The waiting is nearly over ...

  • By Sarah Reay
  • 27 Sep, 2016

Army Chaplain with medics arrived at port & waiting to move out to the front.

Gosh ... how the weeks have flown by!  Now, only three weeks to publication - the waiting is nearly over!  I would like to take this opportunity of saying a BIG thank you to the following for their support in The Half-Shilling Curate!

Thanks go to Hugh Pym who has written a great Foreword for the book. I approached Hugh Pym because his grandfather was the famous WW1 Army Chaplain, the Rev. Thomas Wentworth Pym. Also, Hugh Pym has been involved with the BBC on the subject of WW1 Army Chaplai ns:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zts3b9q

THANK YOU Sir Peter de la Billière (who knows first hand the valuable role of the Army Chaplains in war), the Rev. Dr Peter Howson (who is one of the leading authorities in the academic world of Army Chaplaincy) and Dr Emily Mayhew (a leading authority on the subject of medical matters and WW1) for three beautiful endorsements which will feature on the back cover of the book!

We now wait until the week beginning Monday, 17th October ...


By Sarah Reay 20 Jun, 2017

It has been six months since the launch of ' The Half-Shilling Curate ' and I thought it was time for a little news.  The book is selling well and reaching folk across the country, in France, Belgium and across the world in America and Canada!  The book is now available at:  Belsay Shop (Northumberland), Alnwick Castle (Northumberland), Northumberland Fusiliers Museum (Northumberland), Durham Cathedral (Co.Durham), Palace Green - DLI Exhibition (Durham), York Army Museum (York), National Army Museum (London), Hatchards Bookstore (London), Museum of Methodism (London), Foyles Bookshop (London), National Memorial Arboretum (Staffordshire), Holyhead Maritime Museum (Hoyhead), Victoria Bookshop (Haverfordwest), Thiepval Memorial (France) and many other locations across the country.  Although, remember that a personalised and discounted copy of ' The Half-Shilling Curate ' can be ordered from this website.  Feedback on the book has been wonderful.  My favourite letter, to date, received from a gentleman who had read the book commented:

' Certainly an intimate book and I feel I knew your grandfather. Terrible times. Not one but two world wars to endure.
The roll of honour towards the end was very welcome. Nice to have a bit more information on his colleagues and friends.
Finally to round it off – “fond memories” at the end – a perfect end to the reading experience. '

The letter ends:

'This book is now for reference library shelf alongside my late wife’s collection of poetry and the complete works of Shakespeare. Again, many thanks, and, well done !

I think it should be made into a feature film. If approached, go for it ! '

Many happy folk have enjoyed reading and learning about Rev. Herbert Butler Cowl M.C.'s unique story and experiences as an Army Chaplain during the Great War.  I am very proud to be his granddaughter.  I hope many more people go on to enjoy his story.  If you would like to make contact with me, the author, this can be done through the 'Contact & Buy' on the top bar of this website.

Best wishes, Sarah Reay
By Sarah Reay 17 Nov, 2016
'The Half-Shilling Curate, A personal account of war and faith 1914-1918' is now published!  The Rev. Herbert Butler Cowl's story about his experiences as an Army Chaplain during the Great War are now shared in this personal account, which is told through his own words from his own letters and writings with the help of his granddaughter, Sarah Reay.
 
The bookwas unveiled at the Literary and Philosophical Society Library in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where BBC's Hugh Pym was guest of honour.  He gave a great warm introduction to the evening, speaking about his grandfather, the Rev. Thomas Wentworth Pym (who was also an Army Chaplain during WW1) and leading on to the story of the Rev. H.B. Cowl, The Half-Shilling Curate.

Friends and family members had traveled from as far as British Columbia, were greeted by live piano music from the Great War period, with drinks and canapes being served in the open library. It was a wonderful setting given that Herbert Cowl was passionate about books and fine literature.  Also, guests included three (out of four) of The Rev. Cowl's great-grandchildren, along with one of his great-nieces. There was representation from the Durham Light Infantry Association from retired Major Chris Lawton MBE DL.  A few special guests had known the Rev. Cowl many years ago, so it was a privilege to have them share in the celebration of his memory and the book launch.
 
Sarah read aloud a few of her favourite passages from the book, which included the following extract from one of the Rev. Cowl’s letters home to his parents in 1915:

‘Sometimes as I cross a bit of rising ground between here and Headquarters, where the country is open, and the road only lined by an endless avenue of huge polled witch-elms, I stand in the darkness; watch the probing searchlights flicker on to the clouds and hear those grim far off voices speaking death. It is a new sound; it is another world; and it calls to unprecedented scenes and experiences. God grant as we march into it all, that there may arise a man in me that is sufficient to this new occasion!’

A friend of the author's, local pianist, Deanna Bolton composed a piece of hymnal music entitled ‘The Half-Shilling Curate’, which she debuted at the event. The music was very moving and was a fine tribute to such a special man, the Rev. Herbert Butler Cowl M.C., fondly known by his family during the Great War as 'The Half-Shilling Curate'.

By Sarah Reay 27 Sep, 2016
Gosh ... how the weeks have flown by!  Now, only three weeks to publication - the waiting is nearly over!  I would like to take this opportunity of saying a BIG thank you to the following for their support in The Half-Shilling Curate!

Thanks go to Hugh Pym who has written a great Foreword for the book. I approached Hugh Pym because his grandfather was the famous WW1 Army Chaplain, the Rev. Thomas Wentworth Pym. Also, Hugh Pym has been involved with the BBC on the subject of WW1 Army Chaplai ns:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zts3b9q

THANK YOU Sir Peter de la Billière (who knows first hand the valuable role of the Army Chaplains in war), the Rev. Dr Peter Howson (who is one of the leading authorities in the academic world of Army Chaplaincy) and Dr Emily Mayhew (a leading authority on the subject of medical matters and WW1) for three beautiful endorsements which will feature on the back cover of the book!

We now wait until the week beginning Monday, 17th October ...


By Sarah Reay 06 Jun, 2016
Welcome to the website for The Half-Shilling Curate!  Well, what a learning curve but finally the website is 'live'!  Over the coming weeks and months I will be adding news to this blog and keeping everyone up-to-date with the publication of my grandfather's story.   Please contact me by clicking the CONTACT button in the website header.   Any comments, queries, or if you'd like to share any information or thoughts, please write to me. 

Best wishes, Sarah.
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