The broken poppy, p.2
The Broken Poppy, p.2Alice Catherine Carter
30th August 1914.
Looking back at my first entry, I can see that I mentioned I hadn’t met the other men yet. Well I met them the next day and there are five other men in our ‘quarters’. There is Harry, Louis, Herbert and Charlie, well ‘Croaky’ as everyone has come to call him. He always has a croaky voice, hence the name. He doesn’t seem to mind the nickname though as that is how he introduced himself, and he explained that everyone back home calls him ‘croaky’.
It’s been another long day and not a particularly good one, a few people from our childhood home of Little Hadford (before our troubles started) came back into our lives. To be specific it was Roger and Paul Wilson along with their cousin Albert Bradford. When we first saw each other, it was not a joyful occasion – and that is putting it lightly.
“Look who it is!” Roger Wilson shouted behind us.
“Roger” I replied solemnly as I turned around to face him.
“Isn’t it funny how life turns out?” Roger continued, already trying to provoke us.
“You mean how we’ve only got richer, they’ve got poorer, with no friends or parents, no home and a criminal record. I’m surprised they even let you in the army?” Albert Bradford questioned, highlighting our misfortunes in life.
Rob was about to punch Albert as I wanted to, but I used my sense for once and pulled him back, we are not those people anymore.
“Yes, how did you pull that one off?” Roger asked.
“They gave us a second chance, we wanted to support our country and do something with our lives, not that it is any of your concern. Life may have handed us a tough beating so far, but at least we’ll be a little bit prepared for war. You won’t even know what hit you or how to fend for yourself” I replied.
“Well luckily, you can do that for me Millward” Roger said smiling.
“What?” I snapped.
“Haven’t you heard, we’re all in the same section and I’m your Corporal – you’ll have to follow my orders like a servant” Roger explained gleefully.
This time I was about to go and punch Roger, but it was Rob’s turn to pull me back.
“They’re not worth it” Matthew, my youngest and most sensible brother confirmed.
I turned away from the Bradford and Wilson cousins, but they had not finished.
“Enjoy it while you can, you won’t be able to turn away from us on the battle field!” Roger shouted.
I continued to walk away and could not believe that our bad luck had followed us into war – I was highly doubtful if we would make it out alive. I pictured our gravestones in my mind. Matthew Millward aged twenty five, Robert Millward aged twenty six and Thomas Millward aged twenty seven. What a short and pointless life we’ve had.
Private Thomas Millward.
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