H. C. / Sapper McNeile: THE WORLD WAR COLLECTION OF H. C. MCNEILE (SAPPER)
No Man's Land, Mufti, Word of Honour, John Walters, Sergeant Michael Cassidy, The Human Touch, The Finger of Fate, The Lieutenant…
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Herman Cyril McNeile (1888-1937) commonly known as H. C. McNeile or Sapper, was a British soldier and author. Drawing on his experiences in the trenches during the First World War, he started writing short stories and getting them published in the Daily Mail. McNeile's stories are either directly about the war, or contain people whose lives have been shaped by it. His war stories were considered by contemporary audiences as anti-sentimental, realistic depictions of the trenches, and as a "celebration of the qualities of the Old Contemptibles". "No one who has ever given the matter a moment's thought would deny, I suppose, that a regiment without discipline is like a ship without a rudder. True as that fact has always been, it is doubly so now, when men are exposed to mental and physical shocks such as have never before been thought of. The condition of a man's brain after he has sat in a trench and suffered an intensive bombardment for two or three hours can only be described by one word, and that is—numbed. The man becomes half-stunned, dazed; his limbs twitch convulsively and involuntarily; he mutters foolishly—he becomes incoherent. Starting with fright he passes through that stage, passes beyond it into a condition bordering on coma; and when a man is in that condition he is not responsible for his actions. His brain has ceased to work...” - H. C. McNeile, Men, Women and Guns
Table of Contents:
When Carruthers Laughed
Men, Women and Guns
No Man's Land
The Human Touch
Word of Honour
The Man in Ratcatcher
The Lieutenant and Others
Sergeant Michael Cassidy, R.E.