Slike strani

was making. They were reports from papers, scraps of translation, and bits of diaries recording what commanders had said to their men as they went into battle.

I am copying out three of them for you. Perhaps you might like to send them on to Harry.

The first is the address given his men of the Expeditionary Force by Field Marshal Kitchener. The men were told to keep it in their active service paybook which they always carry. It goes as follows:

You are ordered abroad as a soldier of the King, to help our French comrades against the invasion of a common enemy.

You have to perform a task which will need your courage, your energy and your patience.

Remember that the honor of the 3ritish army depends on your individual conduct.

It will be your duty not only to set an example of discipline and perfect steadiness under fire, but also to maintain the most friendly relations with those whom you are helping in this struggle.

The operations in which you will be engaged will, for the most part, take place in a friendly country, and you can do your country no better service than in showing yourself in France and Belgium in the true character of the British soldier by being invariably courteous, considerate and kind.

Never do anything likely to injure or destroy property, and always look upon rioting as a disgrace

ful act.

You are sure to meet with a welcome and to be trusted. Your conduct must justify that welcome and that trust.

Your duty cannot be done unless your health is sound, so keep constantly on your guard against any excesses.

In this new experience you may find temptation both in wine and women. You must entirely resist both temptations, and while treating all women with perfect courtesy you should avoid any intimacy.

Do your duty bravely. Fear God and honor the King.

Another was the address made by a Japanese officer to his men just before they went into a charge. It is one of the noblest utterances I know:

Soldiers: Some of us will not be so fortunate as to have the honor of giving our lives for our country to-night, and we must endeavor not to give them unnecessarily, as they may be wanted for another occasion.

The strangest of all was an order once issued the Russian army by General Dragomiroff of

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In the battle the soldier is sentinel; do not let your weapon fall from your hands, even in death.

Take aim for each shot: shooting right and left only amuses the devil.

Be careful with the cartridges, for if you shoot at distance, you will find an empty case when you ought to have a full one. For a real soldier thirty cartridges would suffice in the hottest fight. Pick up the cartridges of the wounded and dead.

God protects the brave.

The good soldier has no sides or back-the front is always to the enemy.

Always face cavalry-let it come to 200 paces, fire, fix bayonets, stand firm.

In war you will neither eat nor sleep your fill; you will be worn out. That is war, and it is a difficult trade even for a soldier; but it is terrible for a soft soldier. But if it is hard for you, it is no better for the enemy. You see only your own trouble, not his; all the same it is there. So do not be discouraged. You will conquer! "He who perseveres to the end shall be saved."

Victory is not gained by one blow. Sometimes you will not succeed at the second or third-attack a fourth time, and more often if necessary, until you have attained your end.

He who leaves the ranks during a fight to help the wounded is a bad soldier and not a man of feeling. His comrades are not dear to him, but his skin is. Beat the enemy and all will be well, the wounded as well as the whole.

Never leave your place in a march. One minute, and you are 120 steps behind. March gaily. Rest is not even for all at bivouac. Some sleep, some watch.

If you are in command, keep your men together solidly; give them reasonable orders, and do not

command them as you would a brute. Begin by saying what they must do, so that every man will know where and why he goes.

Die for your faith, for your Tsar, for Russia; the Church will pray for the dead, and also for those who will live to get honor and glory.

Never ill-treat the inhabitant; he will supply your bread. The soldier is no brigand.

Let your clothing and weapons always be in order. Take care of your gun, your cartridges, your biscuit and your legs as if they were your eyes. Wrap your feet well in linen, and rub them with fat: it is good.

The soldier must be strong, brave, firm, just and pious. May God grant him the victory!

Heroes, God leads you. He is your General!

A camp in the United States. DEAR OLD MOLLY:

Three months ago this was a farm. A little whitewashed stone farmhouse stood near the road with its red barns and cow sheds on the hill behind. Before it, to a wood a mile or more away, stretched the fields, with corn in tassel, and rustling wheat, and apples greening on the bough.

To-day seven hundred buildings stand there -barracks and store sheds and artillery stables and power stations and water towers and the myriad mushroom shacks of construction work. Macadam roads circle the camp and cut through it. Down toward the wood is a huge drill ground with the corn stubble still standing. The corn shocks now hang from stanchions in grewsome rows against the sky, like murderers on a gallows tree; and eight hours a day men rush at them with bayonets and stab into the heart where the golden ears


Stand wherever you are, and on all sides are men drilling in company streets, before barracks, in corners of the fields, along the great macadam highways. They are eternally marching, wheeling around, counting off. In a few weeks these thousands of men will move and act as one. When the hour of attack comes they will respond subconsciously to commands, think about them as little as you and I do about breathing and walking.

The purpose of military drill is to reduce men to a common factor. First they receive the uniform, which molds them into a standardized being; then they are drilled to standardized actions. In the hour of battle the commander will know exactly what his men will do. Without this endless drilling they

would be nothing more than a uniformed mob -cannon fodder at best.

These men were all taken by the selective draft-plucked out of jobs, from family hearths, off the streets. They represent all walks of life, kinds of work and professions, social and educational classes. The men here and those in the fifteen other cantonments total much more than a million. Their transfer from civil life was effected by the agency of public opinion speaking through the enactment of Congress. In no country in the world has such a universal and democratic movement ever taken place. Objection to it was negligible. Most of the men, once they had broken off the old ties, were keen for the life. They are better fed, live more regular and normal lives, and consequently are in better health than they ever were before. All this, Molly, is the will of the people.

If you want to see democracy in the working, visit a cantonment. Here you see the very practical side of our nation. And that practical side is this: that in a democracy we are all equal shareholders. The country's prosperity is our prosperity, its danger is our danger. And as we share its prosperity, so must we share its evil times and be willing to defend it against their repetition.

America will have a million better citizens in a few weeks. For here, as nowhere else, a great amalgamation is taking place. In these sixteen cantonments scattered over the coun

try we have set up our melting-pot, and the fire that burns under it is the ardor of patriot

Although I hate the destruction of war, as every just man should, I know that this war has come to us as our great spiritual opportunity. Kipling has put it in a verse:

Then praise the Lord Most High
Whose strength has saved us whole;
Who bade us choose that flesh should die,
And not the living soul.

We have held our liberties too lightly. We have taken our freedom as a matter of course. Now comes the test. Do we care enough for liberty to defend it? Is it so sacred to us that without it life is not worth the living? This time a year ago these were banal questions, the rubber-stamp phrases of bombastic Fourth of July orators. Suddenly they assume reality and become a live thing.

To the 30,000 men in this camp the ideal

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

"I'm beginning to see that the persons who wrote 'Keep the Home Fires Burning' and 'Over There' have done an immeasurable amount for the people"

of American freedom being imperilled is absolutely vital. It is their business to know and to prevent it, just as a few weeks ago it was their business to earn bread and clothes and shelter. No discipline is too great if that is the end.

And these men are going to the work with a song on their lips. They are being trained to face death light-heartedly, as befits gentlemen. Nightly for a week now I have heard them in the Y.M.C.A. halls, crowded on to the benches, singing for dear life. Last night three thousand of them packed the big auditorium. And what do you think was their favorite? A fine, rollicking ballad with the refrain:

God help Kaiser Bill!

They sang it over and over. They stamped their feet to it. They waved their arms. But from a rollick it became a solemn event; from a street ballad a hymn of heroes, a prayer of dedication.

God help Kaiser Bill!

I hope He does. I hope He helps him see the light before it is too late. For, as the other song that these men sing goes,

We won't come back till it's over Over There!

Camp ——.


You have heard George and me speak of Barker, Sidney Barker? He was with us in college, in the class below. A whole-hearted sort of chap, with a twinkle in his eye. He used to have a fine voice too, and was in great demand at college affairs.

For the last ten years he has been in the automobile business, making money hand over fist. He had a big house and entertained a lot. His boy-the only child-was up at college and was graduated this June. The first day out of college he joined the army and went across with Pershing. Just a private.

He did it with his father's consent. Barker always was a big man.

But as the days went on, Barker realized that giving his son to the cause was not enough. He wanted to give himself.

He and Mrs. Barker talked it over, laid their plans and, before the week was out, they were ready to throw up their own interests and join the big game. He sold out his business, sold his house and most of the furniture, gave half

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


UT of the ever-changing death struggle on the plains of Picardy, with its promise of victory, its spectre of defeat, one thing stands forth unchangeable day by day-the duty of the Red Cross.

better now.
It is a live thing to them, a real
presence the presence of America and all that
she has been and will be.

Behind the bloodstained battle lines misery is again on the road. As in nineteen fourteen, the refugees-old men, women, and children— carry the helpless on shutters; the bird cage and the improvised cradle make their appearance on the muddy roads; the trains are loaded with the wounded. In Paris, civilians lie crushed beneath the ruins caused by air raids and bombardment, while the railway stations are crowded with the fleeing refugees from northern France. It might be nineteen fourteen over again.

Only this time there is a difference.

A bit of bunting sliding down a pole. Three thousand men at salute. They call the ceremony "Retreat." I think of it as worship.

For to army men this nightly lowering of the flag is an act of supreme worship. They take it down with honor, for with honor it was placed there. They receive it tenderly, because they love it. In its presence they are reverent because to it they present the offering of their opportunities, their hopes, even their very existence.

Crusaders battling to defend the Sacrament. Soldiers to defend the Flag, fighting for a Real Presence.

The Month's Progress


Along the roads stretches a chain of relief stations, established by the Red Cross, in coöperation with the French and British governments; at every camp food and warm clothing are supplied by the Red Cross, and at all congested points soup kitchens operate; at the Northern Railways station in Paris the cars of the Red Cross and the Fund for the French Wounded wait, and the Red Cross gives aid and comfort. The civil population of a small province has been evacuated with a minimum of suffering by transforming all the various departments of the Red Cross in Paris into one single unit to grapple with the task.

And in their fighting lies the better part of worship. For theirs is worship that presupposes action, service, sacrifice. Here nightly men dedicate their lives.

Remember that whenever you see the flag. Remember the men who have died for it and will die. Remember these men standing in the dusk, rigid with reverence.

So far as military relief is concerned, the same efficiency is observable. A single illustration, indeed, can demonstrate the difference between nineteen fourteen and nineteen eighteen where the wounded soldier is concerned. In three hours, recently, all the splints, ac

« PrejšnjaNaprej »