While the pirates battle the British, Barbossa says he thought Jack was a hard man to predict. But Jack reveals his trickery and frees Will, who fights Barbossa's men, while Jack himself fights Barbossa. In their duel, Barbossa stabs Jack, seemingly killed, but Jack reveals that he holds a piece of cursed gold and is now immortal like the other pirates. The two immortals continued to fight until Barbossa attempts to kill Elizabeth, in which Jack fatally shoots Barbossa with the pistol.
After Will drops the last two coins, stained with his and Jack's blood, into the chest, the curse is lifted. Human once more, Barbossa bleeds from the bullet wound lodged in his heart. Barbossa says "I feel In a post-credits scene , Barbossa's body still laid at Isla de Muerta when his pet monkey, Jack, steals a gold coin from the stone chest, thus cursing itself once again.
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About a year after his death, Barbossa is resurrected during the second film, although he does not appear until the final scene. During the scene at Tia Dalma 's shack, when "Jack" the Monkey was freed, the monkey ran to the back room, where only two boots are seen, alluding to Barbossa being resurrected. Jack Sparrow also holds Barbossa's feathered hat briefly.
After Jack Sparrow was dragged to the depths by the Kraken , Tia Dalma tells his crew that they'll need a captain who knows the waters of world's end, revealed to be Barbossa, who enters and says "So tell me. What's become of my ship? To stand together, the Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court are called upon to convene at Shipwreck Cove, their only hope to defeat Beckett, who has now taken over the seas.
In a shaky alliance, the newly-resurrected Barbossa leads a desperate quest to gather the Brethren Court because of an accord he made with Tia Dalma , also known as the sea goddess Calypso imprisoned in human form. In exchange for his resurrection, Barbossa had to summon a meeting so that the Brethren can free Calypso and convinced her to come to their aid.
To rescue Jack, Barbossa joins forces with Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and the Black Pearl crew, who must first travel to Singapore and confront Chinese pirate Sao Feng to gain navigational charts that will take them off to world's end. During a meeting with Feng, Barbossa reveals that they are planning to retrieve Jack Sparrow, whom Feng holds a grudge over.
After the East India Trading Company attacks his bathhouse, Feng is persuaded to give them the charts and a ship, the Hai Peng , although only after making a deal with Will. There they find Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl , though he initially believes Barbossa's crew to be hallucinations. After a brief reunion, Jack had no choice by to join in an increasingly shaky alliance with Barbossa, who had the charts that could lead them out, and to convene with the Brethren Court. Once aboard the Black Pearl , Barbossa and Jack continually bickered on who is captain.
While searching for an escape route, Barbossa was among the crew who saw the deceased Weatherby Swann , much to Elizabeth's sadness and learned that whoever stabs Davy Jones' heart will become immortal. Barbossa later saw Jack Sparrow solve the riddles in the charts "Sunrise sets, flash of green" and "Up is down" that indicates they must capsize the Black Pearl in order to escape the Locker; at sunset, the ship upturns back into the living world. After returning to the living world, the crew go on an island and stop to restock supplies.
Distrustful of one another, both captains go ashore with a landing party, leaving Will temporarily in command. While ashore, Barbossa and Jack find the dead Kraken washed ashore of an island. While looking for fresh water, the Black Pearl is ambushed by Sao Feng. Will Turner made a deal with the Chinese pirates, which was to have "Captain Turner" have the Pearl to free his father, though Feng later betrayed Will.
Believing Elizabeth is Calypso, Feng demands she be traded to him for the Pearl , which Barbossa approves of. Elizabeth, furious over Will's deception, agrees to go with Feng to protect the crew. The Black Pearl attacks the Endeavour , allowing Jack to miraculously escape, much to Barbossa's jealousy, before sending Will to the brig. Barbossa and Jack now sailed for Shipwreck Cove. The mystic demonstrated her abilities by briefly turning Barbossa's right hand rotten, cautioning him of his fate should he fail her.
Barbossa, in turn, reminded her that she was the one who needed him; she resurrected Barbossa so he could help retrieve Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker and summon a meeting of the Brethren Court since only the nine Pirate Lords had the power to release Calypso from her bones.
Barbossa then ordered Pintel and Ragetti to lock Tia Dalma in the brig, ensuring she is unable to escape before the Brethren meeting, while Barbossa himself remained on deck, glancing at his right hand. With Beckett and the Flying Dutchman on their way, Elizabeth said they should fight, but the Pirate Lords thought they can stay hidden as the island was a fortress. Barbossa proposed to release Calypso, but the other lords remain opposed, however, fearing the sea goddess' power and retaliation.
