1916, September 18th. I was looking forward to going in to war; it sounded adventurous! It started out to be great, early yesterday morning crowds applauded us and the bands playing.
We arrived at the trenches later that day, our bags big and bulky and our backs already starting to ache. It was dirty and looked a mess. The trenches were smelly and very muddy! We had a couple of hours to practise and work on our techniques. We had only been practising for about an hour and already it was becoming hard work. We were walking through trenches all day and night, trampling through knee-high mud in the hot and humid weather.
Although it was fascinating being there, I had begun to realise what being in war was actually like! Over the past few hours the sun soon started to turn to rain and thick, heavy clouds displaced bright, white ones. The weather kept on changing as we were walking and my clothes were drenched. We finally stayed in one place of the trenches. Guns were being fired and bombs exploding. People already being injured or even killed. I was frightened but knew I had to keep my strength and courage going. The trenches were confusing, I was just following the other men because they looked as if they knew what they were doing.
I am missing my family so much, my daughter, son and loving wife Kimberly. I love them with all my heart and I just hope that one day I’ll be re-united with them, sooner rather than later! I’m going to go now hopefully I’ll be able to write soon. God Bless you Kimberly, Anne and David.
1916,October about the 4th. It’s been about 6 weeks now. It’s really hard to keep clean, especially with no clean water! I have a bar of soap and a little bit of water. The mud and water is knee-high and I can hardly feel my feet. I am starting to get trench feet, the pain is awful.:( My feet are rotting and as I walk I can feel the bruises on them hitting the sides of my boots, my feet are swelling and are getting worse everyday.
The sight of the trenches is horrific; there are bodies everywhere, some of which are my good friends. The rats are eating the flesh of those dead and rats are huge!. Not only the sight that’s horrific, it’s the smell aswell. There’s excretion from humans and rats everywhere, even on my clothes. My clothing is stuck to me; it is wet and muddy. There’s lice crawling all over me, there must be millions of them. I can feel them crawling under my clothes on my bare skin, there tickling me!
Anyway, I’m looking forward to my letters from home and little presents from yound children. I got a letter off a young girl the other day called mary she wished me the best of luck and sent me one of her teddys.
She sed ” Dear Soldier, Please be careful and I wish you the best of luck. I have chosen a gift for you and hope you like it. Lots of love and luck. Mary xx
I also enjoy having a laugh with the other soldiers although it doesn’t seem like a laughing situation it was the only thing that kept us going really!
Despite all that was going on we still had conversations with the Germans, afterall this isn’t out argument, it’s out leaders. We even sometimes play a game of football with them. Anyway, I’m going now I’ll write soon!
November, 20th 1918. Finally after fours years of upset and depression, we have won the war! The Americans helped us towards the end with there 50,000 troops arriving every week. Thanks to out hi-tech machinery we were able to defeat the Germans. Flame throwers, grenades and light machine guns were used by the Germans but they were obviously not powerful enough to defeat our troops and tanks. We had been in war so long that we had begun to learn the Germans tactics. So it was easier for us to kill them! We had to attack the Germans from three sides- the front and the two on the flank. This was because the German forces had formed a huge bulge of troops into France. In July of this year the British (us) joined the French in a counter attack with 450 tanks. We had several victories before the allies routed German armies which went back to a line of forts. Im so glad to still be alive and can’t wait to see my family. It’s going to be so wonderful to be back home! My favourtie poen during this war was “The soldier” my favourite line is “If I die think only this of me” I like it because its so true and believable. It’s a very sad poem and very heart felt.
Well this is where my diary comes to an end and my new life starts! I hope my family is back home waiting for my arrival home and I hope that one day I can meet Mary ( the girl who wrote me that letter). Thank tou God for guiding me and helping me through these 4 years and someday somebody can read my diary and think of how bad the war is!
( British Soldier. Age: 26)
Battle of Somme,1916. We have been planning to attack and our sergeants have told us what to do :
Our trenches are about 2 metres deep and 0 to 5 metres wide! We had to stand in our trenches until we were told to attack. When we were told to attack we looked through parapets to make sure everything was ok then we got out of our trenches and made a run for the barbed wire, we couldn’t do anything really to get over this barbed wire it was so difficult and sharp! After tackling the barbed wire we reached no-mans land! From behind bombs were being thrown to the Germans and in front was smoke and gas. I was inhaling the gas so needed my gas mask I put it on and then tried to escape through no-mans land!
Im so glad that I haven’t got shell shock because I couldn’t cope. Shell shock is a mental disease and is very serious it makes you dribble, shake and sometimes you cannot talk. There were so many people that died in this battle and lots more injured! Some enemys and some my friends or colleagues!
Im so happy that im still alive, I did’nt think that I’d survive. Im going to go now and hope that this isn’t my last time writing to you! Remember Anne, David and Kimberly that I love you!