7th/9th (Highlanders) Battalion The Royal Scots

(The Royal Regiment)


Eve of  Battle:  November  1944


by the Rev. James S. Wood

Battalion Chaplain


       That night a group of lads, a score maybe,

       Came shyly to me with a strange request,

       Or was it strange?  Well acting for the rest

       “Padre” their spokesman said “Think you that we

       might of the sacrament partake tonight?”

       Could I refuse?  So there by candlelight

       In a darkened cellar – not an upper room –

       We shared communion in the shadowdy gloom

       The broken bread was passed from hand to hand

       The outpoured wine served in the common cup,

       Was drunk in silence by that little band.

       And when at last they each did eat and sup

       All silently and thoughtfully they went away

       Knowing full well within that very day

       The sacramental words that I had spoken

       And this red wine “My blood is shed for you”

       Might well be said of them.   Alas!  ’Twas true

       For ten of them their useful lives did give

       I owe to their dying that I live

       Those lads I knew and loved – I see them yet

       And long as life shall last I’ll ne’er forget

       The sacramental service with the men

       Who sacrificed their lives on Walcheren.


This unforgettable little service was held very close to the enemy lines,

Flushing, November 2, 1944.

 From my dear Friend Joe Brown to publish on my site