Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

ing ground at Ludd about noon. Clear dawn with
larks singing; large morning star and thin slice of
moon above dim blue hills. Firefly lights of camp

Starting off like that in the grey-green morning is
delicious. One feels so fresh, with one's long shadow
swaying on, and for the first two hours the country is
green and pleasant. After Ramleh (a white town with
olives and%fruit trees and full of British) it was very
hot and the road terribly dusty. No shadow at all now
and one ached all over and felt footsoreŚmarching
between cactus-hedges with motors passing all the
time and clouds of dust. At lunch the G.O. told a
story about some friend of his who was in charge of
a camp of Turkish prisoners; they gave trouble, so
he turned a machine-gun on them and killed a lot.
This was received with sycophantic ha-ha's from the
captains. Queer man, his lordship.

Note. Sensations of a private on the march. Left, left;
left-right, left. 110 paces to the minute. Monotonous
rhythm of marching beats in his brain. The column
moves heavily on; dust hangs over-it; dust and the
glaring discomfort of the sky. Going up a hill the
round steel helmets sway from side to side with the
lurch of heavily-laden shoulders. Vans and lorries
drone and grind and blunder along the road; cactus-
hedges are caked with dust. The column passes some
Turkish prisoners in dingy dark uniform and red fez,

guarded by Highlanders. "Make the -----s work.

Jock!" someone shouts from the ranks. . . . Through
the sweat-soaked exhaustion that weighs him down,
he sees and hears these things; his shoulders are a dull
ache; his feet burn hot and clumsy with fatigue; his
eyes are tormented by the white glare of the airless
road. Men in front, men behind; no escape. "Fall out