Infantry Soldier (Class 19)
Edmond Bournas, musician in the 22nd infantry regiment, Paris
Here is the little bleuet (see in Wikipedia) (cornflower), the last to be called up. He would have known only the last agonies of the war, and the elation of victory.
He is still a child, but in France children were heroes in wartime. Napoleon recognised this well when he found amongst them his best soldiers towards the evening of the war. The boys from class 19 were not under fire, but their courage and their spirit were formed in the finest school which ever was seen: no glory seemed out of reach, no sacrifice impossible.Thus they were ready for whatever their country asked of them and on their slender faces, still shy, in their kid’s eyes, still startled, shone their pride in being soldiers, so young, and in the greatest of wars. Brave little recruits in blue, last flower to bloom in the beautiful harvest which France gathered: in that which was spared is embodied all our gratitude and all our tenderness.