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WITH THE IMMORTAL SEVENTH DIVISION

By the Rev. E.J. KENNEDY

Chaplain Major to The Expeditionary Force.



With a Preface by the Right Reverend

the LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER



HODDER AND STOUGHTON

LONDON NEW YORK TORONTO

MCMXVI

 



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PREFACE



This little record bears the impress of the character of its writer—simple, manly, open-hearted towards man, and devout towards God.

I have read a great part of it with keen interest. Written without strain, from fresh personal experience, and with great sympathy for the officers and men of our Army, it gives a very lively picture of a chaplain's work at the Front, and the scenes and conditions under which it is done.

Mr. Kennedy's commanding stature, and fine physical manhood, gave him advantages which his fine character and genial nature used, by God's grace, to the best effect.

Having known him, and admired him from the time when I admitted him to Priest's Orders in South London, down to the day when at my request he addressed our Diocesan Conference upon the challenge given to the Church by the war, and the claims and needs of the men of our Army returning from the Front,—a subject on which he glowed with eagerness,—it is a happiness to me to bespeak for his words an attention which will certainly be its own reward.

I trust the book may do a little to lessen the loss which (to human vision) the best interests of our country and her people have suffered by his early and unexpected death.

EDW. WINTON.

Farnham Castle, November, 1915.



EDITOR'S NOTE



Chaplain Major E.J. Kennedy, the writer of this little book, returned to his parish of St. John the Evangelist, Boscombe, in September 1915, having completed his year's service with the Expeditionary Force. Fired with a deep sense of the need of rousing the Home Church and Land to a clearer realization of the spiritual needs of 'Our Men' and armed with the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the approval and consent of his Diocesan, he determined to spend a certain amount of his time in the strenuous work of lecturing up and down the country, in addition to his many parochial duties. Immediately on his return he plunged into this work, without taking any rest after his arduous labours at the Front. On Tuesday, October 19, he was lecturing in Liverpool and Birkenhead. On Wednesday he was taken ill, and on Thursday he returned home. On the following Monday he succumbed to the disease which doubtless he contracted at the Front.

In the passing of Major Kennedy the Church and Nation have lost a man who could ill be spared. So simple in his faith, so fearless and powerful in his preaching, he was a man who wielded an influence almost unique in this country. Those who have been benefited by his ministry are not counted by hundreds but by tens of hundreds. His influence with the men at the Front was extraordinary. A soldier writes, 'I was awfully sorry to hear of Mr. Kennedy's death. It came so sudden too. I expect he would not wish for a better death than dying practically in his country's cause. He will be greatly missed, his place will not be easily filled. Unfortunately there are not many men of his stamp in the world. He was "white" all through, a thing as rare as it is valuable. He was a real manly Christian gentleman.' This letter is typical of hundreds which have been received from all parts of the world, including the Front, so wide and far reaching was the sweep of his influence.

Of him it may be truly said, 'He was God's man.' Many in all schools of thought and walks of life, as they think of him to-day will unconsciously say to themselves what the poet has expressed—

"This is the happy warrior, this is he Whom every man in arms should wish to be." Well done! thou good and faithful servant.

J.H.

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. The Seventh Division

CHAPTER II The Trek through Belgium

CHAPTER III The Welcome of a People

CHAPTER IV A Chapter of Incidents

CHAPTER V The First Battle of Ypres

CHAPTER VI Concerning Officers and Men

CHAPTER VII The Work of a Chaplain in the Field

CHAPTER VIII The Care of the Wounded

CHAPTER IX Work at the Base

CHAPTER X A Closing Word

 

 

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