I've always loved history and thought of it as just one amazing (albeit long) story. WW1 has...
Show full author's note »
4th August 1914:
I can still vividly recall the legendary stories father used to tell me and my brother at bedtime, before he died in the mine explosion when I was 8 and Johnny (only 11!) took it upon himself to become the man of the house. Things have never been the same; no man (or boy for that matter) can replace my Father. But never when I sat entranced by my father’s magical stories of the knights in all their grandeur, did I imagine that one day I might have my own chance to serve my country. Today it was announced that Britain has declared war on Germany. Being only 16 legally I’m not old enough to sign up, but that’s not going to stop me, besides rules are meant to be broken. My main worry is that Mother will never let me go but I really see no reason for me to stay now school’s reached its expiry date for me -the army is the perfect escape and a respectable one at that! I can still remember sneaking into my father’s bedroom when I was younger and trying on the army uniform he had neatly hanging up inside his wardrobe and pretending I was a soldier, the sleeves hanging limply at my sides puffing my chest out as far as it would go. Before he worked down the mines Father served in the army for a while too. Now it’s my chance to follow in my hero’s footsteps.