Mid Week Reflection – Lest we Forget

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month we remember! Every late autumn it is the same, we stop and remember the ending of the First World War and of the other fields of conflict across the decades. The autumn red of poppies are worn, placed at War Memorials and buildings, they are a symbol that we are remembering. Across Europe British residents often stop, wear a poppy and remember. In Europe other countries have their special days of remembrance. They too will not forget.

What are we remembering? We are remembering the lives given and taken, acts of bravery and self giving but also those whose actions were the opposite. There was a spirit of comradeship that grew in these times of adversity both amongst service men and women but also at home within communities.

It was a hard time, there were atrocities, war crimes and deaths of those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, the innocent. Errors occurred and bad decisions made that cost lives. There were also the lives that were devastated far away from the field of battle, whose mental scars caused continual pain.

There is a lot to remember, but remember we must.

Two more images, that are not the usual images for our November time of remembrance. My late mother-in-law was in her teens in Belgium during the second world war. Jacqueline and her parents were involved with the resistance. They were responsible for catering at a night school and were able to provide food for allied service men and Jacqueline ran messages for the resistance.

These two images are among many that are in an autograph book. These are unknown artists who left these pictures as a token of thanks for hospitality and care in what must have been the most difficult of situations.

War can throw up many images, so many shocking and painful to see. We can almost lose faith in humanity but we must not. The images below remind us that even in the worst of adversity there are those who can find use their artistry to bring another vision and find humour in cartoons sketches.

Lest we Forget

We will have probably joined people in the
street and stopped for two minutes silence
at 11.00 on the 11th of November and/or an act of remembrance of Remembrance Sunday.

Below is an outline for a time of personal prayerful reflection.

The Kohima Epitaph:

When you go home tell them of us and say,
for your tomorrow we gave our today.

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

In this time of reflection let us:

. . . commit ourselves to work
in penitence and faith for reconciliation between the nations,
that all people may, together, live in freedom, justice and peace.

As we reflect on today’s theme let us
. . . pray for all
who in bereavement, disability and pain
continue to suffer the consequences of fighting and terror.
we remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives,
in world wars and conflicts past and present,
have been given and taken away.


Slowly read the verses from scripture below. Read them through again and if a particular verse strikes accord with you read it through a few times, pausing to allow the verse to settle in your mind.

Those who wait for the Lord shall renew
their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40.31

What does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6.8

The wisdom from above is first pure, then
peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of
mercy and good fruits, without a trace of
partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of
righteousness is sown in peace for those
who make peace.
James 3:17-18



We pray for all who suffer as a result of
conflict, and ask that God may give us

for the service men and women who have
died in the violence of war, each one
remembered by and known to God;

May God give peace

for those who love them in death as in life,
offering the distress of our grief and the
sadness of our loss;

May God give peace

for all members of the armed forces who
are in danger this day, remembering
family, friends and all who pray for their
safe return;

May God give peace

for civilian women, children and men
whose lives are disfigured by war or terror,
calling to mind in penitence the anger and
hatreds of humanity;

May God give peace

for peace-makers and peace-keepers, who
seek to keep this world secure and free;

May God give peace

for all who bear the burden and privilege
of leadership, political, military and
religious; asking for gifts of wisdom and
resolve in the search for reconciliation and

May God give peace

The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus said:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to
you. I do not give to you as the world
gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.
John 14:27

You may wish the finish this time of reflective prayer sitting silently and enjoying a peaceful moment or two. You may also think about listening to some music that has touched you or a favourite hymn or song. Enjoy these moments! God bless!

Derek Akker

The prayers were adapted from material was from www.ctbi.org.uk/remembrance (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland)