, 1983 - Drama
- 95 pages
The front lines of World War I may be in the battle-scarred fields of France, but inside this dugout the essence of England is intimately mixed with the hard-packed dirt of the walls and floor. Captain Stanhope will stand no shirking from the men in his command - or from himself. After three years in and around the trenches, he is utterly exhausted and absolutely terrified. When Raleigh, a junior schoolmate from home, gets posted to Stanhope's company, the poor man is badly shaken. Hero worship is for sunny afternoons on the cricket pitch and leisurely discussions of Keats - not for the horrors of war. Stanhope wants to believe Raleigh is just another soldier in the crowd. He tries to lose sight of him among Osborne, the former schoolmaster, Trotter, the proud gardener showing off photos of his prize hollyhocks, and the good-humored Hardy. Yet, when the long-anticipated enemy attack explodes around them, Stanhope and Raleigh must come to terms with the age-old tragedy of battle.