Vera Brittan lost her fiance, brother and two closest male friends in the first world war. She wrote Testament of Youth as a cry of outrage and agony, so that the futility of their deaths would be remembered. Eighty years on, it remains one of the most powerful and widely read war memoirs of all time.
This short read is my favorite section of this book, where Vera and her fellow nurses (French) witness the arrival of fresh American troops in their sector of the battlefield. The contrast between her nervy war weariness, her cautious upswelling of hope where little was there before… it’s just a fantastic couple of paragraphs, and a perfect addition here.
Initially recorded for my audio boom account, I am moving it on Airy Persiflage due to Audioboom’s pay policies.