Distinguished Churchmen and Phases of Church Work/John Cox Edghill
THE REV. JOHN COX EDGEHILL, D.D.
THE REV. JOHN COX EDGHILL, D.D., K.H.C.
Ex-Chaplain-General to the Forces
THE CHURCH IN THE ARMY.
"Live while you live, the epicure would say,
And seize the pleasures of the present day;
Live while you live, the sacred preacher cries,
And give to God each moment as it flies.
Lord, in my views let both united be;
I live in pleasure when I live to Thee."
Canon Liddon's Opinion of the Chaplain-General—Bill in Parliament to confer on Chaplain-General Powers of Bishop—Dr Edghill and His Career—With the Troops at Aldershot—At Chatham—At Nova Scotia—A Spiritual Force in Canada—Unanimously elected Bishop of Nova Scotia; but resolves to stand by the Army—At Dover and Gibraltar—Back again at Aldershot—At Portsmouth—Abilities recognised by Bishop Harold Browne—Chaplain-General on the Nomination of the Duke of Devonshire—Chaplains in the Time of Marlborough—Lord Melbourne invites Mr Gleig to form Army Chaplains' Department after Peninsular War—Large Number of Chaplains appointed during Crimean War—Status and Pay of Chaplains—Class for Men who join the Army—Work among Soldiers' Wives and Children—Need of Lay Agents and Lady Workers—General Officers most helpful in seconding Endeavours for Good of Soldiers—Evils of the Barrack-Room—Lord Roberts and Temperance in the Army—Chaplains on the Battlefield.
No less an authority than the late Canon Liddon, in the course of a sermon in St Paul's Cathedral, spoke of the position of Chaplain-General of the Forces as “of more importance than an ordinary Bishopric.” While many people could not bring themselves to agree with the Canon's remarkable description of Bishops as “great overgrown, over-worked clerks,” his view about the Chaplain-General must have been pretty generally shared. At all events, there have been two occasions, at least, on which Bishops have been translated to the office—Bishop Claughton, on the nomination of Lord Cranbrook, and Bishop John Taylor Smith, who quite recently relinquished his cure of souls in Sierra Leone and the Canary Islands in order to preside over the Army Chaplains' Department.
A generation or two back a serious effort was made by the promotion of a Bill in Parliament to give the Chaplain-General the rank and powers of a Diocesan Bishop. Like many another Bill, it went to and fro from the Commons to the Lords, suffering here amendment and there amendment, until when passed on to the world a full-blown Act of Parliament it presented but little of its former self. In fact, under it the powers of the Bishop were to be so curtailed, that it has never been deemed worth while to carry the Act into effect. The Chaplain-General has continued to be what his name implies, unless previously called to the Episcopal Bench; but among the rank and file he is always affectionately known as the “Bishop of the Army.”
Dr John Cox Edghill, whose retirement from the Chaplain-Generalship has just taken place in consequence of the age limit prevailing in all departments of the State, has attracted to himself hosts of friends both in and out of the Service, and after seventeen years tenure of the office—and a much longer connection with the Army as Chaplain—he enjoys a reputation for broadness of mind and conspicuous fairness in his dealings with High and Low, Broad and Moderate Churchmen. He is another of the notable men given to the world by King's College, London, of which he was a Fellow. In 1858—he was born in 1835—having been ordained by Archbishop Tait, of London, he derived East-End experience through his curacy of St Mark's, Whitechapel. There he laboured for three years. His health, however, was not then equal to the strain, and the offer of work with the troops at Aldershot, with the probability of spells abroad, was accepted as a timely blessing. In the Army Mr Edghill may be said to have found his heart's desire—scope for plenty of work in healthy open surroundings, constant opportunities for intercourse with fellow-men discharging responsible duties in life, and a crying need for the reforming spirit which he—perhaps unconsciously—possessed. One of his first endeavours was by instrumental aid to infuse heartiness into the singing at the camp services. It is said that Mr Gleig, the then Chaplain-General, was particularly appreciative of the young Chaplain's influence and accomplishments among the Royal Engineers at Aldershot, with the result that he was ordered to Chatham as senior chaplain in charge of the corps.
