Where They Kill Captains: Memories of War 1914-19
Douglas H. Butler
A poignant account of life at the Front during the Great War, vividly relived by the author. Reflecting on his time as a teenager he related, ‘I was very young to be in command of a company at Passchendaele and, looking back, I realise that we were all so very young'.
With anecdotes of the horrors of experiencing the unimaginable scale of death and destruction, interspersed with humour, such as witnessing somebody painting the hairy bits of their body with creosote to discourage the ubiquitous lice, only to end up in hospital! The book also includes some very interesting advice on sex, love and marriage, which were usually far from the thoughts of the men; food was uppermost.
Time moved along its endless groove of boredom, terror, discomfort and good fellowship. The author recalls the pain of writing to families of those killed and, remarkably, meeting one man ‘returning from the dead', very appreciative of the letter's glowing tribute sent to his mother!