I recall reading that official brothels were set up behind Allied lines during WW1 (The Great War) for the use of front-line soldiers… I also remember a photograph of an incredibly long line of soldiers in battledress in a bombed out landscape waiting for the door of a small cottage to open so they could have their turn. I suspect the image remains in my memory because of the implications of the information that ‘the girls would return home after a month or two, exhausted and sore, but with enough money to retire’.
I’ve been unable to find the reference in my library, or to find any confirmation of this on the Web. Can anyone provide me with further information of any kind on this topic?
I don’t recall seeing any photos of lineups, jiHymas, but the quote you gave rings a bell; I think it is either from Sassoon, or Graves; both wrote bestselling (and brilliant) autobios of their WWI frontline experiences (although Graves never did let the bare facts stand in the way of a good story, either…)
I remember walking into the room at the Imperial War Museum where the original was on display, and the effect was stunning.
Here’s a translation of a treatise on the subject written (in thoroughly Teutonic detail) in the 1920s, which quotes Graves’ “Goodbye to All That” on the subject of French Army brothels, and gives much information on the running of the German counterpart (you’ll find the Graves quote on page 3 of Chapter 8):
which cites: John J. McCusker, “Comparing the Purchasing Power of Money in Great Britain from 1264 to Any Other Year Including the Present” Economic History Services, 2001, URL : http://www.eh.net/hmit/ppowerbp/