Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/179

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173
FACTS TO REMEMBER

lukewarm on the subject. It is perfectly well known that a specially heroic deed of a particular regiment will bring to that regiment a flood of recruits, as was the case after the gallant exploit of the London Scottish had been published to the world. And what is true of the regiment, is true of the Army. Yet with all their enthusiastic advertising for recruits, the military authorities have neglected the quickest and easiest way of filling the ranks: instead of telling our people in bold stirring words of the heroic deeds of our individual regiments, they have, except in a few instances, fought the war with a degree of anonymity which may be creditable to their modesty, but does no tribute to their intelligence.

Turn the shield to the darker side: every reverse has stimulated patriotism and brought more men to the colours. What, I wonder, was the value of the Scarborough raid as compared with the recruiting posters? The sense of insult bit deep, as it always does in the English mind. The Kaiser's own particular insult—his jibing reference to "General French's contemptible little Army"— probably did more to rouse the fighting blood of our men than all the German attacks. The splendid story of the retreat from Mons flushed our hearts to pride, and men poured to the colours. Is there no lesson here for the wiseacres of Whitehall? Does the knowledge that Englishmen may be led, but cannot be driven, convey nothing to them? Are they unaware that the Englishman is the worst servant in the world if he is not trusted, but the very best if full confidence is extended to him? Can they not see that their foolish policy of suppressing ugly facts is, day by day, breeding greater distrust and apathy?