PRIVATE AMBROSE WILLIAM STRIDE
19TH JUNE 1916 AGE 24
BURIED: BEAUVAL COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE
This is not the inscription Ambrose Stride's father chose. The Newfoundland Regiment has the most amazing website and database with the digitised documents of all its soldiers, including Ambrose Stride's. Among the wealth of detail is a letter with the inscription James Stride originally chose for his son:
When duty called
You quickly obeyed,
You fell a hero
Our country to save.
I don't know how the change came about. There's nothing offensive about the original epitaph so there's no reason for the War Graves Commission to have censored it. However, it appears that all the Newfoundland Regiment's inscriptions were mediated through the London office of the Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries Newfoundland Contingent. Somewhere along the way the original inscription got changed.
The actual inscription is from a poem attributed to Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) and is surprisingly rare:
E'en such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wander'd all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.
Ambrose Stride, a fisherman from Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland, died of "accidental injuries" according to the War Graves Commission Cemetery Register. The documentation in the website is much more specific. Ambrose Stride was dangerously wounded on 18 June 1916 when a bomb accidentally exploded, damaging his right eye. He died the next day.
In January 1920, James Stride acknowledges the receipt of his son's 1914-15 Star and Memorial Scroll, together with the "words of sympathy from His Majesty the King ... they are indeed acts of comfort to me in my great loss and sorrow". The letter continues, " ... my boy Bramson is still very ill at London, which makes my sorrow still greater". Bransome died in London on 13 February 1920.
[James Stride spells his son's name variously but the War Graves Commission spell it Bransome]