March 30, 2017

February 17, 2013

Simply Amazing Photos Of WWI That You May Have Not Seen Before (BONUS: IS THAT C.S. LEWIS?)

Some fascinating color pictures over at The Blaze, and I’m also excerpting their quote by C.S. Lewis below. Obviously, those of us living the good life have reason to be grateful.

Through the winter, weariness and water were our chief enemies. I have gone to sleep marching and woken again and found myself marching still. One walked in the trenches in thigh gum boots with water above the knee; one remembers the icy stream welling up inside the boot when you punctured it on concealed barbed wire.

Familiarity both with the very old and the very recent dead confirmed that view of corpses which had been formed the moment I saw my dead mother.

I came to know and pity and reverence the ordinary man: particularly dear Sergeant Ayres, who was (I suppose) killed by the same shell that wounded me. I was a futile officer (they gave commissions too easily then), a puppet moved about by him, and he turned this ridiculous and painful relation into something beautiful, became to me almost like a father.

But for the rest, the war – the frights, the cold, the smell of H. E. (high explosives), the horribly smashed men still moving like half-crushed beetles, the sitting or standing corpses, the landscape of sheer earth without a blade of grass, the boots worn day and night till they seemed to grow to your feet – all this shows rarely and faintly in memory. It is too cut off from the rest of my experience and often seems to have happened to someone else.

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1 comment

Thanks for posting this.  Having lived in NE France for a year while the Gartenherr attended L’Ecole d’Etat Major, I got to see many of the battlefields first hand.  A favorite memory is hunting for Chanterelle mushrooms along the trench lines near Rheims.  The memorial at Verdun is very sobering.  They still find bones in the fields, which are then interred at the ossuarium.

[1] Posted by Gartenfrau on 2-17-2013 at 08:39 PM · [top]

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