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THE BRITISH SPIRIT, Issue 15634, 27 October 1914
THE BRITISH SPIRIT
WOUNDKD FROM THE FROST. EAGEH TO GET BACK. A very striking account of tho scene at Amiens, when wounded arrival there from Mens, is civen by a coriesporicipnt, writing in Ai:gu.-t. At 11 o'e'io.k this tm,ruing, ho writ.?, the Amiens station iv,is jay with wounded ISritish soldiers It s>vm.s a >tnu;ge thing t j > sav, but 3V in.iced it v.-.-«:,. A train of 20 o;>inlets cain.j in loaded with 600 Tommies Sixty or them were wounded—.sent doii n from tilt' fierce front Ist-tween Moris and Chnrliroi. These were no! serious cares—sufficient ri:'.y to put oar ra;n out of the battle hue lor a spell : bid let wound* and cuts on the legs, chiefly, smashed hand.; and splintered fingers, and gasVt and rip.- on arm 3 and sh'edders. t.ot one head or fece wound. Ai.J tvi'i-y one of th-se boys was clamorous to get back aga.u in 'he thick of the, bn.-ino.-s. At the arrival of tin? train the dull station was suddenly tramifmnied. A whirp-er hnl ran through the- town a, little prcvi-f-u-lv t'lit; many of the gallant Hriti.-h wounded were coming in, that there were s'ed things to goo and hear, and .vro'diugiy the populace- erowded to the ft-.st; = >si, ready for anything, and wo 11 loaded with "delicacies,'' in . asc t-he;e were any of ••'■■■< IVsri'ni'.'? " still srrer.iK.y..- ei:-;ij..h to enjoy them. —A (Jala Performance.— 'Hit 1 .-t.-'tiou was unshed and ipiia- -uuti: the t.i*> : :";il r ra:n cam* is!. And what hap jencd'.' Why, nothing nior? nor kj«i than a gala. pcrformaiKc in khaki. liittead of a d'sma-i cortege, this incoming troop- *.!•;:::: pi-'se::lfd a t <-:'e of .-heel' revelry, livery carriage window was full of brown, jolly, duty, shaggy faces—faco? v.-ith week old Heatd.-. to them, hut aluht with, qui-'k. keen, cheeiinl rye-. Hats ware waved, songs were FUitg, and front tiio first, carriage door which wa.> Hung or/on ?,- Highlander hopped out, to the actomshmeni of the waiting crowd, and did a fling—a. fimg v.wh .i. limp to it, 'tLs true, but a Highland rlir.g for all that, and most enter! a mine, to tin- crowd. 3n a few moments fho platform was -swarm with those merry hoys, and their hr-thei hood with !a belle Franco was cemented in an instant. —From a Hot Waco.—■ "Where have you conn.- from?" was the general question; but not one of tin'. 1 *;; bright, young, bruised and battered combatants knew. Their French was tunny—limited for the most vart to "Oni" and " is.rn "--•' N"o:i " v.vii a,p unmi.-laka.iilf. final "g" to it. Moot oi thfm. were roc!;v -x< to th-> voiy ioijl. a.tvd \hf- fist-- o.'io Manchester and rr'. j ston boyc—woro wry much of the i-amc kidney. "Where* have wo conn 1 fiont?" t-aid ouc " Well, a. hot phec, i ctin t<'l! yon!" " What of th- lighting?" lint, th-ey would :ay very little of the. tigliling, fitivo that it wa.s figliting and no n:i?t;ik«—a contimiotw roar of tbuue atni fury, hard, hot, thirsty work. Plenty O: eat, though, everything splendidly uuui ?.'j;'ml, and not a .-inglo man Jink of them caring a jot. 'T can tell you," paid one of thcin. " v,'o got. it in the neck: but fo did tho other in it-take." It was a tt-'tockport warrior who made this remark. Ha dangled a maimed hand. "Three lingers and a swinger,'' .-;> id he, with ,-v grin. "Here. Alt, just t.'ghten up this bandage lor ;i bloke, will you? Aivl if anybody's got ;i fag " —Tlw Moral Effect.— That was the clamorous demand of all theeo gay T'cir ermimis-ariat had lx;en excellent, their "grub" prime, and coffee ; but somehow in this great worldshattering war, winch was just beginning and ringing its grim tale of devastation and death cb-wi the ages, pomohow there bad been a nv.st deplorable shortage of cigarettes. One Tommy, who wae sitting cros?legged on the platform, avidly tucking ii.to a yard of crisp, crusty French bread, and washing ;t down with gills of red wine, remarked that this was pood enough for him i? only soir.-:hody would weigh in with a "Woodbine." A ''Woodbine"? iSobody '.hrough the entire and breadth of Amiens's lorvg arrival platform had evet- heard of a ""Woodbine"; but when, afbar muc3i gesticulation and dumb ehow, Tommy had made his meaning plain, there were showers of black, pungent French cigarettes in their yellow wrapp«rs at his disposal. —A Postal Problem Nearly all of them had post cards—pisture "post cards, obtained from nouody knows vvhare—and they were all very anxious to send news home to their sweethearts rtkl :h?;r '" paW The difficulty \va< how to cb> it ard how t() get tiient through. 'Theie ivoie officii a.; post eards. too, in plenty, with a very official and
