The Last Offices of Love





“Monument Hill” Wendover, Buckinghamshire

The monument was erected in 1904, by public subscription, in memory of 148 men from Buckinghamshire who died during the Second Boer War. Coombe Hill Monument was almost totally destroyed by lightning in 1938 and was rebuilt in the same year. The original bronze plaque and decorations were stolen in 1972 and replaced with a stone plaque and iron flag. The new stone plaque was also inscribed with the additional names of nine men believed to have been missing on the original.

It was Helen Strachan’s (nee Walker) wish that her ashes be scattered in a place which held so many memories for her.  She spent her formative years near Aylesbury, attending the  High School for Girls there.  “Monument Hill” – especially when the bluebells were out – was a favourite place to visit.

So, my two sons travelled down there one weekend and carried out her request.

It wasn’t easy, but few things are.  We must always honour the dead in whatever shape or form is deemed appropriate, even if we find it hard or are uncomfortable with it.  And although this was a painful occasion, it was, nevertheless, an act of love


By Christina Rossetti.

Remember me when I am gone away, gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand, nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day you tell me of the future that you planned;

Only remember me; you understand it will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet, if you should forget me for a while and afterwards, remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave a vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.


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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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