Page 2, 10th January 1947

10th January 1947
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Page 2, 10th January 1947 — CATHOLIC EX-SERVICEMEN
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People: JOSEPH IBBETT
Locations: Cambridge, London

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CATHOLIC EX-SERVICEMEN

SIR,—It is now exactly two years since you very kindly published extracts from an article of mine

headed " Post War Crusade." (I was then serving in Africa). The article was devoted principally to the need for keeping alive in the years ahead the spirit of goodwill and comradeship which existed among Servicemen during the war. It also dealt with the greater need of giving our newly demobilised men and women a live interest and feeling of responsibility in the brave new world."

When I returned to England at the beginning of the year my proposals were warmly received in responsible circles and during the months which have since elapsed I have read with interest numbers of letters in the Catholic Press from ex-Servicemen, which depict a feeling of frustration and disappointment, whether it be in the life of the parish or in the more lonely outside world.

A number of Catholic ex-Servicemen from different parts of the country whom I have met during the past year, have shared with me their concern over this problem, and it is a problem. and favour the idea of getting together.

I have in mind an organisation of active Catholic ex-Service men and women who will forge a link with others who served in the late war and who have since become victims of despair in their new civil existence. It is just the time when these unfortunate beings, having served their country for a number of years. and finding themselves smeared for and merely numbers in a growing soulless existence, look to Communism and turn their backs on religion. These things are liable to happen to the best of us at times.

Such an organisation, which would endeavour to keep in touch with all members (for that is most important) and undertake to keep them well informed with the true Catholic attitude towards all the leading questions of the day, would be doing something at least in the battle against Communistic-Materialism.

Your readers, Mr. Editor, must realise how the growing apathetic attitude of the British people, and which is equally evident among the Catholic laity, is allowing antiChristian ideas in all spheres of our national life to become the fashionable and accepted mode of our existence.

Ex-Service men and women who have learnt discipline, honour and service, coupled with the Catholic faith, are needed now to play their part in the battle to restore Christian principles in our national life. We were once told we were fighting for these very same principles.

I see no reason why a Union of Catholic Ex-Service men and women should not endeavour to work also among their non-Catholic ex-comrades and foster among them faith and hope in a Christian Social Order.

There is little doubt that the exServiceman especially is very prone to materialistic ideas, and the formation of a League as I have suggested would tap a new source of vitality and resurrect the ideals which actuated the Serviceman to deeds of valour and give him his due place in the task of re-Christianising his country.

I shall be more than pleased to hear from any of your readers with similar sentiments as a preliminary to informal meetings, perhaps in London, the Midlands and the North, where these and other sugge:itions can be considered.

JOSEPH IBBETT.

95, Thornton Road, Cambridge.




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