Army chaos

The harsh reality of army life

By Nicola Benge

Photo:Don Father's censored soldier's book

Don Father's censored soldier's book

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Stumbling in the dark

Once, when we were stationed at gun sites and searchlight sites, we had to dig trenches. Six feet deep, six feet longĀ and two to three feet wide. I remember coming out of the hut for a pee in the night, tripping over the sandbags on the edge of the trench, and falling in. I gashed my hand and knocked myself out! I was bleeding like a pig. The officer said "What's the matter with you?" and I showed him and he said, "Stick a bandage on it."

Those were two of the things that happened at night!

There was this field, next to the camp, belonging to a smallholding, all spuds and pigs. Our aim was to drive a young pig down into the trench and have him for dinner.

The food was awful - breakfast was cold sardines on toast, in the open.

We had one bell tent, for the ten of us. We slept in our uniforms, with our Wellingtons or army boots by our feet, and we used our helmets for pillows. When there was an alarm in the night, what a scramble! We always ended up going out with two left Wellingtons and someone else's helmet.

This page was added by Nicola Benge on 16/01/2008.

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