I don't often knit in front of the TV - it makes me knit slower, and I'm usually overcommitted to start with - but I did last night, because there were so many special programmes on about WWII. The kind that include eyewitness accounts from veterans, I mean.
One gentleman described how, about an hour into a 4-hour assault during which the men on his side were killed or seriously injured at a rate of one every 45 seconds, he dove into a hole near the body of another man.
He needed new socks, he said, and so he reached into the rucksack of the dead soldier and there on top was a fresh pair. He took off his boots, put on the socks, put his boots back on, and "I felt like a new man."
I expect they were handknit, and though many women knit for strangers, they may have been knit by a member of his family, or perhaps a sweetheart.
Either way, they proved to be powerful socks: they must have greatly cheered the man who received them and set them at the top of his pack for easy recovery on the day he died, and they gave another man the strength and spirit to survive an unimaginably bad situation that left him an injured prisoner of war.
I think whoever made them would have to feel very proud, don't you?