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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

Boy Soldier

By Finley Du Port, year 8, St Sampson’s School

I was 15 when I joined the army. It was a sunny afternoon, birds flying up above, I’d always wanted to be a soldier and when I heard about the war I was positive this was my time to shine and make a name for myself.

Machine gun in hand, this is where it gets dirty. The enemies were just past this corner. 3,2,1 they were down, injured, bleeding to death.

“Well done Jack," Corporal praised me from the side-line of the training camp. “Perform like that that tomorrow in France, son, you’re sure to send the Nazis running back across the border."

Tomorrow will be my first actual experience of what it is really like out there in no man’s land. Tomorrow felt like years away. Tonight I will have an early night and plenty of rest . Deep down I knew I would not be getting to sleep tonight as I was dreading what was to come.

The night felt like it passed in a couple of minutes, I got up wishing I never awoke. We were in sector 72 and our trench was one of the newest dug so we had the best advantages on the battlefield. My legs were trembling with fear. I was on lookout tonight.

“GAS, GAS, GAS, boys, don’t panic, get your gas mask securely strapped on and use what you have learnt in training,” demanded the sergeant. But I just couldn’t do it. I was whimpering and crying like a squawking pig, One more second and I would have been safe from the orange toxic mist, but it wasn’t enough time, I was spluttering and choking on air. I must have inhaled some of the gas, I was vomiting like a helpless dying animal.

Then Just Darkness.

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