… with fixed bayonets, for the order to go over. My mind was a blank, except for the recurrence of S’nice S’mince S’pie, S’nice S’mince S’pie… I don’t like ham, lamb, or jam, and I don’t like roley-poley…

The men laughed at my singing. The acting C.S.M. said: “It’s murder, sir.”

‘Of course it’s murder, you bloody fool,’ I agreed. ‘But there’s nothing else for it, is there?’ It was still raining. But when I sees a s’nice s’mince s’pie, I asks for a helping twice…'”


For Veterans’ Day, an excerpt from Goodbye to All That, the World War I memoir by Robert Graves.

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One Response to ““We waited on the fire-step from four to nine o’clock…”

  1. david foster Says:

    One of the best books I’ve read on the social/psychological effects of WWI is Erich Maria Remarque’s novel The Road Back…not as well-known as his All Quiet, but an outstanding work. It makes a useful reading companion to Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory.

    I reviewed the Remarque book here:


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