But greater things were in store. Four years had barely elapsed ere Mr Edgehill was sent to the important station of Nova Scotia, and he is not likely soon to forget the reception accorded him. Without going out of his way to do it, he happily anticipated the popular tastes of the Church folk. Early celebrations and a surpliced choir were two new features that struck him as imperatively necessary. People with natural inquisitiveness attended his church, desiring to see and know something of “the High Churchman with Broad sympathies.” His preaching did the rest. Those who came to listen, stayed to pray, and, with whetted appetites, indicated their hunger for more by permanently enlarging his congregation, until the capacity of the edifice was no longer sufficient. In time he was a recognised force in the Diocese, so much so that the Bishop assigned to him a seat in the Synod, which gave him a legitimate voice in the counsels of the Church. A writer in Church Bells, in an excellent description of the man and his work, sheds strong light on this and a later period of Mr Edghill's life. “Such was the esteem in which he was held in this Diocese,” says the writer, referring to Nova Scotia, “that on the death of the Bishop, in 1885, Mr Edghill was unanimously elected by both clergy and laity in Synod to be his successor. Men of all shades of opinion in the Church in Nova Scotia pressed him most earnestly to accept the Bishopric; but he felt that he dared not leave a post for which he had been so prepared, and for which he had been selected after long deliberation. The Archbishop of Canterbury strongly advised him to remain. It may be mentioned, as evidence of his devotion to his present work, that the stipend of the Bishop is £1,200 a year, and the Chaplain-General's pension £500, so that he has given the greatest proof of his own readiness to sacrifice position and money for the sake of the Army.”
On his return from Halifax, in 1875, he was stationed again at Aldershot, and seriously applied himself to the betterment of the Church in the Army as a whole, suggesting changes which aroused the keenest opposition. The man, however, was determined, and, in giving effect to his convictions, resolved to risk his position; in a word, he made it plain that unless the reforms he sought were conceded, it meant his resignation, and he said as much from the pulpit. The congregation at the iron church at Aldershot approved the Chaplain's convictions, but turned a deaf ear on his threatened resignation. In compliance with their petition, he remained in office, and the military authorities discreetly permitted him to continue to discharge his duty and carry out his purpose unhindered. From Aldershot he went to Dover for a couple of years, and then on to Gibraltar, where, in a shorter period, his prodigious application to work proved too much for his strength. A rest served the double purpose of restoring him to health and reviving the old love for Aldershot, and the fact that he preferred to return there in a minor capacity for a period of two years serves to bring out his lack of ambition for high office and increased emolument. The authorities, however, knew their Chaplain, and were not content to take him at his own estimate. Before long they had appointed him to Portsmouth in charge of the garrison church, and at Portsmouth the experiences at Nova Scotia were pretty much repeated. The people flocked to hear him as they had done at Halifax, and he became a force to be reckoned with in the Diocese. It is no secret that the good Bishop Harold Browne more than once expressed his desire for the eloquent Army Chaplain to accept patronage in his gift in the Diocese of Winchester.
In the interests of this particular branch of the service, at any rate, it will be agreed that Mr Edghill was well advised in resolving to continue his connection with the Army. He had barely been four years at Portsmouth when he was called upon by Lord Hartington, the Secretary of State for War, to succeed to the highest office which it was in his power, officially speaking, to confer upon him, viz., that of Chaplain-General, vacated by the death of Bishop Claughton. To the man himself the exalted appointment was, in all probability, an unspeakable surprise, for there were at least sixteen other chaplains in the first-class who ranked before him by virtue of length of service; but in military, church and social circles it was voted quite the proper one, verified by Mr Edghill's unique experience both at home and at foreign stations, his influence with rank and file, his all-round ability and his consistent impartiality.
Our minds survey the period which has elapsed since 1885, and the manifest improvements brought about under the supervision and active co-operation of the Chaplain-General. To-day the Church is a living and a welcome influence among the soldiers of the King and country—one of the greatest aids in the maintenance of military discipline, and assuredly the most ennobling force in the building up of the sturdy characters of the men. It has long been the fond hope of people whose desire is the speedy Evangelisation of the world to make our sailors, calling at foreign ports, the bearers of the Message, and thus to form an important branch of missionary enterprise—inexpensive, and the more effective because of its identification with British trade and commerce. At present it is little more than an ideal, though the prospects are brightening. To our soldiers—the necessary defenders of our country—opportunities equally worthy present themselves: in the presence of the sick and of the dying as well as of those in health, on battlefields and stations in foreign lands, they may, at the same time as they uphold the banner of their country, support the emblem of Christianity; and they will, let us hope, render the awful services demanded of them in times of conflict with that feeling of intense peace which is born alone of spiritual preparation for, and an unshaken faith in, the life to come.
