Saturday, April 9, 2011
Over the Hills
Queen Anne's version is more a marching song.
But I still prefer John Tams version. As does Kit I think!
(But its not as much fun to march to!)
George Simmons was Commander of the 95th Rifles....and his biography is, well, remarkable. This is from his diary and I have to admit that his career was bloody, brutal, and very long and surprisingly civilized.
A stark contrast is the Diary of Rifleman Harris. If you are a fan of Cornwell's books, you will know of Rifleman Harris...the literate one! He was all that, and much more. His biography of the same actions as Simmons makes you realize the remarkable gulf between the soldiers and their officers which existed during the height of the British Empire.
This book is a series of diaries of soldiers...Lieutenants like Kinkaid, and riflemen like Harris.
Kincaid's moving account of the wounded Captain Barnard who recovered from a sucking chest wound (page 82) is hardly in contrast to the story of a rifleman who shot a hare instead of an enemy combatant...and his flippant answer to his lieutenant when rebuked! (page 39)
Enjoy the reading. It is lighter than you might suppose considering the startling and violent nature of the job they were doing, and they often make better reading than Mr. Cornwell's books because, well, they were there and were describing real events. The Spanish lady who became Major Smith's wife, and later lent her name to the city of "LadySmith" in South Africa is told on page 103. Ahhh, you could not make this stuff up!!!
(The picture is not from Spain OR Portugal...I have never been there. It is in fact, the Paphos Gate looking into the city of Nicocea in Cyprus. But it is a suitable martial picture for the music!)