The Great War, I was there - Part 21

l*iirl ! 2t lo£ TII 1 :(K CAT WAR: I WAS THERE! Oil Sale Everywhere I ’liewlay. February*> Ji LITERARY CONTENTS OF THIS PART Willi Acknowledgement* to Aullior^ ami IMibliKlK'i'K Y Week by week we acknowledge here our indebtedness to the many authors and publishers without whose courteous permission to reprint selected pages from the books written and published by them the compilation of the present work could not have been achieved. In our volumes as finally bound these acknowledgements will be repeated in the preliminary pages *150. I SAW T H IEP VAL CAPTURED :How the ‘Aussies ’Cleared the Zollern Redoubt Page 821 by LIEUT. ADRIAN CONSETT STEPHEN, M.C., R.F.A. from “War Letters of Fallen Englishmen ”Publisher :Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 14, Henrietta St. JV.C.2 *151.*152, ‘W HO’S AFEARD?’ ASKED THE ROD SETS: Utter Weariness of War Round Thiepval Page 825 from CHARLES D O U IE ’S “The Weary Road ”Publisher :John Murray, 50, Albetnarle St. IV. 1 &DANGERS OF DRUDGERY SWEEPING by CAPT. C.C. BELL, from (ed. by“ TafTrail ”)Publishers: Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd., 20, IVarwick Square, E.C.4 MINE- Page 833 “Swept Channels ”*153. SOMME MEDLEY OF MUD 8 C BLOOD :Gallant Death of a Beloved Captain Page 843 from H.R. WILLIAM S’S “The Gallant Company” Publishers :Angus &Robertson, Ltd., 89, Castlereagh St., Sydney. N.S.fV. *154. WHEN THE SUSSEX WAS BLOWN UP: I Was Standing Over the Torpedo by MISS V. C.C. COLLUM Page 847 Specially contributed *155. SOLDIER BROTHER MEETS NURSING SISTER: A Romance of the Somme Page 851 from VERA BRITTAIN’S “Testament of Youth ”Publishers: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 14, Henrietta St., IV. C. 2 Leaves from the Editor’s Note-Book John Carpenter House, London, E.C.4 W H ILEitis no part of my purpose or intention that I Was There should do anything to foster what is known abroad rather euphemistically as the ‘war spirit,” yet it has been made abundantly clear that it does succeed in presenting in many different ways the actualities of War— human, horrible, terrifying, and ennobling. Neither is there any implicit character of what is equally loosely termed a “pacifist ”nature in our pages. My one purpose in these many and very varied chapters is to tell the human story of the greatest of all wars in modern times. Its horrors and its humours reveal themselves naturally and obviously from page to page. Time shave not changed so very much since 1914-1918, or it would not be so easy for us to live again those vivid years and in the same way, the new generation of soldiering is of the same mind and mettle as the old. I Was There brings veterans and youths together— not that, in the great brotherhood of military affairs, there is any wide gulf between them. Well might we expect the readers of 1939 to crave news and pictures of contemporary fighting :“What about China ?Palestine ?Spain ?”and they probably do, but these modern conflicts, swift, terrible and passionate as they are, have a different appeal from the huge, all-embracing human drama of a whole world at war, a world struggling to preserve the remnants of civilization as did both hemi­spheres in 1914-1918. E T rom one who signs himself“ A Serving Soldier ”comes an appreciative letter which I am glad to print. He begins with a surprise :“1 was not there !”—but continues :*'In some respects regretfully not there. But I Was There contains material enough to cause any soldier, however young, however old. to look forward week by week to the next issue and to sigh with regret when each issue must be temporarily laid aside as ‘read.’ M r Editor, please don’t confine your comments entirely to those tor whom your book is primarily written just let them know that their successors live those terrible, breathless, humorous— or what-you- will— moments over again with them .and you. Sir, learn yourself that I Was There is playing apart in 1939, by teaching us rookies the way we should go should our turn come." HE writer of this letter enjoys atilt at “G. C.B. ”(the carping critic from Glasgow who accused us of “bristling ”with precisely one inaccuracy— namely, printing the word England instead of Britain !)and closes with a few criticisms of tactics in the War. Well, I am pleased, of course, that this publication should so contribute to military history and criticism but I am still happier to find I Was There bringing to the public notice such apiece of irrefutable proof that, whatever pessimists at home and propagandists abroad may say, our army’s spirit remains what it was— “and then some,” as the Americans say. HERE are few survivors who can claim—even if they want to— that theirs was“ a gentleman’s War." Never­theless, most of those who endured recall with gratitude intervals of sheer relaxation, when they woke up to the singing of birds, fed the trench cat and her latest litter of kittens (the poor little beasts were probably fathered by some prowling Boche tabby from the enemy trenches), and played the gramophone. So homely a touch amid so great a strife made the whole business of war, temporarily, at least, seem quite unreal. But“ cushiness ”was so often a prelude to the greatest experiences of all. Ex-Sergt. Harry Smith illustrates this in a letter which he sends me about the “Lancashire Lads” at the “Somme Show,” July 1916. He is, he tells me, chairman of the 149th Bde. R.F.A., 30th Div. (County Palatine). From January to May, 1916,” he writes, “the section of the line held by us was almost virgin country, with Corbie as our behind-the- Iine town, and the nearest city of practically peacetime conditions being Amiens, the main route of the 30 .F.AR .being through the fully \Continued in page Hi of this wrapper ¦>All I Sack .Numbers Kepi i n Print for \eu Readers and t Como plefe Sets for IKintfiugi
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