Sixteen little boys in red or blue velveteen medieval costumes stood guard with drawn swords or miniature halberds around the Blessed Sacrament exposed on a street altar outside Tower Hill Church; mothers carried babies in a procession from the Tower Green to Commercial Road church; a few girls turned up in pre-service uniforms; penhentinl silence was kept as the women walked. some saying their Rosary, minty doing nothing: some twenty banners, mostly with invocations to the Blessed English Martyrs to save our schools, the Guild of Ransom banner leading, were carried. Over 6,000 women, four abreast. passed a given spot in an hour and a quarter.
" Not a protest. as the papers have called it." said Bishop Myers later from the pulpit at Commercial Road just before Benediction. " but a religious act In throw a spiritual spanner into the works of those who seek to destroy the work of the Church."
As Ire stpoke there was singing outside the church by those forming the huge tail of the procession, and In they went through a side passage to the school yard, where an altar had been set up. Benediction was given Joe them too, and as soon as they had left several hundreds filed in as they sang hymns. Again there was Benediction.
Previously, at 2 p.m., crowds had begun to pour from the tube stations at Aldgate and Mark Lane, making at once for the green at Tower Hill near which, as Fr. Fitzgerald, the Commercial Road rector, told them from one of the two C.E.G. platforms set up there. martyrs of England had suffered and died because they too would not compromise on things they held sacred.
It was a grand act of prayer and penitence. With these women, whose pilgrimage had been organised by the C.W.L. and the there joined in spirit numerous congregations in the Loudon area who throughout the afternoon knelt before the Blessed Sacrament exposed ht their churches to recite continuous Rosaries for their schools.