye.
            That’d be it.
            Funny, then, that the Catholic Church has ALWAYS extended an invitation to Orthodox Patriarchs and Bishops to attend the Church Councils that were convened even after 1054 and, indeed, for that matter, Protestants were invited to the Council of Trent in the 16th Century. Indeed Elizabeth Regina took exception that she wasn’t invited as other Catholic monarchs were but as a Protestant.
            So, no, the Catholic Church has always been open to dialogue with heretics and schismatics down the centuries. The same can not be said, until the 20th century, for invitations in the other direction.

          • Anton

            The sort of dialogue and invitation it extended to Jan Hus to attend the Council of Constance, you mean? His guarantee of safe passage back was revoked upon his being declared heretic, and he was burnt.

          • ardenjm

            No. Interestingly the Protestants did come.
            And they observed.
            And then they went back home.

            Hus was treated abominably – and various prominent Catholics at the time protested at his treatment.

            On 4 December 1414, Pope John XXIII entrusted a committee of three bishops with a preliminary investigation against Hus. As was common practice, witnesses for the prosecution were heard, but Hus was not allowed an advocate for his defense. His situation became worse after the downfall of John XXIII, who had left Constance to avoid abdicating. Hus had been the captive of John XXIII and in constant communication with his friends, but now he was delivered to the bishop of Constance and brought to his castle, Gottlieben on the Rhine. Here he remained for 73 days, separated from his friends, chained day and night, poorly fed, and ill.

            The one who broke the promise of safe-conduct to Hus was in effect Pope John XXIII.

            This is what happened to Pope John XXIII in those tumultuous times:
            Antipope John XXIII: The Catholic Church regards him as an antipope, as he opposed the Pope whom the Catholic Church now recognizes as the rightful successor of Saint Peter. He was eventually deposed and tried for various crimes…

          • Anton

            Perhaps another Pope could have helped him? You had a surfeit at that time, if I recall correctly.

          • ardenjm

            Indeed we did. Three competing claimants at one point.
            The Council of Constance may have included the ignominy of the arrest of heretic Jan Hus by an anti-pope and his trial organised by a Bishop who handed him over to the secular authorities against the terms of his ‘safe passage’ agreement – but it did resolve the scandal of 3 claimants to be Pope.

          • Anton

            And all demanding tithes.

            I believe in three holy Catholic and Apostolic Churches?

          • ardenjm

            No. Just the one. The Lord worked it out in His own good time. The Church is His Bride, after all.
            I doubt any of the claimants to the See of Peter were in much position to collect any tithes at all for most of their respective reigns.

          • Martin

            I think you’re referring to the church of Rome, which gave itself airs and graces from at least Victor on. They are, of course, the heretics, denying the salvation is solely by faith.

          • Ray Sunshine

            You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
            James 2:24, ESV

          • Martin

            Ray

            Context, context, context:

            But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18 [ESV])

            This is the key verse that explains what James is speaking of, the demonstration of faith by works.

          • Ray Sunshine

            That’s not the whole context, Martin. You left off too soon.

            14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

            18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

            Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (v. 17)
            Was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works? (v. 25)
            Faith apart from works is dead (v. 26)

          • Martin

            Ray

            I left off where I did because I was emphasizing that James is saying that works make faith visible, works are the result of works. Rahab acted as she did because she believed God, what she did was the result of faith.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Yes, works are the result of faith (which I suppose is what you meant to write). So far, so good. No disagreement between us there. But James tells us that in addition to faith, works are needed as well. Faith without works doesn’t cut the mustard.

          • Martin

            Ray

            I wrote exactly what I meant to write, works make faith visible. If you don’t have works then the faith doesn’t exist.

          • Ray Sunshine

            You wrote “works are the result of works.”I thought that was just a momentary slip that can happen to anybody. Is it really what you meant to say?

            I left off where I did because I was emphasizing that James is saying that works make faith visible, works are the result of works. Rahab acted as she did because she believed God, what she did was the result of faith.

          • Martin

            Ray

            Yes it was a typo, I hadn’t noticed that. Works are the result of faith, and since faith is the gift of God it follows that the works are God’s.

