Once I gave the washerwoman my cardigan jacket to wash, and immediately afterwards we were ordered off to the trenches A month passed before the regiment got to Les Brebis again. The washerwoman called at my billet and brought back the cardigan jacket, also a franc piece which she had found in the pocket. On the following day the woman was washing her baby at the pump in the stree and a shell blew her head off. Pieces of the child were picked up a hundred yards away. The washerwomans second husband was away at the war 
The Church of Bully-Grenay had been hit, and a barn near the church had been blowen in on top of a platoon of soldiers which occupied it. We had to pass the church. The whole battalion seemd to be very nervous, and a presentment of something evil seemed to fill the minds of the men. The mood was not of common occurence, but this unaccountable depression permeates whole bodies of men at times. 
Our objective was the second German trench which lay just in front of Loos village guns had been bombarding the enemys positions incessantly for ten days. 
Before I joined the Army/I lived in Donegal,/Where every night the Fairies/Would hold their carnival.//But now Im out in Flanders/Where men like wheat-ears fall,/And its Death and not the Fairies/Who is holding carnival. 
strafe, to bomb heavily; used by British soldiers in 1916 ; nipe is a rifle.
The regimental cook, Felan, who is exempted from going over the top, says: Do you expect an Irishman is going to cook bully-beef when his regiment goes over the top? For shame!  NOTE: Felans story is told below [SEARCH]
Spose our guns will not lift their range quick enough when we advance. Well have any amount of casualties with our own shells.  Hohenzollern Redoubt  Hill 70.
The London Irish lads kick a football forward with them the ball is later seen deflated, hanging from the wire by its whang
The harrowing sight [of a dismembered corpse] was repellent, antagonistic to my mind. The tortured things lying at my feet [limbs and torsoes] were symbols of insecurity, ominous reminders of danger from which no discretion could save a man. My soul was barren of pity; fear went down into innermost parts of me, fear for myself. The dead and dying lay all around; I felt a vague obligation to the latter; they must be carried out. But why should I trouble? where should I begin? [77-8]
A man mother-naked ran round in a circle, laughing boisterously. The rags that would class him as a friend or a foe were gone, and I could not tell whether he was an Englishman or a German. As I watched him an impartial bullet went through his forehead and he fell headlong to the earth. 
[MacGill is carrying rosary beads - a Catholic, 90]
MacGill says: Excessive alcoholic dissipation is utterly repugnant to humanity 
There are means by which we are going to end war, I said. Did you see the dead and the wounded to-day, the men groaning and shrieking, the bombs flung down into cellars, the bloodstained bayonets, the gouging and the gruelling; all those are means towards creating peace in a disordered world. 
All around Loos lay the world of trenches, secret streets, sepulchral towns, houses whose chimneys scarcely reached the level of the earth, corked alleys, bayonet circled squares, and lonely graveyaards where dead soldirs lay in silent sleep that wakens to no earthly réveillé. 
We, [the pronoun soldiers always use because the individual is submerged in the regiment] soldiers, are part of the Army, the British Army, which will be remembered in the days to come, not by a figurehead, as the fighters of Waterloo are remembered by Wellington, but as an army mighty in deed, prowess and endurance; an army that outshone its figureheads.
a hipe is a rifle.
Loos, Hill 70.
In the midst of artillery tumult some men are overcome with langour and drop asleep as they stand. On the other hand, many get excited, burst into song and laugh boisterously at most commonplace incidents. 
The terrible assault [of 1,001 guns] continued without truce, interruption or respite; our guns scattered broadcast with prodigal indifference their apparently inexhaustible resources of murder and terror. The essence of the bombardment was in the furious succession of its blows. In the clamour and tumult was the crash and uproar of a vast bubbling cauldron forged and heated by the gods in ungodly fury. 
[Concussion shells] a livid flash lit a nearby dug-out; lumps of earth, a dozen beams and several sandbags changed their locality, and a man was killed by concussion. When the body was examined not trace of a wound could be seen. 
