Subtitled “Love Letter of a Rookie,” this is a comic collection of letters a fictional soldier in training camp writes home to his girl. Bill is a private, then at some point he’s a corporal, then I think he’s a private again. He’s in the infantry, then the artillery, then the infantry again.
Through it all, he is a combination of Gomer Pyle and Amelia Bedelia.
“Some one say that we was the highest payed army in the world. Besides all this money we get our bed and board. I guess they dont know that in the army bed and board mean the same thing.”
“The other day we was all lined up in the company street and the sargent says ‘Inspecshun arms.’ I lays down my gun an rolls up my sleeves.”
“Dere Mable” was written by Edward Streeter and illustrated by G. William Breck, both of the 27th (New York) Division. Streeter is best known for writing “Father of the Bride.”
There were at least two sequels, “Thats Me All Over, Mable!” and “Same Old Bill, Eh, Mable.” It’s all very silly, but the endless toll of the dead and missing becomes overwhelming sometimes and this is the ultimate change of pace.
Sir Max Hastings is an award-winning British author and journalist. He has written 23 books, and this is the book he’s working on now, to be completed in time for the centenary.
Take a peek!
Sir Max Hastings
Donkeys played many roles in World War I. They hauled equipment and ammunition. They carried the wounded — Australian Pvt. John Simpson became a hero to the troops at Gallipoli, carrying more than 300 wounded men back on a donkey he caught in a field. He was killed May 19, 1915.
But donkeys also provided companionship and entertainment. Sunday’s Daily Mail has a report on a medal awarded to Jimmy the donkey, who was born on the Somme battlefield and became a beloved mascot to the Cameronian Scottish rifles. Ths Daily Mail says, “Jimmy will be honoured as part of an exhibition at the Cameronian’s Museum in Hamilton, which will reopen on April 4.”
Donkeys pulling a load of shovels.
Jack Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey bring a wounded man to an aid station.
Donkey racing behind the lines. Don’t put your money on the fellow on the right!
Blogger G.M. Griffiths takes a dim view of “War Horse” (available on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 3:
The title of his blog comes from a Wilfred Owen poem.
Move him into the sun –
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.
Horses on the Menin Road, headed for Gheluvelt.
Take a look at Alan Hewer’s graph of the publication dates of the WWI books in his collection. Awesome!