By Lord Robbins
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I burned to be more active myself. I joined the artillery section of the University Officers' Training Corps, attended all parades, slept at nights with the horses under the eaves of the Old Foundling Hospital in Guilford Street, then used as temporary stables. But it was not enough. Moreover, the college itself was an insufficient counter-attraction. With the exception of the exempted medicals, a high proportion of the men had joined the forces; and I found myself, tall, well built at that time, and not obviously under military age, together with a few less martial types, in classes predominantly feminine.
The air became full of bullets. Suddenly I felt a blow on my left arm as though I had been hit by a very fast (and heavy) cricket ball. We flung ourselves into the furrows. Blood was spurting up from my arm like a fountain and the bullets continued to come. But my companions, ignoring danger, fixed me up with a bandage and a tourniquet: I can still see the anxiety on Corporal Otto's honest face as he pulled it as tight as he was capable - which was very tight indeed. We then proceeded to worm our way on our bellies along the furrows till we reached the end of the field, by which time the snipers had got tired of us and there was sufficient leafy cover for us to be able to walk upright.
My arm swelled up. It became quite black. What was worse, it was almost intolerably painful; my walking and indeed my whole equilibrium was affected. I seemed to be carrying a leaden burden which became heavier and heavier with every step. When we reached the site of the battery, the guns had moved on without leaving any sign of their destination; and German shells were crashing, S3 apparendy at short range, into the position. By this time, although I was still upright, I was just a mass of appalling agony and, I suppose, outwardly appearing about to collapse.