          • Ray Sunshine

            No, it doesn’t. Think of the parable of the talents. God has given us all we need to do his will, but some of us do it and some don’t.

          • Martin

            Ray

            In the parable of the talents they are all servants.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Yes, to start off with.

          • Martin

            Ray

            They remained servants.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Two of them did. The third one wasn’t so lucky.

            And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’(Matt 25:30)

          • Manfarang

            Too much bad stuff- Inquisition etc.

      • Inspector General

        “No one comes to the Father except through the son”

        That’s how it is. The bin awaits the rest. Never forget that. We were designed to be disposable. Some will suffer disposing of. Such is where the fear comes from…

        • Father, Son and Spirit are equal in their Divine Nature but not in their Personhood.

          The Three Persons subsist in One Divine Nature. In their Personhood, the Father is Father, the Son is the Son of the Father, the Spirit is the Spirit of the Father proceeding through the Son.

          When did you first reject Catholic dogmatic beliefs, become yet another protestant with your do it yourself theology and stop attending Mass and receiving the sacrament?

          Go to confession, repent and return to the fold.

        • Anton

          No-one does, indeed, but you can’t get through unless you believe the Son is also divine.

          • Inspector General

            Easy enough to believe any angel is divine. Brought into being directly by God. Less believable is that Christ needs to considered of god status or otherwise everything he was about becomes invalid. He never required us to grant him god status and no one who knew him save a shocked Thomas did.

          • Anton

            And did this perfectly self-possessed man Jesus say, “Nay Thomas, don’t blaspheme, for I am not divine”? Remember that any angel who was true to God would repudiate Thomas – see Revelation 19:10.

          • Inspector General

            Anton. If you consider Jesus Christ is part of that Trinity intrigue, you’ll need to produce a little more proof than the utterings of a startled man who’d earlier seen his master horrifically killed, and some words of a prophecy which itself was already thousands of years old when Jesus was born into humanity…

          • Anton

            Please start by telling me what you’d accept as proof otherwise I’d be wasting my time. I would point out, though, that the same scriptures from which you learn all you know about Jesus are those about Thomas that *you* brought up, and what makes you think you can pick and choose? Pretty impressive that a 1000-year-old prophecy comes true, isn’t it?

          • carl jacobs

            The Higher Knowledge is proclaimed from authority. You do not convince the Higher Knowledge. The Higher Knowledge convinces you.

          • Anton

            It bloody well doesn’t!

          • carl jacobs

            You see, you are simply demonstrating that you do not understand the Higher Knowledge Understanding.

            Perhaps if you tried some Whiskey ….

          • Inspector General

            The ‘Higher Understanding’ (get it right) has this to say about the proud smug in Christ…

            “Inspector. You will come across those who are at the ‘colour-in book’ stage of understanding the greater reality. Help them and have patience as you do”

            And so, bless all three of you naughty boys, as Mrs Proudie might say..

          • Anton

            God is God. Man is man. How to bridge that unbridgeable gap? Only through a man who is God. You know his name.

          • Manfarang

            “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

          • Anton

            Which is why I’m for capital punishment for murder. What has it to do with Arianism?

          • Manfarang

            Man is made in God’s image, but is not God.

          • Anton

            O sorry I hadn’t realised that

          • Inspector General

            Furthermore. It is debatable that even Jesus expected to find himself physically present on earth after his death. He said to the thief next to him “tonight you will be with me in paradise”. One can imagine the felon arriving there courtesy an angel of death only to find himself ‘stood up’. Jesus having been unavoidably delayed

            Also, you suggest Jesus was ‘perfectly self-possessed’. Really? You know this for fact? What we do know is that the flesh and blood Jesus bled just as we bleed, and could expected to be experiencing shock just like the rest of us. As it happened, he had no intention in remaining for the next 40 years until his earthly body died a natural death and disappeared in short form. He finally knew he was an immortal, and was eager to be in the place of the immortals.

          • bockerglory

            This is how Islamic Scholars argue against the crucification, resurrection and the wayChristians understand Christ. It’s the first step to Allah who is all knowing and does what He pleases in an arbitrary way.

          • Simon Platt

            I tell you solemnly, before Abraham was, I am.

