War damage


At first the horror of wrecked apartment-houses and big shops laid open makes one waste energy in anger. It is not seemly that rooms should be torn out of the sides of buildings as one tears the soft heart out of English bread; that villa roofs should lie across iron gates of private garages, or that drawing-room doors should flap alone and disconnected between two emptinesses of twisted girders.


This is from France at War. In August 1915 Kipling visited the front line in north-eastern France. The ancient city of Reims had been captured and retaken by the French. Now the Germans were bombing it.

The following month Kipling’s son John died in his first battle.