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War experiences

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Introduction

My Experiences of the War by Thomas Cooke. I am lying here in hospital with the memories of the trenches and the attack that made me end up here still too painfully fresh in my mind. I wake up every night in the early hours screaming, as the pictures of Pure Hell that have made up the past years of my life run through my frightened mind.. You might say I was lucky to be injured. Better end up here, then dead I suppose, but I know as soon as I recover I'll be back on the front line before you can shout "For King and Country." Back to the lice, the rats, the mud and fighting. Back to the killing. Sorry I'm getting ahead of myself. You see the doctors say the way to help me to conquer my nightmares is to write down my experiences and the best place to start a story is at the beginning. My name is Thomas Cooke and yes I am a "real life" Tommie. I was born on the 8th November 1894 and at the age of 20, my best friend Samuel Carpel and I signed up for the British army to help with the war with Germany. We were told we could stay together; fight together and win together. This however wasn't the case; we were separated and on the 22nd of September last year I lost him, my best friend. ...read more.

Middle

It was a massacre. I hardly have the words to describe the horror, the dreadful, ghastly, gruesome scenes. I saw men twirling in peculiar shapes as they were hit and their last breaths were screams of pain. I came across men wanting me to shoot them and ones calling for their mothers like the boys they were. They met such terrible deaths. What a waste of lives; they were lads who had never lived. And O the noise; the screams and the firing of guns. They are sounds I have heard so often but yet have not and will not get used to. However the worst sound is the silence. The silence before we go over the top. It is then that every man is ruled by fear that the next sniper bullet would have his name on it. I lost my faith so many times in No Mans Land. I kept a bible in my breast pocket with me to help conquer my fear and to remind me that God was on my side but there were times when I wondered why I was really fighting this War and why God was allowing this mass loss of life. Even when my lack of faith was at its worst I kept my bible. It was a present from my mother who seems so far away and it became a lucky charm to get me back safe. I always prayed before going over the top so that God would hopefully keep me safe. ...read more.

Conclusion

I went thinking it was glorify but it isn't that at all. I learnt to shoot and got my cross guns badge to increase my wages. To be honest I was blissfully unaware that I was learning to kill. Lice, rats, barbed wire, fleas, shells, bombs, corpses, blood, filth, bullets, fire, mud, that is what war is. There was only one good moment that occurred in those long years of service. On Christmas Eve 1914 the guns fell silent. It was an unarranged truce and a moment of great joy for us soldiers. Some generals were not too happy but that made it even sweeter. We sang carols and swapped presents and showed photographs. I shared cigars with a lovely young man who had a wife and a new born baby at home. I don't know whether he is still alive or not. Then we played football. The Germans were winning 3-2 when the ball burst on barbed wire. That brought us back to reality and before long we were killing each other again. It showed me that the men fighting for Germary were not unlike us and made me wish more and more for peace. When that happens and only when that happens, I believe the men who fought and died and those like me who are still living we be able to rest in peace. Tom Cooke 1st Bn the Royal Warwickshire Regiment ?? ?? ?? ?? Becki Murray U4P ...read more.

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