World War I Trench Diaries

2748 words - 11 pages

9th November 1914Dear Diary,Life has never been so hard; in fact the only thing keeping me going is my wife Jane, back in England. We've been building trenches now for God knows how long, our C.O. described it as a little gardening but I know this is no back garden project. This is serious; the ditch I built could save my life. I drew this diagram recently on my break trying to explain to one of the new recruits. There's not much to do here, its all the same; build part of the trench, eat build part of the trench, sleep.Pile after pile after pile of mud, sometimes I think that I'll end up on the other side of the world, though I realise I'm only 4 feet deep. It's tiring work, shifting all that earth all the time everyday but I know it'll look good when its finished, hopefully. Here's a map I was given when we started to build the trenches to help me get around, it's very basic but better than getting lost. You know how it is with these trench systems.Conditions aren't too bad at the moment but it can all change in a heartbeat. We've been getting some rain lately, which doesn't help us considering we are trying to build trenches. I haven't seen any Germans yet although I'm willing to wait. Mind you I could have already shot one from a distance without knowing it. I got a new uniform today because I was promoted to corporal, all of the uniforms are uncomfortable; they always itch.A lot of my rations are surprisingly nice though; we have to carry over one and a half kilograms of it. That's one of the good things about the British, always give us enough of everything. I made a list to check if anyone steals any, my mate Freddie is always swiping things of the new recruits, he's a bit of a scrounger but he's still a good friend.567g bread and biscuits50g extra meat14g tea454g beef50g extra bread13g corn130g bacon34g potatoes13g hay58g porridge28g cheese13g straw56g jam21g butter10g oats56g sugar21g groceries10g oxo-cubes54g stew14g coffee1 full water bottleI hope all the rumours were true and that the war will be over Christmas but no one can be sure. Private Jake and some others were going paranoid; they think that Germany will invent some kind of machine or bomb that will win them the war. I don't believe a word of it, they're only young though, some eighteen, others seventeen and I bet some have sneaked in at the age sixteen. Everyday soldiers worry that it will be the day they'll die. I worry, I'm scared. You've go to do it though you have to go into the war. I wonder if we will win... What will it be like? Happy? I don't think so, I think it will be sad, all the people that would have died... Even worse though, we might lose. What will that be like? Freddie says he doesn't think about it, better that way he says, he's right.Tony5th May 1915Dear Diary,It seems everyday is worse than the day before it; today we were gas attacked. I imagine it's the worst thing that can happen in the war. I literally thought I was going to die, I heard the...

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