"VICAR’S PANEGYRIC TO THE FALLEN Last Sunday afternoon Saint John’s Church honoured the memory of four local lads who have laid down their lives in the national cause - Pte John Edward Dollive, Pte John Hirst, Pte George Willie Beaumont and Pte Ben Brook - and in the course of an impressive memorial service conducted by the Vicar (the Reverend J.F. Beamish) high tribute was paid to their devotion and sacrifice. In the course of the service which embraced a portion of the burial service, Mr Goddard, the organist, rendered the Dead March in Saul and the choir under the leadership of Mr. Pearce led the singing of the appropriate hymns which were rendered. The Vicar based a telling discourse on the text: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude which no man could number of all nations, all kindreds and people and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” (Revelation of St. John, 7-9). The reverend gentleman said they were there that afternoon, not to be present at a mere spectacle, but in memory of those whom they knew who had laid down their lives for their country in the terrible war. He was there for the purpose - perhaps it might be the last time he would stand in that pulpit for that particular purpose, - of expressing to them faith in the resurrection of the dead and the belief that we should live again. As was recorded in the Book of the Revelation those who had gone were not dead - they were standing before God. Those in whose memory they were assembled together that today were in a far better land than this - they were with God. George Willie Beaumont for a good many years sang in the choir. He was one of their own lads being brought up in the day school and the Sunday school. He entered the choir in 1902, and in 1903 and 1904 he was the third in attendance, and later won the first prize, leaving in 1908. He was a member of the Young Men's class when Mr John Lawton was the teacher. He had “Not gone from memory nor from love, but gone to his Father’s home above.” The next name was that of Ben Brook who was a member of the Sunday school from childhood. For 10 years he was never absent nor never late. He had a wonderful record. For nine years he was the sidesman in the church and he (the Vicar) thought he could see him then walking up the aisle to present the alms. The next name he wished to mention was that of John Hirst, who was also a member of the Young Men's Class, one who blew the organ for many years. Another lad who had lately laid down his life for his country was John Edward Dollive, another member of the Young Men's Class and a regular attendant at the services of God in that church. These young men have done the highest duty man could do. Was it not a disgrace to the civilised world that a bloody war like the present should be robbing the world of all its best manhood, that the world should be plunged into this awful carnage and thousands of families of all grades and nationalities should be plunged into terrible grief and sorrow? No wonder many cried out:”How can God allow such a thing to be?” The nations of the world were fighting for their existence and we knew something of the prospects and horrors of war, and such horrors would have been brought into Holmfirth had it not been for the humanity of the nation’s manhood such as they were met to remember that afternoon.
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