- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Six Weeks, the book about British junior officers in World War I that I’ve mentioned before, here is a stanza from a poem by Sub-Lt. A.P. Herbert, who fought at Gallipoli, and later saw his battalion destroyed at the Somme:
We only want to take our wounds away
To some shy village where the tumult ends,
And drowsing in the sunshine many a day,
Forget our aches, forget that we had friends.
I really like those lines. The emotion they convey is more complex than it may first appear, especially the last five words.