100 Years Ago: George V, Freece, Silver Service Fund

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of August 1911.

King George V

King George V

George V in coronation robes, painting by Samuel Luke Fildes

King George V received the crown of his ancestors on Thursday, June 22, in Westminster Abbey, amid the manifestations of love and loyalty from the people on every hand. Without a hitch, and with every circumstance of historic pomp, the ceremony was consummated, and with thunderous cheers the great multitudes of Britain acclaimed their crowned and anointed sovereigns, and sang, “God Save the King.”

In the abbey were assembled dignitaries of the empire, foreign and colonial representatives, members of European royal families, peers, members of parliament and officials–about seven thousand people. The ceremony was substantially the same used for similar occasions for a thousand years. There was a brief sermon by the Archbishop of York, the king kissed the Bible and signed the oath, made his declaration of faith in its recently modified form, and was anointed and crowned, ascended the throne, and the queen took her seat beside, but below, her husband.

The following day the king and queen made their royal progress through the streets of London, being welcomed with demonstrations of enthusiasm by the people.

[George Frederick Ernest Albert, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936, was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India. George was a grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.

In 1917, because of anti-German public sentiment he renamed the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha the House of Windsor. It remains the family name of the current Royal Family. George V was plagued by illness throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.]

Freece the Agitator

Freece, the Anti-Mormon Agitator, has gone to Denmark, and met a cold reception. Elder A. J. T. Sorenson, president of the Copenhagen conference, in a recent letter, says that the priests are giving them blows from all sides, but the gospel, like as steel, becomes firmer in the hearts of the people the more it is pounded.

Politiken, a leading liberal newspaper, recently defended the elders against an attack of Freece, the anti-Mormon, who had called a large meeting to denounce the Latter-day Saints. At a private meeting following, held with the reporters and priests, the elders were given an opportunity to defend their cause, and came out of it so well that the paper gave them a splendid defense. Among other things it counseled Mr. Freece to pack his grip, and return to America, where conditions are more fruitful for his class of agitation.

[Hans Peter Freece, the son of a Utah Mormon polygamist, openly supported anti-Mormon agitation and the drafting of legislation to ban the Mormon religion from being preached and practiced.]

Silver Service Fund

Contributions for the Silver Service Fund of the battleship Utah, have been received from 26,066 school children in Utah, aggregating $2,233.72. All the counties of the state and about 230 cities, towns and villages are represented in the donations.

The price of the service will be $10,000 on which account the contributions will be applied. The remainder will be paid by the State. Utah is 521 feet six inches long, draws 29 feet of water, is rated as a 22,000 ton ship, and will carry 940 men and 60 officers, when fully manned. The ship will be ready to go into commission August 10.

[USS Utah was attacked and sunk by a torpedo in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. August, 1911. No. 10.

USS Utah

USS Utah

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100 Years Ago: War On Mormons Is Waged In Britain

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of April 1911

Investigation of Mormon activity

Investigation of “Mormon” activity in England will be made by the House of Commons. On the 6th of March, Secretary Churchill stated that the attention of the government had been attracted to recent allegations that young girls were being induced to emigrate to Utah, and that the matter was causing deep concern. He therefore proposed to investigate the subject exhaustively, with a view to bringing out the exact facts.

Hans P. Freece

Hans P. Freece

President Rudger Clawson, of the European Mission of the Latter-day Saints, welcomes the investigation, as do his co-laborers in that country, for they are confident there can be no other outcome before a fair judicial tribunal than a complete vindication of the actions of the Church. It has nothing to fear from an impartial and honest investigation, for its emigration affairs, as well as its missionary work in Great Britain, have been conducted in a manner that will bear the closest scrutiny. The Church has nothing to lose and everything to gain by the action which the home secretary has recommended.

On the 6th of March a demented man broke the windows and door of the mission house in Liverpool, “for God’s sake,” he said.

War On Mormons

Meanwhile the New York Times was reporting the story thus:

War on Mormons Is Waged In Britain

The crusade against Mormons initiated by the International Reform Bureau at Washington is being actively pursued in Great Britain.

Hans P. Freece, the bureau’s special delegate, has arrived in London after a 10 weeks’ tour in Scotland and the north of England, during which he succeeded in locating about 100 Mormon meeting places and 325 American Mormons engaged in inducing young women to emigrate to Utah. He also collected the signed statements of parents whose daughters had been enticed to America, and is in possession of irrefutable evidence that the Mormon church is in the habit of paying for the transportation of converts from England to Utah in violation of the United States immigration law.

