NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
16 April, 1917 : In driving rain and chill mist, British, Canadian and Australian troops launched their spring offensive against Germans manning the famous Hindenburg Line opposite Arras. In the first hours all the main objectives were secured and over 2,000 prisoners taken.
The Canadians found the German defences had been completely wrecked by British bombardments, but rain had turned the trench system into a vast morass. The eight tanks operating with the Canadians were all trapped in mud. The men, who are now slogging through enemy lines, were, only yesterday, to be seen in scores of village squares, with heads bowed, helmets removed, while the chaplains conducted the Easter Sunday service.
[“In his autobiography, Goodbye To All That, Robert Graves describes the queues of British soldiers which formed outside the military brothels at the rumour of a major impending battle in which many of them could be expected to die. Most would have had some religious background, and most would have claimed a denominational affiliation; but when it came to the crunch, they were less interested in seeing the chaplain and preparing spiritually to enter eternity, than in the prospect of dying as virgins.” / The News Weekly – Bill James on Philip Jenkins’ book The Great and Holy War/
When properly analysed there is almost no incongruence in attending a mass and then a brothel, or, even better for those contrite enough, in a reverse order. ]