Life in the
Its 1914 and the
smell of fresh air around me the sunshine on my face, what could
be better? But something was just missing. As I travel down to
the local butchers, in the corner of my eye I spotted the new
news on the war. A war has started, because of many reasons such
as the triple allliances, assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand and jealousy of our navy.
I carried on,
but something remained on my mind, it was; what would my children
think if I joined the army. As I entered the butchers a pale lady
came up to me and placed a white feather in my hands. Everyone
stopped to stare and whispering surrounded us, she walked passed
and only whispering a silent but firm "coward".
I realised there
and then I have to go in the army, not only to prove i'm not a
coward but for my children and wife. I had to fight for MY
country and make MY country proud. I strided to the local
recruitment shelter thinking of positive things about joining.
It's only to Christmas and it's a chance to travel and see the
world, but mainly to make my children proud of their father. I
signed up and went back home. My wife had doubts but my
children's face lit up with pride.
3rd 1914, I'm in the back of an army vehicle. Many men
were chatting passing pictures around of their family but I sat
there in the darkness and stared in to space thinking about my
family back home. The truck a sudden halt, I don't know what I
was expecting but this wasn't it. It was dark, blank, grim and
gruesome. It was devastating, there was corpse and barbed wire
and blood everywhere and it smelt so bad.
over the barbed wire. It was hard but we done it. And then we
were practically thrown down a deep ditch mostly known as a
trench. I was expecting floor or a hard surface to catch my
landing but it was water up to my ankles and soggy mud. My socks
were practically ruined, we had the night to settle down and find
a sleeping area, I found a narrow type of ledge. It may be
dangerous but it was dry. I removed my shoes and took off my
socks and threw them on the floor, then suddenly and mad scramble
started beneath me.
kicks landed, in the end a broad, tall man left without a scratch
and with the socks.
"You do know
mate you 'oudent wind people up 'ike dat". Said a young skinny
lad next to me. "Da names James Dim but my 'pple call meh Jimmy
Dim, Dim by name, Dim by nature".
"Umm hi" was all I could
come up with. A few seconds of silence went passed.......
"Do you ave a name den old boi"??
"Yes, its bill, bill Linton"
"Well nice to met ya bill" He turned back round. And
that's how I met good young Jimmy Dim.
4th, "wake up old boi the blimmin Germans's are
attacking" Jimmy shouted
"who" I responded half asleep
"THE GERMANS" he shouted as men loaded there
riffles and began firing "Grab ya riffle, old boi these are
tricky 'ittle men". I loaded my riffle.
"WATCH OUT OLD BOI, FLYING
3 ½ Hours later
9 men dead 11 injured. I was lucky I escaped with a cut face;
Jimmy on the other hand, has a cut going from his chin to torso
and has to spend 1 week in hospital. But his fine and still got
life in him and always see's on the bright side of things. But
after all of that there is something stirring inside of me and I
finally realised that its betrayal. I feel that all
advertisements and the men that recruited me all lied. It isn't a
place to see the world and so on; it's a place of death.
on dugout duty" said sergeant lee
"Sir Yes sir" I responded
automatically. Its march 1915, the war never stopped at Christmas
and I don't think it's ever gonna stop. It a life from hell this
morning a bloody rat bite my ear and now I'm on dugout duty.
"Click" I heard something snapping outside "Oi jimmy can u hear
"Something snapping outside"
"Probably a bird, opefully they're snatch some of those blimmin
"I don't think it's a bird"
"I'll check if it makes ya happy"
He stood up on the duck board, and just in those few sudden
moments he just dodged a bullet. "THEY'RE BACK, MOVE IT, SET THE
ALARM" just as I was about to shot I remembered my earlier
orders. I shot to the dugout where there were 5 other men
waiting. Just as I was entering "BOOM" and the world went
"Come on bill
wake up" I heard jimmy say, but I could only say one thing, not
where am I or what happened but the first thing that pooped in my
didn't call me old boi" I heard him sigh.
"Bill you gave me a
friggin fright, I thought you wouldn't make it"
Then reality hit me "What happened?"
"One of those bloody strong German grenades hit
your dug out, you where very luckily unlike the others"
happened to the other men in the dugout"?
"They all died bill, 4
died at the scene and the other died last night in hospital"
I felt sick to the stomach. I was extremely
lucky and happy but my heart went out to the families who of
those that died. I spent the next 3 months in hospital and got
out July 1915
I'm going to kill those rats. It's cold, wet and grim and what do
they have to do; chew my only warmth, they practically destroyed
my winter hat. But the weird thing is they are like us they have
trenches and dugouts to quickly escape they're crime.
I got a letter
today from my kids; they are actually turning out to be quite the
artists. They sent me two beautiful pictures and letters that
brang a lump to my throat. My wife is still having doubts and I
don't blame her, as I was writing one back; sergeant lee
"No names, No telling our position and defiantly No
critics, we need all the men we can get and if you're sending off
these types of letters we will get none.
"Sorry sir" and with that I lied to the people I
cared about most, but long as I stayed alive and pleased them I
May 1916 another
shooting went on today, but no of our men were injured or dead,
to celebrate me, jimmy and all the lads drank rum for once even
our sergeant lightened up as well, it seems there is a Brightside
to unhappiness. Jimmy was drunk out of his mind, saying he and
the rats where soul mates and so on and so on, I don't think I
should get into the much more descriptive details, but it was a
laugh. But just as we were enjoying life it absolutely poured
down. We all got on higher surface and fell into a deep
Months on it never stopped raining. The skin on my feet is
peeling off in big chunks its disgusting. Jimmy got a letter off
his pregnant girlfriend, well ex pregnant girlfriend he knew this
letter was to say his baby girl was born. He started reading a
face full of pride, but suddenly it dropped and the letter flew
out of his hand. "What's wrong jimmy"? A young sixteen lad called
"It's not my girlfriend, it's her mum,
she died giving birth?" He said as tears rolled down his face
"What about the baby"? I asked in full concern
DONT CARE THAT STUPID BABY KILLED HER" He shouted in rage
"Calm down Jim, it wasn't the babies fault" said
COMING" shouted sergeant lee
"Come on jimmy" he followed,
we sat in the dugout, I left my hat just outside. "One sec jimmy
lad" I said, as I grabbed my hat and ran backed I got outside
when; "Goodbye old boi" and then jimmy lifted his gun and put it
to his head, and as I was just about to stop him he pulled the
trigger. I fell to my knees in disbelieve and I felt all
April 1917 a
month since jimmy's death, it's not the same, my life feels
empty. He was like a brother I never had. That night I was on
duty fixing the wire fences and as I was doing so I layed down a
wool bracelet that belonged to jimmy. His mum made it for him but
she died 5 years ago. As it lays there I looked up in the sky and
said "were finish this jimmy lad you'll see"
May 1918 the
rain has been nonstop. And it's starting to bring the frogs in.
This morning I woke up and they're in my shoes, this is a
I did not expect
the trauma that would happen the following day.
"This is it men, this is what we have
been waiting and training for" sergeant lee encouraged. "Let's
move". We all started moving except an early 20 lad.
"I... can't" he stammered "I
won't, you can't make me, NOO"! with that the higher ranked men
picked him up and took him away. Some people say they killed him,
some people say they gave him to the German or gave him to the
Germans as a peace offering. But it turned out he was sent to be
court-marshalled for cowardice. 3 months later....... duck,
shoot, duck, shoot, duck, shoot, duck, shoot where my actions for
the passing few months. Men have died fighting, suicide and
escaping, it's all too much, defiantly with no-one now jimmy's
gone. I have Chuckey; His a good lad except his not jimmies, that
sense of humour and grin. But Chuckey stood by me and had my
back, until today. "Grenade" BOOOMMM!! I blurred out a bit that
was right next to me. I turned to see the damaged and too my
horror there was Chuckey lying in a pool of his own blood. I
jumped off the duckboard and took him to some shelter. When it
died down a bit he was rushed to hospital. Waiting outside his
room anxious. A nurse stepped out. "Is he okay" i asked.
"His not dead, but his had his leg amputated and is going home"
"I sighed happy he was
November 1918 908,371 killed, 2,090,212 Wounded and Total
losses around 10 million worldwide. Germany has lost and the war
is over but yet, I feel I have lost. I have lost Friends, soul
and life. As I returned home I didn't care about my family's
pride I care about that it's all over.