'Knowledge for all the family'
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This is a remarkable story of an English/Canadian fighting in World War I. Written by a soldier for soldiers and their families. Dedicated to: My American Friends And Brothers In Arms–This Frank Appreciation of Their Effort In France.
LIEUTENANT DAWSON, whose two war books, The Glory of the Trenches and Carry On, have had many sympathetic and admiring readers, was commissioned by the British Government to visit the American army in France, and in this book he gives an account of his visit. It is a vivid, prophetic statement of Americas programme in France. Its brilliant judgments are authoritative and based on observed facts to which no other writer has as yet had access.
THERE have been a good many questions as to what difference Americas participation would make in the war and how soon her weight would begin to tell. This book, which a combatant officer was drawn out of the fighting line especially to write on account of his grasp of American affairs, gives an answer to all such questions. It pays a glorious tribute to our boys over there, and will inspire faith and confidence in our army and in our Government.
The purpose of this book is to tell what America has done, is doing, and, on the strength of her splendid and accomplished facts, to plead for a closer friendship between my two countries. As an Englishman who has lived in the States for ten years and is serving with the Canadian Forces, I feel that I have a sympathetic understanding of the affections and aloofnesss of both nations; as a member of both families I claim the domestic right of indulging in a little plain speaking to each in turn.
In my appeal I leave the fighting men out of the question. Death is a universal teacher of charity. At the end of the war the men who survive will acknowledge no kinship save the kinship of courage. To have answered the call of duty and to have played the man, will make a closer bond than having been born of the same mother. At a New York theatre last October I met some French officers who had fought on the right of the Canadian Corps frontage at the Somme, We got to talking, commenced remembering, missed the entire performance and parted as old friends. In France I stayed with an American-Irish Division. They were for the most part American citizens in the second generation: few of them had been to Ireland. As frequently happens, they were more Irish than the Irish. They had learned from their parents the abuses which had driven them to emigrate, but had no knowledge of the reciprocal provocations which had caused the abuses. Consequently, when they sailed on their troop-ships for France they were anti-British almost to a man many of them were theoretically Sinn Feiners. They were coming to fight for France and for Lafayette, who had helped to lick Britainâ€”but not for the British. By the time I met them they were marvelously changed. They were going into the line almost any day and this was what had worked the change they had been trained for their ordeal by British N. C. O.s and officers. They had swamped their hatred and inherited bitterness in admiration. Their highest hope was that they might do as well as the British.
A small extract: A Tommy is reading a paper in a muddy trench. Suddenly he scowls, laughs rather fiercely and calls to his pal, jerking his head as a sign to him to hurry. Ere Bill, listen to wot this ere cry-baby says. E thinks were losin the bloom-in war cause e didnt get an egg for breakfast. Losin the war! A lot e knows abart it. A blinkin lot es done either to win or lose it. Yus, I dont think! Thank Gawd, weve none of is sort up front.
To men who have gazed for months with the eyes of visionaries on sudden death, it comes as a shock to discover that back there, where life is so sweetly certain, fear still strides unabashed. They had thought that fear was deadâ€”stifled by heroism. A must-have period account for any Veteran, families of Veterans, or WWI buffs. (Very Rare to find w