The Amateur Soldier Again (2 december 1911)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The Amateur Soldier Again is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle published in The Saturday Review on 2 december 1911.

See also his first letter on the same topic : The Amateur Soldier Again (4 november 1911).

The Amateur Soldier Again

Sir, - I should disregard your correspondent's letter, but he asks me a definite question in it. The particular officer whom I quoted in my former letter as strongly favouring Mr. Childers' views upon cavalry equipment, was a sapper, a corps which has some reputation for intelligence. But I can truthfully say that I can never once remember, in personal conversation with soldiers, meeting one who was not in general agreement with him, and of course Lord Roberts has placed himself on record to the same effect. It is absurd therefore for your correspondent to take the ground that this view is some three-man heresy which can be treated by a few words of clumsy sarcasm.

As to Mr. Childers and myself being novelists, it was not as a novelist that he — nor I may add that I — was in South Africa. The same motives which took us there are influencing us now in our desire that the lesson of the war which cost us so much should not be lightly forgotten.

Yours faithfully,

Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex.