Sunday, 29 May 2016

Memorial Day with thoughts by Emily Hobhouse from 1923 ...



Perhaps the time has come for Emily Hobhouse's words to be considered and acted upon ... 

I have found these books on Emily Hobhouse to be particularly insightful into life from 1860 to 1926 … as we travel with Emily through that period from:

Soldiers going to serve in World War I
from Pensilva village, next village to
St Ive, near Liskeard, north Cornwall

  • North Cornwall and England,


  • briefly into America,


The early years of
Emily's life and
the Boer War:
"To Love One's Enemies"




  • long periods in South Africa at and after the Boer Wars, with breaks in England and Europe,



Emily's years in
the first World War -
mostly spent in Europe
"Agent of Peace"
  • in Europe during the 1910 – 1920 years (World War I, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and more),


  •  then her letters and journaled thoughts as she compiled, composed and readied her papers for her nephew, Oliver, for the future after her death.

"Living The Love"-
the last years of
Emily's life

These are the papers inherited by Jennifer’s father, Oliver Hobhouse, but which passed to Jennifer.  She has devoted her recent years to researching, refining and ensuring that Emily Hobhouse’s work will not be forgotten … where the truth can be told utilising original documents, backed up by informed reference.  These papers are now stored in the Bodleian Library, Oxford




St Ive, Liskeard, Churchyard - the village where Emily
lived for the first half of year relatively short life

The following paragraphs form the frontispiece of Jennifer’s last book on Emily’s life, after World War I (1918 – 1926) : “Living the Love” … seem appropriate for a Memorial weekend post …





‘It is astonishing that though so long a list of the world’s greatest thinkers in all periods have pronounced against war, yet (to this time) no statesmen has appeared capable of abolishing it as a means of settling disputes …


Great therefore will be the statesman who takes his stand on Permanent Peace … He will teach the world that Peace is not a mere absence of war; that it is not a passive ‘do nothing’ existence … but rather an agreement to join together in work of mutual interests …


In a word he will substitute Co-operation in place of Competition …’



‘Histories should be re-written showing how mistaken statesmen have invariably been in leading their countrymen into war, and how little is gained and at what enormous cost. 


The attention of youth should be fixed on the really great men of history – thinkers, poets, discoverers, scientists etc, who have laboured to advance civilization, not destroy …’


National Women's Monument
in Bloemfontein

‘Only in South Africa is there a monument to the civilian dead, often the main sufferers in war.’


Emily Hobhouse 1923



(Permission granted to reproduce these words by Jennifer Hobhouse Balme – May 2016)


In our difficult present times … we need to remember others … to encourage our leaders to co-operate, to bring peace, to let us all live together in an harmonious world – global, region, country, area, town and parish – everyone supporting and encouraging each other … sharing and giving joy to the world.


May we be and remain at peace this Memorial Day weekend … with all our fellow humans …



The titles chosen by Jennifer for her books on Emily Hobhouse today seem so appropriate - titles available on Amazon ... links below:

To Love One's Enemies

Agent of Peace

Living the Love


My post on Emily Hobhouse and her life includes a note by David Nash, Professor of History, who argued in 1999, that (Emily’s) opposition to the Second Boer War began the tradition of peace politics that has flourished through the twentieth century …
The Boer War and its Humanitarian Critics  
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

52 comments:

D.G. Hudson said...

An interesting woman about which I know little. Thanks for writing about her, Hilary and highlighting an original peace promoter. We have so many factions in the world today, that peace may still be hard to obtain.

Elephant's Child said...

She really was ahead of her time. And sadly still is.

My father, a German Jew, told me that there are no winners in war. There are losers and other losers.

And I love that South Africa has a monument to the civilian dead. Dead, injured and/or bereaved they are too often forgotten.

Patsy said...

I think she's right that peace can't be passive - it needs to be maintained with as much effort as goes into any war.

A Heron's View said...

Emily Hobhouse was and is still absolutely correct.

We cannot and must not think or even iterate the belief that we live in a civilised society, until we have conquered the desire to go to war in any shape or form and that includes actions against our neighbours.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sadly cooperation is the key. One statesman can declare peace and try to uphold it, but if the other side refuses to cooperate in peace, what do you do?

baili said...

Beautifully expressed enjoyed each line

Deborah Weber said...

What a beautiful and inspiring piece Hilary. It breaks my heart that we, in the United States can't even get legislation passed to establish a Department of Peace. As early as 1793, Benjamin Rush, a founding father and signer of our Declaration of Independence called for a Peace-Office on equal footing with all other departments, and still today the resistance is phenomenal.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ DG – thanks so much … Jenny lives on Vancouver Island, so she’s near you … I just really loved that piece of writing, which seems so appropriate for Memorial Day.

@ EC – yes she must have been an amazing lady – very strong and determined to do her best in life. Interesting to see what your father said … and that’s so right – we all lose – some more than others – especially those who lose a family member, great friend etc.

It’s fascinating that that Memorial was put up in 1913 for the Women and Children of South Africa (Boer Wars) … and is where Emily’s ashes are interred.

@ Patsy – it’s an important observation … we need to be active to pursue the best for ourselves, our families and our country and it does and should take a lot of effort – not something to be apathetic about …

@ Mel – isn’t she absolutely correct – thank goodness Jenny brought her papers into the open and we can read her thoughts …

You’re right – we need to be humble and realise we’ve a long way to go and not hold grudges of any sort … excellent point you make …

@ Diane – it would be wonderful to have a world that is co-operating and not taking sides. We need our leaders to step up to the plate and we all need to set examples … to lead.

@ Baili – good to meet you and thank you for stopping by – I’m glad you appreciated Emily’s words …

@ Deborah – how interesting about your thought re a Department of Peace – I’d not thought of that aspect before … I guess every Embassy should hold that role, with leadership of each country setting the standards for their diplomats to follow and for their people to recognise and accede to …

Thanks so much – I’m glad these words are resonating during this Memorial Day weekend … with thoughts - Hilary

Joanne said...

lovely woman with a heart - I do like the words of Emily, and your words as well. Oh we yearn for peace and goodwill for mankind. Will it ever be possible? We must hope. Excellent post.

Nilanjana Bose said...

All wars are fought for money. Paraphrasing the words of Captain Rhett Butler :) Till our leaders learn to value peace, and realise that prosperity is irrevocably linked to it, wars will continue, sadly.

It is perfectly wonderful and completely logical that SA has that monument. Nelson Mandela is among the few statesmen the 20th/21st century produced, living or dead.

Wise words in your post today Hilary, and in that excerpt.

M Pax said...

What profound thoughts on peace and war. I'm adding this to my reading list. Thanks for bringing her to my attention.

Rhodesia said...

A great post about an amazing woman, well done Hilary for reminding us of what she did, and her thoughts on war and peace. Have a good week Diane

bazza said...

It's rather sad that this woman is hardly known. I had never heard her namer before although she has a wonderful legacy. It's depressing to think that human nature means that ever-lasting peace is probably unattainable.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joanne – she was an incredible lady … and I’ve learnt lots about her from Jenny – and yes I did think those paragraphs were appropriate for today … we do yearn for peace and goodwill – it would be wonderful if we could get back to a kinder time … thank you.

@ Nila – I’m not sure what some people think they are fighting for now – religion is a bit odd now … prosperity doesn’t seem to feature for some of them at all … cruelty and zealotry play out ..

It’s interesting that the South Africans felt the desire and need to raise a memorial for their women and children from the Boer War … and Nelson Mandela set very high standards and certainly was a great statesman.

Thanks for your comments …

@ Mary – Emily was an amazing lady … Jenny’s done her an honourable service writing up these books from her papers …

@ Diane – Emily Hobhouse is someone I think I will regularly remind us about on the blog – she seems to be resonating with this world today …

@ Bazza – yes and poor Emily has been misrepresented by others ... as she was against some of the Government policies … not against England, but against the stupidity of some of their concepts …

She would have been an invisible woman – if Jenny hadn’t taken on the task of sorting her papers, and drafting up these wonderful books about life as Emily discovered it …

We don’t do very well at attaining peace for very long do we …

Thank you so much – I’m so glad you all appreciate Emily Hobhouse and hope that at some stage you’ll read Jenny’s books on her … have a peaceful Memorial Day tomorrow - Hilary

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

An enlightening, provocative post. A poignant, timely post that has brought further awareness to this remarkable lady. I fear her wisdom is lost on the brutality that inflicts the most vulnerable of humanity.

A peaceful, reflective Memorial Day to our American brothers and sisters as they observe those who served for peace in times of insanity that is war.

Thank you for another one of your insightful, meticulous postings, Hilary.

Gary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

A courageous woman, a thinker at a time when women weren't expected to think. Thanks for sharing this, Hilary. Emily is worthy of recognition. Most definitely.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary~ With the magnitude of the regugee crisis, your quote from the book ring true:

‘It is astonishing that though so long a list of the world’s greatest thinkers in all periods have pronounced against war, yet (to this time) no statesmen has appeared capable of abolishing it as a means of settling disputes …

Oh, if only politicians were statesmen these days...but peace has never really been a common goal for the world, it seems.

Great post as always!

Denise :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gary - thank you .. I suddenly realised that those words were the right ones for this Memorial Day - and do apply to each and every day of our lives. Also she cared for, administered to and nursed the vulnerable in life ... as you mention we are not the most caring of humanity at the moment.

It is Memorial Day in the States, and so many will remember as there are always those links across the nations - immigration and emigration have occurred for various reasons much relative to the World Wars ...

Thank you so much for your comments ..

@ Joylene - yes she was most definitely a thinker ... and had honed those skills while being with her father in his Rectory outside Liskeard for her first 35 years ... a Victorian lady in all ways. Thankfully she is recognised in South Africa and in St Ive ... but I hope her words will live on.

@ Denise - yes our refugee crisis is a worry for many ... and I sincerely hope someone will step up to the plate to be an extraordinary leader ... there are so many disastrous happenings at the moment - which the poor and vulnerable just want to escape from to live in peace ...

We need those politicians to realise we need strong leadership to overcome and lead us democratically forward ... so harmony can prevail in each state and region ...

Thanks so much for visiting and may we all have peace and harmony in our lives ... each and every day - Hilary

beste barki said...

Recently in Hiroshima, President Obama gave a great speech against war. As you say Hilary, if only the leaders would also abolish it as a means of settling disputes.

DMS said...

I do not know much about Emily, but after what I have seen and read here I definitely want to know more about her. Such profound thoughts. I loved reading what she had to say about peace. I think we can do it!
~Jess

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thank you for introducing me to Emily. War. It is senseless and tragic ... and sometimes unavoidable in a world of flawed men. Hate knows no compassion or reason. Lust for power leads men of influence to decisions that endanger the "little people" of no influence -- yet there are no little people only leaders with small hearts.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Hilary, you are so special. You introduce us to so much. I knew nothing of Emily, and she appears to be someone well worth studying. Thank you!
Mary Montague Sikes
Notes Along the Way
The Artful Way

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Beste - I did hear some of the Obama speech - it's a good thing he paid his respects while he was President. I'm sure he'll be an amazing leader once he's left office ... he has some wise words ...

@ Jess - I've sort of touched on Emily as she's almost a relative ... but I'm pleased I've put her name out there ... as she is touching our hearts somehow. Thank you - I thought those paragraphs were very relevant in today's age ...

@ Roland - thanks for coming over ... War is senseless and tragic and Emily was outraged at the British Government's attitude over the Boer War in South Africa.

Interesting thought about the little people - us: who are leaders with small hearts, that want to be big and help many ... powerlusting guiders/dictators do not help anyone ...

@ Monti - well that's amazing ... I am privileged to know about Emily via her niece ... my mother's cousin. So I'm very grateful she's made an impression on you ...

Thanks so much - on this Memorial Day - I'm pleased these words ring true for you all ... with thoughts - Hilary

Chrys Fey said...