          • Inspector General

            “I tell you solemnly, before Abraham was, I am.”

            It seems inconceivable that Jesus was left to fend for himself on this earth. It is apparent he was born clueless. As a youth, he needed to meet up with Rabbis to learn the law. This perhaps was the start of the preparation for his ministry that started two decades on. Why leave it so late? Perhaps he was obliged to as the invisible
            angelic presence that would have accompanied him wasn’t around.
            The same angelic presence that arranged the miracles to be done. Such a presence would have imparted the plot. A bit at a time. Jesus would have wondered why himself was chosen for this. The reply to him would inform him he was an immortal.

            Now, this is where everything hinges: Jesus would understand the immortals were created BEFORE mortal man. Men like Abraham.

            All this is pure speculation, naturally, but it’s time an attempt was made to understand the practicality behind what happened. How it was feasible. Otherwise we are left with rabbits out of hats, and ‘magic and stuff’.

          • Anton

            Do you not know that “I AM” is a name for God in the Jewish scriptures? Jesus was using a superb double meaning.

          • It’s actually a lot simpler if one grasps the Trinity and Incarnation: “I and the Father are one.”

          • Anton

            You and I know what that means, but I’ve heard the Jehovah’s Witness response to that verse and I wrote in such a way as to cut off that response.

          • That’s why the early Church were inspired by God to define the Incarnation, Christology and the Trinity.

            Father, Son and Spirit are equal in their Divine Nature but not in their Personhood. They are consubstantial – of the same substance or essence.

            The Three Persons subsist in One Divine Nature. In their Personhood, the Father is Father, the Son is the Son of the Father, the Spirit is the Spirit of the Father proceeding through the Son.

          • Anton

            Catholic, protestant and Orthodox are in unanimity about the Inspector’s Arianism. While that is the subject, let’s stick to comments which maintain that unanimity. I can understand why you are particularly peeved, though, given that he goes to a Catholic congregation.

          • It’s not personal, Anton. In that respect it’s a minor irritant. He’s deceiving no one but himself if he’s receiving the Eucharist unworthily and he’s the one who will suffer the consequences.

            What actually peeves Jack is that for a number of years the Inspector proudly boasted of the truth of his Catholicism and Church teaching. It’s only relatively recently he has declared these heresies and is now bringing the faith into disrepute and opening it to ridicule.

          • Anton

            Perhaps you’ve been interacting with him for significantly longer than me, to be sure.

          • Since 2011, if Jack recalls correctly.

          • Anton

            I since late 2014, I think.

          • Inspector General

            Your elderly memory lets you down, Jack. Boasting about Christianity! The very idea…

            You on the other hand are a dedicated sectarianist, and have annoyed our Protestant host beyond the patience expected of a saint…

          • You boated about being a Catholic, Inspector. Do you deny this?

          • Let’s just say Jack was over enthusiastic about promoting his faith when he first arrived. On the other hand, you appear to have been deceptive about yours.

          • magnolia

            I am bound to love this! As St. Augustine was…

            Yes, yes, yes….making one big YES of course.

    • Anton

      Who is “we”, Inspector?

    • Mike Stallard

      I have studied the Second World war now for at least 70 years. I have also taught it.
      I was the little boy of five, under the bed with the radio on, listening to the Nuremburg Trials. “Oh God, please don’t let him die!”
      I am more and more convinced that I can see the Almighty working within that mighty conflict.
      When I started off as an historian all those years ago, I would have laughed this off as a silly thought.

      • Anton

        The thoughts of a historian who is also a Christian who has pondered the meaning of WW2 for decades is going to be interesting. What were God’s purposes in it, please? I can see the refoundation of the State of Israel but what for the gentile nations?

  • Martin

    And what do we see as the outcome of all this conflict, of the parades and remembrance?

    Millions of babies killed in the womb
    Marriage, we are told, is equal.
    You must bake a cake for the sexually immoral.
    You may not preach from the Bible in the street.
    You must allow sexually immoral acts by visitors to your home.
    The Christian may not live their faith at work.
    The Christian conscience must bow to the lust of sinners.

    What did they die for?

    • carl jacobs

      Not living as a German vassal state comes to mind.

