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Chap15

Lord Lovet's Suicide Chaplain

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Does anyone know the name or perhaps the rest of the story.

Lord's Lovet's 1st Special Service Brigade had a chaplain that killed himself before D-Day.

What was his name, or perhaps the rest of the story.

Here is part of Lovet's account of what happened.

"On Sunday René de Naurois, his decorations a splash of colour on a white surplice, said Mass for three hundred men kneeling on the grass. At the Interdenominational Church Parade a favourite hymn, that has since become our own, was sung with feeling: "Eternal Father, strong to save, O hear us when we cry to thee, For those in peril on the sea." It goes well with male voices, but the new padre preached a rotten sermon about death and destruction which caused surprise. There are few atheists to be found before a battle, or later in shell-holes. Tension was building up, and charity perhaps a trifle thin on the ground. There were a number of complaints; the cleric was suspended and told to return from whence he came. Poor fellow! A spark can cause the prairie fire! It was mistaken zeal from a man, lacking combat experience, who did not know his congregation, and doubly unfortunate in that it conflicted with my own "God speed" before departure. The incident was forgotten but the dismissal was taken badly. On the last day in camp the unfortunate man took his own life. A sad business, with barely time for regrets, for troops were belting up amid the dust and shouting as embarkation transport came grinding in to Southampton to take us away. Max, a most humane officer and the soundest of administrators, cleared up the pitiful remains. The padre was put down as a "battle casualty"."

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I found out who it was.

Any idea how I could get more information about him (family...)

Reverend Derrick Lovell Williams

He atended Jesus College, Cambridge and was awarded a 3rd Class BA

degree in 1936 and MA in 1940. He attended Wycliffe Hall, Oxford for

Theologicla Training in 1938 and was ordained Deacon in 1939 and then

Priest in 1940. He became Curate of St Peter and St Paul, Harlington

in thr Diocese of London from 1939. Originally commissioned as a

Chaplain; Royal Navy he was transfered to the Royal Army Chaplains'

Department on 6.11.1943.

See this link http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?

casualty=2350467

Records held by the Museum simply record that He 'Died' 5.6.1944.

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