The War Illustrated No 88 Vol 4 May 9th 1941

I I :-,J S'c The:¦'.':--n War Illustrated May 9 th, 1941 '^o &in q d p io m t fie SxUto-k’i WxiAiitne. 9 )ia A y ,PASSING yesterday through a woodland area of Sussex where years Iago took delight in listening to the nightingales, I was surprised to find the once familiar woods had vanished and in their place stood nothing but hundreds of tree stumps, while, here and there among them, groups of men were hard at work with portable engines and glowing furnaces. On inquiry I learned that the dis­appearance of the woods was due to the need for charcoal, which forms an important element in the millions of gas masks that have been distributed to the public. Charcoal burners used to provide writers of adventure stories for the young with a picturesque and romantic feature, but there was certainly nothing romantic in what I saw yesterday. While I sighed for the lost beauty of these woods, I reflected that they will grow up again, and it is pleasant to think that, though the woodman couldn’t spare even“ a single bough,” transformed to charcoal they may yet save many an innocent life. ’"MANY waters canr>ot quench love no, nor many bombs neither. This great thought came tome this morning as I arrived at a country railway station which is completely encircled by massive, tank traps «—in the form of cement blocks that resemble immensely swollen tombstones. On several of these I read in boldly chalked letters such legends as “0. B. loves J. S.”and “R. W. B.’s girl.” The lads of the village are evidently thinking more about the springtide of the young man’s fancy than of threat of bombing. No, Hitler has got it all wrong in asserting that there will be moreno individual happiness poor purblind pervert that he is. Many bombings will not quench love. I am sure that 0. B.and J. S.will defy Hitler and I hope they will live to read that this greatest beast from the abyss has attained to the end that awaits all beasts. TN the discussion about the sanctity of •the-* Sabbath Day which has been ongoing since the oft-debated question of allowing Sunday shows came up again, I>am tempted to tell avery old Scots story which illustrates an attitude of mind that used to be common among the rigid Sabbatarians of the High­ lands—a mental attitude that may not have entirely disappeared even now. A Highlander, who might have stood for one of the portraits of the Auld Licht Elders in Barrie’s “Little Minister,” on the way to Sunday morning service at his village church, is greeted by a visitor from the big city with “Grand day this, Sandy 1 ”To which Sandy, with a dis­approving frown, retorts“ Iss thiss a today be talking about days ?”AD that“ amoosing cuss,” Frank Richardson, been fated to live until this day he would have had a great time making fun of the “face fungus” which is spreading mushroom-like through the Navy just now. I didn’t realize until last night, when I sat near to a group of sturdy young officers— the highest a full lieutenant—in the “Wavy Navy,” how little I admired those who were bearded like the pard. How the young girls with them could tolerate these germ jungles of whiskers I just can’t understand. Perhaps they had agreed to them for the duration only, in which case I hope they will set their faces (sternly) against them when the bells of victory ring .which reminds me that “pa had [his whiskers shaved ”as an expression of rejoicing in one pf Albert Chevalier’s famous ditties. ?•There is genuine honour in the unshaven faces of the submarine men or the gallant lads who man the little ships just returned from llillllllilllli! I N THIS NUMBER llllllllllllllll How Britons and Anzacs Fought in Greece •458 Greeks Fought Nobly to the End 460 The Lion of Judah Rampant Once More 461 Germans at the Gates of Egypt 462-3 Men Who Bombed Berlin 464-5 Londoners Rode the Storm 466-7 London Landmarks as They Are and as They Were f 468-9 Yugoslavia Crushed in 12 Days 471 Tangier‘‘ Heils ”the Nazis 475 Awards for Gallantry 476“ I Was There” Section 477-9 Our Diary of the War 480 i i i i i i j i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i m i i i i i i M i i f i i i i i i i i i i t i i i i i i i i m i i i i m i i i i i i i i m i aspell at sea but any male creature (and some females) can grow a whisker and comb and caress it without going to sea. I had hoped that vrith the rising popularity of the safety razor the only whiskers still enduring were those that had taken root in the late Victorian age, such as those of John Dumphreys, M.P. for Bermondsey back in 1909, when Lucas and Graves celebrated his victory in these immortal lines :“So when John Dumphreys topped the poll, ‘Ingratitude,’ said he, ‘One whisker I’ll call Hammerton The other I’ll call Meo.’ When to the barber’s next he went He cried in agonie : 1 Deal gently with my Hammerton, Deal gentlier with my Mee!’”