Author: Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer was killed in the Battle of Um el Hannah, in 1916, at the age of 27. Letters from Mesopotamia, a collection of his correspondence during WWI, was published in 1917.

After censoring 100 of my company’s letters, what strikes one is the piquancy of style achieved by the omission of all punctuation: “The Bible says this is a land of milk and honey there is plenty of water and dust about if that’s what they mean?” or “The sentry shot an Arab one night soon after we got here I saw him soon afterwards caught him in the chest a treat it did.” (More…)

The Turks had, they think, 15,000 men and 32 guns. Their position was twelve miles long and most elaborately entrenched and wired with all the German devices, and rested on a marsh at either end. (More…)

I agree with most of your reflections about the moral justification of war. War is an evil, because it is the product of sin and involves more sin and much suffering. But that does not mean it is necessarily wrong to fight. Once evil is at work, one of its chief results is to leave good people only a choice of evils, wherein the lesser evil becomes a duty. (More…)

Like everyone else, you write under the cloud of Warsaw and in the expectation of the enemy forthwith dashing back on us in the West. But the last two months have made it much harder for him to do that soon, if at all: and I hope the month which will pass before you get this will have made it harder still. (More…)