When applied to for his views on the Church in the Army Dr Edghill was quite willing to give any information he could.
In reply to the question as to when the Chaplain's Department was first called into existence in connection with the Army, Dr Edghill confessed it was difficult to ascertain the precise date. “I believe that in the time of Marlborough,” he said, “every regiment had its chaplain; but that system appeared to gradually die out until, practically speaking, there were only a few garrison chaplains in large places such as Woolwich and Portsmouth. Mr Gleig, the well-known author of The Subaltern—one of the best books of the time—wrote a slashing article about the lack of spiritual provision in the Army during the Peninsular War, and Lord Melbourne, after reading it, invited him to organise the Army Chaplains' Department. I should have said before this, however, that Mr Gleig was at Oxford at the time he resolved to enter the Army as a combatant officer. He was himself engaged in the Peninsular War, and, returning, was ordained. His article attracted much public attention and served to show how utterly wrong the then existing state of things in the Army was. Mr Gleig really started both the Education Department and the Religious Department of the Army. You may, perhaps, know that he afterwards became the Chaplain-General, continuing in that office until 1875. He was not the first Chaplain-General, but he was, I think, the first to fill that post under the new warrant. During the Crimean War a large number of chaplains were appointed, and soon after the services of Roman Catholic and Presbyterian chaplains were requisitioned. In 1861 the number was increased by Lord Herbert; but there had been no increase since until the present year, when twelve more Church of England chaplains were sanctioned.”
“And now something as to the number of chaplains and how they are distributed?”
“There are at the present time sixty-five chaplains attached to the Church of England. Of Roman Catholics there are thirteen in actual commission, and eight Presbyterians. It is understood that five Wesleyan ministers are about to be commissioned also. In the Army it is estimated that the Church has no less than sixty-eight per cent. of adherents, the Roman Catholics eighteen per cent., Presbyterians seven per cent., Wesleyans five per cent., and other Protestants one per cent. It should be made clear, I think, that any soldier has the fullest liberty of conscience, and he can go where he likes to Church. There are Jewish ministers, for instance, employed for the benefit of those of the Jewish faith, and the Jewish soldiers are allowed to observe their fasts. The chaplains are distributed among the various stations, the general rule being that where there is a garrison of above 1,000 men there you find a commissioned chaplain. At the present moment there are two at the Royal College, Sandhurst, and at the Duke of York's School, and there are, of course, always many chaplains abroad at large stations like Gibraltar, Malta, the West Indies, Egypt, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Hong-Kong. Just now a great many of our chaplains are in South Africa with the soldiers in the field. There are, I believe, twenty commissioned chaplains, and these besides seven or eight on probation and very many other clergy. In small garrisons the parochial clergy are employed in return for capitation fees—i.e., so much per head. Some hundreds of these civil clergymen, as they are called, are so employed, including about fifty in South Africa.”
“How do the chaplains rank in the Army?”
“There are four classes. The Chaplain-General ranks as major-general; the chaplains in the first class rank as colonels; in the second class as lieutenant-colonels; in the third class as majors; and in the fourth class as captains. Perhaps you would like to know something as to the incomes received. The chaplain on probation, i.e., before he is commissioned, gets £182, 10s. per annum. When he is commissioned he gets for the first five years £275, 5s. 2d.; for the next five years £321, 17s. 8d.; for the next five years £393, 7s. 5d.; from the fifteenth to the twentieth year of service in commission he gets £448, 2s. 5d.; for the succeeding five years £517, 1s. 3d.; and for a further five years £562, 13s. 9d. Those salaries include all allowances; but the chaplains are allowed forage if they have to keep horses.”
“From the facts you mention the Army chaplain is comfortably provided for. But he must eventually retire under the age limit. What then?”
“Then he gets a pension, as is the case with other officers in the Army. After twenty years service the pension amounts to 10s. per day; after twenty-five years, to 13s. per day; and after thirty years, 17s. 6d. per day. The average length of service is from twenty-seven to thirty years. The chaplains must retire at sixty, unless specially recommended to keep on. For exceptional service while in office the men may get promoted from one class to another before the regulation period in each class has elapsed. I recall a case in which a chaplain's services had been so meritorious that he was promoted in a short time from the third class to the first, thus skipping one class entirely.”
