Welcome to our blog!

It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!

This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A prisoner of war

Thursday, July 8th., Near Ablain.

Young prisoner, 21, just caught. Trousers and coat pierced by a bullet. Consumptive, enfeebled. Called up in December 1914. Somebody had given him a large hunk of bread, which he had put within the lining of his tunic; it bulged out in front like a paunch. Examined by an officer, then went off with a soldier. While the officer was cross-examining him a curio-hunting soldier came up behind and cut a button off the tunic. Had work in paper factory. Infinitely pathetic. Scared little consumptive. Why military ambition? He tried to exhibit gloom but it was impossible for him quite to conceal his satisfaction in the fact that for him the fighting was over. The wretched boy had had just about enough of world dominion, and he was ready to let the Hohenzollerns and Junkers finish up the enterprise as best they could without his aid. No doubt some woman was his mother. It appeared to me that he could not live long, and that the woman in question might never see him again. But every ideal must have its victims; and bereavement, which counts chief among the well-known advantageous moral disciplines of war, is, of course, good for a woman's soul. Besides, that woman would no doubt be convinced that her son died gloriously in defence of an attacked fatherland.

Ablain seen from here is merely rafters.

Passage of wounded.

After car came to road at Souchez Germans began to fire on road 78 high explosives. Searching road at 50 yards distance or 100 up and down each shot. Almost every two minutes and one minute sometimes. Tremendous waste of ammunition. The things burst before sound of sizzling has finished reaching your ears.

Nearest shot 100 yards.

Additionally for July 8th., see 'Derailed at Nantes'

On Thursday I went to see the Wellses at Pont de l'Arche. I came back yesterday and found myself in a railway accident at Mantes, six wounded.

No comments:

Post a Comment