100 Years Ago Today – “We stand by the open grave in the faith of the Empty Tomb”

P. T. Forsyth died 100 years ago today on the Fourth Armistace Day 1921. He was cremated, at Golders Green, London, and I do not know how he is further commemorated there.

The cremation was preceded on Tuesday afternoon, 15 November 1921, by a service at West Hampstead Congregational Church.

He was a member there; it was next to Hackney College on Finchley Road. The building survives; it became a synagogue and is now flats. His son-in-law, H.T. Andrews, officiated with a gratifying number of Congregational great and good (among them the now Anglican R.J. Campbell whom Forsyth had so criticized at the time of the New Theology controversy).

The coffin was covered in bronze, yellow, and white chrysanthemums. At Golders Green T.H. Darlow officiated. The source is British Weekly 17 November, 1921.

There was also a report in the Times on Forsyth’s death 12 November 1921, and a report of the funeral on 16 November 1921. A further note: Dr Williams’s Library, London, has (in its Congregational Library collection) a small trove of Forsythiana, collected by his daughter, Jessie Forsyth Andrews. It includes a typed order compiled by him for a funeral service (not, of course, necessarily the one used for him) which the Revd W.F. Davies added in February 1953.

A prayer contains this most Forsythian of phrases: “We stand by the open grave in the faith of the Empty Tomb”.


My own Forsyth tribute can be watched here in this very short introduction to him and his legacy.

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