From our 'War Picture of the Week' Archive
Young disabled soldiers at the Fourth London General Hospital.
British nurse Eva Dobell 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.
More on young soldiers in our article They die young: Kid Soldiers of the Great War.
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