Mum says he was a kind father, a quiet man who went to his work, attended church faithfully and supported things as generously as he could.
100 years ago today, with thousands of others, he took part in the Battle of the Somme.
When I was younger I was cynical about war. To this day I grieve for the appalling waste of life and particularly the suffering of families, trapped as the bombs continue to land in conflict zones around the world.
But I’ve also learned to respect things like courage and dedication to duty.
So on this special Anniversary, without judgement I share some excerpts from the Prayer Book:
‘O God, remembering the great things You have done for us, we confess with shame we are not worthy of Your mercies towards us, or of the sufferings endured and the lives laid down in our defence. Still less are we worthy of the sacrifice of Your blessed Son, who offered Himself for our eternal salvation. We have sinned against You by our selfishness and ingratitude, by our disobedience and lack of faith. We have been forgetful of You and have not fulfilled the promises which our lips uttered in the day of trouble. Yet now as we repent of our sins and are earnestly resolved to amend our ways, we ask You to grant us Your pardoning love in the cross of Your Son our Saviour.
O God…the Author of peace…we pray for the reconciliation of the nations. Quench, by the influence of Your Holy Spirit, the human passions and prejudices that keep alive the spirit of war. By Your mighty power break every yoke of tyranny, and let the oppressed go free. Bring the peoples together in common trust and helpfulness and give peace in our time O Lord.
O God our Father…look upon the unrest of the world and be pleased to complete the work of Your healing hand. Send peace upon the earth, a deeper and more lasting peace than the world has ever known. Draw all men unto Yourself, and to one another by the bands of love. Grant understanding to the nations with an increase of sympathy and mutual good will, that they may be united in a sacred brotherhood wherein justice, mercy and faith, truth and freedom may flourish, so that the sacrifice of those who died may not have been made in vain; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.