Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. II (14 January 1916 to 31 January 1917)
EX ZA CRSZE.At Anzac. Man of 9th Bn. with Camera waiting to snap. 8"-2" Turk How shell bursting - Shell falls within 3 or 4 yds of him. When asked whether he had snapped it - replied "No, the damn thing didn't burst".
Trench Warfare - Times - 17/5/16.
One writes of these things lightly because it is
so that every soldier here speaks of them. As a matter of fact, the daily struggle that goes on is a terrible thing, and the man in England who speaks casually of our Army as "doing nothing" speaks blasphemy. Along the 90 miles of our lines it is practically one continuous battle, in which, though only a small portion of the men may be at any moment actually engaged, every man stands always in the shadow, under greater or less intensity of fire all day and liable on any night, of death, to be thrown without warning into a hand-to-hand, body-to-body death struggle of the most horrible character.
Infinitely more dreadful than any of the
ruined cities of Belgium or France, with all the unspeakable outrages that they saw, is the ribbon of land, over 400 miles long, which winds across Western Europe, one continuous field of blood, where the two armies have now stood locked for a year and a half until the very face of the earth has become unrecognizable, and half of it is one vast graveyard. In comparison with it all the battlefields of the world are no more than playgrounds. To those at home who have not seen any part of it it should be a thing to think of only with reverence and to speak of with awe.
[end of newspaper cutting]
War - months of intolerable boredom punctuated by moments of intense terror.