The gods were thundering. At times the sound dwarfed me into such infinitesmal littleness that a feeling of security was engendered. In the midst of such an uproar and tumult, I thought that the gods, bent though they were on destruction, would leave such a little atom as myself untouched. This for a while would give me a self-satisfying confidence in my own invulnerability. / At other times miy being swelled to the grand chorus. I was one with it, at home in thunder. I accomodated myself to the Olympian uproar and shared in a play that would have delighted Jove and Mars. I had got beyond the mean where the soul of man swings like a pendulum from fear to indifference, and from indifference to fear. all men have some restraining influence to help them in hours of trial, some principle or illusion. Duty, patriotism, vanity, and dreams come to the help of men in the trenches, all illusions, probably, ephemeral and fleeting; but for a man who is as ephemeral and fleeting as his own illusions are, he can lay his back against them and defy death and the terrors of the world. But let him for a moment stand naked and look at the staring reality of the terrors that engirt him and he becomes a raving lunatic. / the cannonade raged for three hours.
What grand courage it is that enables men to face the inevitale with untourbled front between the lines luck alone preserves a man; a soldier is merely a naked babe pitted against an armed gladiator. Naturally he wants to get there with the greatest possible speed; in the open he is beset with a thousand dangers, in the foemans trench he is confronted with but one or two. 
... the open where no discretion could preserve them and no understanding keep them 
Perhaps the men who kicked the football were the most nervous in the it helped take the mind away from the crisis ahead, and the dread anticipation of death was forgotten for the time being. But I do not think for a second that the ball was brought for that purpose. 
In the midst of the ruin and desolation of the night of morbid fancies, in the centre of a square lined with unpeople houses, I cam across the Image of Supreme Pain, the Agony of the Cross. What suffering has Loos known? WQhat torture, what sorrow, what agony? The crucifix was well in keeping with this scene of desolation. 
REMS: The character Felan, a cook, who voluntarily joins the charge, is wounded and left after dressing by MacGill, who expects him to die. Pain has transformed his pace so that he is unrecognisable. Later, his case is mentioned as showing that one doesnt known who will survive and who will not: he is alive and walking again in a London hospital, though the wound through his chest allowed the air to whistle out at the gaping back. But Felan is also given central position as a character in the first part of the chapter dealing with the advance. Gilhooley, the bomber - another character who seemed to contend for such a prominent position - reermerges at the end in MacGills memory of watching him get shot by the sniper in Brebis. The technique of the chapter employs Felan as its indirect spokeman, and his subjective experience is recorded in it. There is no indication that he ever imparted it to the writer. So how? It is one of the devices by which MacGill attempts to broaden the scope of the fiction-discourse. Another is the way of making men conduct opinion-laden conversations, and a third, their way of imagining the conversations at home when the boys dont come home. The form of the novel is very provisional, and its unity is chiefly thematic. The recurrence - at three places - of the notion that neither discretion mor understanding can save one holds it together; but a certain less than rigour in the area of theological and patriotic notions tends to break it down. What it achieves, however, which puts in in a class above Goodbye to All That or Memoirs of a Foxhunting Gent., is to grasp the sense that men in terro need illusions.
[Of visiting Anglican bishop] Stow it, you bloomin fool Spose a bishop as got ter make a livin like evryone else. [Teape, 179] [Of Fr. Lane-Fox] the pluckiest man in Loos  The London Irish men love Father Lane-Fox; he visited the men in the trenches daily, and all felt the better for his coming. 
200 Munster Fusiliers buried alive in a trench by mining shell. 
This is what it means, this war. Destruction, decay, degradation. Man will recognise its futility before recognising its immorality [A waking dream:] Yes, there He is, hanging on the barbed wire  I knew the dark grey bulk [of clothing by one of the entanglement props], it was He; for days and nights He hung there, a huddled heap; the Futility of War. 
[The corpse of the soldier on the wire seems like Christ in a half-dream but turns into a fetid mess in the morning, its face alacertated by bullets from the snipers.]
3008 Rifleman P. MacGill, passenger on the Highway of Pain, which stretched from Loos to Victoria Station.  END