Topic: The Field of Battle
How I Won the War; the memoirs of a heavily armed civilian by Lieut Ernest Goodbody (as told to), Patrick Ryan, 1963
This was too grave a matter to be dealt with on the line of march. We would have to have a kit inspection on the objective.
'Sergeant Transom,' I said. 'We're not observing proper anti-gas precautions. The leading man has no litmus paper on his bayonet.'
He looked down at the thick, white dust puffing over our boots.
'Nor he hasn't, sir,' he said in surprise. 'And this is a dead likely place to meet mustard gas, and all. I'll see to it right away.'
He moved forward and spiked a sheet of paper on Private Drogue's bayonet.
'What we do now,' asked the gas sentry. 'Flag day?'
The litmus paper did not look of standard size to me and so I went up to inspect. It was a square of toilet paper. Quite useless, I assure you, for detecting mustard gas deposits. I was about to remonstrate with the sergeant when I noticed that no one in the platoon but myself still had a gas mask. They'd all thrown them away. This was too grave a matter to be dealt with on the line of march. We would have to have a kit inspection on the objective.