Whatever food or drink was available it had to be consumed in a world where the likelihood of enjoying any future meals was determined by factors that extended way beyond mere issues of supply. As one of Perriman's hungry soldiers said to him on receiving the miniscule rations for that day in July, 'Say, Sarge, the buggers don't intend us to die on a full stomach, do they?'
As we were united in remembrance, they were united in their sacrifice - men and women of all faiths and of none. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and people of other minority faiths have served in the British Armed Forces across two World Wars, facing down the hatred of Nazism and helping keep Britain safe in its direst hours of need.
Initially neutral, in the spring of 1916 Romania was insistently requested by France and Great Britain to enter the war in order to relieve the huge German pressure on the West front. Queen Maria of Romania, who was British by birth and a grand daughter of Queen Victoria, strongly advocated entering the war on the Entente side.
Tonight, as we remember the point 100 years ago when the British Empire formally entered the First World War, the lamps will go out once again. Across the country millions of people will turn off the lights in their homes, businesses and public buildings, taking a moment to reflect on the dire events that were unfolding a century ago.
The 70th anniversity of D-Day the centenary of the First World War pinpoint 2014 as a year of wartime nostalgia. Amongst fabulous stories of rebel veterans absconding from their care homes to Normandy and colourful re-enactment celebrations, one of the quieter questions being bartered around is 'do kids really know what's going on?.'