Dunblane's Grace

At Dunblane Cathedral, Perthshire, stands an unusual war grave. Unfortunately, some cheap, temporary fencing placed immediately to its rear detracts from its gravity. It is for a 19-year-old woman, Grace Sharp, whose occupation was Assistant Cook. She served in Queen Mary’s Auxiliary Corps, and died in the Great War’s final year. Her cause of death does not seem clear; there is no doubt that cooks, porters, chaplains and other non-combatants risked their lives courtesy of mortars and shrapnel nearly as much as those armed with guns. One online source suggests she died of heart disease, though the evidence offered could not be tested. Yet there she lies beneath a military gravestone, another casualty of that appalling conflict. She might not have captured any territory from Imperial Germany, nor collected medals for her heroism, but she provided the calories for those who did, and endeavoured to make them as tasty and nutritious as her time and resources allowed. Army cooks are unsung heroes; no-one fights well or marches long on an empty stomach.

Let us be grateful to God for those who fed us and feed us, whether this be a faithful preacher, a helpful writer, a loving friend who whispers ‘words in due season’, or the person who gives us a good supper after a long and difficult day.

And Boaz said unto her, at mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. Ruth 2:14