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At The Front

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THE purpose of this little volume is to preserve, for his friends and the many others who cared for his writings, a record of the work which Alec Johnston contributed to Punch during the War. Written under all sorts of impossible conditions, they never pretended to be more than the gay and cynical banter of one who brought to the hardships and perils of life at the Front an incurable habit of humour. For several years Alec Johnston had been associated with Punch as an occasional contributor of light verse and prose. After leaving Oxford where, as at St. Paul’s School, he had given promise of a brilliant career, he became a schoolmaster, but his inclinations lay elsewhere and he would probably have followed the profession of letters but for the outbreak of war. Within two days he enlisted in the Artists’ Rifles-he was then twenty-five years old-and went out with their first draft in October, 1914. In February of the next year he received a commission in the 1st King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, and was with them first at Armentières, and then upon the Ypres salient till his death. He was promoted Lieutenant in September, 1915.

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