11 MARCH 1922, Page 13


[To TEE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] Sues—In your review, in the issue of February 25th, of M. Flammarion's book, you quote a dream of a Monsieur Saurel, which apparently foreshadowed certain events of the late War, and the uniform then worn by the French Army. I have not your paper before me at the moment, but if I remember correctly you say that, provided the date of 1911 is established, the dream has considerable importance as evidence. In view of this perhaps the following facts may be of interest, if you can verify the exact dates, which I have not the means of doing. Some time during the period 1909-1912, but I believe during 1911 or earlier, there were proposals to change the French uniforms for something rather less strikingly visible than the blue coat and red trousers. Various designs were proposed, and two were reproduced, in colours, in a supple- ment to one of the Paris papers (I think it would be either the Petit Parisian or the Petit Journal). These were, I believe, the joint production of MM. Edouard Detain° and Georges Scott, the painters. The outline was very like the uniform actually adopted during the War, and the resemblance struck me at once when I first landed in France in that period. There was, naturally, no shrapnel helmet, but the kepi had been replaced by a helmet of very similar shape with a similar ridge, the great point being to avoid any resemblance to the " casque apointe." The uniform was a bluish green. From this it would appear quite possible that the dream mentioned was sub-consciously founded on the proposed uniforms of that period, and was in no sense a premonition in this respect. Of course, there still remain the site of the dream, and the future ranks a the dreamer, but I thought these points of suEcient interest to give you if you care to investigate in the files to which you doubtless can refer.—I am, Sir, he., D. B. KING.

Southridge, Helsby, Cheshire.