Daring In All Things

This War Memorial for soldiers of the Boer War stands at the corner of Chapel Streset in Salford. Sculpted by George Frampton RA, it is known as the Cheering Fusilier, and was unveiled in 1905 by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Commemorating the South African conflict of 1899-1902, this rather cheerful soldier is seen celebrating military victory and imperial achievement. Although the South Africa war was not Britain’s finest foreign intervention, it was still a success worth marking. One of the phrases on the inscription is ‘Daring In All Things’, which is a translation of the regiment’s official motto Omnia audax.

One would expect a soldier to be daring, or at least hope he is. Daring in all things, however, does suggest rashness, impulsiveness or hastiness, qualities often unbecoming of civilian life if not military. Although martial victories are seldom won by caution and reticence, these characteristics are useful when crossing a busy road, investing one’s money or selecting a spouse. Bliss’ 1873 hymn Dare to be a Daniel imbibes the same soldierly spirit of that derring-do Victorian age:

1 Standing by a purpose true,

Heeding God's command,

Honour them, the faithful few!

All hail to Daniel's Band!


Dare to be a Daniel!

Dare to stand alone!

Dare to have a purpose firm!

Dare to make it known!


2 Many mighty men are lost,

Daring not to stand,

Who for God had been a host

By joining Daniel's Band.


3 Many giants, great and tall,

Stalking thro' the land,

Headlong to the earth would fall,

If met by Daniel's Band.


Even in our spiritual lives, however, caution must not be always thrown to the wind. Thoughtfulness and reflection are handmaids to prudence and wisdom:

The simple believes every word,

But the prudent considers well his steps. Proverbs 14:15