Win or Die

britons

With each bullet I fired, I felt something. I’m not sure what it was, but it was something. Had I stopped for a moment to consider the awfulness of war, I can’t say I would have made it home at all. Every death of each man I witnessed, a pain filmed my entire body. I could have loved him as a brother, in a later life. But now his pale, lifeless body lies, slumped, before me, only giving me a moment of praying before I have to shoot again.

This is horror; this is war.

****************

From July 28 1914 to November 11 1918, World War I killed over 8 million soldiers and injured another 21 million. Only 9 out of 10 British soldiers survived – imagine if that was you.

If you’re sitting at school, in the usual class of 30, 3 of them would not come home. It seems not that much, but put it together with the rest of Britain and you have a problem. Many, many women lost their husbands, fathers, sons, grandsons to this dreadful time. Four years, three months and 14 days of pure terror.

****************

You either win or you die. That’s what they told us before we went off to fight. That’s what we believed. The bitter wind wraps around us, yet we don’t worry about that. We dot worry about tightening the knitted scarf our daughters had made and sent in the post. We don’t worry about the dark, cold trenches that we live in. Worrying? We save that for our families.

On a bad night, I hear screaming, I see blood, I smell the gun powder. This scares me, but I must go on.

This is horror; this is war.

****************

Posters, information sheets, everything was made to recruit new members to fight. Walking along the street, a poster with a man pointing at you, saying they needed you, would make you go sign up. It even made a 12-year old boy sign up. He’s younger that me! Young Sidney Lewis lied about his age, so he could fight for his country. 250,000 under aged soldiers went to fight. Thousands never came back.

****************

Do I regret it, you ask? Do I wish I had never signed up? Do I wish I was back home, with my darling family, back to the life of never seeing a gun? I’m not sure, is my answer. Sometimes, no; I’m doing this for my country. Sometimes, yes; this is pure terror. But no matter if I regret it or not, I have to continue.

Aim…

Fire.

 

by The Flame


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