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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

Silence filled a gap, and then I heard a dusty rhythm
of inarching feet; the troops were returning from the
drill-field up the road. Finally, from the open space
behind the officers' quarters,, a manly young voice
shouted: "At the halt on the left form close column
of platoons." Glitherland Camp had got through
another afternoon parade. I was in a soldier manu-
factory, although I did not see it in that way at the
time.

The cell-like room was already occupied by one
other officer. He transpired as an unobtrusive ex-
civil engineer—a married man, arid expecting to go
to France with the next draft of officers. He was
friendly but uncommunicative; in the evenings, after
mess, he used to sit on his bed playing patience with
a pack of small cards. It must not be assumed that I
found life in the Camp at all grim and unpleasant.
Everything was as aggressively cheerful arid alert as
the ginger-haired sergeant-major who taught the new
officers how to form fours and slope arms,, and so on,
until they could drill a company of recruits with
rigid assurance. In May, 1915, the recruits were
men who had voluntarily joined up, the average age
of the second lieutenants was twenty-one, and "war-
weariness" had not yet been heard of. I was twenty-
eight myself, but I was five years younger in looks,
and in a few days I was one of this outwardly light-
hearted assortment, whose only purpose was to "get
sent out" as soon as possible.

The significant aspects of Clitherland as it was then
can now be seen clearly, and they are, I think, worth
reviving. It was a community (if anything could be
called a community under such convulsive conditions)
which contained contrasted elements. There were the
ostensibly permanent senior officers of the pre-war

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