“FOES YESTERDAY FRIENDS TODAY” – Battle of the Alma

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This striking picture represents an incident in the life of Private David Bell, of the 79th (Cameron) Highlanders, which is described as follows in an old leaflet, published on the death of Bell in 1861.

“As a proof of the mingled generosity, patience, impetuosity, and true courage in his character it may be said that on the morning after the battle of the Alma, ere dawn had revealed to the troops the fearful carnage of the previous day, he had arisen from his sleepless couch – the green sward – and with his handful of biscuit, a day’s allowance, and a keg filled with water from the recently crimsoned river, he might have been found among the wounded foemen, dealing out that which he had to give, accompanied with many a sympathizing word. On being asked why he did not attend to his own countrymen first, he answered ‘they will be attended to, and these, our foes of yesterday, need friends today.'”

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