Excerpt from The Defeat of Austria as Seen by the 7th Division: Being a Narrative of the Fortunes of the 7th Division From the Time It Left the Asiago Plateau in August 1918 Till the Conclusion of the Armistice With Austria on November 4, 1918
The writer tells his tale so tho... roughly that I can add nothing to it. He has gone to great trouble to ensure accuracy in detail, and his information is in every case first hand. He knows every yard of the country in which the fighting took place, knows where all serious opposition was encountered, because he personally super intended the burial of nearly every fallen soldier. He was also, I regret to say, often where the senior chaplain of the Division should not have been during the actual battle.
At the time the 7th Division embarked on its last fight, it had never been in better fettle. It had had enough fighting during the past year to ensure that all had been thoroughly shot over. It had had great advantages of training, and its musketry was not far below the standard of the Contemptible little Army of 1914. Its losses had been light since the fighting for the Passchendaele Ridge in 1917. Officers and men knew each other thoroughly. It had great faith in its British commander-in-chief, who had led troops from success to success during the whole war.
To all these factors can be ascribed its small losses in the final battle.
It was in fact stepping up to its chin, feeling rather that its place was in France and fearing that the curtain would ring down on the great war before it could claim its share in the final down fall oi the Hun.
I cannot close this introduction without some reference to the Padres. I sometimes wonder if it is fully realised what class of man the fighting soldier wants as his Padre in the field. He does not want a man who simply comforts him when he is sick and wounded. He does not want a man who only preaches to him, or carries out the many good acts that daily fall to his Pastor's lot in time of peace. He wants a man who lives his life, who can D him into heaps when he deserves it, who knows every trial and trouble that besets him, but who is man of the world enough to be tolerant and realise he cannot be made a saint in a day. He wants a man who not only sets him an example in his daily life, but who will also do so, when necessary, over the top.
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