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THE BRITISH SOLDIER

CRACKS JOKES AT DEATH

A tale of warfare from the British camp in France, vivid with description of the way the British forces faced death on the battlefield, of the jokes they cracked and the prayers they paid with the bullets sweeping their rank?, was brought into Ne\y York by the Rev. James Moller, of Trenton, N.J.. who served, as chaplain for several weeks with one of tho British regiments in France, and returned home on September 25 on the Mauretania. " In the modern battle there is an overpowering sense, of unreality." he said. •'The business of seeing men kill each other seems mechanical becaus-> of the preponderance of the machine element in the .affair. The human clement simply bleeds and die*, but the machines continue in their perfection of slaughter. " The conduct of the English and Irish soldiers in the trenches was surprising. There those, men stood behind shoulderhigh mounds of earth facing level sprays of death in front, yet cracking jokes and singing snatches ol music-hall ballads between volleys. Stupendous bravery, 1 call it. or stupendous absence of nerves. " I have heard men under the crashing of the fire of the terrible German guns. and with comrades dropping all about them., unite in roaring ' It's a Long Uoad to Tipperary ' as if th.rv were in the barracks. Sometimes I'd hear a bit; Irishman call out to ;• neighbor in the trenches. 'Well I winged that Dutchman all right.' The business of killing with them seemed personal, and to partake somewhat- of ;; sporting event.

"But how the Hermans di,l pound th.o British lino at .Mops. They came on and on, nevor stopping, never faltering. The Merman commanders threw their men into the face of the British fir- with absolute reek legless .-ownting >.u the sheer weight of numbers to overwhelm i;s.

" To see these German lines move forward through glasses was like watching regiments of tov soldiers pushing across a table."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141106.2.65

Bibliographic details

THE BRITISH SOLDIER, Evening Star, Issue 15643, 6 November 1914

Word Count
324

THE BRITISH SOLDIER Evening Star, Issue 15643, 6 November 1914

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