23 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 15

I am amazed by the acquiescence of this generation. Yet

were the young men of 1914 so very different? Was there really so much faith and fire about us? I do not recollect that the men who marched away in the autumn dawns of 1914 were in any sense conscious that their purpose was to make the world safe for democracy or to fight a war which should end all wars. They went off much as the young men of today go off, patient, bewildered, acquiescent. Yet if we compare the two states of mind there are certain differences which certainly can be observed. There is the difference, in the first place, in the nature of their experience. The young men of August, 1914, felt that within a few short weeks they would be chasing Uhlans across the fields of Flanders, or routing out Hussars from the coverts of the Ardennes. The young men today have no such expectations, and their anticipation of war is of something far less adven- turous, less heroic, less individual, less fluid. In 1914, again, it was believed that victory would be both rapid and over- whelming, after which we should return immediately to exactly the same life as before. Today there is no such certainty.