about st george's church st george's news advertisers Waterlooville Music Festival
printer info
From the Vicar Golden treasury 100 years of worship Garden gossip African Child Trust The new St George's The Choir Book Corner Who am I? Happy Wanderer heads North Crossword Puzzle time Bereavement Group Waterlooville Fun Club Heathcare Chaplaincy World Day of Prayer PCC Report Alfreda

St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Summer 2021 issue

Looking back on 100 years of worship

He made friends with Mussolini who had been Dictator of Italy for some time and had done that country a lot of good. He got rid of the monarchy but allowed them to live on their estates and did not interfere in state matters, toadied to the rich who usually were very rich, and got on with the peasants. He had known poverty himself and helped his large population, poor and very poor a great deal. He organised the army such as it was, his railways running to time, to help tourism and trade and was very proud of himself when Hitler made a friend of him. Hitler breathed power with every word he spoke and it rubbed off on the little Italian who in 1927 had created the Vatican City as an independent state for the Pope.

Stalin of Russia watched Hitler walk all over the smaller states of Europe in his ruthless way with his eyes on Poland which he fancied for himself. To get his country behind him he even opened up his churches for services and allowed his people to worship again as they wished. Hitler wanted Poland and its port on the Baltic for his big ships of war but Poland said No! Likewise France would not give in to him over the Rhinelands so after many months of double dealing he was getting no further, few trusted him especially Europe which he had under his heel, so he turned his “blitz kreig” on to Poland. He bombed Warsaw to the ground, and many towns and villages shared the same fate. This was aggression, England had a treaty with Poland and Hitler was warned, “Hands off Poland” or we would come to Poland’s help. He took no notice of this and so we declared war on Germany.

England could really do little for her ally, she was a long way away to send an army, and we had still a long way to go before we were ready for a full scale war, so apart from Poland knowing that she had an ally who was willing to help she had to stand the terrible carnage and might of the German tanks and planes.

During all these months we had been left alone, except for a few raids to remind us we were at war. There was no decline in people attending church, and although many of the clergy had joined the forces, the church was always open for people to go to pray, to join in at a service or just to sit for a few minutes in silence. Many were bombed especially in the big towns, London losing a great many of theirs, overnight we seemed to become the most united nation under a strong leader who hated Nazism and all it stood for.

Our own small army had arrived in France and was met by considerable German forces and after a short time were beaten back to the coast where they had their backs to the sea and facing attack from the enemy in front. The army or what was left of it had to be rescued from the beaches, the bombing and the German Army. This was done in the most bizarre fashion, it had to be seen to be believed. The big ships full of soldiers being bombed out of the water and hundreds of little boats bobbing about them and transferring their living cargoes of men in all conditions to the trains for locations where they could be helped to get fit again and fulfil their wish to be back for another try. Their spirit put heart into all.

There was no grumbling and all got on with the job in hand and worked together. Strict rationing came and sharing was a common practice. The black market operated where you could buy if you had the money, but there was not much trouble about that in fact rather the reverse, if you had the money to buy, you could always share. Then suddenly in September 1940 our skies were black again with enemy bombers and fighter escorts making their way to the industrial north. Meeting our defences on the south coast some were destroyed before they reached their target but of course not all. There was nothing sacred, Cathedrals, Churches, Hospitals, trains, railway stations as well as civilians and schools. This went on for about a week night and day. This battle was not won by numbers, Hitler had thrown most of his large airforce against ours, at a time when we were hardly ready for a war of any kind. It was won by superior planes and men who were superior to the enemy. The prayers of the Nation had been answered and although we had had a wonderful victory it had been bought at a great cost in human lives.

So ended the Battle of Britain, it was to be a long time before we saw another such victory.

Ruby Bullock

This series is taken from the St George’s News archives, and was first published in 2000.

To be continued.

The Shadow of War

Most of the European countries in the Thirties had a large following of Roman Catholics, who regularly went to Mass, it was part of their life, with the usual few who dissented and worshipped in a different way, but they did nothing to go against Christianity such as Hitler wished them to. He was a lapsed Catholic Austrian and hated both Catholics and Protestants, but had a clear idea of how he could get their backing. He told them that he did not feel he was a Man of God but of Destiny and the quasi religious conviction helped him quite a lot at first when he won the trust of the German people. Looking back it is hard to see how so many church loving people could follow such a man. Christianity was international and to the outside world this was just the opposite. However he won his power in 1933 when he won the election and was voted Chancellor of Germany. This gave him power to rule Germany, which he did without pity for anyone especially the Jews, and all who professed a faith contrary to his.