I thought I was doing my duty for my country. I didn't know I was going to be treated like a convict. Did it make better soldiers of the callow youths we were then? I doubt it.
On his service during World War I
I didn't go to France to murder people.
It wasn't a question of if I get killed, it was merely a question of when I get killed.
I always remember my disappointment the next morning when I found that my hand was still on because I thought, well, if I lost my hand I'm all right, I shall live, they can't send me out without a hand again. I was 20 then, it's not altogether a right thought for a young man to hope that he's been maimed for life.
After suffering severe wounds at the Battle of the Somme
Yes, sir. My battalion is famous for self-inflicted wounds and just to make sure I cracked my skull with a rifle butt as well and ran a bayonet into my groin.
On being asked by a doctor if the damage to his hand was self-inflicted.