Skip to main content
plainly, they weren't mobile men, although they had
been mobilized for the Great War. They were the
products of peace, and war had wrenched them away
from their favourite nooks and niches. The Com-
manding Officer was a worthy (but somewhat fussy)
Breconshire landowner. He now found himself in
charge of 3,000 men and about 100 officers, and was
inundated with documents from the War Office. His
second-in-command was a tall Irishman, who was
fond of snipe-shooting. Nature had endowed him
with an impressive military appearance; but he was
in reality the mildest of men. This kind and courteous
gentleman found himself obliged to exist in a hut on
the outskirts of Liverpool for an indefinite period.
There were several more majors; three of them
had been to the Front, but had remained there only
a few weeks; the difference between a club window
and a dug-out had been too much for them. Anyhow,
here they were, and there was the War, and to this
day I don't see how things could have been differently
arranged. They appeared to be unimaginative men,
and the Colonel probably took it as all in the day's
work when he toddled out after mess on some night
when a draft was "proceeding to the Front". Out on
the Square he would find, perhaps, 150 men drawn
up; discipline would be none too strict, since most of
them had been fortifying themselves in the canteen.
He would make his stuttering little farewell speech
about being a credit to the regiment; going out to
the Big Push which will end the War; and so on.
And then the local clergyman would exhort them to
trust in their Saviour, to an accompaniment of asides
and witticisms in Welsh.
"And now God go with you/' he would conclude,
adding, "I will go with you as far as the station. . .."