Clifton Moor Battle

One of the contenders for the ‘last battle fought on British (or English) soil' is Clifton Moor. By the pretty Cumbrian village of Clifton, a battle was fought between Scottish Jacobites and Government dragoons commanded by the Duke of Cumberland. Like many battle sites, it is now rather peaceful and even innocuous. Whether it can claim the title of last battleground is questionable, for some consider it a skirmish rather than a battle, and we must discount the air battles fought with the Luftwaffe over British soil. This is, of course, entirely academic. For the twelve dead Jacobites and ten of King George’s dragoons, whether their deaths occurred in a 'skirmish', a 'fight' or a 'battle' would have meant little. Pistol shot and rapier slashes have the same effect whatever the historical analysis.

Some Christians must face hostile emperors (Luther), hot flames (Huss) and hollering mobs (Wesley). Some of us are simply called to make war on our sinful natures and crucify the flesh. Whether we die as martyrs, or safely in a carehome bed, each Christian is called to fight and wage war:

…against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12, NKJV)

Some fights are bigger, but not better, than others. In them we are all marked and bruised, yet we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

Clifton Moor Battle Memorial, opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester in 2003

Fight the good fight with all your might,
Christ is your strength and Christ your right.
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
your joy and crown eternally.

Run the straight race through God's good grace;
lift up your eyes, and seek his face.
Life with its way before us lies;
Christ is the path and Christ the prize.

Cast care aside, lean on your guide;
his boundless mercy will provide.
Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its life and Christ its love.

Faint not, nor fear, his arms are near;
he changes not, and you are dear.
Only believe, and you will see
that Christ is Lord eternally.

-John Monsell, 1863