A number of articles have appeared on local history Facebook pages in the last weeks concerning the First World War, and local participation in it. Questions about the Abbey and the Great War have encouraged us to post the following article.
On August 1st 1914, the day after Germany had declared war on Russia, the French Government mobilised its armed forces. Two days later the German ambassador in Paris delivered a note to the French authorities indicating that a state of war existed between their countries. On 4th August, England declared war on Germany.
The monks of Farnborough found themselves in a strange situation. As a result of anti-clericalism in France, the Laws of Associations, and the separation of Church and State, the monks were living in England in exile. When it came to the War however the monks were bemused when their call-up papers arrived in the post. Abbot Cabrol quipped, ‘So we are not welcome to live in France, but they do not mind us dying for France!’