Crucifix Corner: A name given in the war to various places on French roads where a Cavalry was set up, forming a conspicuous landmark over open ground. A wider known Crucifix Corner was near Lagnicourt. A curious belief, current among the troops on the Western Front, was that the figure on the cross was never hit, however enemy shells might devastate everything all round and close by. Many, all the same, did suffer mutilation, but probably the majority escaped through which the general belief originated.
Wrote an officer on the Wetsern Front in a letter home: "One thing I can't understand (or can in a Catholic way). You will find out here walls standing with a crucifix or other sacred image, or the wall on which they hang, part standing: the churches the same. A church may be shattered in bits, but the crucifix and the part on which it stands is the only solid part left in the place. A curious incident in this connection is recorded to have occurred on board the battleship Warspite at Jutland. A heavy shell burst just inside the door of the "Church" below decks. Everything inside, chairs, fitting, etc., was wrecked and smashed to pieces. Only the Cross remained undamaged on the shattered altar.
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.67.
Glossary of words and phrases
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