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Christmas Message, 1941


I am glad to think that millions of my people in all parts of the world are listening to me now. From my own home, with the Queen and my children beside me, I send to all a Christmas greeting.

Christmas is the festival at home, and it is right that we should remembers those who this year must spend it away from home. I am thinking, as I speak, of the men who have come from afar, standing ready to defend the old homeland, of the men who in every part of the world are serving the Empire and its cause with such valour and devotion by sea, land and in the air.

I am thinking of all those, women and girls as well as men, who at the call of duty have left their homes to join the services, or to work in factory, hospital or field. To each one of you, wherever your duty may be, I send you my remembrance and my sincere good wishes for you and for yours.

I do not forget what others have done and are doing so bravely in civil defence. My heart is also with those who are suffering – the wounded, the bereaved, the anxious, the prisoners of war. I think you know how deeply the Queen and I feel for them. May God give them comfort, courage and hope.

All these separations are part of the hard sacrifice which this war demands. It may well be that it will call for even greater sacrifices. If this is to be, let us face them cheerfully together. I think of you, my peoples, as one great family, for it is how we are learning to live. We all belong to each other. We all need each other. It is in serving each other and in sacrificing for our common good that we are finding our true life.

In that spirit we shall win the war, and in that same spirit we shall win for the world after the war a true and lasting peace. The greatness of any nation is in the spirit of its people. So it has always been since history began; so it shall be with us.

The range of the tremendous conflict is ever widening. It now extends to the Pacific. Truly it is a stern and solemn time. But as the war widens, so surely our conviction depends at the greatness of our cause.

We who belong to the present generation must bear the brunt of the struggle, and I would say to the coming generation, the boys and girls of today, the men and women of tomorrow – train yourselves in body, mind, and spirit so as to be ready for whatever part you may be called to play, and for the tasks which will await you as citizens of the Empire when the war is over.

We must all, older and younger, resolve that having been entrusted with so great a cause, then, at whatever cost, God helping us, we will not falter or fail. Make yourselves ready – in your home and school to give and to offer your very best.

We are coming to the end of another hard fought year. During these months our people have been through many trials, and in that true humanity which goes hand in hand with valour, have learnt once again to look for strength to God alone.

So I bid you all be strong and of a good courage. Go forward into this coming year with a good heart. Lift up your hearts with thankfulness for deliverance from dangers in the past. Lift up your hearts in confident hope that strength will be give us to overcome whatever perils may lie ahead until the victory is won.

If the skies before us are still dark and threatening, there are stars to guide us on our way. Never did heroism shine more brightly than it does now, nor fortitude, nor sacrifice, nor sympathy, nor neighbourly kindness, and with them – brightest of all stars – is our faith in God. These stars will we follow with His help until the light shall shine and the darkness shall collapse.

God bless you, everyone.