Remembrance at St Michael & All Angels – Online

There could be no public act of worship for Remembrance Sunday this year, but we thank those who joined us in their own homes to remember all who have died in war, by standing and keeping the two-minute silence. See pictures of our Remembrance services here.

Watch and listen to the Act of Remembrance at the Bedford Park Memorial Seat here on Facebook

Watch and listen to our Remembrance Sunday Requiem Mass here on Facebook (apologies for the poor speech sound)
Click to read: Father Kevin’s sermon for Remembrance Sunday 2020
Music: the organ and trumpet pieces in the service were: Offertory: Albinoni – ‘Grave’ from Concerto Saint Marc;  During Communion: Oskar Linberg – Gammal Fäbodpsalm ( Old mountain Psalm); Recessional: Adagio from Sonata BWV 1020 – J. S Bach. Plus, on Soundcloud:
Faure’s Requiem Introit – recorded by St Michael & All Angels Choir just before Lockdown 2

See also our Children’s Church Online – Remembrance Sunday: We will remember them – with a poppy to colour in.
We can no longer sell poppies in the church – but you can make a donation to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal here.

Remembrance Stories

Every November, we highlight a selection of St Michael’s Remembrance links to World War 1 and World War 2, and the 128 names on our war memorials. See their stories and pictures on our WW1 Project website, backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This year we’re focussing on the stories of two Chiswick families:
– from WW1, the artists James and Cosmo Clark of Rusthall Avenue (above), and
– from WW2, Patricia Davies (pictured below, with sister Jean Argles) – the ‘Codebreaking Sisters’ – who spoke in St Michael’s at the Chiswick Book Festival.

1. – James Clark and ‘the most popular painting of World War 1’.
Capt Cosmo Clark MC and the letters and sketches in ‘The Tin Trunk’.

From 1915 to 1938, James Clark lived with his family at 44 Rusthall Avenue W4. He painted The Salutation, the fresco in St Michael & All Angels in the North Aisle. Clark rose to fame in 1914 with a painting entitled The Great Sacrifice (right) which was widely used as a memorial image. It was described as “the most popular painting of the war”, with its religious imagery providing “consolation to the families of dead soldiers” (George Robb, British Culture and the First World War). Read more at James & Cosmo Clark: WW1 artists of Bedford Park.

James Clark’s youngest son Cosmo, volunteered at the age of 17, saw active service with the Artists’ Rifles and was awarded the Military Cross. He drew sketches of what he saw and was also involved in the trial of a British soldier which ended with the latter’s execution. Cosmo’s war letters and drawings were published in The Tin Trunk and became the basis for a play, Cosmo’s War. It was due to be performed in St Michael & All Angels on the eve of Remembrance Sunday. COVID-19 made that impossible this year but you can read more here.

2. Patricia Davies and Jean Argles: The Codebreaking Sisters of World War 2

Chiswick’s Patricia Davies (nee Owtram), now 97, was awarded the Legion D’Honneur for her wartime work in top-secret listening stations on the British coast, intercepting German shipping radio. Her sister Jean Argles (Owtram), now 95, landed a secretive role as Code & Cipher Officer in Italy, supporting allied agents and aiding partisan efforts against the Nazis. They never spoke of their work because they had signed the Official Secrets Act. Now they tell all, in conversation with Simon Robinson, filmed in St Michael & All Angels Church for the Chiswick Book Festival. You can watch the interview on YouTube and buy their book The Codebreak Sisters: Our Secret War for £7.49 via Waterstones’ Chiswick Book Festival page.