Geoff Cordingley

The following letter was printed in the Hertfordshire Mercury on 15th December 1919.  This was a man who had a clear vision of how those who had been killed in The Great War should be remembered – in a joyful rather than sombre way.

He was apparently living in St. Albans but I can find no evidence of where he was living in the town.  In fact I have been unable to find an reference to him anywhere in the UK .  However I think his view is worth recording.

(To the Editor. )

SIR, Will you allow me to bring to your notice the following suggestions for a national festival of remembrance of those who fell for us in the great war :-

1. That all those who feel the need of keeping warm, living, vital remembrance of the men and women who gave their lives that we might live, and for all that is best and noblest in life, should join together in keeping yearly a national festival of remembrance, in the following manner.

2. That a special day should be set apart, preferably during the summer months, for the keeping of the festival and that this day should be chosen by the nation.

3. That the festival should be ushered in at morning by the simultaneous ringing of the bells of all the parishes in the United Kingdom, and at evening rung out again in the same manner, with joyous and triumphant peals of faith and victory.

4. That the Holy Communion should be celebrated on that day in every church, the names on the Roll of Honour of the parish being read in sections, if too numerous in all, and inscribed in the porch, so that all should know at which service their beloved one’s name would be mentioned.

5. That one central, beautiful shrine should be erected in each district, artists and sculptors and carvers being invited to co-operate, and when possible a calvary, the symbol of all sacrifices, be erected in its centre (the inviolate alvaries of France being sacred in the memories of thousands and thousands of the fallen).

6 That processions of prayer and thanksgiving, in which people of all denominations would be asked to join, should be made to them during the festival, with banners, and regimental colours, preceded by the symbol of our salvation.

7. That no note of gloom should be allowed in any of the services, but that the churches and graveyards should be made bright with flowers. and the hymns and psalms chosen be those of life eternal and of the ‘Everlasting Joy’.

8. That all theatres and places of entertainment should be earnestly and cordially invited to join in making worthy this great festival by tuning their plays, concerts, pictures, recitations, etc., to the same high key – i.e., the perpetuation of the glorious memory of deeds of unsurpassed selflessness and heroism, and of love than which no man can have greater, the love which give its life joyfully for its friends.

9. That all men disabled by the war should be given special facilities for attendance.

10. That in every place some special joy should be given to the children.

11. That all homes should strive during the festival to banish steadfastly bitterness, gloom. ill-temper, disorder, and all things that would grieve the beloved ones to see, and should be made beautiful with flowers and gifts.

12. In these ways the link which binds together in love all souls in the seen and the unseen will be kept bright and strong – and those for whose dear sakes we thus consecrate ourselves afresh each year, be had in ‘Everlasting Remembrance’.–Yours truly,


Heath Bank, St. Albans.

This page was added on 18/11/2020.

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  • I suspect that the author was Clara Blanche Lucena Haslewood, the wife of a naval officer, Hugh Lyttleton Haslewood. The Electoral roll for the 1920s has them living in Somerset.

    By J Ayto (21/11/2020)