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2017 Autumn Ramble

The Autumn Ramble took place on Remembrance Sunday. The trees looked truly spectacular in the stunning sunshine and against the clear blue skies. The footpath to the woods was muddy and treacherous (providing us with just the tiniest inkling of what it must have been like 100 years ago in Passchendaele).

Amongst several records set this afternoon were the first time someone has lost a boot in the mud and had to be carried to dry ground, and the first incidence of blood-letting. Another record set was the appearance of our youngest ever rambler – Thomas – at just 7 weeks old!

The woodland wander was followed by tea and cake in St Margaret’s Church and the chance to hear Mike Willoughby, who did all the research and compiled the new book of biographies and photos of the men listed on the war memorial.

As we returned home through the gloaming the village air was full of poignancy at the remembrance of the young lives lost.
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St Peter’s Occasional Rambles And Dawdles In the Countryside

A PoW’s Yearning for Home

This poem was written by Warrant Officer Harry Scarsbrook, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who died in captivity in a Java POW camp on Sunday 28th November 1943, aged twenty six years.

In Mapledurham hangs a bell,
Its church is grey and old.
My heart will leap to music sweet
When next I hear it toll’d.

Beside the lock, a garden fair
With tables in the shade.
At sundown you may linger there
And watch the daylight fade.

Close in the trees, beside the stream
There turns an old mill wheel.
It murmurs to the scenes I know
And knows the way I feel.

The silent Thames flows slowly by
The sylvan, Oxon. dales.
The tree clad slopes fall gently down
And peace there still prevails.

If you have ever loved in vain,
Or lost a mother’s care,
You’ll know with what an aching pain
I’m yearning to be there.