World War I – Behind Enemy Lines.- The Drummond Sisters- 13.

The Drummond sisters were born and raised on the Clarence River in Australia.

Early in the 20th Century they lived in Berlin, Germany, and worked for the opera company there, for many years.

When war broke out in 1914, they were ‘trapped’ for some time – Behind Enemy Lines. This is their story, in their own words.

The Wait Continues

‘Lute’ continues the sisters’ story of their plight of being – Behind Enemy Lines

The Kaiserin and the Princess were objects of enthusiastic ovations, and the streets were filled almost all night with jubilant crowds, cheering and singing their national songs. Today is a public holiday for the schools, and altogether we’re quite out of it.

Isn’t party feeling a curious thing? Why should we take sides with the French? We have lived in Germany nearly seven years now, and have only experienced kindnesses at their hands, yet we were almost on the verge of tears when we heard that they had been beaten. We bought a half-bottle of French wine and drank a glass of the sparkling ruby to their better success next time.

But, in spite of everything, war is glorious. Think how fine for manhood, how beautiful the deeds that are done. One has got tired of sitting so constantly on the high office stool of life, where thoughts become dull and grey from sheer routine- and where impromptu actions are out of place, because monotonous habit has made them so.

The war hasn’t made a scrap of difference to Berlin. No one would guess even that she was in the throes of a life and death struggle. Last night the streets were full, and where all the men come from puzzles me. A detachment of very young volunteers passed just as Inez was leaving us about 10. 30 pm. They were singing and marching with great vim. No one has paid any attention to the death of the Pope. Just glance at the heading and read greedily further. Australia’s name has been popping up rather frequently since the Japanese step. The paper mentions our antipathy to this race, and draws conclusions of our disapproval with England. They don’t know us, do they?

Eight o’clock- We’re in a fever of excitement. We’ve just read where the English soldiers are being shipped to Belgium, and have conned King George’s parting address. Oh, we’re glad. Aren’t we dying for the Highlanders to be true to their traditions, and the cavalry to have a charge? We’re very proud. For the Germans have been laughing all the time at our soldiers. (Jean and I have only one wish in this war, and that is to see a good colonial cavalry charge.)

Now these poor innocent English things are to be let loose in a continental war, and we’ll see. The paper tonight said it will be interesting to study their different foes when they have them all prisoners together. In fact, they remarked how nice it would be to see the English and Russians, for instance, in the same company. Fancy, over 10,000 French prisoners taken at Metz! Our hearts are bleeding.

I can just see a tinge of jealousy among the Berliners over the Bavarian Crown Prince’s victory. Wouldn’t they have loved their own Prussian Crown Prince to have led the charge? There are postcards of him dashing on the French with swinging sword, and the poor French are flying before the wrath of his naked steel on to the four corners of the printed space. We must buy some. They will be interesting souvenirs, though published rather early, don’t you think?

Oh I wonder who’s commanding the English troops; of course, we hear absolutely nothing here but satirical remarks about the enemy. We’ve waited 22 days and are fed up only with German heroism and sincerity, while the rest of the world resolves itself, not only into a liar and cheat, but a coward as well. We feel like shouldering the rifle ourselves at times; but now that England has kept her word and sent help along, we feel more contented. You see one would think that England was only looking after her own skin, according to the Germans. They insinuated that she had left both France and Belgium in the lurch, and as we saw nothing to contradict this statement, we were beginning to feel sheepish and unpleasant. Now we have our self-respect once more, and in the Duke of Wellington’s pithy command:” “Up, Guards, and at ’em,”which is all we want.

To be continued


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