      • Martin

        You mean not being in the EU?

        • carl jacobs

          No, I mean living under the sovereignty of Germany. The EU for all its faults is not a German Empire.

          • Dreadnaught

            I think it may very soon be something along those lines judging by the amount of influence it brings to bear and EU policy decisions. I think the migrant invasions were totally at the behest of Fr Merkel and her Party.

          • Dolphinfish

            As England is a vessel of America, and has been for seventy years, you don’t need to concern yourself about it. You’re already spoken for.

          • Martin

            Um, you mean vassal I think..

          • Manfarang

            A fixed aircraft carrier.

          • Martin

            Without aircraft?

          • Manfarang

            There are USAF bases in the United Kingdom Remember the 1986 bombing of Libya was carried out from Britain.
            Those Americans I know who were stationed in the UK speak highly of the place.

          • Martin

            Sorry, I was thinking of British aircraft carriers.

          • Manfarang

            The words of a Dane, I can’t tell you what I am putting under the wings of the planes but it isn’t candy.

          • Anton

            Yes, and I trust the Americans let us scrawl “For Yvonne” on one of those bombs.

          • Dolphinfish
          • Dolphinfish

            Giant aircraft carrier.

          • Dreadnaught

            You are showing oblique ignorance. England is not a vessel or vassal of the US; we as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain are a subscription fulfilled member of NATO fighting a political argument to preserve our independence.

          • bluedog

            Dolphinfish writes from an extreme SNP position and chooses to ignore the existence of the UK. For him/her, Scotland is an independent sovereign state. Presumably that independence and sovereignty can be dispensed with soon and Scotland will one day join the glorious EU, freed from the dreadful shackles of the UK. Quite how 5 million Scots can be significant within 500 millions in the EU is not easily apparent.

          • Dolphinfish

            Don’t make assumptions. And five million Scots would probably have at least as much influence on 500 million Europeans as on 50 million English.

          • carl jacobs

            Not likely. Europe has too many vanity states as it is. Europe needs states with mass and gravity.

          • Anton

            That’s exactly what it had in July 1914…

          • bluedog

            No chance. You have clearly never heard, or simply do not understand, the EU practice of qualified majority voting. The practical effect of this is what might be described as a reverse gerrymander. Rather than the usual system under which small constituencies are granted a weighting that allows them greater influence than their numbers might permit, the EU policy of QMV gives smaller constituencies almost no weight at all! At 1% of the EU global population, Scotland would be just a rounding error with negligible influence.

          • Dolphinfish

            So, Rockin’ All Over The World. (Status Quo, geddit?)

          • bluedog

            No

          • Dreadnaught

            I wouldn’t rub in population statistics Bluey; Luxembourg has 500,000 and virtually runs the whole rotten show. Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia all have less than 2 million.
            I am Scottish by parentage British/English by birth. I served in a Scottish Regiment well before Braveheart the Fantasy Movie and before all this Scottish Nationalist garbage.

          • IanCad

            I have to completely disagree. America does not consider the UK to be a vassal. Quaint, frivolous, useless in debate, beat around the bush, infantile sense of humour, impractical and rather soft. Need regular help in times of conflict; But vassal? No?

          • Martin

            Carl

            Seems to me it is.

          • carl jacobs

            Is there an Obersturmbannführer sitting in a tank in Trafalger Square? Don’t overstate your case like that. It might be a convenient rhetorical device, but the EU is nothing at all like military conquest and subjugation.

          • Martin

            Carl

            After 70 years there’d be no need of tanks.

          • carl jacobs

            No, there would just be a need for Secret Police.

          • Martin

            Carl

            We’re heading rapidly in the direction of thought police.

          • bluedog

            Carl, you should research PESCO and ask yourself exactly what it entails. One obvious conclusion is that PESCO replaces NATO, although the briefing paper says it doesn’t. But it seems to go farther than that and the definition of ‘security’ seems dangerously vague and could include internal security. Which begs the question, what might be a threat to the internal security of the EU?

            https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/34226/Permanent%20Structured%20Cooperation%20(PESCO)%20-%20Factsheet

          • carl jacobs

            I’ll believe it when I see it. Europe has been declaring its intention to increase defense spending for years. There is no political will to do it. More to the point, there is no willingness in Europe to fight.

