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Letter From The Trenches.

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Letter From The Trenches By Sammie Whyte November 21st, 1916 Dear Elizabeth, Dearest. I know this shall never reach you but I had to write this for my own reasons and myself, as much as for you. Even if you were to read this you wouldn't understand. No one who has not witnessed the horror will understand. Where to begin to give you even just a glimpse at this life here among the decomposing corpses and stench of slaughter? To begin at the very beginning is said to be a good start, you saw me leave, and on that day do you remember how I looked? I do, I looked so healthy, proud and handsome. Now? Now I look like a filthy stinking hag. My fine woollen uniform is no more than a mud and flea infested rag. The journey here was long and harsh, many were travelsick and the small cramped compartments allocated to groups of us stank of sweat and vomit. On arrival in France, I was sent to the reserve with a group of fellow disillusioned men. ...read more.


How soul destroying that will be. After only a week at the front, I began to vomit a lot and had terrible diarrhoea. It was thought, at first, to be trench sickness, everyone has had it at some point. That was until I fainted on the third day. A nurse was called from the reserve and I was rushed to the nearest medical tent. I was diagnosed with cholera. I thought I was going to die, so did everyone else, I could see it in there eyes. I began to think about never seeing you again, smelling you or holding you. I cried bitter tears. At one point lying in the squalid medical tent I thought I saw you. Standing before me in your Sunday best looking as beautiful as ever. For a moment I thought I was dead and you were an angel come to take me to heaven. Yet as I blinked the sleep and tears from my eyes, I saw that it was not you but a new nurse just arriving in this hell, not an angel come to take me from it. ...read more.


What seemed like hours passed with me lying there listening, praying, until I dared to open my eyes. When I did I saw not you but a large rat staring at me with hungry little eyes. I screamed so loud the Germans must have heard me. I then began to vomit, over and over, into a stinking bucket. I vomited until my stomach was stripped bare and then I sobbed. Winter is creeping steadily onward. It is as cold as summer was hot. Summer burns your bones, winter freezes them. In summer flesh rots from the heat, in winter it rots from the cold. I do not know which is worse- both are hell. Let me tell you again how much I love you and I will try to be home soon. Tell the boys I miss them and remind them who I am. Wait for me. I will return. I could write on, telling you how much I love and miss you, but something is going on. I must go find out what the commotion is all about. All my love always, John ...read more.

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