Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Yankee in the Trenches R. Derby Holmes

Bits Of Blighty

Page 4 of 4

Table Of Contents: A  Yankee in the Trenches

Previous Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

It was some weeks before the final formalities were closed up. The pension board passed on my case, and I was given the magnificent sum of sixteen shillings and sixpence a week, or $3.75. I spent the next few weeks in visiting my friends and, eventually, at the 22nd Headquarters at Bermondsey, London, S.C., received the papers that once more made me a free man.

The papers read in part, "He is discharged in consequence of paragraph 392, King's Rules and Regulations. No longer fit for service." In another part of the book you will find a reproduction of the character discharge also given. The discharged man also receives a little silver badge bearing the inscription, "For King and Empire, Services Rendered." I think that I value this badge more than any other possession.

Once free, I lost no time in getting my passport into shape and engaged a passage on the St. Paul, to sail on the second of June. Since my discharge is dated the twenty-eighth of May, you can see that I didn't waste any time. My friends at Southall thought I was doing things in a good deal of a hurry. The fact is, I was fed up on war. I had had a plenty. And I was going to make my get-away before the British War Office changed its mind and got me back in uniform. Mrs. Puttee and her eldest son saw me off at Euston Station. Leaving them was the one wrench, as they had become very dear to me. But I had to go. If Blighty had looked good, the thought of the U.S.A. was better.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

My passage was uneventful. No submarines, no bad weather, nothing disagreeable. On the eighth day I looked out through a welter of fog and rain to the place where the Statue of Liberty should have been waving a greeting across New York harbor. The lady wasn't visible, but I knew she was there. And even in a downpour equal to anything furnished by the choicest of Flanders rainstorms, little old New York looked better than anything I could imagine, except sober and staid old Boston.

That I am at home, safe and free of the horrors of war, is to me a strange thing. I think it comes into the experience of most of the men who have been over there and who have been invalided out of the service. Looking back on the awfulness of the trenches and the agonies of mind and body, the sacrifice seems to fade into insignificance beside the satisfaction of having done a bit in the great and just cause.

Now that our own men are going over, I find myself with a very deep regret that I cannot go too. I can only wish them the best of luck and rest in confidence that every man will do his uttermost.

Page 4 of 4 Previous Page   Next Chapter
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
A Yankee in the Trenches
R. Derby Holmes

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004