Brittain, Vera, Diary, 22 August 1915

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
22 August 1915
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


thing & meant a loss of sensitiveness ever after. He said he did not think so; it was an acquired necessity in war, but he thought that if he left the trenches for a long time & then went back, what he had to do & see would give him the same feelings of horror as they did at first. I said I didn't think I could ever grow callous about the suffering of someone I loved, especially if that someone were he. Somehow this conversation made me feel very like crying. It seemed so dreadful that anyone could grow callous about the things we had been speaking of -- especially such hypersensitive people as he & I.
He helped me out of the trench & we then discovered we were extremely late for lunch & hastened back. After lunch Evelyn asked me with great eagerness to come with him & look at the trench in the back-garden. I went out with him & was taken down to a sort of furnished hole in the ground, descendable by steps, which was to serve the family as protection against bombardment from the sea, but which Roland said would be no use at all if a shell fell anywhere near it. Evelyn showed me round the back garden & was conversational but not volatile; he acted as if he has taken a fancy to me. He is a delightful little boy with quite perfect manners, though frequently teased by the family for a tendency to be very careful of his money quite foreign to the tendencies of the others. He looked very smart in his naval cadet's Sunday uniform.
When we went back to the house I found Roland again in my room reading over some of my old letters, which he keeps in his wardrobe there. He showed them to me & asked me to come & look at the trench in their back garden. I said I had already seen it once but he said "Never mind; come & look at