THey Shall Not Grow Old

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When the First World War broke out, the whole world was on shock. The young lads became excited, the mothers became horrified and the children could not understand anything. In Britain, There was a mass intake for the military and the army. Every person on the street could feel the wrath of the war and what more could they do then going to the war themselves.

On that time of urgency, the British government relentlessly wanted to recruit as much as men they could. And for that, the British government began several campaigns like, Women of Britain, Say GO to make the men feel patriotic and the females hopeful as well as dutiful. Every individual were ready to go to the war in order to save their nation and to save their families.

But there were standards which they had to follow. At that time, the British government would allow the men of age 19 to 35. Although the rules were implemented, the desire of the younger generation volunteering for their country was more than fine. The British government wanted the men and they would not hesitate to recruit those younger lads at the time of emergency.

There were several lads of age just 15 or 16 or turning 18 who would not qualify under normal circumstances. Sometime a recruitment officer would ask the age, and the lad would answer,"18 and one month sir". And the officer would correct them,"you said 19 and 1 month aye?" and the lad would answer with a yes sir. Others would tell the right age and the officers would be honored to have such patriotic lads. And that is how the lads who were under age got into the army. That period of time took more than enough lads who were not even close to 18 also. But neither was the fault of the government. The lads were ready to serve their nation at the time of emergency.

The life of military was difficult indeed. The resources would be extremely limited and there was no enough food as there were thousands of armies in that period. Moreover, most of the military men would have to spend their whole period of their time in just 2 pair of clothes. The one who got into the army needed to go through the training.

The training on the other hand was extremely difficult. Many of the armies would get broken during the training. The armies would then take training for using rifle or pistol. At the beginning of training, the lads would be very decent and full of confusion. They would be full of fear though their commitment and willingness to serve the military. Moreover, most of the lads would be new to the general physical trainings.

Turning them into someone who would be able to take the risk of running towards the bullet firing and rivals was indeed a unimaginable job for the government and the military.

But, their expectations were turned down as the new army passed the training. After all they were the hot fresh blood. When they came out of the training, they were fearless and something different. As different as even their own mother would fail to recognize them at first glance.

All these men were loaded to the ships to send them to the warzone. Without the slightest knowledge of where they were going and no guarantee of either they were going to land on that soil, they moved on for their country.

They would be sent to the warzone and were supposed to spend their whole time inside the small, narrow passages namely as trenches. These were the wholes having height of approximately men and length that was far more to be measured. On simple way, they were underground paths to different zones of the war. These trenches where the soldiers were supposed to live were not hygienic at all. The blood would be all around the holes and the dead bodies were abandoned there for days and more.

Moreover, the soldiers would have to face the crimes of the insects and the rats. Although they might sound less frightening, they were the real problems as the soldiers would not get enough rest due to these creatures.

The conditions were even worse at the time of the winter. As the trenches would be filled with water, the real problem for the soldiers would appear. Most of them would get frostbite or their whole legs infected due to the water.

The soldiers were totally out of fear. They were so much affected by the war and the numbers of casualties that their emotions were glued and they felt nothing. And it was reasonable indeed, as more than enough of your friends would die each day.

Whenever they would get a break from the warzone, the soldiers would clean themselves, their clothes and most important, enjoy the French wine. At the time of the first war, most of the warzones were in the border of the France or Belgium.So the British would exchange their cigarettes with French for Their wines. In addition, the army would go on for the French women to lessen their tiredness. The armies were now had no fear at all and no emotions too.They were ready to put a knife through their rivals and had nothing than brutality and aggression. They now could run over the dead bodies easy as it was part of their job.

As the war was over, the men were more than happy. Some of them were going to their homes to meet their families and some were going to start achieving what they think of. But, more than countable numbers of dreams were buried underneath the war zone. Some of them even abandoned with the bodies that were never buried. Those dreams rot with the flesh of those men who made them.

And I can only hope that this type of devastation never sets an eye on mankind once again. I can only hope that the mankind will use everything they have to stop this devastation from happening again. And I do hope that this world will have peace that never ends.


Position: Sophomore, The University of Toledo

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