•k At a later date the game of beaver-spotting had a brief but joyous vogue. You shouted “beaver ”whenever you saw a whiskered male or female as you sped along in your car, and you counted score as in tennis. I became a life-champion by virtue of discovering a “red queen beaver ”seated with two other perfect specimens of the queen beaver (but not red) on a bench in Tunbridge Wells. (Origin of term “beaver ”unknown.) But one had togo to Belgium and Northern France to bag the finest specimens of queen beavers—the women there are sometimes as whiskery as the men. There’s a silly saying that“ a hairy man is a happy man.” He is merely a reminder that we have not got so faraway from the apes as we fancy. As for a hairy woman don’t ask my opinion. ?Recently I r#ad in an article by an American doctor that it is quite wrong to suppose that hairiness is a sign of strength. That derives possibly from the story of Samson. Actually this “vegetable ”growth on our epidermis is more often an indication of physical weakness. Wonder if the theory that in origin it is vegetable matter maybe founded on the fact that hair on a corpse continues to _grow for sometime after death takes place. But that’s a point“ I leave to your conten- as a young girl of my acquaintance to put it. And finally, the Romans, most virile of the conquering races, were all clean shaven, though when they overtook some of the gods of Greece they respected their curly whiskers but Apollo, Mars and a few others were represented as whiskerless. ? I find no fault in Hitler’s little moustache— neither would Frank Richardson, who allowed himself a modest moustache—except that it is still a sort of dredger for pea soup, but there’s nothing loathlier than to see a well-whiskered face struggling with Scotch broth or mine­strone. Nor is there anything manly in bushy beards. They are recommended only’ to persons with receding chins above all they should have no place in an age that values sanitation. ?Another thing :two friends of mine, who have worn “imperials ”until their hair has turned grey, are debating whether togo down to their graves with them or look twenty years younger by shaving them off. Beware of that, ye young salts,'who are displaying your abundant coal-black beards today 1 You have been warned. '"TALKING of shaving. The stress of War has done me one good turn. I ’ve taken to sharpening my very thin safety razorblades which, until a year Iago, used to throwaway after at most three shaves. I tried the trick of that unknown benefactor of man­kind who discovered some yenrs ago that by laying the razor blade flat against the inside of a glass tumbler and rubbing it vigorously to and fro for a dozen times or so, then reversing the process, it acquired an edge as good as it had when new. Jn this way I have often had as many as thirty good shaves out of one blade, and I believe that with one blade and a glass tumbler (not to mention brush and soap) you could be equipped for several months of shaving! Here’s areal economy hint that need not be limited to wartime. 'T'HIS jotting and the preceding have been pencilled on the back of the very effective dustcover to Richard Llewellyn’s masterly novel “How Green Was My Valley, 1 ’which I read with glowing ad­miration when it came outlast year. It happened, too, that I read it on a visit to the Wales which is the background of the story, and the dustcover was still on my copy yesterday. Some of these wrappers are so artistic that on? dislikes throwing them away, yet I equally dislike retaining them on books which I wish to keep in my library. So many friends have been borrowing “How Green Was My Valley ”that the dustcover had to be kept in use for protection of the very charming binding in which Michael Joseph had enshrined this bestseller. Too often the attractively designed paper wrapping to a book is far more pleasing to the eye than the shabby binding within, but even so when I ’m keeping a book as an addition to my library the dustcover must forgo, in the end it tends to untidiness, and anyhow its purpose has been served. Just one of my personal fads, I suppose. CEVERAL readers have written tome in the last few weeks concerning a Jotting that dealt—rather inconclusively, I fear—with the vapour trails emitted by the aeroplanes when flying at great height. One of these readers describes himself as a “Jim Crow,” and in his daily task of sky spying from the roof of a Stockport building he has tried to puzzle out for himself the origin of these trails. Disclaiming any expert knowledge, he has formed the opinion that in the*higher altitudes, even when the sky looks entirely blue, there are often drifting areas of thin cloud which cannot be detected from the ground, and the propellers of aeroplanes, moving at atop speed through these tenuous clouds whip the vaporous particles into a creamy froth which trails behind the ’plane. The greater density of these trails makes them remain prominent against the blue of the sky until they are dispersed by the air currents. There might be something in this ^•heory, and there maybe nothing but it at least indicates a layman’s effort to account for a thing which not even the experts seem to be agreed about. Stubbs Literary Editor, E, Royston Pike Assistant Editor, Gilson -MacCormack Editorial Assistants, O. Lumley, D. Allmand, G. Holland, A.B. Atkins, J. St. Denys Reed,.Terence Dennis. Pictorial Dept, Picture Editor, J.R. Fawcett Thompson Assistant Editor, BellA. Photo Research, C.H. Martin Artists, C.E. Mansell, F. Gardon. EDITORIAL A D DRESS: THE WAR ILLUSTRATED. JOHN CARPENTER HOUSE, W H ITEFRIARS, LONDON. E.C.4.
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