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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

Sacrifice

By Xavier Ellis, year 8, Elizabeth College

I crept towards the old oak door, avoiding the usual creaky floorboards. Yes. A letter. From Dad! I let out a silent sigh of relief as I had been doing this for over a month and I was beginning to think that he had died in battle. I carefully opened the letter and began to read.
“Dear Thomas,
I hope you and your mother are well, and you need not worry about me. I can’t even begin to imagine how you must have felt not receiving my letters for so long. I have been deployed here for one year now and each day gets harder and harder, not because of the endless gunfire and shrapnel wounds but because I cannot see you or hear your voices that I miss so dearly.
Just yesterday a small task force (including me) sprinted into ‘no-man’s land’ and threw grenades into the German trenches. It was a success, but no gain is without pain. I was shot thrice in the leg and once in the arm, but the Nurse says I will be fine.
Tomorrow will be the most important battle of the war and it is on the Somme. I have been asked by the Field Marshall to lead the first squadron into battle and if all goes well I will see you in three days!” Three days was yesterday.
I turned the paper over. Another letter was attached! I began to excitedly read the letter. I fell to my knees. A tear trickled down my now pale cheeks as I covered my face with my hands.
“It is our deepest regret to inform you that Lieutenant General Joseph Briggs was killed in action at Mametz serving his country on 4th July.”

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