Young disabled soldiers at the Fourth London General Hospital
British nurse Eva Dobell (1867 - 1963) served in many hospitals during the war. She used to write poems about some of her patients. Here follows Pluck:
Pluck Crippled for life at seventeen, His great eyes seems to question why: with both legs smashed it might have been Better in that grim trench to die Than drag maimed years out helplessly. A child - so wasted and so white, He told a lie to get his way, To march, a man with men, and fight While other boys are still at play. A gallant lie your heart will say. So broke with pain, he shrinks in dread To see the 'dresser' drawing near; and winds the clothes about his head That none may see his heart-sick fear. His shaking, strangled sobs you hear. But when the dreaded moment's there He'll face us all, a soldier yet, Watch his bared wounds with unmoved air, (Though tell-tale lashes still are wet), And smoke his Woodbine cigarette.
To the frontpage of The Heritage of the Great War.