Tag Archives: Hymns Ancient & Modern 1915


Bertie HibbettPte BERTIE HIBBETT, Merville Casualty Clearing Station: Letter to Mother, Marie Neal HIBBETT, 95 Foden Rd, Walsall. 

(in same envelope as Letter of New Year’s Day)

Dec 31st 1915

‘Thy Kingdom come O God Thy rule, O Christ begin, Break with thine iron rod The tyrannies of sin. When comes the promised time that War shall be no more’. (1)

My Very Dear Mother,

Merville monasteryIMG_2808
Merville Monastery Chapel roof? cf http://www.lizclutterbuck.com

In the little Chapel we held another evening service, the last in the old year, & thus were the hymns we sung, including the one 217 A & M (2) which have very appropriate verses & brought happy memories of Fern Leigh Bible Class (3), when Ida and I happened once to arrive LATE & had to wait outside ‘thatdoor to hear all the verses through.

Yes. ‘Where is thy reign of peace and purity and love? When shall all hatred cease, As in the realms above’. (1).

‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’, many people & I think especially soldiers & soldier’s mothers, will pray slower with more meaning & deeper sense, Our Lord’s Prayer this New Year’s Eve.  ‘Thy Kingdom come’. 

Our Chaplain has preached , or rather given us little band of men who go to service each evening, some very simple yet inspiring addresses.  Last night he spoke some beautiful words about heaven being on earth.  ‘A new Heaven & a new Earth – and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes’. (4)

I send you a card which is one of many promised for us at Christmas (5) but they have arrived as late as this, yet I think them good enough & appropriate enough to send away now.  I send too, one for Ida & one for your ‘bed chamber’. We all followed the prayers said by the Chaplain for our dear ones at Home & said Amen.  Yes there is a great deal in an ‘Amen’.  So let it be O Lord (6).

NB Letter was continued & signed on New Year’s Day, 1st Jan. 1916.


South Staffordshire Badgee


Dec 31st.  Company & Battalion Training (for Eastern Front).

December 1915 CASUALTIES:- Killed 1. Wounded nil.   Signed:  R.R. RAYMER Lt Col. Cmdg 1/5th South Staffordshire Regt.



(1) Thy Kingdom Come: Hymn. 1867. Words: Lewis Hensley. 1824-1905. Anglican priest & hymn writer. Tune: St Cecilia. Leighton G. Hayne 1836-1883. Anglican priest & organ builder. 

Monk search
William Henry Monk

(2) A & M. Hymns Ancient & Modern. Product of Victorian Oxford Movement. Approved by Church of England in 1861. Several editions. Editor William Henry Monk, 1823 -1889. (Organist & choirmaster, composer of hymns & anthems).

(3) Fern Leigh Bible Class, held by Kathleen M. Brookes, Sunday School Superintendent, St Paul’s Walsall. (4) Revelation 21.1.

(5) Christmas cards provided by Army charity for troops to send Home? (6Amen: a strong affirmation/ agreement: ‘Truly’ ‘So be it’: Aramaic/ Semitic dialect/ 1st cent. language spoken by Jesusleft untranslated in Greek, Latin & English translations of the Bible. 

NEXT POST: 1st Jan. 1916: New Year’s Day.


Bertie in UniformPte BERTIE HIBBETT: LETTER to Mrs. A. HIBBETT, 95 Foden Rd Walsall.

 21st Feb 1915Photograph of  St Mary’s Church from Windmill Hill, Saffron WaldenWe have often been up and down this road & went up trench digging that night when you went home.  I thought of a lot of things I should like to have told you and shown you.   

29 Gold Street,  Saffron Walden.  S.Y. (1) Feb 21 / 15

My Dear Mother,

I trust you had a safe journey, all dark I guess, but what a lot in a carriage compartment & I hope the early hour of arrival at home was not uncomfortable (2).

Has Harold been home for the weekend ?  The weather has been simply glorious, bright blue sky all day.  If it wasn’t for Sunday how happy it would have been if Dr Utting* (3) could have motored down to take you back.

We, Sid and I went to Holy Communion this morning, so pleasant & sunny. The Church was almost full of soldiers and our Chaplain had to say the Prayer of Consecration a good many times.

Mrs Evans* invited us to dinner, but could not get tables, we walked from place to place. So Sid & I had dinner at No 29 – very good too & had the sweets Mrs Penning had got ready for fear Mrs Evans would dine at her house.  They all went into the country, – I think to Bishop’s Stortford for their dinner.

Well, I won’t rob Sid of the chance of writing to you, but will close now. But not without thanking  Ida again for her very, very ‘nice’ letter.  I think she tried her best, as I did, to make the farewell letters real good ’uns. 

Sydney had a flint lighter for cigarettes & I had a handsome little wooden mirror from Mrs Evans. I think I will leave the rest for after evening service tonight.

8.30 pm  I went to hear our Chaplain tonight at the Parish Church I saw our Major Raimes* on coming out.  He was about to put his hat on while in 3 or 4 yards of the Church door & suddenly bethought himself.

I took Nell, the dog, a walk this lovely afternoon & on coming back through the churchyard I met Mr & Mrs  & Mr. Machin*.

I should have liked Sid to have gone tonight, but he was talking with the Evans in the front room. Vernon’s people go back Monday morning  I did not go right through to the front door, but just appeared at the kitchen door & went out at the back.

As I was going down the street I suddenly remembered my Prayer Book was in the front room, but I would not turn in & so for some long time I have missed my fond prayer book.  I took it to Holy Communion this morning & saw your writing on the front page:– “Be thou faithful unto death & I will give you a crown of life”.  I noticed ‘Feb. 1911’ particularly in the bottom left hand corner and now it is Feb. 1915I used it at Confirmation Classes, so the book has made a little history of its own.

Hymns:O Jesus I hear thee speaking in accents clear and still‘. Eternal Father & 277 A & M. (4).  I will wait for Sid to write a line.

God bless you Mother,

Marie Neal Hibbett 53 in 1915
Marie Neal Hibbett 53 in 1915

I remain Bert.

NB  You see I have tried hard to keep this letter short – alas! alack! alack!

PS   Hoping Basil poor chap is better.



(1 S(unda)Y. (2) Bertie’s parents had come down by train for the day only. Vernon Evans’ parents stayed until Mon 22nd Feb. Alan Machin‘s parents, and no doubt a good many others from Walsall, also came to say goodbye to their sons. (3Family Doctor  & Friend, whose Church Warden duties kept him in Walsall on Sundays.

(4) Hymns Ancient & Modern. 1915 version. First a line from the HymnO Jesus I have promised’. J.E.Bode. 1816-1874; then ‘Eternal Father strong to save. W. Whiting. 1860; and 277  ‘Nearer my God to thee’. Sarah Flower Adams. 1841.

NAMES * Info. pending on Major A.L. Raimes

NEXT POST: 21ST FEB.1915.  FAREWELL POSTCARDS to Ida & Basil Hibbett.