Mr. Freece entertains great hope of succeeding in getting a bill into Parliament prohibiting American Mormon elders from proselytizing in this country—in fact, the same law as that adopted by Prussia and Hungary not long ago.

Although Mr. Freece declared his mission to be unofficial, he said he believed that should such a law, cutting off British-Mormon immigration to America, be passed, the Mormons would lose the control of Utah and a Democratic Representative might be expected to be sent to Congress at the next election.

[Hans P. Freece, an apostate, lectured the people against the dangers of “Mormonism,” and sought to prohibit them from preaching in the United Kingdom. A number of those who attended the lectures expressed themselves as being very much disappointed in them. They expected to hear something new from this man, who claims to have been born in the Church, of polygamous parents, but instead he had only the same false stories that have been retold so many times by others.

The International Reform Bureau was founded in 1895 and was known from 1924 as the International Reform Federation. Today it supports those moral and social reforms on which the churches generally agree, focusing especially on drugs and the spread of legalized gambling.]


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20 Magnificent English Castle Photographs

I was born in England and lived there for 28 years. High on my list of places to see (and photograph) are castles. Yet I only visited two castles, and neither of those were in England. But the next best thing to being there is to see great photographs of English castles. Of course every castle is not pictured and even some famous ones may be missing.

If you have visited any of these strongholds, tell me all about it. Click on the images for a larger photograph or follow the photo credit links.

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle

Photo Credit: PhillipC

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Photo Credit: Jim Linwood

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Photo Credit: mharrsch

Goodrich Castle

Goodrich Castle

Photo Credit: Jelle Drok

Brough Castle

Brough Castle

Photo Credit: spratmackrel

Herstmonceux Castle

Herstmonceux Castle

Photo Credit: antonychammond

Clifford's Tower, York Castle

Clifford's Tower, York Castle

Photo Credit: lhongchou

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Photo Credit: Chalkie_CC

Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle

Photo Credit: mgjefferies

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

Photo Credit: backseatpilot

Dover Castle

Dover Castle

Photo Credit: OliverN5

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle

Photo Credit: freefotouk

Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle

Photo Credit: mrs.timpers

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

Photo Credit: MN Photos

Conisbrough Castle

Conisbrough Castle

Photo Credit: D-Kav

Pevensey Castle

Pevensey Castle

Photo Credit: neilalderney123

Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle

Photo Credit: Lincolnian (Brian)

Rochester Castle

Rochester Castle

Photo Credit: amaidment1980

Lindisfarne Castle

Lindisfarne Castle

Photo Credit: D-Kav

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle

Photo Credit: D-Kav

These photographs carry a Creative Commons license that permits copying, distribution, and transmission provided that they are not used commercially and attribution is given. Other restrictions may apply, follow the photo credit links for details.
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Memories of Childhood

It is interesting to read about people’s childhoods, to see if they were similar to yours, or different. Here are a few snippets of my early years. Do you have pleasant memories of your childhood, or was it difficult? Did your parents stay together? What was life like for you where you lived?

I was born in Cheshire, England. My father was serving at that time with the United States Air Force, stationed in England at Burtonwood, during the Korean War. I was the first of three children—all boys. My grandmother, Florence, liked my father very much and he would tease her and call her “Flo-o-oreee” in his Missouri accent.

Parent's wedding day

My parent's wedding day

New Dad

Father had been transferred back to the United States before my youngest brother was born. Mother was to follow on with the children but she didn’t. Dad had no choice but to start proceedings and eventually they were divorced.

Mother remarried and I had a stepfather. While they dated we boys called him Geoff. Mother told us we will need to be calling him Dad, and I was fine with that.

We lived in a Council house. When I was four I made the coal fire early one morning to please Mother and save Dad some work. This was the only fire in the house. It would go out overnight and had to be started each morning. I overbuilt the fire, choking it of oxygen, and it went out. Still, my parents were positive in their praise, even though it took Dad much more time to completely rebuild it and get it started.

I began school at four years old. For my first day at school Mother took me but thereafter I had to find my own way there. I recall thinking that I must remember how to get to school if I was to find my way again the next day. There was a morning and afternoon playtime (recess). When afternoon playtime came around I thought it was hometime. The teacher, when she saw me leaving, figured I had had enough of school and was going home to Mum—so she let me go. I started walking out the school gates and I wondered why no-one else was leaving. Nevertheless I pressed on.

