Last December I attended the funeral of the former Montrose councillor, Sandy West.
We were in the same class at the Academy back in the ‘50s.
Sandy’s funeral was held at the Old Church at Dun and I thought there might be a parking problem there and so decided to cycle out.
It was busy, the little church was packed for the service and I was diverted upstairs to the gallery.
It was the first time I had ever been up there and I was seated centrally, looking down on the pulpit.
Quite a number of people were seated upstairs and I was in a position to look down and also glance to the right and left.
A couple of wall plaques caught my attention and before the service started I read and re-read them.
One plaque was dedicated to one Arthur Otway Jacob, who was the husband of the poet Violet Jacob of the Erskine family.
The other was for their son, Arthur Henry Jacob of 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, born August 15, 1895, mortally wounded at the Battle of the Somme on July 16, 1916.
I looked again at the writing and realised that he was not yet 21 when he died.
This plaque seemed to summarise to me all the waste and futility of that obscene sequence of events known at times as The Great War; the war to end all wars; World War 1; or just simply WW1.
And then my attention drifted back to the parental plaque and I read the following wonderful lines: “And life is eternal and love is immortal and death is only an horizon and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”
And I felt much better,
To all who read this, whether you be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or even Zoroastrian, may your God go with you.
Finlay C. (Kip) Fraser