From the Despair of the Trenches by Chrissy Byrne

From the Despair of the Trenches

7th January
Christmas has been and gone but the bloody war carries on. Guns blaze as strong as ever and frostbite burns my toes.

20th February
12th Battalion have lost more men and so far no letters from home; supplies are running short fast. How long will this war last?

3rd March
Weather is warming up now but so does the pungent smell of rotten flesh.

10th May
The dead pile up like a separate wall. I can no longer stomach the stench of death but I strangely find comfort in these silent comrades.

13th July
I received a letter from my mam. Jack didn’t survive the military hospital but at least he’s going home to rest, unlike some of these chaps at the front. I will be sorry not to be at his funeral but the war goes on and stops for nothing.

18th August
A year has passed in this God forsaken place. The gruesome pain in my foot does not falter. I dare not remove my boot for fear of trench foot.

12th December
My hands are icy blue with cold and my chest pains increase. I spend longer periods in the trenches until they can find replacement men.

13th March
I receive word that my mam is no more in this world. I say a prayer to bless her soul. She was a good old lass to the bitter end. She was more than a mother, she was my friend.

12th August
My mam came to me in my dreams last night. She said “Not long son until we meet again”.

30th September
My dad dropped by today to say hello in his Sunday best; I said “Quick dad get down below”, but he didn’t listen to what I said and jumped over the line and sang about the good old times. I jumped up quick and then got hit.
4th November
I woke in the dark, a white angel appeared. I thought I was dead and then she said “Good, you are awake my dear – you gave us such a fright we didn’t think you`d live through the night”.

By Chrissy Byrne