Faith at the Front

Geddington and Newton WI ladies had the opportunity to explore the role of faith amongst the troops during the Great War when Helen Frost presented her stories and photographs from those years.

Helen’s enthusiasm and her professional approach to her subject gave the meeting a real insight into the shared experience of soldiers of all faiths and the role that Forces chaplains played in both the practical and spiritual life on the front line.

Members were impressed by the range of faiths and nations who stood together in a bond of brotherhood and unity of belief in care and respect for others. The stories of individual chaplains and their heroism were very moving and their resourcefulness and courage, in support of the men and women they served, very humbling.

Nurses too were important in those difficult moments when men needed to share their faith or to consider the battle ahead. Most men at that time carried a small bible or prayer book from their particular faith and there is more than one example of such a book sitting in the pocket over a soldier’s heart and saving his life amidst the gunfire and shrapnel.

Helen’s research into a little known aspect of life in the trenches widened our knowledge and understanding of faith, in its broadest terms, in the bleakest of times.

Author’s note: Of the 37 men from Geddington who died in action, 6 were choir members at St Mary Magdalene and their service is honoured by the marble plaque in the church.

Geddington & Newton WI and meets at 7:30pm in the Village Hall on the 2nd Wednesday of the month (except August). Do come and join us – you’d be very welcome!