            It’s not just about spending money. It’s about building capacity. It will take a lot of money to build an effective modern army in Europe instead just a jobs program. A lot of money.

          • bluedog

            Agreed. But isn’t this a document which grants the EU authority to enforce ‘security’? It goes without saying that the cost of dealing with internal threats from non-state actors is far lower than the cost of developing a credible military to counter external threats.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Which country has by far the most influence in the EU? Which country thinks it can tear up laws on asylum and immigration and then force other European countries to take “their share” of the immigrants its own irresponsible leader has invited in?

    • CliveM

      Believe it or not, so that we can be free to bitch and complain with safety and believe because occasionally things are a little bit awkward for us, we are somehow being victimised.

      Amongst other things.

      They knew that their death wasn’t going tto lead to a perfect society.

    • not a machine

      It does sometimes feel like that as though we had just foolishly traded one error only for a finance shyster failure to take its place. For me I try to make or keep the day as it was intended. I think not only of the heroic moments but those aching minutes where you were in rotten situations, keep the day as it was intended. It is called remembrance day, which perhaps covers a number of thoughts including those who haven’t understood where the freedom they enjoy has come from or through the events. It is an interesting notion “to pay your respects”, to some it will be a person or family member and the day will always be different to those, than musing about what all the death and destruction was for,my answer to that question is you have to understand the situation when they or we decided to fight. The Lords prayer still can be heard with the word “trespass” in it, and the context of that word opens up a whole different set of answers around your question.

    • dannybhoy

      You have a point Martin, but that’s what it means to be free in a secular society. As Christians our role is to represent our Lord by being salt and light, and using our citizens freedoms and responsibilities wisely.
      The problem has been that in recent times Christians have believed that representing our Lord meant obeying the government of the day and not making a fuss….

      • To be free to be dictated to and have our lives run by corporate giants eager for more profit.
        Why should we allow greedy corporates to take what little power we have away with all these SMART gadgets and vehicles that really only serve the companies and the state. Why do I need Alexa to dim the lights? They don’t want us to see what’s going on. And the naïve young don’t, they think it’s great.
        We are monitored, followed, listened to and watched more or less 24/7 by one gadget or another. That’s not what I call freedom at all.

        • not a machine

          I have been working on what your saying Marie for some years. I might be able to nail the equivalent of the 95 articles to some data centres door:)

    • michaelkx

      yes what did they die for? this country is getting like Adolf had won. because if he had those words of yours would be the same, and worse, and I am certain that PC brigaded have not finish yet all thoughts must be in line with there’s.

  • Redrose82

    My dad was in the Royal Horse Artillery and served in France during WW1. He used to talk affectionately about his horse called Kitty and though we were never in a position to own a horse we had a succession of dogs who he always named Kitty.

    • IanCad

      Interesting; I had a step-father who was a captain of cavalry during WW1. He died in 1983. How I wish I had asked him about his experiences; but young and dumb knows only of self.

      • Ray Sunshine

        Well, that makes three of us who had fathers who fought in the First World War. My dad was a private in the Rifle Brigade, though. Nothing to do with horses.

  • Chefofsinners

    The true story behind this picture is that it was commissioned by the people of Gloucester. The title is their motto: Uno Equo Urbem Et Equus Mortuus Est.

    • Mike Stallard

      That quote does not work on google…
      Please oblige with a translation.

      • bluedog

        Aren’t you a Catholic priest?

        • Mike Stallard

          Moi?
          Sorry, not so!
          I was an Anglican Record in the 1980s though.

          • bluedog

            My sincere apologies. Judging by your frequent self-congratulatory posts regarding your conversion to the Roman Church, I wrongly assumed you were ordained.

          • Mike Stallard

            OK, Here goes:
            1989: left CofE and took houseparent job in London.
            1982: That didn’t work! Did supply teaching, went to Spain alone for teaching 1994-5 and learned about the true Catholic Faith in a Catholic country. A real gift which I am very grateful for. Did pilgrimage to Compostella too.
            1995: Went back to UK and was doing odds and ends of jobs for five years until I retired when my parents left me their house.