“Of course, you are aware, Dr Edghill, that difficulty is experienced in different parts of the country in obtaining the requisite number of clergy. The dearth of curates has become quite a serious matter. Will you tell me whether that difficulty is shared with regard to chaplains in the Army?”
“No; there is no difficulty in getting chaplains. There are hundreds of applicants for vacancies, principally from Oxford and Cambridge men, and they undergo careful examination before being selected. Our chaplains have been insufficient in number. Mr Brodrick, the Secretary of State for War, has generously given us twelve additional ones; and it is an instalment for which the Church owes him a debt of gratitude, The power of appointment rests with the Chaplain-General, who is responsible to Church and State. It need hardly be said we endeavour to get the best men for such responsible work, and certainly no political or other influence has had any weight in the appointments.”
“In reply to an earlier question, you mentioned the relative strength of the Church and the various Nonconformist bodies in the Army. How many Churchmen do you estimate there are wearing the King's colours in this branch of the service?”
“Of course, it would require close reckoning to tell the precise number up to date. I can tell you this much, however: in the Army estimates for the year 1901 provision was made for a permanent establishment of 291,273 soldiers; of these, you may safely reckon that at least the 200,000 are adherents of the Church of England. They present a strong claim on the attention, the care and the ministry of the Church. The Convocation of Canterbury has officially declared that ‘the spiritual condition of soldiers while serving in the Army is of great importance to the nation.’ The other elements, in addition to numbers, which give special weight and urgency to the claim I once summed up in a sermon preached at St Paul's Cathedral at the Festival Service of the Army Guild. Here it is. I remember it was reprinted from the columns of the Church Times. This is what I said in proof of the Church's responsibility towards men in the Army:—Soldiers are not merely men, but they are young men. Burning passions and craving appetites demand satisfaction. It is not the soldier, but the young man, that succumbs to temptation and is wrecked. Soldiers are just at that age when all workers for God find it so difficult to exert or to retain any influence for good over men. Theirs is an age of special danger. Incipient manhood has ever proved itself to be a critical time. These young soldiers are drawn mainly from a class which Church and Chapel find it very difficult to reach. There are many exceptions, but, as a rule, religion has had a very small influence on their lives. Every parish priest is confronted with this grave fact, the little power the Church seems to have over that class of men from which soldiers come. One earnest worker has written: “I cannot honestly say I believe that more than one per cent. of the working men in East London go regularly to church or chapel.” Yet from such centres many of our soldiers are enlisted. We can in some degree measure the result, for wherever there is a chaplain at a station to which recruits are sent he sees each one of them as he joins privately, and elicits what he can as to the man's past career. I confess the reports these chaplains make to me are disquieting and alarming; very many join unconfirmed, communicants scarcely exist, ignorance of the very simplest truths as to God, and man's sin and salvation is very common. These young soldiers, thus utterly unprepared, are gathered into large crowds in garrison towns. Solicitations to vice abound on every side. No man can escape from them. Freed from the observation of his home and friends, the man has but little sense of his responsibility, and there is freedom and license in the air around him. The environment of the soldier is against him; it is inimical to growth in purity and self-control. Some persons are ever urging that sin may be made safe. If the State rose to her duty, under the inspiration of the Church, she would make sin difficult and temptation less rife. But the claim appeals not merely to the higher motives but to self-interest. Soldiers come from civil life; they will return to it again. How shall they return to our towns and villages? Shall they come diseased and ruined, to be centres of evil wherever they go? Or will you help us in our endeavour to make them Christ's hardy soldiers, each man a standing witness to the living power of Christianity? … What is the response many people make to Christ's command to feed the soldiers with Divine Food? “Send them away. We have nothing to do with soldiers. We do not like them or their work. Send them away. We do not feel called to provide for them. They are a self-willed multitude; their calling must make them hard and callous. Nothing good can be done with soldiers. Amuse them if you will. Keep them in a good temper, for an angry Army might be inconvenient; but send them away from the Church of God. Let the State do its best to make them skilled life-destroyers by keeping them from drink and lust; but we have no concern with them. We despair of influencing them for good.” But we who know soldiers well, with all their temptations and their sins, are not hopeless, are not filled with despair. I have become the more hopeful the more I have known of a soldier's life and a soldier's possibilities. There is solid ground for a living hope beneath all the depressing facts which present themselves to us. My opinion to-day is precisely the same, only strengthened, perhaps, through longer experience with our soldiers.”