I don't recall having heard of Emily Hobhouse before. She was a smart lady with profound thoughts...things we need to hear even now. Thank you for introducing her to me. I think I might look for those books you mentioned.

Happy Memorial Day!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Peace politics is something I should learn more about. To learn how they actively practice and maintain peace.

Sherry Ellis said...

I like her quote on what youth should focus their attention on. Very true!

Ann Best said...

I agree... As Roland says, we live in a world of "flawed men" - and women. As Denise says, we need statesmen. If only.... And thank you for introducing me to Emily Hobhouse. Her words you quoted could be spoken in today's world. She's someone to look forward to meeting beyond here. BTW, I left a reply to your comment on my current post. Thanks for stopping by...and continuing to support me in my struggles. ((( ))) from me and Jen trusting you've had a marvelous Memorial Day over there!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I've never heard of Emily Hobhouse before. I was struck by her words regarding war. Yet, no mere mortal will ever stop war. One will rise according to the book of Revelation and seem to be the answer to all the world's problems. He will bring about much horror and break his agreement with Israel. We've read the end of the book: only when Jesus returns will war cease.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Chrys - I've written about her ... but I doubt you'll find much else anywhere else except in South Africa. Exactly - she was a smart lady with profound thoughts ... and as you say we need to take note of those now. I hope you look at Jenny's books ...

@ Shannon - I've always thought of peace as being something we should all adhere to - but I guess that is political too ... but it would be an informative subject to look at ...

@ Sherry - you're right there about concentrating on learning and learning from the wise words of the great men and women of history ...

@ Ann - we do live in a world where sadly we don't seem to consider the longevity of our species - those 7 ages that the wise men of the distant past considered and adhered to as they lived their lives.

@ Susan - I've mentioned her before and am glad her words ring true with you. The Book of Revelations gives us comforting words.

Thanks to you all - it's sad to read with the need to be reminded of War at different times - all appalling and unnecessary - yet we need our freedoms .. Hilary

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Shamefully I knew nothing of Emily Hobhouse, a fact made even worse by the fact that I knew the name of her brother, Leonard Hobhouse, who was an early sociologist and political thinker. The problem with fighting wars, quite apart from the unnecessary loss of life and huge financial expenditure, is, that once all the fighting has stopped, the leaders of the nations or organisations concernered always have to get together and talk in order to move forward. Such a pity that they can't bring themselves to do it earlier.

Mason Canyon said...

What a lovely and inspiring tribute for Memorial Day, Hilary. She sounds like she was a fascinating lady. Thanks for the introduction to her.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hilary, a most interesting post and I do believe in peace politics and of we are to progress into and beyond the 21st Century then we are going to have to practice more Peace Politics.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ John - so good to see you and your comment .. unfortunately Emily's name has been swept under the carpet and her efforts have been unacknowledged .. because she didn't take the government line - yet she was using her common sense and having compassion. It seems people can't be humble and accepting even many years later - when Emily was proved right ...

Leonard, her brother, is better known ... but sadly, Emily, as a woman was not allowed to be educated or have free thoughts - yet she so patently was very intelligent - and has never been acknowledged.

I agree we don't think forward ... there are no plans, or discussions - yet even Emily thought of that and had plans in World War One on peace ... let alone rebuilding South Africa after the Boer Wars ...

@ Mason - many thanks ... so glad you appreciated Emily's thoughts. This piece seemed very appropriate for your Memorial Day - when we all remember, though our major Remembrance Day Service is in November ... we just need to reflect on War and what we can do to help it not need to be happening again and again ...

@ Stephen - yes Peace Politics is going to be very important in the future ... we need to consider our actions and the outcomes that might arise ...

Memorial Day is a time to remind ourselves there are other ways for each country to live together harmoniously ..

Thank you - with peace in our time and our children's time - Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Permanent Peace. I wonder if humans will ever grow and learn enough to be able to achieve this......

Bish Denham said...

Chills all over. What an incredible woman she must have been. Her words that you have shared with us got to the very heart of the matter. It's not the populations, the people, who cause wars, it's the governments and politicians.

