"He was seated on the edge of a white-covered cot, one eye concealed by a bandage, the other, bloodshot and swollen, staring off in to a corner of the ceiling. In the stare, in the pendulous foot, in the limp hands lying over his knees was a singular air of detachment hard to understand until it was whispered to me that it was not his bandaged eye that kept him there, but shell shock, that penalty of modern warfare ..."
"The concert went on: lugubrious songs, all without accompaniment, with verses that ran into double ﬁgures. “Don’t go down the mine, daddy,” and songs of the “Little Irish Rose” and “Shamrock” type were the most popular; several again of the “Scotch Whiskey” variety ...."
"But the chief favorite of all Home Songs is, I think, the following:
There's an old-fashioned house in an old fashioned street,
In a quaint, little old-fashioned town;
There's a street where the cobblestones harass the feet,
As it struggles up-hill and then down; ..."
"A new type of trenching-tool cover is suggested by two members of the Army Medical staff. This cover is designed with several strong “snaps” by means of which it may be fastened to the front of the soldier's blouse or coat, at the left, as shown in our illustration. In this new type of trenching-tool cover is suggested by two members of the Army Medical staff. This cover is designed with several strong “snaps” by means of which it may be fastened to the front of the soldier's blouse or coat ... In this way the trenching tool becomes automatically, when not in use, a protective shield for the heart ..."
"The British were waiting for trouble, and the probability is that they got it very shortly after this story ends. It was the night before an expected German attack and, in preparation, reserve positions were being manned at the strategic points behind the British first-line trench, which had been made ready for such an emergency long before , but which had never been occupied. As a result there was little of the comfort here that is possible in a trench. Many of the dugouts were flooded, and all were damp and disagreeable. ... "
"It is a curious paradox of the greatest war in history that one of the afflictions, which fall on so many of those who wage it is that of boredom. In literature, this state of feeling may be termed ennui; in the B.E.F. it is described as being "'fed up.' ..."
"It is safe to say that many a soldier fighting with credible valor for his country at the present time enlisted in the first place to escape the dull daily routine of his civilian life ... What disappointment and disillusionment he must suffer now, if reports be true, to find that, in the trench life that has come to be synonymous with war, routine is even more rigid than at home! ..."
"In his trench the soldier will feel at ﬁrst strangely lonely. That ditch is like one of those ‘mystic mazes.’ He only sees the sky. Then he feels a sense of security the Germans can’t get at him down here. Then he has another feeling— ‘They can't see me, but I can't see them, either! They might be coming in here any minute! What are they doing?’ And he has an irresistible desire to stick his head over the top! ..."
In the trenches one evening a battalion of the Leinster Regiment held a 'kailee' (ceilidh), or Irish sing-song, at which there was a spirited rendering of the humorous old ballad , 'Bryan O ’ Lynn,' sung to an infectiously rollicking tune . The opening verse runs: ..."
"...over all broods a most appalling silence. To talk of the noise of war is a commonplace — shell shock and 'trench nerves' are only too real; but the silence of the trenches ... is equally a thing to be felt and endured. ... none of them could have imagined the trench silence, which brings, not relief, but apprehension. ..."
"They have been digging almost till the late, dreary dawn, for entrenching-tools are not available till after midnight ... Digging with grim, grudging concentration to the soft whir of stray bullets flitting bat-like this way and that ... "