stiff phraseology printed on them; “1 am well and safe, and hope to see you soon," and so on, with no allowance on the card for anything more intimate than that. These were idled up laboriously ; but these other —the picture post cards, unoenaored and smuggled in such a way a Tommy brows how—gave scope for other flights oi literature. Plenty of these, hut how to send them? Finally, to our soldiers’ great joy, a. Manchester doctor, jus: through from Paris and on the way to London by the next available train, was discovered on lire plat form, and as soon as this good gentleman was spotted he was snowed under in next to no time —She most obliging amateur postman that ever was. 1 He prom Led faithfully to post these interesting documents in London the very moment he got there, and the 'jemmies, limping round him, made a- hero of him, and'sung at the top of their voices (much to the "gratification and astonishment- of the good folk of Amiens) : For he’s a jolly good fellow, For he's a jolly good fellow. For lie's a jolly good fellow, And so say all of us ! And there followed that rousing, ral'li.ig - trio. hip. hurrah that can come tvom nowhere hut 15riti.ni throats. —Tunic Hutton? as Souvenirs. —• There* was a groat exchange of souvenirs. The French people, civilians and .■eldieis .alike, showered their gifts upon these bright, happy hoys, who, careless of tin, iv wounds, were as happy ms echnol children on. holiday. Their tunic pockets wore soon bulging with packets of Maryland '" fags." and what they gave in return wasn’t much, but it was tremendously «.p[u'cciatod. The exchange took lie form of tunic buttons. They were lipped off from pockets anti lapels, absolutely regardless of consequences, and liv the time this merrv matinee was over there were very few buttons left among the whole lot. The fratcruisiiv: wan splendid -immensely .jolly. A llfaekhurn Tommy, after having shed his last, possible button, produced a mouth organ from c..v,newhere inside of him, and played with the execution of a master at this revelrou.s business that familiar ditty “Wo won't go home till morning.'' There wars a. speedy and hilarious setting to partners, bowing and scraping (in spite of limps and twinge?), and in a brace of shakes the Hittisb Tommy and his; brother across the water were locked in each other's arm.? and dancing a jig with till the abandon in it o: Hampstead Heath < a n batik, hoiliay. Tie vil-m ay -ca re. - - Cheers and counter cheers greeted these glad aerobatics. Who would believe it—who could believe it?—that lucre rollicking souls, singing, dancing, end tinning Amiens railway station into an Olympic, nf wildest merriment, bad only a few hours before boon in the thick of a tumult unimaginable, uith death screaming through their ranks and hell let hm-c. It wa-> an amazing tninth' to l!ie;r (Uu k. their eon rage, tend their frank, dm. il-may cave spirit. This was a summer picnic scone; corks were popping till round, the led wine was gurgling, songs wore rii'igin;; out, tobacco was hl-tz.ing, pa. f tssoruv aero passing, all sweet and creamy, irom iug'd i-> band, tin* French las-ne? wei-e smiling their c-wc lest and tuclr cheeriest upon these grubby-whiskered, dusty British beys, and heaping tvi-coior favors upon them. —Aero's '-bee Way.--And there, arros.- the way. was. another le-ng train filling up with an..l her crowd of kl.c’M-"la4 heron,- tr.-sh in from the Homeland. cpiei; and span and iwff. and all taking their places, with tho ordered regularity of routine patade. Off to the groat fight—ready, eager, wilting, with their gear, their guns, end trmtr clattering besses, and at tn ■ »- m "i t:v r long l,a:n a i lean brown tiffed waggon, spins,;sd :n vivid red. with the" cret-s, „i Mt. Andrew. They had not the rcrn-.itest idea, wtiere thov were going. The ; ■ _v: Iby cf i ill. grim war was a. sealed vounno to them; thev were just going there, anxious to be in the thick c-t it, and with a. .-ahiime t'r.,‘.’e. in the mv.sterion-, silent machine tin:' vm, moving them on. Heath or gi-'ty J-oys T A great cheer swelled and swede',i agtin under the station roof as the train steamed out in quick obedimue to the call 1-t the front. —Xu (Hoce.ii 0 11 tho IV Id.- - "lion voyage' T-en voyagel.c-td In -k A waving of hats, and handkerchiefs, (lash upon flash oi red, bine, ana vs http of the little tricolor, a itch. Ivnrty Hritbh cheer to round it all Mr—and the liovs were gone; all om ice ti, and thrilling to tie there -and tire sconer there tho bettor. That’s the spirit wb,n hj. animated the scene at, Amiens on tin.- hntome August morning—a. opinl tor \amr v 1 1 ■ •■ rt : y approachable. V\ may hi- gloomy at homeand full oi sadness fir wnaf, nan bcfalicn. and uniat may he Mi! our smdter i; ui> tn tlli.s astounding ft niggle ; 1 ' n' i here i? no l.'-ki’H brooding over tho vn,-t ai ; ,;o ol this terrific ba'thffnel Tho nearer you march to the growl of the cun?, then the gayer will yon find our geinn, fettling -town to their gran bn-inf 1 -; .nth a Manchester month C'i'gun in Vena pad, -t and •• \Vp won't go homo HU nt'-riiag ' ■• t their kps. They have no mar. lacy a:- oain T'lp’.evs to a, man.
THE BRITISH SPIRIT, Issue 15634, 27 October 1914
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