The Lost Generation
Author's note: I've always loved history and thought of it as just one amazing (albeit long) story. WW1 has... Show full author's note »
30th June 1915: Day of the funeral(trenches)It was my fault my baby brother died. He was a long way from home, I should have protected him. He died for me. It was his 17th birthday.....
It was just before the crack of dawn when the alarm went off. It meant only one thing. A gas attack! We’d been trained painstakingly for this so we were able to put our gas masks on in record time. However after about ½hr of wearing the tight, scratchy masks our men became irritable and still there was no sign of any gas, no tell-tale smell. So
I woke up in a scratchy, blood stained hospital bed, lying beside me was my brother. His ash blonde hair was stained and plastered to his forehead by a combination of sweat and blood. His eyes were closed, but the doctor reassured me he was alive. Though only just. His skin was an eerie pale complexion and covered in sickening blisters, he’d never looked so frail and lifeless. I stared at him for a long time as the overworked nurses rushed passed attending to the many wounded soldiers in dire need of their attention. All of a sudden his breathing quickened to a distressing pace. Then all his muscles started to spasm, flailing about of the own accord. Blood was dribbling out the corners of his closed mouth. His eyes were still shut, his body convulsing, thrashing about on the tiny little wooden stretcher. A few nurses hurried over and ripped his bloodstained shirt off his chest. One checked his pulse while the other thumped his chest in an orderly fashion, she then lowered her head. It would have looked as if she were kissing him if it weren’t for the fact that she was his holding his nose shut. She then proceeded to thump his chest again. She checked his pulse and shook her head gravely. You just know the precise moment when someone you love has died and I knew it then. I knew it but I didn’t want to believe it. This wasn’t supposed to happen; he was my baby brother I was supposed to look after him not the other way round. She whispered apologies in a heavy French accent. I stared at her. She was attractive, about my age too. I gave her a weak smile; before I let the tears escape. The salt stung the wounds on my face but I ignored it. I screamed for my brother to come back but he never did. The nurse stayed with me all through the night and comforted me. She was very good natured and patient. She told me all about how my brother had sacrificed his gas mask for me when I had blacked out and how he single-handedly carried me all the way to the medics, where he promptly collapsed. She told me what a great, admirable man my brother was. But I already knew that. Why didn’t I just listen, he knew something was wrong and I just dismissed it. Why didn’t I listen?
I fell asleep to the soft sound of a beautiful lullaby in a language I couldn’t comprehend, and dreamt of my brother. My baby brother, my hero.