The Lords continue to argue over going into hiding and releasing Calypso until Jack agreed with Elizabeth in saying that they must fight. To Barbossa's annoyance, Jack calls for a vote, the first eight Lords vote for themselves, and Jack breaks the stalemate by voting for Elizabeth. As the pirates prepare for battle, Beckett's armada arrived in which the two sides parleyed.
Before leaving, Barbossa takes Jack's piece of eight, which he uses along with the other pieces to free Calypso within an incantation. Barbossa pleads for Calypso's help, but her fury creates a giant maelstrom. Amidst the combat, Will and Elizabeth are married with Barbossa as captain, presiding it.
By the end of the battle, a mortally-wounded Will stabs Davy Jones' heart, before Barbossa steers the Pearl out from the maelstrom. Jack and Elizabeth escape the Dutchman before climbing aboard the Pearl. Despite Barbossa's objections, Jack orders the crew to prepare for attack while Beckett has the Endeavour move to attack the Pearl. But the Dutchman resurfaces with Will at the helm, as the new captain of the now-human crew of the Flying Dutchman. Both the Pearl and the Dutchman sail to the Endeavour and fired a full broadside, which ended with Beckett's death.
While docked in Tortuga, Barbossa stole the Black Pearl once again and left a dinghy in its place. While feeding Jack the Monkey , Barbossa was asked to show the "item" he told his crew about in the navigational charts. Barbossa agreed to it and said their next voyage was towards the Fountain of Youth. However, when Barbossa opened the charts, he and the crew only discovered that the middle of the map has been removed. Seeing the hole, Barbossa said "Sparrow" in anger. Prior to this, Barbossa lost the Black Pearl after an attack by Blackbeard.
While meeting the King, Jack Sparrow was offered to guide an expedition to the Fountain of Youth before the Spanish locate it; heading the expedition is Jack's old nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa, who now wears a peg leg and uses a crutch. When Barbossa had entered the room, he suggests to King George that Jack should be manacled to avoid escape, but the King refused.
Upon being asked by Jack of the fate of the Black Pearl , Barbossa revealed that he lost the Pearl , and his leg, saying "I defended her mightily enough, but she be sunk nonetheless. That night, Joshamee Gibbs , who was arrested prior to Jack Sparrow's meeting with King George, found himself being dragged by two guards towards Barbossa, who came to question Gibbs about Jack's whereabouts. Realizing Jack was headed to the Fountain of Youth, Barbossa threatened to hang Gibbs unless if he'd offer anything for the search for the Fountain. Gibbs then pulled out the map Jack had shown him. Barbossa commanded Gibbs to hand the map over, but Gibbs grabbed a lantern and smashed it on the map.
As the map was in flames, Gibbs reveals that he memorized every route and destination on the map. Gibbs then pointed at three Spanish galleons sailing towards them. Barbossa, Groves, and Gillette immediately ordered the crew to battle stations; however, the galleons simply passed by without fire.
Barbossa deduced that the Fountain of Youth was the prize and they weren't worth the time to sink. Knowing that they fell behind in the race to the Fountain, Barbossa ordered the crew to make more sail. Later, Barbossa ate slices of apple from a fine silver plate before Lieutenant Commander Groves approached to report rumors of their destination.
Barbossa revealed that they were sailing to Whitecap Bay , home of mermaids. Though the crew murmured in fear, Barbossa managed to inspire confidence by asking them if they were King's men, and so Barbossa ordered the Providence to set full sail for Whitecap Bay. Shortly after arriving at Whitecap Bay, Barbossa's landing party witnessed mermaids attacking the other crew members aboard the Providence. Though Barbossa ordered to continue the search for the Fountain on foot, believing the crew aboard the ship to be already doomed.
Groves refused to abandon his men but reconsidered after Barbossa pulled a pistol on him. As the Providence sunk beneath the waves, the rest of the crew followed Gibbs on their next heading. Making their way through the jungle, Barbossa started collecting frogs, claiming it's "an old man having a hobby"; though he really needed the frogs to poison his sword with.
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Looking at his jar of frogs, Barbossa said, "Fortune continues to favor us. The two old rivals and ex-captains of the Black Pearl join forces as they infiltrated the Spanish camp until they were captured and tied to palm trees. It was in their captivity that Barbossa revealed his true agenda: he only wants revenge on Blackbeard for attacking the Black Pearl , which forced Barbossa to sacrifice his own leg to escape.
They were a courtesy, a kindness. While their primary function was to allow the receiver to gain further employment, they were also an acknowledgement of their hard work, and usually written by someone the receiver respected and admired. References are still, undoubtedly, all of these things — but now, of course, the subject rarely has a copy, and employees rarely keep them for any length of time.
Both are highly complimentary. Hadow was Professor of Education at Armstrong College while Thomson was in turn a student then lecturer. Both had in common a love of music — Hadow frequently wrote on the topic, while Thomson was a skilled pianist. He was an inventor, and experimented widely with wireless telegraphy. Part of the reason these references meant to much to Thomson is because they were unique, and written in the hand of men whom he had a great deal of respect for.
