Tuesday (12th February 1918)

Went to an interesting lecture at the Y.M.C.A. Hut tonight, on the town of Ypres.  An Irish Y.M.C.A. official who mixed in a spice of humour that often brought the house down.  He emphasised the fact that we have been fighting in Flanders in the teens of each century, with one exception, from the very early times and always for the same purpose – to prevent the coast getting in the control of a powerful adversary; also the fact that the Belgians aren’t really a nation but a modern attempt to nationalise a number of stray fragments mongrelised by constant wars.  Moreover, as in all invaded countries, the better off people have removed themselves.

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