The Heroic Pageantry of War
It was not until June 1915 that Gibbs received full credentials as a war correspondent with the British armies on the Western Front. It took a further six months for the Commander-in-Chief, recognising that civilian support was necessary ‘to hearten the troops’, to agree to relax the censorship a little. Thereafter, Gibbs ‘wrote all that was good to write of the actions day by day’ although he ‘had to leave out something of the underlying horror of them all’ (24). In 1920 he was still having difficulty with more than an appropriate ‘code of words’; continuing to write about ‘German hordes’, ‘punctilious chivalry’, and ‘the beau ideal of knighthood’, he was revealing his retention of a whole cast of thought which the War had revealed as archaic. In 1920 he himself was knighted for his war work.
Because there was no code of words which would convey the picture of that wild agony of peoples, that smashing of all civilised lands, to men and women who still thought of war in terms of heroic pageantry. (4)
KeywordsSteam Propa Petrol Smoke Trench
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