While archivists are widely encouraged to see the beauty in bit code as much as they can illuminated letters a gross exaggeration on my part! Which is a shame, because however biased they may be which they are supposed to be — they are, after all, the opinion of the writer! He was born three years after Thomson, and died a few short months after sending this letter. He is credited as one of the few psychoanalysts who successfully bridged both academic psychology and psychoanalysis.
Following his retirement in , he was appointed special lecturer. Throughout this time, he managed to balance lecturing on psychoanalysis alongside working with Spearman, thus utilising both an emotional and cognitive approach to understanding the human mind. As his obituarist, Roger W Russell, argues:. During the six years I knew him personally, he occasionally discussed the conflicts which these two roles had produced, for he believed that such conflicts could not be resolved by accepting one role and abandoning the other. He felt strongly that the two approaches were working towards similar, general goals, toward a better understanding of human relations, and he did all he could to encourage each to proceed as far and as rapidly as possible.
Flugel rather eloquently comforts Lady Thomson:. We were so fond of you both, and we felt we had suddenly lost a friend whom we both loved and admired…at such moments, little poignant memories keep creeping in…all of them rousing tender and nostalgic feelings. Our hearts go out to you who have to bear the chief burden of his loss, but we are only too aware of the many who must be mourning with you today and perhaps the thought that your sorrow is so deeply and so widely shared may help in some measure to ease the sad and heavy burden.
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Personal archives from any period of change are significant. This is perhaps their greatest value. My favourite item from all the collections I have worked with in the past 10 months is a beautiful album in the Moray House collection. This initiative was likely very similar to the Polish School of Medicine, set up in the University of Edinburgh during World War II with the aim of training Polish students and doctors in the armed forces almost immediately, civilian students too were accepted.
Students were trained in Polish, and could obtain Polish degrees. The album itself is a beautiful object — the colours, the drawings, even the positioning of the photographs. For me, however, what really makes this object wonderful is the informality of it, the spontaneous photographs and the witty captions combine to make it, in contrast to the formal staff and student photographs, a real snapshot of life at Moray House as the students knew it.
Following German and Soviet occupation, hundreds of thousands of Polish people were deported from their home country — many of the students trained at the Polish School of Medicine would never return. At such a time of sadness, upheaval, and uncertainty for the students, it is wonderful that, nonetheless, they took the time to thank Thomson for his kindness in such a thoughtful way. The order was conferred by the President of the Polish republic in recognition of his services to Polish interests during the war.
The geneticist Francis Crew also had the award bestowed on him. It is generally awarded, and has been since , for outstanding contributions to education, science, sport, culture, art, economics, national defence, social work, civil service or diplomacy. The vast majority of those awarded are naturally given to Polish nationals. Thomson has often proved an illusive character to those researching his history — in oral testimonies from those he worked with or who studied under he has in turn been described as reserved, friendly, quick tempered, even tempered, etc.!
All of history seems to be contained in the letters of ordinary people living in extraordinary times. We may know what backdrop will emerge, but there are seldom enough traces to discover the fate of the individual. But the mood in the letter quickly turns:. Much has happened since we met and took those pleasant walks in the parc [sic] of the Spielberg. Our country was involved in a catastrophe which is bound to have the most serious consequences for its citizens.
The old conditions cannot continue and some new form of political and economic existence must be found. The first consequence was that we had to separate from our children. We wished to have the girls out of the way and asked Mr and Mrs Sanderson and Dr Fernberger for hospitality for our children.
We got positive answers at once and managed to get the girls across the German frontiers. It was in the nick of time, for three weeks later the frontiers were closed. There is much about the letter that is perplexing — initially, I thought Urban might have been writing from Brunn in Austria, but for the addition of the umlaut both Germany and Austria have regions called Spielberg to confuse matters further. He could also have been writing from Brno in the Czech Republic, which does not seem an unlikely option considering Brno is home to Spielberg castle and was captured by Germany in However, it does seem rather unlikely that Urban would use the German spelling of his town in that instance.
The complicated plan involved separating the two major elements of the British fleet and using a screen of submarines to torpedo the slow capital ships. I do not have a good grasp of naval warfare, and this battle—the only truly big steel-ships-and-guns battle in European history—is quite complicated, but, hopefully, a brief summary should suffice to prepare us for the responses of various Britons.
Despite the superior gunnery of the British fleet—and, once combined, its greater size—the initial engagement revealed a major design flaw that resulted in the swift sinking of three battle cruisers. Reading up on the battle after some years is shocking, even after—in fact because of—my many-months-long immersion in trench warfare.
