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Artillery NCO
G.W. Kimberley (from Hampstead, London)

Those who have not heard the firing of British artillery do not know the sound of thunder; from morning to evening, and throughout the night, all the artillery pieces bark, rumble, howl, from the field batteries to the famous 6 inch guns whose great voice dominated the din. It was said that artillerymen fired for pleasure, for the raw visual satisfaction of seeing, beyond the enemy wire, rising heavy clouds the colours of earth and sulphur. They themselves, calm under the replying German shells, got on with their hard job, khaki breeches and gaiters, tunic off, just in shirts, sporty and tidy at the worst moments.
The clean shaven face, under the flat helmet, this artilleryman has something childlike and mystical in his blue eyes which sometimes gives to these modern troopers the unexpected appearance of archangels.
And, the battle done, he will leave on the paved roads of Flanders, following the wonderful machinery, sanded, gleaming, polished, singing a quiet Tipperary, as a man pure in body and spirit, who knew about fighting courageously and about dying, if it were necessary, as a gentleman.