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Book Note: Ian Hay, All in It: "K(1)" Carries On: A Continuation of the First Hundred Thousand

I read this book about 27-Jun-2007. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1917. This note was last modified Saturday, 07-Jul-2007 16:17:04 PDT.

This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.


Courtesy again of Project Gutenberg, the second of Major Hay's tales of K1. I recognized his name when it first came by in Gutenberg from Heinlein's borrowing (with credit) of his organization chart for the Olympians (his polite term for what I suspect would be called REMFs today).

I'm treating this as non-fiction, hence spoilers are not possible.

They're now at Ypres, and the introduction makes it clear they'll be on their way to the Somme. And we know Hay himself makes it through, but that's about all we know. War One is not regarded so calmly and politely by people who know anything about it any more.

In fact, by the end of the book Hay and a very few of the original people are back at their club in London describing each other as wrecks. At least one is missing a limb or two, and they're talking about the dead. This book is definitely darker than the first one.

There's some discussion of their first sight and use of tanks, which was important (some of my sources think it more important than it seemed in these books).

Hay seems to have found the war confirmed his religious beliefs:

This spot is shelled every day—has been shelled every day for months. Possibly the enemy suspects a machine-gun or an observation post amid the tumble-down buildings. Hardly one brick remains upon another. And yet—the sorrowful Figure is unbroken. The Body is riddled with bullets—in the glowing dawn you may Count not five but fifty wounds—but the Face is untouched. It is the standing miracle of this most materialistic war. Throughout the length of France you will see the same thing. Agnostics ought to come out here, for a "cure."

An observation on politics that doesn't seem to have changed much:

"I know that, sir," admitted Wagstaffe quickly. "Thank God, these fellows are only a minority, and a freak minority at that; but freak minorities seem to get the monopoly of the limelight in our unhappy country."

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David Dyer-Bennet