The British ships were well armored against broadsides, but when a few German shells hit at long range, they plunged through the thinner armor over deck and turrets. Exploding below decks, their blasts rushed through the open hatchways that connected the British guns with their magazines deep below decks. Naval combat, too, has its special horrors: flash fires spread through steel rooms; ships are saved only by flooding burning areas before ordinance is ignited, drowning the men who remain below to save those stationed higher up; if the fires are not contained, the chain explosion of shells tears the ship apart; concussed and burned men who are thrown clear are likely to drown.
The Queen Mary was struck twice and rent by internal explosions, capsizing and sinking within minutes. Twenty men were rescued, 1, died. The Invincible may have been hit only once, but this shell too plunged through and ignited a magazine. Invincible broke in half and sunk in ninety seconds. The Indefatigable was hit several times and also blew up, settling quickly as internal explosions tore out its keel.
Although more men may have been blown clear, they would have been sucked under by the displacement of the sinking ship. The British fleets drew together, and a running battle was fought as the Germans, their plan negated despite the destruction of the three battle cruisers, withdrew toward their bases. Although they mostly eluded the British Grand Fleet, one modern German battleship was sunk, along with ten smaller ships, while the Royal Navy lost eleven more smaller ships.
In the wake of this sudden carnage, the debates began—and they continue. But for our purposes another simple summary will do: Jutland is a very good example of a tactical victory that is also a strategic defeat for Germany, that is. As tactics gives way to strategy, so strategy yields to Grand Strategy which seems like it should be capitalized. Therefore, in order to starve Britain, Germany would keep its battleships in port, turning instead to its submarines in a broadcast campaign against merchant shipping.
After all that blood and steel, it feels curious to return to our usual matter of little movements among writerly soldiers. This is the appallingly thin character of Lily: a wan, unfortunate girl, ill-used, and now rising toward nineteenth century middlebrow novel sainthood through her improbable and steadfast love for Phillip…. Her first, partial martyrdom was to an abusive older man. He arrives today, a century back, and Williamson allows us, surely, to date his arrival: .
Phillip tottered off the gangway at Boulogne having, as he said to his companion from Victoria, catted up his heart, despite the fact that the crossing from Folkestone had been made in sunshine on a blue and waveless channel. Fear had taken the heart out of him: fear of being sick: fear of the idea of having to face machine-guns again. The apparition of death from the back of his mind had come forward to share his living thoughts, so the voyage had been a semi-conscious froth of nausea, of endurance despite abandon. While the transport had been crossing, with its destroyer escort, there had been a constant heavy thudding of guns.
Either the Big Push had started, along the coast towards Ostend, or there had been a naval battle. When the ship docked, they heard: the German fleet had come out, and there had been a tremendous battle in the North Sea… The Golden Virgin , Once again I have failed in my resolution to streamline this project. First, I want to suggest reading an excellent and spectacularly a propos prose piece by Hector Munro a.
Take my love that died to-day. Lay him on a roseleafbed,— He so gallant was and gay,— Let them hide his tumbled head, Roses passionate and red That so swiftly fade away. Let the little grave be set Where my eyes shall never see; Raise no stone, make no regret Lest my sad heart break,—and yet For my weakness, let there be Sprigs of rue and rosemary.
Brooke ish, and sentimental, but not bad for all that. And can we read toward the turning of the poetic tide just a bit? In addition, Hodgson will shortly write a prose sketch set today, a century back. And I remembered the chill of the water round our middles as we forded the river, where the mist still hung in wreaths, and the heavy dew on the grass. I remembered, too, how, as we sat in a cottage and ate lemon-curd and bread, a clock struck eight; and how we girded ourselves and ran, and were in time for callover at nine, whereby was great renown to us for many days; and how I slept, in my oaken seat at matins.
But his companion that day was Nowell Oxland , killed at Gallipoli. It must have been a day of melancholy thoughts for the often high-spirited Hodgson. He is young, full of life, a believer in divine Providence and a patriot, and yet he is unwilling to leave thoughts of despair unexpressed, unwilling to betray memory, denying its pain by sentimentalizing the past or putting loss to utilitarian not to say militarist purpose.
What else would we ask, really? Before Action , Third, then, Bim Tennant , gallant and gay, wrote a rather lengthy fairy tale fantasia in verse at some point during this month. And as we jogged along the road, the night grew wondrous fine, And out of the Hills the Hill-folk came, and the Down-men, all in a line, Their packs right full of their elfin gear, and their flasks of their trollish wine…. The good folk passed and silence fell, save where among the trees Their elfin jargon echoed back and sighed upon the breeze, Like channeling mice in barley shocks, or humming honey bees.
