Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The British Soldier - kindness and gentleness

It will sound a bit out of date - but I liked this so much, I had to share this. I have been teaching tonight, and it was all about the bad things we are all capable of doing, given the right - or wrong - circumstances. And here I am, browsing through a copy of Serve to Lead that has been lent to me.

This is what I found:

It might well be that by new methods of scientific destruction, the whole nature of armies may be changed. Infantry and Cavalry may vanish away and regiments and even armies in the old and honoured sense may cease to be. Then shall the British Army likewise perish and its place shall know it no more. It mattes not. Were the Army to be swept tomorrow into nothingness, it has already done enough to give it rank with the legions of ancient Rome. And it will be remembered best not for its surpassing valour and endurance, not for its countless deeds of daring and its invincible stubbornness in battle, but for its lenience in conquest and its gentleness in domination.
(Sir John Fortescue)

Everything must be read in context; and I'm sure some readers will find a flaw that has escaped my attention. Obviously, I disagree with the sentiment that it doesn't matter if the Army shrinks further or even disappears. Strategical and tactical considerations aside - it feels like a betrayal of all the great men (and women) who have upheld those principles. However, they are still among us - all those who have been made redundant and who can be so valuable to civilian organisations.

One of them recently said to me "but we're nothing special" - oh yes, you are!

No comments:

Post a Comment