Why they are alive I don't know, but I'm afraid they won't live long: they are sunken and grey-faced and just strong enough to say, 'Anyway, I'm out of the trench now.'
When I think of your Red Cross practises on boy scouts, and the grim reality, it makes one wonder. And the biggest wonder of it all is the grit there is in them, and the price they are individually and unquestioningly paying for doing their bit in this War.
The men from Mons told us 'it wasn't fighting--it was murder.'
there is practically no furniture except the boy's beds, some chairs, many crucifixes and statues, terribly primitive sanitary arrangements and water supply.
Nothing was permanent; everyone and everything was always on the move; friendships were temporary, appointments were temporary, life itself was the most temporary of all.
One could not, he said, continually reflect upon the material and spiritual waste involved whenever that highly trained product, a man in the prime of life, was instantaneously killed by a stray bullet, or life at the front would be one long misery.
For me, as for all the world, the War was a tragedy and a vast stupidity, a waste of youth and of time; it betrayed my faith, mocked my love, and irremediably spoilt my career.
The ironies of war, I reflected sadly, were more than strange; in terms of a rational universe they were quite inexplicable. But now the universe had become irrational, and nothing was turning out as it once seemed to have been ordained.
To me it is strange that I take this death-sad as it makes me feel-so much as a matter of course when only a short time ago the idea of death made me shudder and filled me with horror and fear.
I was already beginning to suspect, as all my generation now knows, that neither side in wartime has a monopoly of butchers and traitors.