As I neared home I saw a lot of children playing at the school and thought that they were lucky children, waiting for their mothers to come and collect them. My mother and grandmother were at home. I opened the back door slowly and they thought it was an intruder. When they saw it was me, they were relieved and presumed I didn’t like school and had come home. It was not until years later when I spoke of the incident to my mother that she found out what really happened.

Parents in Blackpool in 1953

Father and Mother in Blackpool in 1953

Name Difficulties

I had to learn to answer my name when the register was called. A boy with a one syllable surname, Keith Flood, had trouble answering “here” when his name was called. I also had trouble answering “Willoughby”—I was only four years old and it is a long name to remember. I felt dumb like Keith Flood. There was even less room to doubt our dumbness when the teacher rebuked us: “Keith Flood and Richard Willoughby will have to learn to answer their names!” I felt really stupid.

A similiar experience occurred when the class was learning to write their names. Derek Farr sat in front of me, and when the teacher saw that I had difficulty writing my name she said, “Derek can write his name, why can’t you?” I thought, “Farr, that’s f-a-r, then add r again, only four letters. There are, hmmm, 1, 2, 3 … 10 letters in my name and which way around does the gh go?” This was my first realization that teachers don’t know everything which placed me on the path to later learning to check important information for reliability. When I was taught the word though it made it easy to write Willoughby, especially as the pronounciation matched.


I recall learning the alphabet and as soon as I could read a few words I was excited to try out my skills at home in reading whatever book I could find. I spent hours figuring out how to read words out of an adult encyclopedia, which was one of the few books we owned.

I was fascinated by astronomy. I couldn’t grasp the concept of constellations so I focused on the planets. In the first sentence of reading about Jupiter I came across the words aphelion and perihelion. I couldn’t hardly read the words, much less pronounce them. However, in the context of the distances from the Sun, it dawned on me that perihelion was the closest distance that Jupiter came in it’s orbit and aphelion was the furthest. I spent days trying to figure out the math section in the encyclopedia, which was silly of me because it was way beyond my years. I look back on those early school days when I was taught to read with very fond memories. It opened up a world where I could choose what to learn, at a very early age.

Held by my father

Held by my father

East Park

I would go with my brothers to the East Park. We used to take the long walk to the park, rather than take our bicycles, for we feared they would be stolen. We made The Park an all day event, with activities like boating, bowls, soccer, running around the band stand and hide ‘n’ seek. The neighborhood bully asked us how to get to the park—we wouldn’t tell him, and we ran off. The next day, about a third of the way to the park, the bully jumps out from behind a wall. That surprised us and we couldn’t get away but all he wanted was for us to show him the way to The Park. We did and he disappeared for the rest of the day and gave us no trouble.

Another day, my brother and I were returning from the East Park when in the distance we heard a shout behind us, “Come here!” We carried on walking and soon an angry boy, The Big Kid rode up on his bike. He said, “Why didn’t you come when I called you?” My brother said, “It’s a free country!” for which The Big Kid gave him a fist in the face, and a bloody nose flowing freely, spilling onto the footpath.

My brother was out of the fight so I put up my fists, and with resigned trepitation, was ready for the worst. The Big Kid said “That won’t do you any good, you can’t hurt me.” To prove his point, he told me to try something. I punched him in the stomache but it did no good. I turned to my brother and said, “Come on, let’s get him together” but he was understandably still tending to his nose. The Big Kid then said, “Next time, come when I tell you to,” and took off. I diplomatically refrained from making any comments about freedom. I never saw him again.


Mother was Catholic and my stepfather never mentioned religion but was a hard worker and was a good influence. If I asked him to do something that he thought I could do for myself he would say, “Use your own initiative.”

We never went to church as a family or individually but when I was very young I recall my mother telling me that there was “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.” She said I can pray to God the Father and ask for what I needed. I could understand asking for what I wanted, a young child knows how to do that. She then said that you have to have faith. I didn’t understand that, I said to myself, what’s faith? But the seeds were sown for my faith later in life.


One girl that I remember was Jean Tilley. Jean was brilliant at math and I would compete to try and finish before her. I was never able to, she was too smart and too fast and would always finish before everyone else.