“It would, I think, be interesting to learn something of the actual work of the Church in the Army?”
“Each chaplain has the freest scope for work. The methods of men differ in many walks in life; so with the Army chaplains. Each is encouraged to work in his own way, applying his own particular gifts as he thinks best. You will have gathered already that the door of the Army is open to ministers of all denominations, and that these ministers receive their appointments when the soldiers professing to belong to a denomination have reached a given number. No special favour has been extended to the Established Church; she enjoys no advantage except that which her numerical strength affords. I mean, the greater number of adherents calls for the greater number of Church of England clergy, as compared with the others. Parade services are held by chaplains at such time and place as the General Officer Commanding may direct. They are short and simple. In the singing, every encouragement is given to the regimental bands. The aim is to make the services distinctly congregational, hence all elaborate music in which the men cannot join is discouraged. Parade services consist of any single service for public worship in the Book of Common Prayer or of the Holy Communion, preceded by the Litany or Morning Prayer, and a sermon invariably forms part of such service, which is of an hour's duration or thereabouts. Every chaplain in charge of a church or chapel school holds a service on Sunday evenings for the special benefit of officers and soldiers, their families and friends, and of any other person who may be willing to attend. Then there is usually a short service, with an address at least once in the week, and daily prayer at some convenient hour in all consecrated churches. Even in unconsecrated buildings chaplains endeavour to introduce informal meetings daily for prayer, reading the Word, and simple addresses or hymn singing. A special effort in this direction is made during the season of Lent. Holy Communion is celebrated on most Sundays and Holy Days, either at an early hour or after parade service. Another duty incumbent on the chaplain, of course, is the visitation of the sick in hospital. This he does at least twice a week, and on Sunday he holds a service for convalescents. The visitation is much more frequent in the cases of soldiers dangerously ill. As regards the married soldiers and their families, the army chaplains visit much as the parochial clergy visit their parishioners. Further more, the chaplains give religious instruction to the children of their own communion in accordance with recognised school regulations, taking as the basis of such instruction the Holy Scriptures, the Church Catechism, and the Book of Common Prayer. Apart from this, however, the children are taught by the schoolmasters the facts of Holy Scripture in regular order. Again, special provision is made for children at the Sunday schools, and there is a special service in the church for children at least once a month.”
“And is any importance attached to lay help?”
“Yes; chaplains are recommended to utilise lay help in reading the lessons, singing in the choir, teaching in the Sunday school, visiting the sick, and in any other way approved by the Chaplain-General. Then there are two church wardens appointed for each church or chapel, one by the General Officer Commanding, the other by the chaplain in charge. It has always been recognised that the Church might supply the Army with workers, both men and women. In some of our garrisons deaconesses and sisters are doing a quiet yet glorious work. Such efforts as those exerted in the interests of soldiers by Mrs and Miss Daniells, Miss Robinson, Miss Sandes and others is highly appreciated. The influence of the ladies with the soldiers is most striking. Yes; there is great need of lay agents who are loyal to the Church. I ought not to refrain from mentioning the good work done by the Church of England Soldiers' Institute Association, and its most energetic and devoted secretary, Colonel Hughes, C.B., C.M.S. It has helped to build a large number of institutes, which are doing splendid work.”
“Is there anything more you would like to add about the services?”
“It may, perhaps, be of interest to mention that collections are made at the parade services from the whole congregation once a month. These collections are disposed of for any religious or charitable objects in connection with the Church of England, which the chaplains or churchwardens desire to aid, subject to the approval of the General Officer Commanding. Then it is important to note what happens, in order to keep up the continuity of the work. On the removal of a regiment, or any body of troops from a station, it is the custom for the chaplain to send a list of the communicants, lay helpers, Sunday school teachers, etc., to the chaplain in charge of the station to which they are moved. On the removal from a station, the chaplain himself leaves, for the information of his successor, similar lists and full details of the work he has carried on. The general officers—it is important not to omit this—are most helpful in seconding endeavours made for the good of the soldiers. There has been a great advance made in all that concerns the material well-being of our soldiers; their condition in respect of health, comfort, education and recreation was never cared for as it now is. We cannot look at these things with indifference or disdain, for they are good in themselves and in their influences. But, as ministers of Christ, we are bound to use all our powers to make this progress a moral one, so that the real elevation of our soldiers may be insured by it. Our duty is to help the men to rise above the mere animal life, lest all these material improvements should only lead to their moral deterioration. The work is peculiar; it has its special dangers, its special requisites; it is one long continued mission, for men ever coming and going, so that we have continually to begin afresh; it is a succession of new starts, needing no ordinary powers of body and mind. But the true soldier prefers the danger of the sharpest battle to the inglorious inactivity of looking on.
