Journal

I have seen and been through more than I can handle. It’s too much. I think of my beautiful wife and two children every single day. I always wonder what they are doing, what they are eating, what they are thinking of. Are they thinking of me? I know they are safe, but at times they have no idea where I am, dear or alive. I’ve heard stories of families back home who receive news of their dead family members in war and end up going mad or killing themselves. I don’t want to put my family, through that.

Everyday I see men die cruel, horrible deaths.  Their bloody bodies left lying on the ground. They all had a family, people who cared for them and loved ones. But now, they have nothing. They are gone. Their families will receive the news and end up living a life of sorrow.

This is harder on me than I would have thought. I know all the men here are feeling it to, but nobody wants to show it. They are all wishing they had never come here, or that it ends soon. You can tell when some men have given up.

It’s been two weeks since I last wrote to my wife. Only two weeks, but I feel like it’s been forever.

Not only do I have to live without seeing my family, but also I think I’m falling ill. This morning my temperature was fairly high, my nose was runny and my eyes and skin was itchy. I’ve seen some soldiers go through similar symptoms. It’s mostly caused by the mustard gas.

One of my mates, Charlie, recently died. He was a victim of the terrible mustard gas that the German troops fired. Luckily I wasn’t there when the explosive hit. I heard, from some other soldiers who just returned from the hospital, that he was in a terrible condition. He was bleeding internally and externally and was struggling to breathe.

I’m terrible worried, I might be affected badly. I’m hoping this sickness would pass quickly. An awfully worrying thing it is.

I ought to get some sleep.

Christopher Blackstone

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Dear Susan,

I miss all of you so very much. How are the children? I hope everything is doing well back home in London.

Much has happened since I had last written. Too much to write.

Just recently, some soldiers and I were sitting in the trench where we made a shelter with planks and sand bags. We were discussing some of our war plans. We had planned to travel to the border of France where our troops would support some of the French troops there. While we were doing this, the enemy started bombarding us. I was certain we were not going to make it. But obviously I was wrong. We started running out of the shelter because it was no match against the enemy’s firearm. I got as far away as I could, thankfully with slight injuries. The enemy held fire quite soon after. Only one soldier had got serious injuries, but he is healing quickly.

You are so lucky you don’t have to live in these filthy trenches. Not only have I had to fight and watch my friends die day by day, but also these pesky rats have caused major problems in our trenches. My fellow soldiers and I hardly had any sleep these past few nights. The trench rat’s problem has gone from bad to worse. The loud noises they make and their constant movement all over the trenches makes it extremely difficult to fall asleep. I tried endlessly to kill as many rats as possible before bed, but it’s impossible; they keep coming back. Our commander prohibited us from firing our weapons at the rats to kill them. We had to save our ammunition for the enemy and the enemy only, but some of us secretly fired at the rats when we just couldn’t handle it anymore. Just last night when I was finally falling asleep, I felt a strangely heavy weight run up my leg. Without doubt, I knew it was a rat. In an instant I grabbed my bayonet, which was at arms length, turned to my back so the rat would fall to the floor and stabbed it. Yes, it was a terrible sight, but I have gotten used to it. A few weeks back, I was walking through the trench, where I found a dead soldier. He had on the normal British soldier uniform as did the rest of us, but his was tattered, and drenched in blood. Under his shirt, just above his chest, I could see a large blob. I unbuttoned the dead soldiers shirt in curiosity and a giant cat-sized rat leaped out. The soldier’s chest was bitten into and scarred. A terrible sight it was.

I’m terribly sorry for making you have to read all my horrible problems. I wish I was there to just tell you all this, rather than writing it.

I will write to you soon. Tell everyone back home I sent my love.

Yours truly,

Christopher Blackstone

Week 1 Blog

So far in this topic, i have learned:

  • What triggered the World War.
  • The 5 causes of the war:
  1. Militarism
  2. Alliances/ Assassination
  3. Imperialism
  4. Nationalism
  • Who the alliances were:
  1. Triple Alliance:  Germany, Italy, Autria-Hungary
  2. Triple Entente: France, Russia, Britain
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

I want to learn:

  • About the other countries that were involved or helped.
  • About the outcomes of the war.
  • How it changed the world.
  • How long it took the people to recover.