• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Coursework on Trenches

    Most soldiers got lice because they often had to go without washing or changing their clothes for weeks at a time. The term 'chatting' originated from the sound made when soldiers spent time popping lice on their filthy clothes. They were found in between the seams of trousers and waistcoats.

  2. The Battle of the Somme 1916 - source related study.

    Bombarding the enemy with shells was the normal procedure in launching an attack. The plan was to make gaps in the barbed wire fences defending the enemy trench, and kill as many of their officers as possible before going over the top and across no-man's land.

  1. The Battle of the Somme 1916

    More research should have taken place. A vital mistake the generals made was to underestimate the effectiveness of the machine gun. Haig thought it was over-rated and could be overcome by sheer grit and determination. This frame of mind was perhaps fatal for the British troops and perhaps what created the war of attrition, which could have no other outcome than so many deaths.

  2. Comparing 'Peace' and 'The Volunteer'.

    The octave follows Shakespearean/Elizabethan (ababcdcd) rhyme scheme, while the sestet follows the Petrarchan/Italian (efgefg). Rupert's nationalistic and religious fervour is astounding. In his poem he writes, "Now, God be thanked who has matched us with His hour...With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work