But scarcely had the word been said, when down a lapin track, Behold the goblin slowly come, bent double beneath his pack, And slow and mournful was his stride, for ever a-glancing back. Then over a knoll and under a stile, until my eyes were sore, I watched him go; so sad an elf I never did see before…. Silent I stood and thought to hear across the open Down, Some lingering lilt of a goblin song from pixie squat and brown, Or perchance to spy some faerie dame in her dewy cobweb gown.
Such verse should be the text for some winsome Pre-Raphaelite woodcut, and yet it comes from an ante-room of hell on earth…. Fourth, then, T. Cameron Wilson weighs in. Who is he writing to, today, and with a poem? Memory, and death, it seems, are the themes for June the First:. Every time I met him he used to show his very white teeth in a huge smile of amusement, and we got very pally when it came to real bullets — as men do get pally, the elect, at any rate.
Well, the other day there was a wiring party out in front of our parapet — putting up barbed wire rusted to a sort of Titian red. You have to keep still as a statue in whatever position you happen to be in, till it dies down, as movement gives you away. All his poor body was riddled with them, and one went through his brown throat. When I went over his papers I found a post-card addressed to his mother. It was an embroidered affair, on white silk. We had to collect what had been a man the other day and put it into a sandbag and bury it, and less than two minutes before he had been laughing and talking and thinking.
War Letters , He laughed. His blue eyes searched the morning, Found the unceasing song of the lark In a brown twinkle of wings, far out. Great clouds, like galleons, sailed the distance. The young spring day had slipped the cloak of dark And stood up straight and naked with a shout. The wet earth reeked and smoked in the sun. He thought of the waking farm in England. His heart beat faster With a new love for things familiar and plain. The Spring leaned down and whispered to him low Of a slim, brown-throated woman he had kissed.
He saw, in sons that were himself again, The only immortality that man may know. And then a sound grew out of the morning, And a shell came, moving a destined way, Thin and swift and lustful, making its moan. A moment his brave white body knew the Spring, The next, it lay In a red ruin of blood and guts and bone. Nothing could know How death blasphemed all men and their high birth With his obscenities. Already moved, Within those shattered tissues, that dim force, Which is the ancient alchemy of Earth, Changing him to the very flowers he loved.
Is this the sailor-boy himself, mildly alchemized to verse, and a victim of shell rather than machine gun? So nothing more in the way of commentary. But still, on this busy but less-than-Glorious First, we have a few updates for the month:. But this month he finally went: like C.
Montague , Buchan has been absorbed into the expanding bureaucracy of the Intelligence branch. He makes his first visit to France early this month—just missing his friend Raymond Asquith at G. An active leave: today, a century back, he was married to Pamela Maude at St Martin-in-the-Fields, with the Bishop of London presiding. The honeymoon will last a few days only, for the young brigade major is needed back on duty.
Armageddon Road , And Herbert Read , whose sporadically preserved writing about his experiences as an officer of the Green Howards has been of little use here yet , will return to the front this month, after recuperating from a barbed-wire-related injury. He has just mustered up the courage to tell his devoted sister, Annie, that he is bound for the front.
I asked my boss for the day off and went to Aldershot. It was bleak. I stood there begging him not to go. He said goodbye and disappeared into the distance… Journey to the Trenches , Moses had much to say about slavery and oppression, about violence and the potential human heroic response…. Finally, then, Siegfried Sassoon , in a brown study. Two new officers in C Company since Stansfield went—G. Williams, who was hit a year ago; and Morris—Sandhurst one. Neither of them at all interesting. I only wish he would. Diaries , A rare letter today from Max Plowman.
- Historical Precedent?
- Amazing Stories/Volume 01/Number 01/Off on a Comet—or Hector Servadac!
- Hector Barbossa!
Plowman has always been an outlier, here: thirty at the outbreak of war, he was newly married and a convinced pacifist when he decided to join the Ambulance Corps. Last year, Plowman went through the same agonizing self-examination that Olaf Stapledon has recently been submitting to.
If he was participating in a war he hated, he might as well fight. Recently, however, Plowman became a most unusual subaltern indeed: not to be content with metaphorical fatherhood to a platoon, he is become an actual father. May 20th Next, a letter from Hector Munro , a. If something were wrong, if something were horrible, he would find a way to reassure, to neutralize, or simply not to mention it…. We are for the moment in a very picturesque hill-top village, where we have been twice before; I had a boisterous welcome from elderly farm-wives, yard dogs and other friends.
The Square Egg , And finally, today, Siegfried Sassoon is back from Fourth Army School, ending both an idyll and a blank expanse in his diary:. My last day at the Fourth Army School. A cloudless hot morning. Numerous generals rolled up for the bayonet work, wiring, etc, and two mines were exploded; a brown spuming hill of loose earth and chalk is hurled skyward; the ground shakes and rocks; then there is a sound like a rain-storm gone mad, and downward whizzing of clods and lumps, and stones, and the hiss of smaller stuff: then a huge fountain of smoke goes up over the debris, rising like a figure with draperies and writhing arms to melt into nothing….
