A hundred years ago July 17, 1920 Archives

Humanising the army

(From an editorial)

The army has been generally considered and preserved as a vast mechanism, going by routine and hard discipline without any scope for the softer and lighter sides of human nature. Consequently, the soldier has evolved into a being without any soul and sometimes manifests himself in the monstrous form of the Dyerian type. Humanising the army, treating the soldiers as human beings instead of as machines, is an attractive and noble ideal to pursue for any evangelist or commanding officer. But the militarist of the Prussian type cannot tolerate such reform so one need not be surprised to hear of the trial of an officer in the British army before a court-martial for trying his experiments at humanisation by inviting some of his men to his head-quarters for games of bridge. The charge was that he behaved in a scandalous manner unbecoming of the character of an officer and a gentleman and, in the alternative conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline. The officer was a believer in the ideal of a “Human Army” and had previously written about the subject to the London Times.

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