I Knew You Would Come
: Winning A Cause World War Stories
We are all very proud that America was permitted to have a share in the
holiest defensive war ever known. Then let us also remember that our
share in it was largely made possible by England. While we hesitated,
considered, debated, who was it that maintained the freedom of the seas
and kept inviolate our coasts? The great, gallant, modest navy of
Despite her desperate need of us England
ttered no reproaches, and she
never seemed to doubt our final decision. It recalls an incident which
I discussed with British officers as I stood with them in a concealed
observation post on a summit of Vimy Ridge in September. On a dark
night a raid on the German trenches was made, and in the party were two
brothers, English lads. The raid was successful, but when the men
returned one of the brothers was missing. The other pleaded for
permission to return and bring him in. The colonel refused on the
ground that the attempt would be both dangerous and fruitless.
Finally, he yielded to the lad's passionate pleading, and the young
soldier crawled out into No Man's Land, returning a half hour later
with a machine gun bullet in his shoulder, yet gently carrying the
brother, whose spirit rose to the ranks of the greater army just as
they reached the trench. You see, my boy, said the colonel, it was
useless, your brother is gone, and you are wounded. No, colonel,
replied the lad, it was not useless. I had my reward, for just as I
found him out there, he said, 'Is that you, Tom? I knew you would
This seems a fitting moment not only to thank God that we came in time
to be of service, but to thank England for her patience and her
confidence which have never failed. If after entering the war we are
gratified at placing two million men quickly upon the battlefield, let
us remember that nearly 1,200,000 of them were transported in British
vessels and convoyed by British warships.
America is beginning to know England. We honored her before; we felt
the tie of blood and speech; we were grateful to her for most of our
best. But we never knew England as we know her now. That first
hundred thousand that gladly flung their lives away for righteousness'
sake; the happy lads of Oxford and Cambridge who gave their joyous
youth that joy might not depart from earth; the colonials who came from
the ends of the world that the old mother might live, and that honor
and justice should not perish; these have added brighter pages to
England's records of glory. Today one knows England better and one is
very proud to be her ally. For the light which shines from England is
steadfast faithfulness to plighted honor, to the safety of her
children, and to those ideals of civilization of which she has for
centuries been the chief and responsible custodian.
REV. ERNEST M. STIPES, D.D.
From The Churchman, N. Y.