"The book does not purport to be a detailed chronicle of the doings of the Glasgow Highlanders: it should be regarded rather as an album of random literary snap-shots portraying certain isolated incidents of life and work in the trenches and behind the lines in France, and a few of the particular individuals with whom I have been associated there. The time covered ranges from June 1915, to September 1916. being the term of the writer's service in France, and with one or two exceptions all the sketches were written at intervals extending over that period."What's extraordinary is the matter of fact way in which Lyon describes what to our eyes look like great acts of heroism. Typical example:
"At last we stood on the side farther from our lines, and moved forward in close succession, the Corporal who led the way whispering warning of any irregularity in the earth's surface or other impediment likely to trip unwary feet. Suddenly I heard immediately behind me the appalling rattle of a tin can, followed by a muffled gasp from Pudd'ri and a heavy thud.
"Halt, you two in front !" I whispered, and turning, "What's up, Pudd'n ? Where are you ?"
"I found him sitting on the ground trying to extricate his legs from a contrivance formed of two or three hoops of barbed wire fastened together crosswise, and with a tin can attached. He had inadvertently strayed a little to the right of the path we were following, and had stumbled into the ball of wire designed to warn us of the approach of any Germans to our fortifications and to impede their advance. I helped to free him from the encumbrance, and we moved forward again."