Thursday, March 27, 2008

War time reminiscence

I received a letter in the post today, in beautiful copperplate handwriting from Margaret Lewis. She is the widow of the Revd. Roy Lewis who was Curate of St John's between 1941 and 1945, after which they went off to minister in Guyana, presumably with SPG. She must be in her nineties now.

She wrote enclosing a copy of a service booklet produced in May 1945 for a service of thanksgiving to celebrate the end of war in Europe, for our archives. I was pleased about this as I'm not sure that we have one, certainly not one in such good condition.

However, what was even more pleasing was her mention in the letter about the occasion when St John's was saved from an incendiary bomb which dropped through the roof during the Blitz. There is still a phosphorus burn mark on the tiled floor of the nave where it came down. I'd very much like to see a little commemorative plaque alongside it telling the story, but have not been able until now to pin down the detail of who tackled the bomb.

She told me that her husband Roy, and another Curate, the Revd. Frank Rees were the ones on firewatch, who saved St John's from the blaze, by sandbagging the bomb while it was still smouldering. I also learned that the stained glass windows were all stored in Castell Coch for the duration of the war.

I'm just so pleased to learn this. Now I have all the information I need to mount a little plaque ... except the date. Now that shouldn't be too difficult to track down should it?

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