Nothing seemed stranger to me at first, nothing seems more pathetic now than the pains which men took to introduce a little colour into the drab world in which we were condemned to live. Outside orderly-rooms and other important places men made arrangements of coloured stones.
The tents were mud-coloured or dirty grey. The orderly-rooms, mess-rooms, recreation huts and all the rest were mud coloured and had soiled grey roofs. Men mud-coloured from head to foot paraded in lines, marched, or strolled about or sat on mud banks smoking.
I found my eyes following these men about the camp with a curious pleasure, and I realised that what I wanted was to see red, or blue, or green, or anything else except khaki. Later on an order came out that camp commandants should wear coloured cap-bands and coloured tabs on their coat. It suddenly became a joy to meet a colonel. Certain camps flew flags in front of their orderly-rooms.
The lines of lights along the roads shone bright and clear. Lights twinkled from the windows of busy orderly-rooms and offices. Lights shone, browny red, through the canvas of the tents. The noise of thousands of men, talking, laughing, singing, rose to us, a confused murmur of sound. As we stood there, looking, listening, a bugle sounded from one corner of the great camp, blowing the "Last Post."