Category Archives: zen

Zen and the Act of Remembrance.

Of the following, the first three soldiers all left for the Great War from Folkestone on the same day. The first two would have known each other, as did the last two.  Three were killed in the Great War. Two have Commonwealth War Grave Headstones. One is on a Memorial to the Missing. One has a private Headstone. One had a Lament written for him. One had a poem. One fell like a soldier, another we miss. One is in a local graveyard, the others are not and these are just four soldiers in total. Look for one type of remembrance and you will fail to remember the rest.

Sergeant 1011 Charles Stewart McKenzie
1/6th Seaforth Highlanders

No. 1011 Charles Stewart McKenzie, Sergeant in the 1/6th Seaforth Highlanders, born in Elgin on the 15th November 1882. The son of Alexander and Annie Mackenzie of Collie Street, Elgin. Charles crossed with his battalion. He was severely wounded in the arm and later killed in action on the 9th April 1917 at Vimy Ridge during the Battle of Arras. He is the only soldier of the Great War to have a lament written for him.

“Ains a year say a prayer faur me
Close yir een an remember me
Nair mair shall a see the sun
For a fell tae a Germans gun”
(From Sgt Mackenzie by Joseph Kilna McKenzie)

Charles is buried in Highland Cemetery Roclincourt. His epitaph reads “HE LIKE A SOLDIER FELL”

Private 1010 James Wood “D” Coy. 1st/6th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders the son of George and Mary Wood, of 5228, 70th St. South East, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Killed in action on the 20th December 1915. Before the war James was a joiner at Morven on Sea, Lossiemouth, Scotland. The inscription on his grave at Authuille Military Cemetery, Authuille reads: “WE MISS YOU DEAR JAMIE”

Private 3499 Robert William Goddard
1/5th Seaforth Highlanders.

Olympic trialist in 1908,4 Robert William Goddard embarked for France from Folkestone on the 1st May. We know this from the date on his medal card. Like Charles McKenzie of the 1/6th Seaforth Highlanders Goddard became a Sergeant. Goddard eventually became a Company Sergeant Major. Sadly Goddard’s Army records do not survive. It is known from the London Gazette that he was awarded the Military Medal and Bar. On his tombstone it is recorded “M.M. Beaumont Hammel 1916”, but the citations seem to have been lost and there is no record of the award of a second M.M. -apart from the mention in the London Gazette of a prior award. From his tombstone we also know he married. Because of the age of his wife, Dorethy, almost certainly after the war. He also became a farmer and farmed at Denton in Kent for sixty years. Robert William Goddard MM and Bar, died on the 24th June 1982. He is buried in Denton Parish Churchyard, Denton, Kent.

img_8152Robert William Goddard’s Gravestone. (Photo) Peter Anderson)

Robert Goddard was David Sutherland’s Sergeant.

Private 2943 David Sutherland, Died 16/05/1916, 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.

“Oh, never will I forget you,
My men that trusted me,
More my sons than your fathers’,
For they could only see
The little helpless babies
And the young men in their pride.
They could not see you dying,”
And hold you while you died.

(From the poem  In Memoriam
by Ewart Alan Mackintosh)

David Sutherland’s death was the inspiration for the poem In Memoriam.

 

Advertisements