In concluding our theme of remembrance and sacrifice over the previous week, today we show from the Museum's 'Sacrifice' cabinet this portable altar which, along with the items atop it (Communion cup, wine vessel, wafer box, altar cross, Bible and priest's stole) were used by the Reverend R.K. Haines to conduct services in the trenches between 1916-1918.
In a letter written to his wife in late 1918, Reverend Haines related that he performed two Masses in the trenches on Christmas morning 1918 in a portion of the trenches that only allowed for 25 men in attendence at a time. The Reverend also remarked on how unusual he found to stare out at the expanse of land between the trenches and not hear a single shot fired. (Although the war officially ended with the signing of the armstice on November 11th 1918, due to the large numbers of troops that had to be demobilised following the war's end, many soldiers did not return home until 1919).
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