Acres of green barley and rye and wheat and oats, besomed by the breeze, and leagues of rust-coloured ploughland. O those leagues of open country, glorious under the sky! The villages look so clean with their white cottage-walls and charming orchards and gardens; so different from the same winter-villages of squalor and mud and chilliness.
How May changes everything! And the roads that wind away over the ridges; what magic is in their hidden miles; and to what happy places might they lead? Dear lands of Nowhere. Any road that leads away from the trenches is a good road. No one else in the bus but me and my friend seems to take any notice of the country we pass. Soon we are rolling down a long hill, and the town lies below between the wooded ridges; the usual tall trees lining the river-side; the distant towers and roofs and chimneys and surrounding tree-muffled country, seen through the haze and dust of the hot glaring afternoon sunshine….
Oddly enough, Abbeville interrupts the reverie by provoking Sassoon with too many examples of undistinguished-looking English officers. This is Sassoon the late-Victorian snob, seeking and believing that he fins quality in bearing and appearance…. Coming home, the bus dashed and lurched along in the warm, dark, starry night: along the white road—with trees slipping to meet us out of the gloom—like people surprised, standing still and hoping not to be noticed—some of them looked as if cut out of cardboard—stage-trees—in the white glare of our headlights.
And at other times I could fancy their boughs were laden with glimmering blossom—but it was only the light shining on the young green leaves…. A literary day, today. We begin, today, with a letter from Saki to his sister. It is most definitely of a certain type:. For the moment, in a spasm between trenches, we are in a small village where I have found excellent Burgundy, but we leave this oasis in a few hours.
This is one way to write home about the trenches: keeping it light for prim maiden sisters. Charles Scott Moncrieff , meanwhile, has been catching up on his reading. We are in billets for six days in a rather gloomy large village, solid stone houses, solider here in Artois than they were in Picardy. I suppose its always been a richer country.
I have two chilly little rooms, in what ought to be a comfortable farm. Three houses run together, with a fine stone front on to the street. They all have big stone gateways of an impressive appearance. Two others are in another farm, and the remaining three in a bleak room with a tiled floor and a serviceable-looking stove.
After a description of his responsibilities in billets—sitting on a court martial, restfully enough—Moncrieff turns to his reading, always a favored subject of discussion. It seems interesting, more a revelation of R. Memories and Letters , We will have more on these developing tastes as they… develop. And speaking of taste, it is thank you note season for Edward Thomas , who has recently celebrated a birthday. First this one, written on the 9th:. It was rather funny seeing the men all take one of the large ones, except Benson. The day has been as it were one grand sweet song—with dates to begin with at breakfast.
I must be 39 or 40 by now, with this fresh birthday or birthdays. I have felt like it once or twice, but not on account of your parcel or your letter. He is only thirty-eight, the silly. I was looking forward to quarrelling over my M. But I hear you have made a selection and I shall have to argue it out through Helen unless it is just my own….
And then there is the possible misunderstanding of the promised monocle. Is Farjeon unaware that Thomas is not, in fact, very happy about his first promotion? That, rather, he is chagrined to have been left single-striped rather than promoted to full corporal? The monocle will be splendid. When is it coming? The only thing is I doubt if a lance-corporal can wear one except in the privacy of the hut. It will be a great success there….
But Thomas did get away for the weekend after all, and he made a great deal of progress in terms of editing his recent poetry. Farjeon, the crucial first reader and fair-copier, seems to have missed the editing and selecting after all. In a letter almost certainly written today, a century back, Thomas sends her a selection of poems and hopes to meet her in London once he gets his new army assignment. Interestingly, he once again emphasizes that the thing he now values most about army life is the comradeship.
Of course, if our fellowship were not going to be broken up I should in many ways like to stay—largely for the out of door work. But if we are split up I should prefer town. However, if I do get put in charge of the map work in one company as I may I shall perhaps be a sergeant all the sooner and wear a bayonet and get photographed… Edward Thomas … Here are 40 to select from. Most of those I remember your liking are here. What is happening to Form? This businesslike letter reveals a more confident Edward Thomas.
First of all, he sends out a large sheaf of poems to a poetic friend and simply asks him to choose. Which he will, 18 of the 40 for a coming anthology.
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And Thomas even prods Bottomley to produce the intended periodical Form. This will come out about four months late—quite good by wartime poetic standards. And finally, today, alas for the poor—for they are poorly documented. We talk little of Isaac Rosenberg here, as there are only a smattering of letters—few of them dated—discussing his travails since the misery-driven decision to enlist late last year. Recently, however, things have been looking up: a bullying officer departed, and a more sympathetic second-in-command succeeded in relieving Rosenberg of some of the harassment that had been his lot.
