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Zouave (see in Wikipedia) – Jules Maljette (from Boule-sur-Suippe)

Is the expression of sadness which is conspicuous on the face of this soldier due to the sufferings he endured, the bitter emotions of the days of attack, the anxiety of lengthy bombardments, the horror of incessant rain, the mud, the misery that is the lot of the fighting man? Or is it due to the memory of his hamlet nestled in the greenery on the banks of the river Suippe, which leaves a kind of long trail of freshness in this most scorched landscape upon earth? What is there left of his village? Some houses remaining in enemy hands for the whole of the war, were turned upside down, destroyed, violated, and also underwent shelling from our own side. In the never-ending landscape of war which is this unfortunate region of la Champagne, ruins have succeeded ruins for century upon century: and even if the valleys are pleasant, with the smoke from chimneys rising into the blue sky, the great plain tells of the field of battle, invasion, ruin and death. Melancholy soldier, who dreams of his home country, will he have the joy of regaining it, with bayonet held high, when the bells have rung out for victory, when peace has returned, in the bruised villages of poor Champagne?