A First World War Soldier Essay

535 WordsSep 19, 20153 Pages
I’ll never forget the winter of 1914. I was stationed in Somme after being forced to enlist as a foot soldier in the British army. It was mid-December and the weather was unbearably cold, my socks were soaked and my feet felt frozen. Sitting in the trenches for hours on end was a horrible way to live and I became anxious as I never been in battle until that point. On the morning of Tuesday the 17th of December 1914, our regiment was given the order to neutralise a German machine gun nest that was halting our advancement into enemy territory. “We attack at mid-day!” yelled the sergeant major with a sick grin slapped across face. The plan was to ambush the nest and take the Germans by surprise. As I waited in my position, huddled behind a wall of thorn bushes, I could hear the footsteps of my enemies treading in the trenches a mere ten feet away from me. I heard the call… a whistle with four specific notes that I had been dreading; it was the signal to attack and immediately the sound of gunfire and yelling invaded my ears. Too scared to move, I stayed, rigid in my place. I couldn’t see the battle from where I hid but I could clearly hear the cries of men being put to death. Suddenly, a frightened German soldier appeared before me. Knelt down still like stone statues, we stared at each other, not knowing our next move. He was young, no older than 18 and I could see the tears welling in his eyes… I joined the battle, sliding into the trenches, surprised at my new found courage. I tried not to think about the horrid environment, but the lifeless bodies scattered in the dirt surrounded by lakes of blood were impossible to ignore. Bang! Bullets whizzed past, inches from my trembling body as I ducked, dodged and dived trying my best to evade the heat-seeking miniature missiles. My comrades and I fought endlessly as German reinforcements seemed to be in unlimited supply.

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