The Spectator

The Spectator at war: A call to arms

Let us say once more what we said as emphatically as we could last week – that the first thing to do is to get Lord Kitchener the five hundred thousand men who he must have to make the country safe. Till that is done, till we have got the men for the firing line, all philanthropic schemes, however good, nay, however essential in themselves, must wait. Sterilized dressings are absolutely necessary, but they must not get in front of the rifles. Therefore, once again, the first duty of ever man between nineteen and thirty is to join Lord Kitchener’s Second Army.  That is his way to help. And the first duty of every lad under nineteen and of every man over thirty is to induce men of military age – we wish, by the way, it has been put at nineteen to thirty-five instead of nineteen to thirty – to go and do their duty.  That is their way to help. Get the men who also have been trained and enlisted long ago, as they are trained and enlisted in Switzerland, into the ranks. It may be annoying that they are not there already, but even now it is not too late, and, at any rate, crying over spilt milk would be utterly foolish.

A word to those whom age compels to accept the duty of merely inducing others to serve at the front. To begin with, let them explain to the young men a fact which unfortunately has not been made quite clear in some of the advertisements and proclamations, although it is distinctly set forth in the latest on which we reproduce elsewhere. Many men are clamouring to go into the Territorials, which are full, rather than into Lord Kitchener’s new battalions which are empty.

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