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.'
It is absolutely maddening sitting here with no work yet, when there must be so much to be done.
They have nowhere to go now and nothing to do. There is nothing but mud all about, and a soft fine rain coming down to make more mud-mud with a broken fragment of a nation lolling in it, hanging about waiting in it behind the shelter of a disaster that has been accomplished.
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.
owing to casualties at the front, and aid-raids and other troubles at home, neither life nor happiness nor peace of mind could be counted on for more than a few days at a time.
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.
I had not yet acquired the self-protective callousness of later days, and I put into the writing of my diary that evening an emotion comparable to the feeling of shock and impotent pity that had seized Roland when he found the first dead man from his platoon at the bottom of the trench.
They sound ludicrous enough now, these rumours, these optimisms, these assurances, to us who still wonder why, in spite of all our incompetence, we managed to "win" the War. But at the time they helped us to live. I cannot, indeed, imagine how long we should have succeeded in living without them.