It was not a coincidence that the new officer was also a Jew. This lightening of the load had immediate effects. Slow, rigid, is this masquerade That passes as through a difficult air: Heavily-heavily passes. What has she fed on? Who her table laid Through the three seasons? What forbidden fare Ruined her as a mortal lass is?
How is this, ruined Queen? Who lured her vivid beauty so To be that strained chill thing that moves So ghastly midst her young brood Of pregnant shoots that she for men did grow? Where are the strong men who made these their loves? God pity your mood! There is something of Keats here, too, but a Keats distilled not just through a cloudier post-Romantic alembic but with an eye on the future.
This may be ponderous, derivative. We check in today with two of our demi-semi-regular correspondents, both, as it happens, writing to their sisters. First, Hector Munro, a. Saki , our least likely soldier and, bar Montague, our eldest volunteer now in France. We are holding a rather hot part of the line and I must say I have enjoyed it better than any we have been in.
There is not much dug-out accommodation so I made my bed consisting of overcoat and waterproof sheet on the fire-step of the parapet; on Sunday night, while I was on my round looking up the sentries, a bomb came into the trench, riddled the overcoat and sheet and slightly wounded a man sleeping on the other side of the trench. I assumed that no 2 bombs would fall exactly in the same spot, so remade the bed and had a good sleep.
Got some chocolates from Reynolds and his book with a very charming dedication to myself. A lot of owls come to the trenches; they must have a good time as there is a large selection of ruined buildings to accommodate them and hordes of mice to prey on. Especially when they are being written by a famous writer of comic short-stories to a sister who pretty plainly does not qualify as a confidante.
A near miss! Noel Hodgson , recently decorated for his role in the Battle of Loos , wrote to his sister Stella today, a century back, enclosing a new short story. The two share a much more open and honest relationship than Munro and his sister, but there is also utility here. Noel is hoping that Stella can help shepherd his writing—both poetry and prose—into print:. Herewith part 1 of another chatty series for the obliging periodicals, entitled After Dinner , Over the Port , Through the Smoke , or anything else you like. Part II to follow in a day or two. Fit and well yes? All very cheery here; love to all.
During dinner the man on leave had delivered an epic. It followed them through the Givenchy craters and Festubert marshes, on marches southward and northward, among shellings and bombings, short rests and heavy labours. It told of the slow welding of the new regiment, when the fresh drafts came rolling in from the Base, of worries and perplexities surmounted. The young adjutant took out his cigar and examined the end carefully, with a tightening of his cleanshaven lips. Almost an analogue of the experience of Robert Nichols , if there had been no sympathetic officers and doctors to intervene.
Physically unscathed, he is, of course, deeply psychologically shaken, then further weakened by illness in the days that follow. A few days later Cockburn is in a front-line trench when another big shell drops in, burying one man and blowing another to pieces. Cockburn is first thought to be killed, but he is soon found away from his post, wandering, confused. The officer tries to defend Cockburn when he is court-martialed, but the battalion doctor considers the man a coward and a liar.
He gets no sympathy, either, from the soldiers who guard him. They torture him by reminding him constantly that he is likely to be shot for desertion. He steals a rifle, intending to kill himself, but he cannot do it; he shoots himself in the foot instead. Suspect S. Alas, then, that this grim story—written in recent weeks and sent off to Blighty today, a century back—was, while certainly melodramatic, all too plausible.
The actions he describes, the other casualties; even the replacement medical officer whom the old hands thought inefficient. It is interesting, though, that he chose to tell a story which highlighted the strain of war and the consequences of a mind pushed beyond its limits. So, a piece of fiction, and a slight one. This is a story that the men in the trenches would write, but the Staff would not approve, and the papers would not print… Stella will have no luck getting this one before the eyes of a still-innocent or still infantilized public. Christmas Day was warm and rainy in northwest Europe, a century back.
But it naturally brings us a blizzard of date-able experiences. First, today, our happy huntsman Siegfried Sassoon. This country looks very attractive in the mild rainy weather. Rode after lunch out by Warlus and back through the woods behind Mericourt. The Somme valley looked fine in the twilight; and the country westward with its wooded ridges against the yellow sunset low down under the dark clouds; the many little roads winding away over the slopes, wet roads gleaming in the last light climbing and sinking, the roads that lead to the nowhere of romance.
Dear are these fields and woods, dear the solitary trees against such evening skies. I am glad to be alive this Christmas, riding home in the dusk after a day with the hounds , the little horse stepping it out, and my heart musing in the old silly way—then only the bare brown fields and the dark woods. And as I rode up Warlus road in the gloom I met an old man with leather leggings and a great blue cloak with a pointed hood, and he stopped to peer at me, as if he were startled at my young face and the gallant little horse, so lighthearted—a dragon-slayer, perhaps.