May we all strive for Permanent Peace.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

She was an impressive woman. Thanks for sharing more about her.

Murees Dupé said...

Every night I pray that the human race can get along and stop hurting each other. We have had so many wars, yet we have learned nothing. I hope for the future an alternative can be found, Hilary. There is too much bloodshed in this world. Wishing you well.

Crystal Collier said...

And sometimes we need to oust the leaders so we can have better ones. I think the only way we can reach the ideal is if people can stop living for themselves and start living for others.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deniz - that would be wonderful wouldn't it - and let's hope we can all pull together and learn to love each other and live in harmony ...

@ Bish - yes Jenny's books on Emily's life reflect Emily's character ... one can feel her 'walk the pages'.

Emily was pretty upset with Government and politicians re South Africa - this is very apparent from her letters and from those early days, then too as she reflects ...

@ Holly - that's good you enjoyed reading a little more about and from Emily ... thank you.

@ Murees - South Africa has had its fair share of War in all its horrors ... and we must all strive for a better way to live ... there is. as you say, too much bloodshed.

@ Crystal - yes, that we need to do too - a change of regime ... I hope for the better. That's a good way to look at it .. start living for others from all walks of life ...

Thanks so much - Permanent Peace, living with humility, in harmonious sharing ... finding new leaders to lead us forward ... Hilary

A Cuban In London said...

Very inspiring thoughts. Sounds like a remarkable woman.

Greetings from London.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm going to focus on Emily's thoughts about how little is gained and how much is lost by war. Will we never learn that "simple" lesson? I'm an optimist, but I'm growing very pessimistic of late. Another wonderful and informative post that I'm so grateful for!

jabblog said...

Most interesting and informative. We all desire peace and an end to warmongering but I fear it will never be achieved while mankind strives to impose opinion and rule over others.

Lynn said...

Blessed are the peacemakers. Lovely post, Hilary.

Suzanne Furness said...

What a thoughtful and insightful post. I enjoyed reading Emily's words and yours. Peace would be a joyous thing.

Paula Kaye said...

I love hearing that peace can't be passive. Isn't that the truth!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ ACIL - she must have been very inspiring and helpful to so many ... thank you ...

@ Lee - I can quite see your point about focusing on her words, and not forgetting how much is gained by not going to war, and negotiating peace. I too fall into the optimist half of the glass full at the moment ... let's hope.

@ Janice - opinion isn't always helpful is it ... we've lost the art of thought ... and seeing others points of views ... we need to gain those two concepts back ...

@ Lynn - well said: blessed are the peacemakers ...

@ Suzanne - many thanks and so pleased you enjoyed Emily's words without which my thoughts wouldn't have flowed.

@ Paula - you're so right to pick that up 'peace cannot be passive' ..

Thanks so much for your visits and ideas here - we are of the same mind and that's comforting ... cheers Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

A beautiful post for Memorial Day. One day let's hope we won't have to send our children into war.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hi Hilary,

Thanks for sharing Emily Hobhouse's thoughtful insights. All of her quotes still ring true today. This is my favorite:

"In a word he will substitute Co-operation in place of Competition."

I believe that you and Emily would have become good friends, Hilary. You know the saying "Great minds..."

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elsie - I certainly hope we can have peace and acceptance of other ideas and thus live without war and strife ...

@ Julie - good to see you - yes that phrase is such a good idea - I just hope we can co-operate and not always compete ...

I'd have a huge amount of trouble keeping up with Emily I think ... she is indefatigable throughout her life, putting others first ... setting very high standards for us to follow.

Thanks so much to the two of you ...have good weekends - Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Sounds like she spoke more sense than most leaders of any era. Yes, peace is definitely something that needs to be worked hard at.

TexWisGirl said...

thank you for your kind comment today, hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nick - I know ... there is a great deal of thought and understanding in those words isn't there ... as you say we need to work at peace all the time and practise it ...

@ Theresa - I am sorry for your loss ... animals embed themselves into our lives and give us solace ... I appreciate you coming over here ..

With thoughts to you both and us all - Hilary