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THE HIGHLANDER’S REVENGE

[From the London ‘Sketch.’] This is the war of unnamed heroes. Here is the story of a Highland soldier. We do not know his name; probably we never shall. If we did know it we would write it in letters of gold where all men might see it. For his is the name of one of Nature's gentlemen. A comrade tells the story in a letter from the front. This is not journalism, or the picturesque writing nf a semi-official eye-witness. It is simply a little thing the soldier had seen, which seemed worth mentioning in a letter home. The regiment was in one of the districts which the cultivated Germans had just loft. They had left the usual relics of their passage —burned homes, dead civilians, tortured women. Out of the village ran a woman whose clothes had been taken from her. The Highland soldier took off his kilt and wrapped her in it. I said we would write up his name if we knew it in letters of gold. I was wrong. Such deeds cannot be decorated. You cannot ornament these things with words. A rough soldier- did what seemed right to him. It happened to bo a deed of chivalry. Beside this place the true story told by Maurice Barres in a French newspaper. A French doctor was talking to a wounded German Guards officer in hospital. He could not conceal his horror at the German atrocities on civilians. “I suppose,” said the German, ‘‘you will treat our people presently as we have treated yours?” “Certainly not,” said the doctor. “Why not?”'said the German. The doctor answered: “Noblesse oblige”— honor forbids. One more incident from the slums of London. A poor woman living in a back street, with a son at the front in a cavalry regiment, confessed that her daughter-in-law gave way to drink. “Why doesn’t her husband give her a thrashing?” she was asked. “Oh, my son ain’t that sort,” said the soldier’s mother. I have seen the photograph of this young guardsman. Ho is a giant of about 6ft oin. If any dare-devil doings are on foot ho is in the middle of them, so his mother says. He has the face and physique of a fighter, and I have no doubt it is true. By this time he may be dead. But, if so. we are certain that he has gone down fighting again-t men, and not against women and children. Why have I mentioned these three true stories from the war? Because the time is coming when the Allies will be in the position the Germans are in now. Sooner or later—it may lie next month, it may be next year—Britain and France will be invading Germany side by side. \\ hat is to be the nature of our tv'eago? So ne of the special--rs of the war—:.ot the soldiers and sailer. —have been urging already the ..Id ,-avage doctrine ; “ An eye ior an eye, a tooth for a tooth." Fre ,ch and Be! aian homes have been burned ; then burn the Germans’. Unnanieakle ami innumerable atrocities have been commilted against the old, the women, the children, the wounded. Repay atrocity for atrocity, balance lives by 'lives! It you ever feel like that, remember that rough men brought up in a Highland vill. t ,e or in the slums of Whitechapel and Wupping have a different standard, liven in time of war they will not fire on old men and children; even in a conquered country they will treat women with the reverence they would give their mothers; if they cannot be emperors’ sons they will be men. So there must be no atrocities in Germany. Wo can answer for ourselves and our French and Belgian allies. The Russian officers, we are equally confident, will restrain those of their troops, if there be any, who are tempted to repay the Germans in their own coin. Ours is a nobler revenge. We shall repay barbarities with humanity, atrocities bv respecting the laws of war. Again: “Noblesse oblige.” “My son ain’t that kind.”—" The Man in the Street.”

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141126.2.13

Bibliographic details

THE HIGHLANDER’S REVENGE, Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

Word Count
686

THE HIGHLANDER’S REVENGE Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

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