One morning, just before the big math test, I turned around to Jean to make a comment. We used fountain pens, every student providing his own, unless you used a school pen which had to be dipped in an ink-well every few seconds. As I turned around I inadvertently knocked Jean’s fountain pen to the floor with the back of my chair. The nib was bent on impact so Mr. Bellfield straightened it with a pair of pliers he kept for that purpose. The weekly Monday morning test started and after a few minutes Jean muttered something. She increasingly got more agitated and frustrated and eventually burst into tears. Mr. Bellfield put her into the storeroom so that she wouldn’t have to be crying in front of the whole class. Nobody could figure out why she was so upset. After the test I noticed Jean’s pen had a small gap in the nib, preventing the ink from flowing freely. Jean had difficulty writing, and wasn’t able to finish first and maintain her record. I thought, “Oh, no, that was my fault!”


My brothers and I used to cycle the country lanes in the summer, our goal being to reach the old church. Not for any religious reason but just because it was a convenient landmark. The grounds around the church were quiet and we liked to feed the ducks in the nearby pond. Sometimes we would get tired and turn around and come home.

Alderly Edge was another place in range of our bicycles. The reward was a magnificent view of the Cheshire plain, seen of course from The Edge. Having sinced lived in the Rockies, that view now seems minor in comparison but Cheshire is flat (except where it meets the Pennies) and to us The Edge seemed quite elevated. Jodrell Bank was another worthwhile destination for a bicycle expedition. Then it was the largest mobile radio telescope in the world. As we would cycle towards it, we would see that it had changed its position since we last looked.

With my mother

With my mother

So Sick

A friend, Jan, suffered from asthma and was not a very strong boy. He lived just a few houses from me. Sometimes when he couldn’t breathe too well and had to go home he would send word via another student for me to walk home with him. I would start out, Jan hanging on to me and breathing so heavy. Then a teacher would intervene and say that the headmaster would take him home in his car. I don’t remember why Jan would send for me, he just did.

I used to run home from school, enjoying the thrill of moving along at speed. I may have been weak at sports but I was a good runner with my long legs. One afternoon, when I was seven years old, I didn’t run home from school. I only had the energy to walk home. At home I felt ill and lay on the couch. I told Mother to get a damp cloth to place on my forehead. I was taken to my bed and later that evening an ambulance was called. I thought my Dad would carry me down the stairs to the ambulance but no, the ambulance driver did. I remember the slight feeling of disappointment. I had Meningitis and was hospitalized a month. As I recovered, on one of the visits to the hospital, my parents told me that Jan had died of the same illness.

A Dunce

When I left the hospital I had some time at home. So vivid in my mind still is the day Mother asked me to go and get the milk from the doorstep. I went to the front door, opened it, and couldn’t remember what I had been sent for. I returned to Mother in tears, telling her I couldn’t remember what it was she wanted. The meningitis had affected my memory.

When I returned to school I was put in what the school children called “the dunces class.” It was a class of thirty or so students, drawn from the entire school, who were not able to keep up with their regular lessons for whatever reason. I was not a very bright student to begin with, so after missing more than a month of school, I suppose it was thought prudent to place me straight into this special class. It went well for awhile.

The teacher was a beautiful tall woman, with long flowing hair who had been to Tanganyika (now Tanzania) at one time. Once she read a letter to us from someone from that country. Stars for your work and profusions of praise would be the order of the day, coupled with a relaxed learning atmosphere.

My friends came to visit me one dark rainy day. I showed them some of my good work. They laughed and thought it ridiculous that I would get so many stars for such average results. I was crushed and still can feel the insult in my heart. That was the day I never wanted to feel that way again. Thereafter I worked harder and smarter and was promoted into Junior I. Ages 5, 6, and 7 were Infant I, II and III and ages 8, 9, 10 and 11 were Junior I, II, III and IV. I had a tough time keeping up in Junior I but gradually improved. Memory was still a problem but very early I developed ways to compensate, which in the long run proved to be an asset.

At eight years old.

At eight years old.


At playtime we played King. You need one tennis ball and some boys—girls can’t play (1950’s rules). We stood in as wide a circle as necessary with your two feet two feet apart. Your right foot touches my left foot and your left foot touches his right foot and my right foot against another’s left foot etc. to form the circle. Bounce the ball hard and let it bounce until it goes through someone’s legs. That someone is IT. The unfortunate IT then throws the ball at the rapidly dispersing group to try and get a HIT.

