16 June 2008

Base Details

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
I'd live with scarlet Majors at the base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You'd see me with my puffy, petulent face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honour, "Poor young chap",
I'd say --- "I used to know his father well;
Yes we've lost heavily in this last scrap."
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I'd toddle safely home and die --- in bed.

[Siegfried Sassoon, 1918]

The difference now is that the people sending our young men and women up the line to death are rather "wet" than "fierce"; I'd be very surprised if they bother to read any Rolls of Honour - it might discomfit them in making their initiative-led decisions; and they are unlikely to know the families of anyone who does make the ultimate sacrifice, on the home front or abroad - given how few MPs have ever served, in any sense, military, civil or voluntary.

Almost a hundred years have gone by since Sassoon wrote these words. But the words echo down the ages all the same.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Dr Melvin T Gray said...

OFF TOPIC:
I draw attention to fraudulent postings on coppersblog by the author(s). A presently unknown proportion of postings are neither submitted by, or otherwise emanate from, serving police and members of the public. Inventions placed on the blog by the author(s) may be falsely credited to a specific sender. Alternatively, a genuine sender may find his/her views distorted or totally substituted by the blog author(s).

Citizens of the UK must never countenance dishonesty in police officers. Any reader with experience or personal knowledge of fabricated reports on the blog should email melvin.grayconcern4justice@btinternet.com

23 June, 2008 08:29  
Anonymous Dave H. said...

Sorry, a bit late for a comment, ABGC.

Before becoming a minister, our current Secretary of State for Defence was a solicitor, specialising in child law. He has no military experience whatsoever. And he's part time.

I'm sure this won't affect his ability to empathise with our Armed Forces.

07 July, 2008 12:15  
Blogger staghounds said...

ON TOPIC:

It's long been my belief that every politician who votes to send men to war should have that vote immediately followed by being uniformed and included in that initial effort, as a trigger puller with a rifle, passenger on the airplanes or, in the case of the navy, something in the lowest hold of the most exposed ship.

And their spouses, children and grandchildren, if of age.

If sacrifice is so important, go right to the head of the line, sir/madam.

02 September, 2009 14:41  
Blogger Justlia From TGR said...

nice

10 January, 2012 09:22  
Blogger MCA said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 January, 2012 05:38  

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My views are my own and would probably not endear me to my dear employers.