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  • Claire Jordan

"Many Waters Cannot Quench Love"

"Many Waters Cannot Quench Love"

This is the epitaph chosen for John Thomas Gibson, a much-loved school-teacher, born in County Monaghan, Ireland, who made his life in Saskatchewan, Canada in the years before the Great War.

He resigned from his teaching post to join the Canadian Infantry, but when he arrived in England for further training, he contracted spinal meningitis.

And so began a heroic battle which lasted an incredible seventy-six days… in a world before antibiotics, that length of fight against an infection which can kill within hours is surely a remarkable feat of courage and endurance.

And these words which his parents Kathleen and Alexander and his sisters Edith and Elizabeth chose to stand for him for all time in the Military Cemetery at Shorncliffe above Folkestone succinctly convey a universal truth, worth hanging on to.

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