Discussing P. G. Wodehouse’s brother Armine yesterday, I mentioned that he was in the hard-fighting Scots Guards. Stephen Graham, in A Private in the Guards, gives a forthright account of the regiment’s tough-minded ethos: A good soldier was one who would not take a prisoner. If called on to escort prisoners to the cage, it […]
Category Archives: Military
Next week on BBC TV there’s a promising-looking film about The Wipers Times. Ian Hislop and Nick Newman are the authors. It will tell the story of how they found a printing press under the blasted ramparts of Ypres, and put it to use to create a very witty paper. I Like Newman’s comments on […]
In Howard Spring’s memoir In the Meantime… (1942) he recalls his experience in an earlier war: I did not remain in Bradford long after the war had begun. All sorts of queer activities broke out. I was not passed for the army, and found myself one of a group who imagined they were somehow helping […]
I’ve been skimming through Adventures in Propaganda (1919), which is made up of the letters sent home to his wife by Captain Heber Blenkenhorn of the American Military Intelligence Division. He arrived in France in summer 1918, so only saw the end of the War, but his book offers some interesting sidelights on things. There […]
Those of us who lived close to Haig never ceased to admire his strength of character – his inner poise which nothing could disturb, his quiet resolution, his readiness to accept responsibility, his power to sink self in the common cause, his invincible faith. In York last week I found a copy of Douglas Haig […]
F. R. Leavis as a member of the Friends Ambulance Unit Jessica Meyer’s talk at Leeds last week was about the Friends Ambulance Unit. She mentioned that, especially later in the War, the main work of the Unit was on the ambulance trains that took the wounded from the war zone to the channel ports. […]
There’s an interesting short film on the BBC website about tunnels under the Somme. Click here to see it.
2nd Lieut. Paul Fussell. I was saddened to hear of the death last week of Paul Fussell. He is a critic whom I have often argued against, in these blog posts and elesewhere, but he was an important writer and an invigorating one. I would argue that he got many things wrong in The Great […]
The Royal Flying Corps was founded in 1912. On the BBC website there’s an interesting anniversary article about its origins, and how it developed during the War.
Not everyone was pleased when the Armistice ended hostilities on 11th November, 1918. John Glubb, a young officer in the Royal Engineers, wrote in his diary: Alas, the war is over, at the time when it was beginning to be exciting and enjoyable, after all these years. Glubb was annoyed that the recent months of […]