Monday, 18 October 2010
In 1918 Vincent Sheean joined the US Army with the intention of taking part in the First World War. He later wrote: "I was sorry when the war ended. I fumed with disappointment on the night of the false armistice - the celebrated night when the American newspapers reported the end of the war some days before it happened. We were all patriots then. We knew nothing about that horror and degradation which our elders who had been through the war were to put before us so unremittingly for the next fifteen years. There were millions of us, young Americans between the ages of fifteen or sixteen and eighteen or nineteen, who cursed freely all through the middle weeks of November. We felt cheated. We had been put into uniform with the definite promise that we were to be trained as officers and sent to France."