A typical ASR report from the Front
‘I gave a young soldier of the Welch Regiment a lavender bag. He was badly wounded in the right hand and was very ill as a result of a haemorrhage overnight. When he read the text “The gift of God is eternal life” which was attached to the bag, he began to cry and said, “Please talk to me about this!”’
‘I coupled the text with John 3:16 and spoke briefly about God’s gift of love, and then prayed with him. I afterwards wrote a letter to his mother for him, for which he was most grateful.’
‘…A wounded patient, 20 years old, told me in the presence of others in the ward: “What I hate most of all in fighting is bayonet work. I have been in three bayonet charges. The third one was known to be going to take place at 6.00pm. At 4.00pm we were warned about it. At about a quarter to six we got clear of our trenches and wire entanglements and waited.
‘”Presently our officer said, ‘Pass the word along — “The last five minutes”.’ It struck me as being a strange order, and I could not help thinking that the officer intended it as a warning to prepare for the possible end of this life, as well as attacking Fritz.
‘”At any rate I prayed to God, and afterwards learnt that others of my company did the same. At 6 o’clock we charged. We were soon met by the Germans, but we went through them and into their trenches, and an awful slaughter in a hand-to-hand fight followed. For many it proved ‘The last five minutes’.”
‘Of course I seized at this story and applied it to spiritual things.’
Wimerieux, January 1915