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When the Enemy Stood at Attention

Posted on 4 April 2017

Three Scottish privates and a corporal had been cut off during a fierce engagement in a Belgian town preceding Dunkirk. Taking refuge in a loft of an empty house they waited for what seemed to be certain death. Outside they heard shooting, looting and setting fire to buildings. Suddenly the corporal said, "Lads, it is time for church parade, let's have a wee bit of service here; it may be our last."

The men looked a bit astonished for a moment, but after placing their rifles in a corner, they all stood at attention. The corporal took a small New Testament from his breast pocket and turned the pages. As he read, loud shouts came from below, doors banged and glass was shattered. He went on reading and as he ended, his grave face took on a wry smile.

"I'm no good hand at this job, " he said, "but we must finish it off. Let us pray. " The corporal stood with the Testament in his hand. The others kneeled and bowed their heads. A little haltingly and very simply he committed their way to God and asked for strength to meet whatever might happen, like men.

Suddenly as he prayed a heavy hand crashed upon the door, an exultant exclamation in German was heard and then a gasp of surprise. Nota man moved and the corporal went on praying: And after a pause he began with great reverence, to repeat the Lord's prayer in which the privates joined in. It was a tense moment or two.

Then hearing the sudden click of heels, they knew the enemy was standing at attention. A moment of suspense, the door was quietly closed, and they heard the retreating footsteps of the German soldier.

At dusk the four men ventured out worked their way around the enemy's flank and regained the British outposts in safety that night.

Tags:British Israel World Federation