A friendly bout among our boys, on transport returning from France


A friendly bout among our boys, on transport returning from France

Alternative Title

A friendly bout on transport returning from France


No ocean trip is so tiresome as that on which one returns from a foreign land. A certain novelty attends the outward voyage, but the return is all too slow. One longs for the familiar sights and the familiar comforts of home. For our boys, packed as so many of them had to be in the lowest holds of the ship, sickened by nauseating smells, with none but artificial light, physical discomforts were added to the monotony of the trip. They welcomed diversion of any kind and the most welcome of all forms of diversion was the boxing match. It is in our nature to like to pit our skill, strength or science against a worthy opponent, and to watch others do it. Although friendly bouts, these were by no means tame affairs nor were they often un-skillful ones. In their camps in France our boys acquired a liking for the game. Men who were novices when they went over became expert. When pitted against each other, company against company or division against division, pride in their unit and their natural aggressiveness inspired them to fight their best. The battles were often bloody ones, a test of grit as well as of skill. On shipboard the men packed five and six deep to see the bouts, yelling like Indians at each well delivered blow. The match was often conducted in a hurricane of yells and catcalls, and when two green men could be induced to hammer each other and make sport for the multitude the shouts of laughter were Homeric. These bouts were fought not only on the return, but on the outward trips as well. Submarines sneaked stealthily beneath the waters but no fear of them stayed these contests of skill and grit.



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
No known restrictions on publication


World War through the stereoscope

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Keystone View Company, “A friendly bout among our boys, on transport returning from France,” Monash Collections Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://repository.erc.monash.edu/items/show/25503.

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