The time has come to act. May future generations look back on our work and say that these were men and women who, in a moment of great crisis, stood up to the politicians, the opinion-molders, and the establishment, and saved their country.
The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men.
I am for permanent duty on No--Ambulance Train (equipped) which goes up to the Front, to the nearest point on the rail to the fighting line. Did you ever know such luck?
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.
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.
The men looked what they were, British to the bone; no one could take them for any other nation a mile off. Clean, straight, thin, sunburnt, clear-eyes, all at their Active Service best, no pallid rolls of fat on their faces like the French.
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.
I was already beginning to suspect, as all my generation now knows, that neither side in wartime has a monopoly of butchers and traitors.
"He has to face far worse things than any sight or act I could come across; he can bear it-and so can I." Truly the War had made masochists of us all.
I wanted very badly to be heroic-or at any rate to seem heroic to myself-so I tried hard to rationalise my grief.