Mark VII in Étaples - July, 1916

from A Subaltern on the Somme, page 13:

Off parade there is little to do. We write letters: eat and drink in the mess: talk or play cards in the hut. And whether we like it or not, we listen to the eternal gramophone. At every hour of the day, and half the night, some gramophone is going. Up the slope the pitiful wail is carried on the breeze: If you were the only girl in the world And I were the only boy. A pathetic hymn before battle. Yet it serves as a reminder that, under many layers of treacly sentiment, the human heart still beats: even this war cannot remove that organ. Nero did well to play the fiddle: the gramophone …   more >>
cite as

Mark VII, A Subaltern on the Somme (New York, 1928), p. 13. accessed: 24 June, 2024

location of experience: Étaples


Mark VII
pacifist, Soldier, Writer

Listening to

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If You Were the Only Girl in the World

Experience Information

Date/Time July, 1916
Medium playback
Listening Environment in the company of others


Max (Mark) Plowman served with the 10th Yorkshire regiment. Invalided home in 1917, he was the only serving soldier to be court-martialled for refusing to return to fight. He later became a pacifist.

Originally submitted by hgb3 on Tue, 03 Jun 2014 17:57:51 +0100