Steve Bellis has contributed another biography of a Preston-born priest who served as an army chaplain in the Great War. This time it is Fr John Myerscough SJ, the son of Alderman Myerscough of Preston, who gained notoriety for reputedly refusing the office of mayor because it would have entailed attending a Protestant church on Mayoral Sunday.
Steve’s account includes the time when, while serving in the trenches, Fr Myerscough stumbled into a group of German infantrymen. They led him to one of their dying comrades to whom he administered last rites, and then they escorted him safely back to the British lines.
Fr Myerscough suffered from the class prejudices that beset the British Army during the Great War – a product of the Edwardian society that supplied the officer class. When William Robertson, the only man to go from private to field marshal in the British Army, was promoted Haig said he would have found it ‘easier to work with a gentleman’.
Later in life Fr Myerscough published A procession of Lancashire martyrs and confessors.