12/18/2021 – Battle of Verdun

115 years ago today the Battle of Verdun came to an end. It had lasted 10 months and cost a million lives. This little story will hopefully encourage us to pray a rosary for all the victims of war.

My “rosary, made from irregular chips of some type of polished white stone, was given to me in 1953 by Miley Robson, retired coal miner and World War 1 veteran.

Miley, our next door neighbour, was prompted to give me the rosary on seeing me, then aged 5, in the back lane of our pit village on the outskirts of Newcastle, all dressed up in white dress and veil ready for my first May Procession.

He told us that he had found the rosary in an abandoned French farmhouse in which he’d taken shelter during the First World War. It had been hanging from a ceiling amidst the ruins and debris of war and it was snapped.Not being a Catholic, Miley had put the rosary together like a necklace but my dad rearranged it into it’s proper configuration for me.

Miley died not long after giving me the rosary and that is the only time I can ever remember him speaking to me. I have treasured it and the memory ever since. I never see it now without thinking about Miley and also that unknown French family who lost their home, their possessions, possibly even their lives in a war that was not of their making.” (BBC)