Life in the trenches
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.
November 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.
We travelled 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.
Fists flew, 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
“Umm hi” was all I could come up with. A few seconds of silence went
“Do you ave a name den old
“Yes, its bill, bill
“Well nice to met ya bill” He turned back round. And that’s how I met good young Jimmy Dim.
November 4th, “wake up old boi the blimmin Germans’s are attacking” Jimmy
“who” I responded half
“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
“WATCH OUT OLD BOI, FLYING SHRAPNEL”
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.
“Linton, you’re on dugout duty” said sergeant
“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
“Probably a bird, opefully they’re snatch some of those blimmin
“I don’t think it’s a
“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 dark
“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
“Hey you didn’t call me old boi” I heard him
“Bill you gave me a friggin fright, I thought you wouldn’t make
Then reality hit me “What
“One of those bloody strong German grenades hit your dug out, you where very luckily unlike the
“What happened to the other men in the
“They all died bill, 4 died at the scene and the other died last night in
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
November 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 approached
“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
“Sorry sir” and with that I lied to the people I cared about most, but long as I stayed alive and pleased them I was happy.
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 sleep.
March 1917 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 Chuckey
“It’s not my girlfriend, it’s her mum, she died giving birth?” He said as tears rolled down his
“What about the baby”? I asked in full
“ I DONT CARE THAT STUPID BABY KILLED HER” He shouted in
“Calm down Jim, it wasn’t the babies fault” said
“THEY’RE COMING” shouted sergeant
“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 alone.
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 nightmare.
I did not expect the trauma that would happen the following
“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
“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
“His not dead, but his had his leg amputated and is going home” she
"I sighed happy he was okay”
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.
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