War Literature Quotes

Quotes to memorise for the war lit paper, categorised by theme. Some of these can be used in other themes as well, but I've tried not to repeat quotes.

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  • Created by: Ruby
  • Created on: 14-05-09 16:36


All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'We are brothers, pressing one another to take the best pieces'

Journey's End: 'Osborne:You'll find the other officers call me uncle'

Journey's End: 'Stanhope:Steady, old boy. Just lie there quietly for a bit'

Goodbye to all that (Robert Graves): 'As soon as heard the wounded man he ran along the trench calling for a volunteer to help fetch him in. Of course no-one would go; it was death to put one's head over the parapet...so he went alone.'

Birdsong (Faulks): 'He was my closest friend, my strength and shield.'

Birdsong (Faulks): 'Stephen wrapped his arm around him and held him. "It's alright Micheal, it's alright.Hold on, don't let go, hold on.Hold on."'

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The First Casualty (Ben Elton): 'I suppose even heroes get shell shock'

Journey's End (Sherrif): 'Raleigh:He looked splendid. It – sort of made me feel…keen to get out here'

Journey's End (Sherrif): 'Stanhope: Hero-worship be damned!'

Glory of women (Sassoon): 'You love us when we're heroes, home on leave'

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Trench life

The First Casualty (Ben Elton): 'Better place a look out for submarines sir'

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'Haie has a particularly splendid species of lice:they have a red cross on their heads.'

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'The rats here are especially repulsive, they have horrible, evil-looking, naked faces.'

A dead boche (Graves): 'Big-bellied, spectacled, crop haired, Dribbling black blood from nose and beard'

Birdsong (Faulks): 'No one in England knows what this is like. If they could see the way these men live they would not believe their eyes. This is not a war, this is an exploration of how far men can be degraded'

Goodbye to all that (Robert Graves): 'Siegfried(Sassoon) had not yet been in the trenches.I told him in my old-soldier manner, that he would soon change his style.

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The First Casualty (Ben Elton): 'I should think it's just nervous exhaustion.Most cases are, though if I'm frank I know pretty much bugger all about it.

Catch 22 (Joseph Heller): 'Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane had had to fly them.If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to, but if he didn't he was sane and had too.'

Goodbye to all that (Robert Graves): 'There were proportionally twice as many neurasthenic cases amongst officers as amongst men...in many cases they became dipsomaniacs.'

Goodbye to all that (Robert Graves): 'I was still mentally and nervously organized for war; shells used to come bursting on my bed at midnight'

Journey's End: 'Because he's stuck it till his nerves have got battered to bits, he's called a drunkard'

Regeneration: 'the pavement was covered in corpses. Old ones, new ones, black, green'

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The First Casualty (Ben Elton): 'The Royal Army Medical Corps were proud of the fact that in this third year of the war, they were able to send 80% of the wounded men back to the front, or into some other useful war work.

Oh!What a lovely war: 'Don't worry, we'll soon have you back at the front.'

Catch 22 (Joseph Heller): "They're trying to kill me" Yossarian told him calmly. "No-ones trying to kill you" Clevinger cried. "Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked. "They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "And what difference does that make?"..... Clevinger really thought he was right, but Yossarian had proof because strangers he didn't know shot at him with cannons every time he went up in the air to drop bombs on them.'

Catch 22 (Joseph Heller): 'That crazy ******* may be the sane one left.'

Blackadder: 'Anyone can see he's as sane as I am! Baaaaah!'

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The First Casualty (Ben Elton): (about her Kingsley, her husband, who is a pacifist and wont fight.) 'I could have forgiven you for much, but not this this shame, not this shame!'

The Hero (Siegfried Sassoon): '...Something broke,/ in that tired voice that quavered to a choke./She half looked up."We mothers are so proud/of our dead soldiers." Then her face was bowed.'

Glory of women (Sassoon):'O German mother…while you are knitting socks to send your son His face is trodden deeper in the mud'

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'Mother, what kind of answer can I give you? You wont understand and you never will.'

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Class/Officers vs soldiers

The General (Siegfried Sassoon): '"Good Morning! Good morning!" The General said...He's a cheery old card, grunted Harry to Jack/As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack/But he did for them both by his plan of attack.'

Birdsong (Faulks): 'You are going to fight and you are going to win. You are going to inflict such a defeat on the enemy that he will never recover'

Birdsong (Faulks): 'It's a staff ****-up. Haig, Rawlinson the lot. Don't tell your men Wrayford, don't tell them, just pray for them.'

Goodbye to all that (Robert Graves): (Graves has gon an especially dangerous mission on a bright night.) '"I hear you were on patrol last night?" "yes sir", He asked for paticulars. When i told him about the covering party he cursed me for not 'scuppering them with that revolver of mine. As he turned away, he snorted "cold feet!"''

Journey's End (Sherrif): 'Yes Sir, but what 'appens when the boche 'as got all round the back of us?' 'Then we advance and win the war.' 'Win the war. very good sir.'

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The Hero (Siegfried Sassoon): 'No-one seemed to care. Except that lonely old woman with white hair.'

Perhaps (Vera Brittain): 'But though kind Time may many joys renew,/There is one greatest joy I shall not know/ Again, because my heart for loss of You/Was broken, long ago.'

Lamplight (May WedderburnCannan): 'And I think my heart was broken by the war'

The slodier (Rupert Brookes): 'Gentleness, in hearts at peace, under an English Heaven'

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Futility of War

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'An attempt to give an account of the generation that was destroyed by the war-even those of it that survived the shelling.'

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): : '"What will become of us if and when we do go back?"..."Two years of rifle-fire and hand-grenades; you can't just take it all off like a pair of socks afterwards."'

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'We were 18 years and old and had just begun to love the world; but we had to shoot at it...We don't believe in those things anymore. We believe in the war.'

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Back Home

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'You lads should hurry up a bit with your eternal trench fighting. Just chuck 'em out and the war will be over.'

Birdsong (Faulks): 'To the quiet street in Leamington Spa, where his parents and their friends carried on their lives with no care or thought for the world that he and Stephen and had known.'

All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Remarque): 'What is leave? - A pause that only makes everything after is so much worse.’

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Goodbye to all that (Robert Graves): 'There was no patriotism in the trenches. It was too remote a sentiment, and rejected as fit for only civilians.

Dulce est Decorum est (Wilfred Owen): 'Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori'

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