Brittain, Vera, Diary, 18 April 1917

00000310.jpg
Description: 
Diary of Vera Brittain

Tabs

Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Creator: 
Brittain, Vera
Source: 
diary
Date: 
18 April 1917
Collection/Fonds: 
Contributer: 
McMaster University Libraries
Rights: 
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.

Identifier: 
00000310
Language: 
eng
Type: 
image
Format: 
jpg
Transcript: 

I was just going round the wards tonight when a cable came from home to say "Victor dangerously wounded; serious." About a week ago I had a letter from him virtually saying farewell. He was at Arras, & last week facts began to come through concerning a great battle in that region. Nothing could say more plainly "Don't hope." I could so ill do without Victor; he always seems like the survival of a part of Roland, or rather, in his accurate, clear & reverent memory of Him, Roland seems to me to live still. I remember how Victor & I last June in St. James' Park speculated about Edward's fate in the coming battle on the Somme, & he said then that he thought he would never go to the front, & I that I was glad to know there would be someone left after the war & I should not be quite alone. And now things have gone so differently from his expectations.
"Was here the one thing needful to distil
From life's alembic, through this holier fate
The man's essential soul, the hero will?
We ask, and wait."
Yes, wait. It is terrible to be out here. The cable was much delayed -- more than a week. He has "made good" now, & won through to the bridging of the Gulf which he always felt lay between himself on the one hand & Roland & Edward on the other. Is he able to realise this -- or has he like Roland, departed hence without the consciousness of his supreme glory?