When the Lean Years are over, when the rifle becomes rusty, and the khaki is pushed away in some remote cupboard, there is great danger that the hardships of the men in the trenches will too soon be forgotten. If, to a minute extent, anything in these pages should help to bring home to people what war really is, and to remind them of their debt of gratitude, then these little sketches will have justified their existence.
"A very clever and enjoyable collection of sketches picturing the character of the fighting men in the trenches, the tragedy and the farce, the humour, and the elementary humanity that crudely jostle each other in his life."--Globe.
all are, these grown-up babies!
The other day I opened the door of the hospital and discovered a "convoy" consisting of three legless and two armless men, trying to help each other up the six low steps, and shouting with laughter at their efforts. And one of them saw the pity on my face, for he grinned.
"Don't you worry about us," he said. "I wouldn't care if I 'ad no arms nor eyes nor legs, so long as I was 'ome in Blighty again. Why"--and his voice dropped as he let me into the secret--"I've 'ad a li'l boy born since I went out to the front, an' I never even seed the li'l beggar yet. Gawd, we in 'orspital is the lucky ones, an' any bloke what ain't killed ought to be 'appy and bright like what we is."
And it is the happiness of all these men that makes hospital a very beautiful place, for nowhere can you find more courage and cheerfulness than among these fellows with their crutches and their bandages.
There was only one man--Bill Stevens--who seemed despondent and miserable, an