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Regrets.My stay at the make-shift hospital seemed a lifetime away from the battle as I could only hear the occasional blitz of shell fire echoing in the distance.

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REGRETS My tour of duty or should it be 'tour of hell' was coming to a very welcomed close for myself and my fellow comrades. Getting a slight shrapnel wound was not unwelcome, as it confined me to the field hospital, whittling away a few more days. My stay at the make-shift hospital seemed a lifetime away from the battle as I could only hear the occasional blitz of shell fire echoing in the distance. The frontline must have been a good ten miles away. However, I was experiencing mixed emotions about my absence from the frontline. Obviously the fact that I was only going to be around that day and the next before being shipped home was pleasing and spending my penultimate two days in a field hospital doing absolutely nothing and most importantly in very little pain added to this almost euphoric feeling. But mixed with my joy of not fighting in the trenches was a slightly guilty thought emanating from my conscience, like a snake slithering through grass. If the truth were told I would probably have been classed as fighting fit. I remained in the hospital thanks to the fact that I had been making out that I was in more pain than I actually was and that I was almost completely immobile. In truth I could probably walk relatively freely. This ruse had only probably worked due to a very trustworthy nurse. ...read more.


In a loud booming voice he said, 'You look like a soldier who's beginning to miss the action back on the frontline'. Left with no option, stuttering and mumbling, I uttered out the words 'yes, ............yes sir'. ' Feeling better then lad. No use you wasting away here then is there?' Grunting and puffing with his own importance, he growled, 'Right then sonny, you can come back with me tonight.' In a slightly lowered excited tone, which left me cold, he said, 'We've got plans for a major offensive tonight'. As I left I managed to ask the nurse how she rated Stuart's chances and she replied 'fifty/fifty'. I knew I had to get back to see him. I owed him this much. He had to live. I asked the nurse her name, I hadn't even thanked her. In her hurry I caught what seemed to be the reply 'Jane Daily'.. Little did I know the circumstances under which I would hear this name again. Just as I was leaving I heard a stuttery voice mumble, 'Steve......Steve is that you........?,' Pausing and thinking I said, 'Yeh...yeh it is, I've gotta go, but I'll see yu tommorra,' I said this in a very hurried manner, knowing what I just said was hardly what he wanted to hear. I could have been more reassuring. ...read more.


Everyone cheered when we heard that the frontline had been pushed deeper into central Europe. This gave me some consolation that what I was fighting for a few days ago just might have been worth some of the effort. I was still thinking about Stuart and I was eager to find out how he was. Someone suggested I listen to the radio where they held regular 'role calls' of people falling in combat. I was very sceptical because accurate reports of the huge numbers of deaths must send morale tumbling, surely? Anyway, all ears devoted, we tuned into the radio listening intently. Names were read out and Stuart's name didn't come. I was beginning to feel the warm glow of relief. But when what was to be the penultimate name was read my vision blurred and I felt dizzy. A surge of nausea threatened to overcome me and I fell on the radio in disbelief. The name 'Jane Daily' echoed in my head. It was she who had probably saved my life. She had been my saviour and I had never even thanked her. She had probably saved my fellow soldier's life although I would probably never know. 'Lost in the course of duty during a German bombing raid on field hospital..............' I lost consciousness but had the haunting experience of feeling her gentle, comforting reassuring voice envelope me. Alex Lov´┐Żn 8 May, 2007 1 1 ...read more.

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