10th January 2021

10th January 2021

I have previously mentioned on this website about the older brother of my Grandad Gordon Churchward who died at sea on the Indefatigable at the battle of Jutland. I was told about this when I was a child by my father and I have often thought about him, especially whenever I went past the war memorial in Newton Abbot.

A few days ago I received a facebook message from Stephanie Medwell who wondered if I was related to the Christopher Churchward who was lost at sea at the battle of Jutland. She told me that she was the granddaughter of Olive Reynolds who had been engaged to be married to Christopher. When I told her that I was related and knew about him she sent me some further interesting information, photos of him and postcards that he had written that I had not seen before. She told me that the last time her grandmother had seen Christopher was after a meal at his mother's house in Exeter, at the railway station. She said that her grandmother never forgot about him and that their wedding banns had been made on the Indefatigable. I have now written a song about this.

Christopher Marks Churchward


Banns of marriage witnessed

Dated in May

On three Sundays

Before he sailed away

But for Christopher there would be no wedding day


At the station in Exeter

He said farewell

It was the last time she saw him

Such a sad tale to tell


Shells from the Von Der Tann

Screaming across the sea

Death and destruction

Created so terribly

And for Olive Reynolds bad news she would receive


At the station in Exeter

He said farewell

It was the last time she saw him

Such a sad tale to tell


She never forgot him

And her memories live on

Told to Stephanie

Now written in this song

The photographs and postcards treasured for so long

© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2020 - Version 9.0.2 January 2021