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You are a volunteer British soldier in the trenches in 1916. Describe what it is like.

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You are a volunteer British soldier in the trenches in 1916. Describe what it is like. My name is William White, known to most people as Will, and I am fighting for my country in the war. I am a volunteer soldier and so far my experiences have been extraordinary. Back in 1914 when war was declared I wasn't that interested in fighting for Britain. I was aged 17 and much more interested in medicine. For many years it had been my ambition to study science and become a doctor. Of course, the announcement that my country was at war did worry me, and I realised that my life might change a bit, but back then everyone thought it'd all be over within a few months. I still lived with my mother, father and younger brother William, and I was planning to propose to my darling love Betty in due time. She was so beautiful and we loved each other dearly. A lot of people from my town of Leighton Buzzard rushed to enrol, caught by the fever that was spreading the country. ...read more.


I felt no guilt at not enrolling, and I didn't consider myself to be lazy or a coward. I just had no interest in destroying lives when I could be saving them instead. After a while I started getting dirty looks from a few people - Mrs. Brown at the grocer's stopped chatting to me when I popped over to get the vegetables, and old Mr. Bedley from down the street would clear his throat and mutter something about 'the youth of today' whenever I passed him in his garden. Generally though, I was treated as normal until my father returned. For the past month he'd been working in a London bank. We received a telegram from him when news of the war was announced, and he returned earlier than planned because peoples' priorities both in London and here had changed. I knew for a fact that my mother didn't want me to fight - she'd always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and like many other mothers, she didn't want her son to go away and maybe never return. ...read more.


Well, I heard enough reasons to sign up that night, but my heart just wasn't in it. I went for a long walk the next day, thinking things over. Recruitment posters were stuck everywhere and for the first time they all seemed to be directed at me. The most common one was of Lord Kitchener pointing his finger and saying 'your country needs you!'. Much as I tried to avoid it, his stare and critical finger followed me wherever I went. Other posters showed Germans abusing small children and pouring water away in front of dying soldiers. But the one that stuck in my mind the most featured a man sitting in his armchair with his children on the floor. One of them was reading a book about the war and asking 'Daddy, what did you do in the war?'. The look on the man's face haunted me and I began to wonder if I would regret not fighting for Britain in the future. The posters had a point, I didn't want my future family to be ashamed of me, and it was only going to be for a few months anyway... ...read more.

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