Page 4, 29th December 1939

29th December 1939
Page 4
Page 4, 29th December 1939 — OF PERSONS AND PLACES
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Organisations: Royal Navy, House of Lords, Navy

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OF PERSONS AND PLACES

By

G. Elliot Anstruther TO-DAY might suitably be one of pilgrimage. along the southern roads, in honour of our own St. Thomas— :hough indeed one must be careful of that "our own," remembering that Hereford, as well as Canterbury, has its English saint of the name, albeit not a martyr. But any reference to St. Thomas, in connection with pilgrimages, will readily be related to the chief figure in that historic Murder in the Cathedral.

Hagiography is not a branch of knowledge much cultivated by the English people as a whole, and if, on this December 29, a great many more of them know the story of Becket and his tragic end than did their fathers, we have to thank, for that, Mr Robert Spealght, who as a Catholic played his high role with an understanding beyond that belonging to mere histrionic skill.

Admirals All

THE knighthood conferred upon Com modore Henry Harwood. and his naval promotion to Rear-Admiral's rank, have added a much-applauded name to an already long list. Our Catholic admirals, taking the active and retired lists together, are many. To go into the stories of their services to faith and country would he to write of much gallant work. For a Catholic name in the highest grade of the Royal Navy, Admiral of the Fleet, we should have to invoke, from the shades, the late Lord Walter Kerr; otherwise the living supply material: Admirals, ViceAdmirals. Rear-Admirals, a score or more of the good men and true whose respective grades hoist their distinctive flags upon the waters.

Of Admiral's grade we have in the first place Admiral Lord Stafford, in whom the Navy has its Catholic representative in the House of Lords; and with him may be bracketed Admiral Sir Ernest Gaunt. Our Vice Admirals include Vice-Admiral Hornell. D.S.O. whose name, like that of the late Admiral Sir Edward Charlton, tells of hard work and devotion to the cause of the Sea Apostolate; Vice-Admiral Sir Gerald Dickens, grandson to the novelist; Vice-Admiral im Thurn; ViceAdmiral Humphrey Smith, D.S.O.; ViceAdmiral Dewar.

The Rear Grade

IN the forefront of the Catholic near. Admirals we may put the newly. honoured and the gallant sailor who hammered the Graf Spee, because in Sir Henry Harwood we have another naval knight. There are also Rear-Admiral Maxwell-Scott, D.S.O.; Rear-Admiral Hose. who did valued work with the naval forces of Canada: Rear-Admiral Coppinger; Rear-Admiral Petro. D.S.O.; Rear-Admiral Cnchrane: Rear-Admiral Rymer; Rear-Admiral Garnett; RearAdmiral Facie.

Surgery in the Navy lost a distinevished past worker when Rear-Admiral Sir Daniel McNabb died on Christmas Day two years ago. The profession is renresented at the present time. among Catholics holaing the same grade. by Rear-Admiral Meagher and RearAdmiral Ruelteridge. The engineering side. too, can point to honoured names in Penr-Admiral Lipmenny. D.S.O., who must know as much as most exneetet Shout mines and tornreloes: RearA ri rn I r a 1 neuain; Peer Admiral Mewling: and Renr-Admiral Phillips.

The foregoing is cemmeetery enough as to the effete of mind. in preF.manninatinn Vineland, which saw in the idea of Catholic officers of His Maiestv's Forces something Inimical to the national welfare!

The Break in the Wall

" CRIPPLE who lived In a Cathedral Wall dies." Surely not in itself a surprising statement this. seeing that immuring, in that sense, is traditionally fatal to the immured one! So we need not take too literally the picture of a kindly Bishop of Nottingham decreeing that a poor match-seller who had sheltered by the wall of St. Barnabas' Cathedral should thenceforth live in the wall itself. The truth of the story is on simpler lines, and no less edifying as an index to Mgr. Dunn's heart where the poor were concerned.

By the dividing wall in Derby Road the match-selling cripple had made his station, an exposed one in a public street, in all weathers. The Bishop had a piece of demolition put in hand, at a point where bricks and mortar might in consequence have declared: " Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so;

And, being done, this wall away doth go."

That much accomplished, a little sheltered structure in the space was built to give the poor tradesman a seat, and some respite from the weather, in what might be called his business hours. The spirit at the back of this act of benevolence was on the same lines, and to more practical effect, as that which long since erected a "porters' rest" by the Piccadilly sidewalk.

Annie Newton

WHEN Canon Joseph Newton, of Brighton, died last August, a note in this column referred to the devoted work for the faith to be credited to various members of the Newton family South of the Thames. The year has not run its course without. taking further toll of the household. A tribute must here be paid to the memory of Miss Annie Newton, sister to the late Canon and to his priest brother, Fr. George Newton, who predeceased him. She, in turn, has been called into another life.

Annie Newton, as hundreds of admiring friends in South London will remember her and think of her, was one of those women who count it their highest happiness to serve God by caring for the beauty of His House. Such work as hers is not set down in annals. In a sense it is evanescent work, hero to-day and gone to-morrow: a new gathering of flowers upon the altar; some disposition for a special occasion; the day's liturgical colour. Miss Newton was not far short of eighty when she died. Through years of her active period in life she gave herself, with pious enthusiasm, to the labours of a voluntary sacristan. In this she was a type. Honouring her, we shall honour all such: An army of men and women for whom, it was once suggested, there might well be a special decoration.




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