Haunt not the fringy edges of the fight,
But the pell mell of men.”
“The parade services I regard as the most fruitful agencies for efforts of good. These services, as you may know, are compulsory. Every soldier not on duty is bound to attend public worship on Sunday mornings. The Church of England has no special vantage ground, for there is the greatest possible liberty of conscience among the men. Naturally, as nearly seventy per cent. of the soldiers belong to her communion, our services are the largest and most imposing. From this fact comes a peculiar privilege. All the men for whom the chaplain is responsible to God are brought to him, so that he can speak to them, exhort them, plead with them as God directs him. I know there are diversities of opinion among good men as to the value of these services, but I delight to see in them the nation's recognition of the Lord of Hosts. I know no more inspiring, solemnising sight than these parade services; they make one tremble and quiver with the intense desire to say something for God which shall go home.”
Turning to some of the evils which have to be directly combatted, Dr Edghill proved himself a staunch advocate of reform in the barrack-room. He appeals sturdily for a healthier tone and a better influence. He, of all men, understands how delicate a task it is for a chaplain to carry his mission to the homes of the soldier. He confesses, with pardonable pride, that years ago he knew the inside of every barrack-room under his charge; and his experiences, leaving as they do a cherished impression upon his mind, are, it is feared, not common with the chaplains as a rule. Probably not all the chaplains are possessed of the requisite tact. Said Dr Edghill, “I was never made to feel an unwelcome guest; the best seat in the best position was always offered me, and the truest courtesy made these visits as pleasant to myself as they were, I hope, helpful to my hosts.”
To temperance work in the Army the late Chaplain-General attaches the utmost value. “There has,” he said, “been a new development as regards temperance endeavour. For many years it was mainly carried on by the Church of England Temperance Society, which, of course, had the sympathy of the Church of England chaplains, and the National Temperance League. Being much interested in the movement, and a total abstainer myself, for many years I felt very little could be done until we had one society. I had a long correspondence with Lord Roberts, who was then commanding in India, and who had started an Army Temperance Association out there. Lord Roberts was anxious that we should have something of the same kind in England; but before that could be done both the temperance societies interested in the Army had to give up something. At last we came to an agreement, and the Army Temperance Association was started. It has gone on flourishing ever since, with the Hon. Conrad Dillon as the Hon. Secretary, and Mr Clare White as the Organising Secretary. The Army Temperance Association has the recognition of the Government, which now gives to it £750 per annum, which they would not have given to any one society outside. We have recognised officers. The Colonel of the regiment is really the head of his branch of the Army Temperance Association. Hence we get the sympathy of the officers. The war has somewhat upset the working of the Association; but I have not the least doubt that the soldiers are far more temperate to-day than they were years ago, and that is the case with the younger soldiers especially.”
Thoughts naturally veered round to the war in South Africa and the work of the chaplains out there. Dr Edghill gave the assurance that testimony borne to the value of the chaplains' services by the Commander-in-Chief, officers and men had been most enthusiastic. Upon this branch of the service reward for exceptional service usually takes the form of promotion; but there have been instances during the war of chaplains receiving the D.S.O. and the D.C.O. A good many of the chaplains were mentioned in Lord Roberts' despatches. One chaplain thus distinguished was made one of the King's Honorary Chaplains. In the whole history of the work of chaplains only one has received the Victoria Cross, and he was an Indian chaplain. Only one chaplain has died out at the present war, and he succumbed, not to wounds, but to enteric. A great number have been invalided home. It is interesting to note that, according to War Office Regulations, chaplains ought not to expose themselves to danger in battle. Their proper position is not in the front line, although they may have to go out to the sick and wounded from time to time. The chaplain's place is with the wounded who are taken to the rear of an army or to the base hospital.
In summing up his views, Dr Edghill conveyed the emphatic impression that during his forty years' connection with the Army he has witnessed a great change for the better in every way. To him the Army is the greatest Home Mission field within the purview of the Church, and he welcomes the appointment by Convocation of an Army and Navy Board as really the first intimation that the Church as a whole cared about our soldiers.