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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

those peaceful war pictures which have vanished for
ever and are rarely recovered even in imaginative
retrospect.

My woolgatherings were cut short when the lec-
turer cleared his throat; the human significance of the
audience was obliterated then, and its outlook on life
became restricted to destruction and defence. A gas
expert from G.H.Q,. would inform us that "gas was
still in its infancy". (Most of us were either dead or
disabled before gas had had time to grow up.) An
urbane Artillery General assured us that high explo-
sive would be our best friend in future battles, and his
ingratiating voice made us unmindful, for the mo-
ment, that explosives often arrived from the wrong
direction. But the star turn in the schoolroom was a
massive sandy-haired Highland Major whose subject
was "The Spirit of the Bayonet35, Though at that
time undecorated, he was afterwards awarded the
D.S.O. for lecturing. He took as his text a few leading
points from the Manual of Bayonet Training.

To attack with the bayonet effectively requires Good Direc-
tion, Strength and Quickness, during a state of wild excitement
and probably physical exhaustion. The bayonet is essentially
an offensive weapon. In a bayonet assault all ranks go forward
to kill or be killed, and only those who have developed skill and
strength by constant training will be able to kill. The spirit of
the bayonet must be inculcated into all ranks, so that they go
forward with that aggressive determination and confidence of
superiority born of continual practice, without which a bayonet
assault will not be effective.

He spoke with homicidal eloquence, keeping the
game alive with genial and well-judged jokes. He
had a Sergeant to assist him. The Sergeant, a tall
sinewy machine, had been trained to such a pitch of
frightfulness that at a moment's warning he could

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