Joseph Lesage (1884-1918)
Soldier and artist in the First World War

New year

"Without any joy in our hearts we enter the new year which will, most likely, deprive us of another one of the best years of our live. At my age one enters the bloom of life, in the circle of the family with charming little children charming little children and a loving and caring wife. ln a profess, like mine it is also the age to grow to maturity. These arc my daily worries. wished my mind was completely blank, but reality imposes itself on me and makes me suffer."


"You may have guessed that the circumstances of the last two days did not contribute to writing letters"


"I feel unable to repeat the wishes for a good and prosperous year. During the past four years such New Year's wishes have not brought us any good. Is there still room to hope that the miracle will occur that our leaders will humbly regret what they have done? Unfortunately there is no reason to cherisch such hopes. In fact I am looking forward to that final German assault which is undoubtedly imminent and whkh will bring us to our knees with our hands raised to Heaven praying for mercy and asking forgiveness. I am disgusted when I see how all our efforts are condemned to failure as a result of the malevolent intentions of our leaders. Sometimes I catch myself wishing that our defeat will bring about their punishment. I am not in the mood to formulate New Year's wishes. Please do not blame me. But which kind of positive messages could I possibly bring under to-day's sad circumstances ? It is night now and - 21 degrees"