When IT hits someone then he has a partner to help in getting the remaining players, who are now very much scattered. IT and HIT can now pass the ball to each other to get within throwing range. No running with the ball is allowed though running without the ball for the players still unhit is very much encouraged (if not imperative). Steven Wolstenhulme’s tactic was to leap high at the last moment when the ball was thrown whereas mine was to duck low at the last moment. It was surprising how well it worked. As more players are caught, it becomes easier to get the remainder. The last player hit is named King and gets to bounce the ball in the circle, which gives him a slight advantage, at the start of the next game.

We played Wall by kicking a soccer ball against a wall. Each player had only one kick to get the ball back to the wall and maybe have enough velocity to give the next player some difficulty. We had the perfect school wall—no windows and wide and high.

Winter found us making huge slides to run up on at high speed and see how far you could go. In fine weather the girls played hopscotch and seemed to enjoy skipping ropes.

One of the sports taught by the school to boys was soccer (no girls allowed, they played Netball — 1950’s rules again) and every player, with the exception of the goalkeepers would chase the ball in one great, mad mob. I decided that was no strategy.

I went to the opposite end of the pitch to wait until the ball was kicked my way. Of course the mob wasn’t into tactics and I didn’t get the ball. Mr. Bellfield stopped the game and pointed at me way down the pitch and said that was a clever position to be in, and to illustrate how easy it would be to score a goal, he kicked the ball to me. I shot wide of the goal with only the goalkeeper to beat. The rest of the players didn’t think it was such a good point of Mr. Bellfield’s but I think he deserved credit for observation.


In my last year at primary school I recall trying to sing. Mr. Bellfield walked around the class by each student and singled me out, along with Robert Axon, as groaners. We had to sit away from the rest of the class and weren’t allowed to sing. It wasn’t very encouraging and I dreaded music for the rest of Primary School and all through Secondary School.

I liked to hear people sing and I loved listening to music but I would not sing myself. I recall Pamela Hollingsworth singing Gloria in Exchelsis solo one Christmas season. I thought it was beautiful and a great achievement. I had to go after school to the assembly hall where Mr. Bellfield played notes on a piano and I would have to sing them. I managed four notes but all I wanted to do was to forget about singing forever.


By age 11, at the time of the 11+ (eleven plus) examinations, my parents were confident that I would pass this crucial test. The 11+ was the exam given in the last year of primary school, at age 11, which determined whether one got a higher standard Grammar school education or went to a Secondary Modern school. The Grammar school taught languages such as French and Latin, dealt with higher level mathematics, and generally was much more advanced academically. The “+” part of the 11+ meant that the exam could be retaken at age 12 and 13, if failing at 11. Years later, when I did so well at Weber State College, the story about me in the Crewe Chronicle began: “For someone who failed his 11+, he’s improved a lot since….”

So what happened? I recall that on the day of the exam, I felt that I really didn’t care about it and I didn’t try very hard. The thought of Grammar School was a little intimidating and I would have to travel to another city. Whatever, I failed and never retook the exam. I was destined for the local Secondary School until my mother stepped in and altered my educational destiny. But that is another post.

Do you have a childhood story of success or failure?

Epic Excerpts: Horatio Nelson

Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, by Lemuel Francis Abbott
Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, born in 1758, was a British flag officer made famous in the Battle of Trafalgar. In this decisive British victory he lost his life. Nelson had the ability to inspire and bring out the best in his men and would heroically cut through the enemy’s lines. He ranks as one of the greatest naval commanders in military history. Many consider him to have been one of the greatest warriors of the seas. By the time of his death in 1805 Nelson had become a national hero, and he was given a State funeral.


Westminister Abbey, or victory!
(In the battle off Cape St. Vincent, giving the order for boarding the San Josef. Life of Nelson Vol. I, Ch. 4)

A Glorious Victory

May the Great God, whom I worship, grant to my Country and for the benefit of Europe in general a great and glorious victory; and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after Victory be the predominant feature of the British fleet. For myself, individually, I commit my life to Him who made me, and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my Country faithfully. To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen.
(Dispatches and Letters of Horatio Nelson: a diary entry on the eve of the battle of Trafalgar)

England Expects

England expects that every man will do his duty.
(Life of Nelson: A signal to the British fleet at the battle of Trafalgar)

Gain the Victory

First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can.
(Before the battle of the Nile)

Ship before the Enemy

When I am without orders and unexpected occurrences arrive I shall always act as I think the honour and glory of my King and Country demand. But in case signals can neither be seen or perfectly understood, no captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.

Further Reading

Epic Excerpts: Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill at Downing Street giving his famous V sign in June 1943
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II, saving the world from Nazi domination in the dark days of 1940. Throughout his life he cared for his family and sustained his lifestyle through use of the pen. His books and speeches were numerous and have led to a plethora of quotations and witticisms. Having spent my first 28 years of life in England, these five quotations are familiar.

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat

I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many long months of toil and struggle.

You ask what is our policy. I will say, it is to wage war with all our might, with all the strength that God can give us, to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime.

You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.
(First statement as Prime Minister, House of Commons, 13 May 1940)

Be Ye Men of Valour

Today is Trinity Sunday. Centuries ago words were written to be a call and a spur to the faithful servants of Truth and Justice: “Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.”
(First broadcast as Prime Minister, 19 May 1940. The quotation is from 1 Maccabees 3:58-60)

Their Finest Hour

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may more forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their Finest Hour.”
(House of Commons, 18 June 1940, following the collapse of France)

The Few

The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
(A tribute to the Royal Air Force, House of Commons, 20 August 1940. Because of German bombing raids, Churchill said, Britain was “a whole nation fighting and suffering together.”)

Never Give In

This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
(Given at his first visit to his old school, Harrow, 29 October 1941)

Further Reading

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Missionary Jake – Part 3 of 10

This is part three of a ten part series chronicling Jake’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

January 2007

Things are good down here in Mexico. The weather is really nice—not too hot and not too cold. It rains sometimes, but never is cold enough to snow. The climate is similar to Utah but more mild. I imagine that the summers will be really hot. Usually the second thing people ask me when I say I’m from Utah is: “it snows in Utah, right?” I’m glad it doesn’t snow here though—I think there would be a wreck every 5 seconds if it snowed. The driving here is crazy. Stop signs are non-existent, or if there is a stop sign nobody pays any attention. The government puts in speed bumps every intersection to force people to slow down.
Photo of Elder Hernandez and Elder Willoughby ready to baptize
You don’t have to worry about speeding either. You can just give the police 10 or 20 dollars and they will let you off the hook. At least that is what my companion says. I’m glad I took his [Brother Peterson’s] class of Christian History because I understand a lot better who I am teaching. It helps to know exactly what is the apostasy and why we needed a restoration. In the mission all we have to do is make sure our investigators understand those two words—apostasy and restoration. Although all the churches may have some little part of the truth, none of them have the fullness of the gospel.

[Read more…]

One Nation Under God

Taken at Kaysville 4th July 2008

In my childhood in England I belonged to no church and religion was not part of my life — except in school. Religion was a required subject and it was in school that I learned many Bible stories. I didn’t believe in God and to me these religion classes were merely educational. However, I would be a poor, rickety specimen of manhood if I had not learned about the courage of David and Daniel, the history of the Jews, and the great moral lessons that flow from Christianity. In my Mormon faith some of my favorite hymns are those I would sing long ago at school assembly each day. Hymns such as All Glory, Laud, and Honor, Onward, Christian Soldiers, and Angels We Have Heard on High.

In some American schools the Pledge of Allegiance is recited complete with the 1954 addition of “under God.” In some quarters this is seen as very distasteful. But to me the addition seems to be more of a correction, an alignment with history. Consider the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. I direct you to a part of the fourth verse:

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’

So it seems the Pledge was lacking until it was configured to reflect our dependence upon our God. Further, with the numerous times daily one is subjected to the taking of the Lord’s name in vain just one positive reference to God should be welcomed by all. I would hasten a guess that all this fuss about trying to remove, or not to hear two words would boggle the minds of my school friends, now grown, back in England.

Past Pictures: My Parents

Occasionally I will post Past Pictures. In 1985 I was sent to England by my employer Sperry Corporation to upgrade a Voice Information Processing System. While I was there I visited my parents which turned out to be the last time I would see them. Pictured is me with my stepfather Geoffrey Morris and my mother Sadie. Jake, my #3 son, takes Geoffrey’s name as his middle name. Sadie is a nickname for Sarah which was my honor to name my daughter.

I visited with my brothers Ray and Mike and with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I stayed with Ray, Susan, and Michelle for a few days and also with my parents. To be with family that you grew up with felt warm and good.