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January 1963

With a Field Ambulance at Ypres

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(1):138-139. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620250142043

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It is strange how detached and impersonal one's views of war may be until he gets into one. All the books and all the tales, all the stories and all the parades inevitably give one a misconception, since at best they can give only a partial view. But this is true in all our contacts with reality. Aside from fear and physical damage, which may be awful or lethal, perhaps the most memorable thing about war is the monumental accumulation of petty discomforts, of wasted time, of walking in mud or sand, jungle or desert, of ennui, frustration, and a sense of futility.

An intimate view of the appalling havoc and carnage of World War I is told in a memorable little book which consists of extracts from his diary sent by William Boyd, in a series of letters, to his people in England during the first year of the

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