(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Captain Dennis Stanhope

Captain Dennis Stanhope, a British officer whose three years in the front lines have made him a hard, cynical, and heavy-drinking man. Stanhope is first and foremost a soldier, however, and when his young friend is fatally wounded, he returns immediately to his duties as commanding officer.

Lieutenant Osborne

Lieutenant Osborne, Stanhope’s second in command. He is a middle-aged man who was a schoolteacher in civilian life. Osborne is anxious to keep peace in the company. He is killed, along with several other members of a raiding party sent out to capture some prisoners from whom the colonel of the regiment hopes to obtain information.

Lieutenant Raleigh

Lieutenant Raleigh, a school friend of Stanhope and the brother of Stanhope’s fiancée. Raleigh worships Stanhope as a hero and can hardly recognize his old friend when he meets him in the front lines. Raleigh is a callow youth, full of vitality, who soon makes friends with Osborne. He cannot understand how the other men in the company can celebrate after Osborne and several others are killed in the raiding party. Raleigh is fatally wounded in a German attack.

Second Lieutenant Hibbert

Second Lieutenant Hibbert, an officer in Stanhope’s company who is a malingerer and a coward. Stanhope bullies Hibbert into staying on duty after Hibbert tries to get a doctor to give him a medical excuse for being relieved from duty.