The Soldier In The Distance
I sat anticipated on the train. I knew I would probably lose my life, never see my family’s smiling faces again. Never get to be married, have children. My life would end here. I didn’t even realise the tears pouring down my face until I reached up to tuck a piece of hair behind my ear. I looked down and saw my soldiers uniform gazing back up at me. I felt so miserable, my body felt heavy. But not that I knew now, I was to survive and help Churchill win the war…
Life in the trenches was horrible. Most of the time I was in them I spent digging in the mud trying to find a space where the dirt didn’t cascade down on you when you slept. My whole body itches and aches whilst my ears scream as a result of the ear-piercing gunshots and sirens. I was sure I would be deaf by the end of this.
BOOM! I was woken by a huge noise. It was then I became aware of soaring and a huge Messerschmitt fighter plane up above. The Germans were here. I jumped up instantly picking up my Bren Light machine gun and began firing at the plane. I could feel the strain of the gun as the trigger went off again and again. That’s when I felt a searing pain in the back of my arm. I looked to see a small hole with blood slowly pouring out, I had been shot. Luckily it wasn’t in a place that could seriously injure me so I went back to my gun trying to ignore the growing, insufferable agony just below my humerus.
A few minutes later, when the Messerschmitt had successfully been shot down, my commander ordered us to head up towards the German’s trenches to try and get some information about their plans.
This was a difficult operation and it needed all the concentration and luck you could get. If you weren’t quiet enough and you were caught, you were for it. Dead in other words. I made my way silently across the battlefield passing through dirty fields and rough barbed wire the repulsive smell of blood filled my lungs. Far off in the distance, I could hear sirens and screams as another place was bombed. I hope my family is alright. Then I realised we were at the trenches.I crouched tentatively behind a fence as a troop passed in front of us. Everyone else began quietly moving closer to the trenches to eavesdrop but I was distracted. Across the horizon I could see someone on the hill, a soldier in the distance. I moved away from the rest of the pack and moved towards the soldier.
When I was closer, I could see that he was not standing but crouching, a pained look on his face. He had been shot, I realised. I reached him and looked at his uniform gingerly. He was French. One of Britain's allies.
“Do you speak English?” I asked timidly.
“Yes,” He answered, he was clearly in pain, “Perfect English.”
“Why are you here?” I replied.
“I was eavesdropping at the German’s trenches,” he began, “ I was there for hours, I heard everything. All their plans. Everything. It was.. ..indescribable. Amazing. Then I heard people get up. Their meeting was over and they were going to leave. I had to get away fast. Then I felt pain sear through my body. I’d been shot and I couldn’t run quick enough. I stumbled on, bullets ricocheting behind me. I made it to here, where I turned around to see that the Germans had gone. Thought they’d killed me. Stuck ‘ere now, nowhere to go, no one to tell. Well I guess, until you found me.”
I was astonished, flabbergasted, name a word that meant surprised, I felt it. I had stumbled across someone who knew all (Yes all!) of the German’s plans.
“We need to get you to the military base.” I said.
“I can’t walk.” Answered the French soldier.
“I’ll carry you.” I then thought of my shot arm and winced. But this was worth it and whatever pain the man had been through, it was worse. I picked the man up and I saw his face twist in discomfort. Then I began to run. I ran and ran as quick as my legs could carry me, as fast as I’ve ever gone before.
That night’s events were indescribable. When I reached the base the story was explained and we were questioned again and again. It was tiring but everyone felt uplifted. We knew the German’s plans. We would win the war.
A few months later, the war was over. We had sabotaged their plans over and over again and in the end, they surrendered. Today was a big day. The soldier I had seen in the distance (His name was Charles de Gaulle) and I were getting the victory medal from Churchill. When it was passed to me I glowed with pride and I think everyone else did too. And what pleased me most was to see my family’s smiling faces in the crowd.
5 Years Later
My wife and I sat with our children on the carpet. The date was December 25th, 1950, Christmas morning. Our children were opening their presents excitedly, dressed in their favourite pyjamas. I felt happy too, I was remembering the day we helped Churchill win the war...
Rose Year 5