I slew the dragon in my heart when the war began, and it was only a little wheedling thing after all. Christmas night was jolly, by the log fire, the village full of maudlin sergeants and paralysed privates. Paralyzed by drink, that is. Avert the omen. Yet surely Siegfried his namesake, too, a dragon-slayer should have stayed his horse and hearkened closer to the wisdom of this Picard Gandalf? In the very same battalion as our angelic dragon-slayer is John Bernard Adams , who chose a more traditional—or at least more indoor—Christmas.
Sassoon reveled in horse and countryside, while Adams took advantage of free Saturday bus rides into the nearby city of Amiens, and found his angels in the architecture, swimming in infinity:. Now, here again I was in touch with eternal things that wars do not affect…. I was at vespers there on Christmas afternoon, and was then impressed by the wonderful lightness of the building: so often there is a gloom in a cathedral, that gives a heavy feeling.
But Amiens Cathedral is perfectly lighted… my imagination flew back to the building of the cathedral, and to the brain that conceived it, and beyond that again to the tradition that through long years moulded the conception; and beyond all to the idea, the ultimate birth of this perfect creation… Nothing of Importance , Young Charles Carrington had joined up as soon as he could—in the summer of , when he was only seventeen. Therefore he had been left behind when his battalion embarked for France in the summer, to anguish miserably with an unhappy reserve unit.
Until today, a century back:. Edward Thomas has got his, and spent several days at home, reunited with his entire family, his son Mervyn having just returned from nearly a year in America. Wilfred Owen , slated for the next leave rotation, had to spend Christmas Day in Romford. A promised Christmas parcel did not materialize, but the day was far from a washout. As he tells his mother in a note penned tomorrow, he managed two Christmas Dinners, one in his hut with his platoon mates, and the other at the Williamses, a local family whose sons he had befriended:.
Your dear, lovely letter reached me this morning. It was the one thing lacking yesterday to make my Christmas the happiest possible, away from Home. I had no letter, parcel or card whatsoever yesterday; but I had my consolations. The Plenty that overpoured in our Hut of good things was noised all over the Camp. And not long after I got to the house, we began my second Christmas Dinner, rarely good… Afterwards we played Charades, exactly as we played at Home….
We went to Church Parade this morning as well as yesterday. The Major read the Lessons. Collected Letters , And back to France, where Frank Richards has settled into trench warfare better than most. Signallers were a sort of privileged caste—they had their own work to do the repair of telephone and telegraph lines seems to have taken much of their time and it was dangerous work, in well-shelled places—but they also had much more freedom of movement and were exempted from ordinary fatigues.
We had a grand Christmas dinner. We bought two chickens and pinched seven. We eighteen signallers had plenty to eat that day… Old Soldiers Never Die , Another older soldier—but young in the trade—was Hector Munro , a. Saki, the satirist. Am spending a quaint Christmas in a quaint town. The battalion is in the trenches. While Shepherds watched their flocks by night All seated on the ground A high-explosive shell came down And mutton rained around. Tidings of comfort and joy. Ah, but there is a war on yet. Worse, the first hours of Christmas Day were the last hours for Mr. Clark, an unusually tall officer who had been hit by a traversing machine gun late Christmas Eve.
It was impossible to evacuate him over the open, flooded ground, so he died where he was hit, and his body stayed there throughout the day. Our thoughts turned to home and our loved ones on Christmas Day. No letters came; no parcels; nothing. The soggy rations were of the meanest kind, the only pretence at Christmas being a few raisins covered with hairs and other foreign matter from the inside of a sandbag. Stretcher-bearers came after dark for the dead young officer.
They had a terrible job carrying him over the duckboards. Later that night we became aware of activity in front of the German positions opposite us, where the ground rose slightly. In fact it was the most careless bit of enemy movement in our experience, causing us to wonder whether it was thought that, because it was Christmas night, we would refrain from hostile action. Although mere enlisted men of a humble line regiment this is sarcasm aimed at Raymond Asquith , who ordered a basically identical maneuver a few days ago , Coppard and a comrade took the initiative, moving out from their island in order to stalk the German working party.
This time, at least, British technology ably abets British aggression:. Leaving the rest of the team on the island, we took the Vickers with muzzle-extension attached and a full belt of ammo. We stealthily worked out way thigh-deep in water until we came to a point fifty yards clear of the island, where we lay on a mound of wet earth….
I fired a Very light into the darkness. Its brilliant white glare clearly revealed the figures of twenty or more Jerries spread out near their wire to a width of thirty yards.