            I am very proud to be a Catholic because I have been fully supported all the way and I am on a journey which gives me fulfilment, satisfaction and stops me being angry!

            And I confess that I am very touched by your apology. Thank you.

      • Ray Sunshine

        “It was a one-horse town and the horse died.” Old American saying.

  • not a machine

    Your grace posts on the loss of horses, the mud, the cold, getting fodder, many not even seeing a bit of pasture ( as did many livestock). The army selected and looked after the serviceable horses very well, many farm labourers who worked with horses were vital to some supplies and Army activities. Believe it or not the Germans used some horse drawn artillery in ww2. The loss of high quality stock at home caused problems for farmers who needed the powerful horses themselves.

  • Mike Stallard

    Do you know what?
    To my surprise, I am quite revolted by Remembrance Day.
    I am also a bit disgusted with myself too actually.

    Instead of real soldiers parading smartly in step, men who have fought in war and who know their dead comrades, we get a soppy group hug. The awful performance of schmaltzy tunes on the Royal Tournament was so bad, I turned it off after a couple of minutes.
    Meanwhile our armed forces have lost the last two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and made us look stupid throughout the world. Our Royal Navy is a joke with a lot of stuff that isn’t built yet and which is insignificant anyway. So is the RAF. Oh yes – we do have one or two soldiers there for decorating the processions and stuff. The Iranians delight in humiliating out Foreign Secretary.
    Meanwhile in the real world, which a hundred years ago – long time – we dominated…

    • Sarky

      The RAF, navy and army may be a joke, but the people who serve in them certainly aren’t. Please dont
      equate these brave men and women with the idiot politicians who are tying our services hands behind their backs.

    • Dreadnaught

      Your ignorant views disgust me and insult brave men and women. Stuff you and opinions.

      • dannybhoy

        I think he was meaning the way it is portrayed Dreadders, not the act of celebration as such. We’re in a brave New World now..
        The wife and I attended acts of Remembrance on Saturday and Sunday, and taped the Cenotaph one to view later… (Addicts, can’t get enough of it). In fact I would still take up arms in defence of our country (if they’d have me).
        I personally hate the inclusion of pop stars singing numbers in ‘their own inimitable style’ as though they were on Top of the Pops or something. But there are other bits which bring home the real personal horror of war. As ‘Sophie What’shername’ said, that it isn’t just the numbers of dead, but that each one was a person; significant and loved..
        That’s meaningful.
        Reminds me…
        (sobs)
        ..of that poor naval rating who was most upset when those nasty Iranians took away his ipod…
        https://www.standard.co.uk/news/im-sorry-for-selling-my-story-says-iran-hostage-mr-bean-7210717.html

        • Dreadnaught

          Yes Dan, some warrior sailor that one.
          Agree wi the pop star inclusion but L Garrett made up for it and the McRae poem was beautifully read.

          • dannybhoy

            Agree on both counts. The bloke spoke with real dignity.

    • Anton

      It is the *size* of the Armed forces that is a bad joke. Let’s blame the politicians who prefer to give our money away in benefits as electoral bribes.

      Speaking of which, Blair cancelled the Royal Tournament two decades ago. You mean the Festival of Remembrance. One may be permitted a little sentiment if one has been on an active battlefield and seen one’s comrades killed next to one, I reckon. Don’t you agree?

    • Dolphinfish

      It’s the kind of thing that happens when a second tier country refuses to accept it ain’t the big dog anymore. You know the way that English people look at Spanish and French soldiers parading in their dress whites, snigger and go, “who do they think they’re kidding, trying to pretend they still have empires?” Well, that’s what the rest of the world sees when it looks at England.

      • Anton

        I suspect you wrote that merely as a dig. We English are under no such illusions today.

        • Mike Stallard

          You may not be…
          I think there is a mountain of virtue signalling out there somewhere too.

          • Anton

            There is more to English exceptionalism than the Empire, though.We – not the French Revolution – gave the world the notion of freedom of the individual under the law. A deep history of this is given in Daniel Hannan’s book “How We Invented Freedom and Why it Matters”. That is why Brexit matters, too.

  • Russ Brown

    Those horses died for a new world order.
    .