Chaplains - Bible Society

Chaplains

Providing spiritual solace to the forces was key. But the Armed Forces got off to a slow start. At the outbreak of war there were just 116 chaplains. By 1918 there were some 3,000 in France alone.

Perhaps the most well-known was Woodbine Willie, so named because he handed out cigarettes and New Testaments to soldiers leaving Rouen for the front. Both were welcomed. 

Chaplain case studies

Chaplain’s ‘place of exile’ near Gallipoli

Chaplain’s ‘place of exile’ near Gallipoli

A ‘place of exile’ and ‘awful loneliness’. That’s how Ernest Luce described his time serving as a YMCA chaplain on the Greek island of Lemnos during WW1.

The most read book is the New Testament

The most read book is the New Testament

If you want to know what the Bible really meant to soldiers at the front, you have to ask someone who was there. That person is the Revd Col John Esslemont Adams.

'Peacemaker' whose wife sent him to war

'Peacemaker' whose wife sent him to war

Ninety-five year-old Phyllis Harrison from Hertfordshire can almost reach out and touch the First World War as she was born just after its end in 1919.

Bible was ‘the rock’ for Unknown Warrior chaplain

Bible was ‘the rock’ for Unknown Warrior chaplain

The Bible was ‘the rock’ of the chaplain who was pivotal in choosing the body that would become known as the Unknown Warrior, according to his grandson.

The man who stayed with the troops at the front

The man who stayed with the troops at the front

Woodbine Willie was one of the best-loved chaplains of World War 1. His real name was Father Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy. In 1914 he was vicar of St Paul’s Church in Worcester. He was known as a high churchman who ‘loved ritual as an aid to worship...

Rest and quiet near to the front

Rest and quiet near to the front

Philip Thomas Byard Clayton was the curate at St Mary’s Church, Portsea when war broke out.

Chaplains took Christianity to the front line

Chaplains took Christianity to the front line

Providing spiritual solace to the troops was vital and it was expected.

Chaplain pictures

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