It had been a cold night and none of us had got any sleep. We were due to move in the morning but the heavy rain had caused major colisions and the roads were blocked from all sides.
While I sat with my back to the bunker , I started to think about my life back home and my family. When you are out here the hours, days and weeks all go past so quickly and you don’t know where you are. It’s like being in a dream expecting to wake up at any minute but finding instead that it is all true and that were you are is real.
My wife had been unwell before I came out here, I was on the brink of not coming and would try and ask for compassionate leave, but in the days leading up to my departure she became much better in herself. It was very hard on my young child as he was always with his mother and the fact that she was ill caused him to be very upset.
Life at home was very calm we lived in a small house, it wasn’t ours, it belonged to another couple but they had kindly allowed us to stay there. It had become normal here, nobody could afford to have a house of your own. We were lucky that there were only two families in our house, some had up to six and had even gone into the space above the upstairs celings. I dread to think what that must have been like having all those people crammed into one space.
Although I was married and had a family I had spent many years away. I had signed up to the army when I was quite young and had served in it for many years before I met my wife. Married life had always been very different for us compared to our own parents and other people as I was away most of the time. I loved my wife dearly and had always wanted to have a family, but I loved the army as well, sometimes more if I am honest. It could have caused arguments and disagreements but it didn’t it was a way of life that we had become accustomed to.
Myself and my wife had both lost our mothers when we were in our twenties. You can’t explain to anyone else how this feels but I think that because we had both been through this we were kind of searching for the same love and someone who we could talk to about it all.
I was a good listener and very compassinate. I may have been in the army and I was working my way up the ranks, but I had a big heart and when it came to people I never shyed away from it.
The lights have all gone out again. It’s pitch black and the only thing that is lighting the place is the burning cigarette I am holding. I am not one for drinking but I do like to smoke. It helps to ease my mind and my nerves as well which have been pretty bad of late.
Just then an explosion happened and all you could hear were men screaming in pain, the legs of some of them had been blown completely off and as they lay there, they were bleeding to death. We tried to help them as much as possible but there were too many of them and the injuries were that horrific they would not survive. Sometimes you would have bodies that would just drop down on you as you fought side by side. I have never in my life seen a dead person not even when my mother died, but here it is all around you. I have been physically sick many times and fainted by the sights that I have seen. Today, a young man was trying to reach his friend to help to save him from the blasts that were happening and he too lost his life. People think that when you come here to fight that it is every man for himself that we are all in some way leave all our love behind but that is not true. As well as fighting we help one another. We came here together to fight for Queen and country and we honour that even if that means we may lose our own life.
We have no time to get to know each other but simply to be on the same side and to cover each other so that we can get into positions where we can attack the enemy and then take over certain areas.
The fighting stops for a while and when this happens many of the wounded are taken away to a nearby field ambulance. A place that is set up to care for the wounded and sick. As the numbers have increased so have the field ambulance numbers and the many men that help
I am safe at the moment and will not move until it is light. I am not alone and my fellow soldiers are here with me. We have to wait for orders and while we do we remain silent and do not speak in fear that we will be discovered. I will sign off now and will be back again tomorrow that is if I am still alive.