One day I was leaving quarters to go back to my ward, when I had to wait to let a large contingent of troops march past me… Though the sight of soldiers marching was now too familiar to arouse curiosity, an unusual quality of bold vigour in their swift stride caused me to stare at them with puzzled interest.
They looked larger than ordinary men; their tall straight figures were in vivid contrast to the undersized armies of pale recruits to which we were grown accustomed…Had yet another regiment been conjured out of our depleted Dominions? I wondered, watching them move with such rhythm, such dignity, such serene consciousness of self-respect. But I knew the colonial troops so well, and these were different: they were assured where the Australians were aggressive, self-possessed where the New Zealanders were turbulent.
Then I heard an excited exclamation from a group of Sisters behind me, “Look! Look! Here are the Americans!”
I pressed forward with the others to watch the United States physically entering the War, so god-like, so magnificent, so splendidly unimpaired in comparison with the tired, nerve-wracked men of the British Army. So these were our deliverers at last, marching up the road to Camiers in the spring sunshine! … The coming of relief made me realize all at once how long and how intolerable had been the tension, and with the knowledge that we were not, after all, defeated, I found myself beginning to cry.
Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth