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Life as a World War 1 Soldier

  • Date Submitted: 11/11/2011 10:16 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.2 
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Life as a World War I Soldier
Life as a soldier in World War I was no “walk in the park” for anyone involved. The soldiers fought through plenty of gruesome battles that altered their lives in great ways. On the other hand some soldiers were able to still find joy and humor in their lives. For example one soldier, a Captain Alexander Stewart, describes in his diary how he was “annoyed when he had to stop smoking to shoot a German who gained entry to his trench.” Capt Stewart started the war diary in 1915 when he was sent to France and then Belgium with the 3rd Scottish Rifles. He was finally sent home in 1917. Captain Stewart was commissioned by the Scottish regiment, the Cameroonians, in 1915 at the age of 39 and was sent to France to command C Company after his training. After which he was then sent to fight on the front line. Captain Stewart was sent home to Richmond, Surrey, after two years on the front line. Captain Stewart was in such battles as the Somme. He was due to return to the front line when the war ended a year later, but he instead turned his attention to writing his memoir. However, he suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder following the war and spoke little of his experiences before his death from old age in 1964, at the age of 88. For many years after the war he would wake up screaming in the night, but he never talked about it, instead he would record his memories in his journal. In his journal, Captain Stewart mostly describes the conditions of the trenches, saying things like: “The dugouts in this part of the line were infested with rats. They would frequently walk over one when asleep. I was much troubled by them coming and licking the brilliantine off my hair; for this reason, I had to give up using grease on my head. I never heard them biting anyone.” Captain Stewart was just one of the soldiers that documented the occurrences in the Great War; many other soldiers had thoughts of their own. Soldiers in World War I constantly...

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