Sunday, 5 April 2015

Good Friday and a story of sacrifice in Sancreed

Good Friday - and like John Donne we are travelling west, not east.

Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West

This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.

Spring in the graveyard at Sancreed Church - and inside a meemorial

It's a monument to Alexander Stanhope Forbes, son of the famous painter William Alexander Stanhope Forbes.

He was killed weeks after arriving in France in 1916. His father had painted a portrait of him before he left, but the paint had not dried by the time of his death.

This cross was erected where he died on ground subsequently lost to the Germans. When the position was re-taken, the cross was found intact and eventually transported back here to Sancreed.

Earlier in the week, went back to the Royal Academy to see the Rubens exhibition.

Some paintings for Good Friday there.

More about Alexander Stanhope Forbes

FORBES, William Alexander Stanhope (Alec). Second Lieutenant. 1st Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Enlisted in early 1916 and selected for officer training. Originally commissioned into the Military Forwarding Establishment but then transferred to DCLI. On or about 29th August 1916 he crossed to France and joined 1 DCLI with four other young 2nd Lieutenants. On 3rd September 1916 the Battalion took part in the final attack on the notorious Guillemont strong point. The village of Guillemont had been totally razed by shellfire but, because it represented vital tactical ground had been very heavily defended. Already three major attacks had been thwarted at considerable cost of life. This fourth attack was entirely successful and was accomplished with comparatively few casualties. However, amongst those who were killed was Alec Stanhope Forbes, age 23, together with three of the four newly joined subalterns (W.T. Hichens, E. G. T. Kitson and J.G. Teague) who had accompanied him to France. Educated at Bedales College. He was a student of the Royal Architectural Association. Only son of Stanhope Alexander Forbes (Artist) and Elizabeth Adela Forbes (Artist) of Higher Faugan, Newlyn. Interred in Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France. Listed on Newlyn War Memorial, on family plaque within Sancreed Church, on Paul Church War Memorial, Tredavoe Methodist Church Memorial and in Penzance Book of Remembrance. On his headstone in Guillemont his parents added the following inscription:- He saw beyond the filth of battle and thought death a fair price to pay to belong to the company of these fellows.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy