Continuous, ongoing shells were swirling and coiling vigorously throughout the sky as the bombardment of gunfire was being propelled at us. We tried to send some bullets back. The bullets flew like planes of devastation surrounded by an air of rivalry. I was imagining never seeing my loved ones again: this was the darkest, most depressing thought that anyone could ever have. As well as the bullets and emotion, there was also the disgusting odour of trench foot creeping through the nostrils of the soldiers, like an enemy coming to bombard your lungs, which made most heave the first time they smelt it.
Suddenly, there was a cry of despair from one soldier, as he fell to his knees and groveled. He had not been wounded but yet he was in such distress. Terror streaming out of his eyes. He had just been told that within the next ten minutes we would be charging over the top to try advance our position; one would think if you wished to advance you would build the trenches forwards rather than sideway. There was a whirlwind of mixed emotions, which made the blood rush to the head.
Most just dazed into the distance, it was as if everything froze at an instant… “GAS! Gas! All of the soldiers scrambled for their masks. It seemed all of the soldiers were quick enough to save their insides from being cremated. One solider crashed to the floor clasping his throat. He gripped on to my leg. I couldn’t hear him. Panic-stricken. However, I attempted to read his lips – they said “Help me! ” He stopped struggling; I felt the grip he had on my leg get weaker and weaker, until he was dead. I felt an ice cold tear, trialing down the sides of my face. With an uproar of anger, I impaled my fists into the firm sandbags. Another hero stolen from the team by the German bastards!
We lifted his body and carried his corpse to where the truck would come to pick up the deceased up, to be sent back home and buried. I tried to forget what was going to happen to us as we would pop our head out of the trench, as a mole does in their burrow. To think that the Huns are always watching, just to pick off one of us just “Having a quick peak”. That’s what Richard said yesterday, before his blood became the new designer interior of the trenches – this season’s must have! Ha. Or Harry. Lost in death’s lair. They still haven’t any trace of his body; it’s been 5 days now.
He could have been captured by the Huns; they could be torturing him for all we know! Talk about torture that’s what it sounds like is going on in the sanatorium. Just screaming, crying and shouting. What’s actually going on down there? I suddenly awake from my daze and peaked over my shoulder, I am alone. As always. I realise I have been talking to myself for the last five minutes or so. That’s what this place does to you. It teaches you things that can be good in life, but teaches you the hard way. Time was ticking, not long was left until noble heroes would plunge to their death.
Planes were falling from the sky as leaves fall from a tree in autumn. This was foresight, a warning, summarising what was going to happen as we go charging over the trench walls like blind men lead by the devil. A blind man has more sense in his right eye than any of the generals have in their entire body! They were always making what would seem wrong decisions; many of them didn’t know how to load a gun! Yet they were in-charge. The shells stopped firing, gun fire stopped. All went silent for a split-second. Pure bliss. Then a whistle was blown three times; this was the signal to charge.
We went rushing over the trenches in an attempt to make some ground. It was easier said than done. Over the barbed wire fences, over the land mines, in and out of the firing bullets – not an assault course for the faint-hearted. “AHH! ” I had been shot! I dropped to the ground like the trees foresaw I would. Blood came gushing out of my wound. It was my leg. An excruciating pain was crashed down upon me. Soldiers advanced pass me as they reached the German trenches. My leg became dead to me. My eyes started watering again; I could feel that this was the end for me.
I was not going to be one of the lucky ones to make it back from no-man’s-land. I was too far away from our trench to be recovered. All I could think about was how much I loved my beloved wife, how much I missed her. If I could only just have the last minute of my life snuggled up next to her, in her arms where I belong. I was about to go… to a better place where I could watch and look over my wife and soon see her again. I could only hope that my name would be recognised as a hero who died for his country, among other hero’s. I could see the light. As I took my last few breaths, I sung to myself…