War Never Changes And Young Gentlemen Forget
In that cavalry mess I heard queer conversations. Those officers belonged to the old families of England, the old caste of aristocracy, but the foul outrage of the war, the courage against all ideals of civilization had made them think; some of them for the first time, about the structure of social life and of the human family.
They hated Germany, as the direct cause of war, but they looked deeper than that and saw how the leaders of all great nations in Europe had maintained the philosophy of force, and had built up hatreds and fears, and alliances, over the heads of the peoples whom they inflamed with passion or duped lies.
"The politicians are the guilty ones", said one cavalry officer.
"I am all for revolution after the bloody massacre. I would hang all politicians, diplomats, and so-called statesmen with strict impartiality".
"I’m for the people", said another.
"The poor bloody people who are kept in ignorance and then driven into the shambles, when their rulers desire to grab some new part of the earth’s surface or to get their armies going because they are bored with peace".
"What price Christianity?" Asked another, inevitably. "What have the Churches done to stop war or preach the Gospel of Christ? The Bishop of London, the Archbishop of Canterbury, all those conventional, patriotic, cannon-blessing, banner baptising humbugs. God! They make me tired"!
The Same Words
Strong words to hear in a cavalry mess! Strange turmoil in the souls of men! They were the same words I heard from London Boys in Ypres ("Wipers" 1914-18 World War 1) spoken just as crudely.
But, many young gentlemen who spoke those words have already forgotten them or would deny them!
‘Realities of War’ Philip Gibbs. Vol.1. P.244.
Five Sons of our family – Williams who died abroad, and all the others who died, so very bravely and with them!
Woolland Church, Blandford Forum. Dorset. England.
They will not be forgotten by us. In the first World War Montague Williams received a letter of commendation from King George V as 7 of the 8 boys all held commissions in the armed forces, 6 in the army and one naval, the 8th son still being at school.
The whole of last centuries of unmitigated human disasters, and the ones that start this century. The perpetrators and "humbugs" are not forgotten by us (normal people) and our leaders who have a ridiculous virtuostic superstition, compliance, and a complacency towards human life.
My Fathers three "pet hates" were small talk, ignorance, and war! In that order.
Mine are; poverty, small talk, ignorance and war. In any order.