The broken poppy, p.1
The Broken Poppy, p.1Alice Catherine Carter
The Broken Poppy
Alice Catherine Carter.
“If we don’t end war, war will end us.”
Copyright ©.2014. By Alice Catherine Carter.
Alice Catherine Carter has asserted her rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior permission.
In loving memory of my great-great uncle Private Albert “Baley” Caleb Horne. [Picture Left].
He died on the 2nd November 1918, aged 21. He was the son of Leonard and Kate Horne. Baley was always a fond lover of horses and he joined the Royal field Artillery to be with the horses; he was a lead driver.
He joined up when he was only 14 years and 3 months old, after 6 months of training his battalion were shipped to France to replace some of the losses in the battle of the Somme.
From 06/1914 until 11/1918, he only had two leaves and he felt sure that he would not be killed in action – but knew something else would happen, and he was right, he died due to the flu epidemic, just weeks before the end of the war.
Albert went to war with his brother Ted [Leonard Edward Horne, pictured left] and although Albert sadly died in the war, Ted survived.
Ted lived until he was 68, he got married and had a child.
Here Albert and Ted are pictured as young children.
This novel was also inspired by Ted’s letter home to his mother, Kate Horne, sent from the French trenches in 1916.
Dear mother, though I’m miles away and the sea doth divide, your love supports and comforts me, when death around does stride.
Your letters always bring me joy, so full of love are they, for I know your heart is with me.
Let me be where I may.
Wherever duty takes me, I’ll always try to be true to self and country. And mother, dear to thee, for life is so uncertain, and is not for me to plan. But to do what lies before me, and do it like a man.
We have in front of us a task and we cannot see its end, but we’ll struggle grimly onward, right wrong and weak defend.
And though the sacrifice is great, and death most after the bridge, tis’ naught if ill guard our loved ones, shield their honour and their lives.
So let the shells shriek, and bullets whine, though now its dark, the sun will shine, and if I’m not spared to return to you, as I know you’d have me do. I’ll try to tell you mother dear, how you have influenced me but here.
18th August 1914.
Well here it is. You’ve aged a bit around the corners but all in all you’re in better shape than I am. I think I was thirteen the last time I wrote in this journal but I thought it may keep me sane in the months ahead. I am now part of the Great British army, ready to do my part for the country. Well not quite ready, I still need to train. I need to be taught how to kill. I know I said that I wanted to join the war, but I don’t really. My reason for signing up is simple - family. My younger brothers Rob and Matthew are the only thing I care about in life and I will try my best to keep them safe. Rob does have one point about going to war, it will give us experiences and it will potentially allow us to achieve something.
Due to the fact that we are brothers, we have been sent to the same training yeomanry which will be our home for the next couple of weeks. I’m sure war will be an adventure to say the least.
We have arrived at the Yeomanry now and by the time we arrived at the train station it was pitch black although it was still warm, so we did have a clear night, and the stars gave us light to guide us. We picked ourselves up and we had another two mile walk to endure. Needless to say there were a couple of lost boots in the thick mud of the country, which was still soaked from the rain the day before, despite the fact it was summer. By the time we arrived we were all irritable, tired and hungry.
Though as if reading our minds, we were quickly handed a cup of tea along with bread and butter. After tea, well supper, we were all sent off to sleep by the commanding officers and everyone went willingly. I’m sleeping in just a large shed really, with several bunk beds placed almost on top of each other, but we’re the lucky ones as a number of men have to sleep in well, a largish tent. Though I’m not complaining it is much better than my recent accommodation has been. We have not really been able to meet the other men yet and I think with the state of tiredness we are in, we would have left a bad impression on each other anyway - so it is probably best to wait until the sun rises. I’m the last one up but I just wanted to write this down.
My reason for restarting my journal entries again is not simply so when I’m old I can recall my life, because now if I am being honest it is most likely that I will not reach the age of eighty or even thirty for that matter. So the reason I decided to write, is if I do die in this war, there will at least be something of my small legacy and insignificant life left behind. That’s the true reason I guess. To not be forgotten, at least not completely.
Thomas. Soon to be Private Millward.
P.S. I will officially become a Private when I have completed my military training and go off to battle. At least I will have accomplished something in my life.
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