By G. D. Mitchell
Initially released in 1937 (and lengthy out of print), it is a gripping, first hand account of a tender soldier's stories in France and Belgium throughout the First global conflict. ' In that hour used to be born in me a terror that lasted through the complete wintry weather. It was once the dread of demise within the dust, taking place in that stinking morass and notwithstanding useless being wakeful in the course of the a long time. Waves of worry now and then threatened to crush me . . . a bit weak spot, a bit slackening of regulate every now and then and that i may have long past over the borderline. within the mild of the sunlight, on company floor, i'll snort at destiny. yet the place the churned dust part concealed and part printed our bodies, the place lifeless arms reached out of the morass, seeming to implore reduction - there I needed to carry tight. 'In this gripping account, George Deane Mitchell relives the horror and the humour of being an Australian soldier at the Western entrance in global struggle I. Backs to the Wall through was once initially released in 1937. This variation - with observation by means of Robert Macklin, writer of Jacka VC - will enable a brand new iteration of readers to fall less than the spell of this forgotten Australian vintage.
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Extra resources for Backs to the Wall: A larrikin on the Western Front
Christmas Eve came. I went to bed early. I thought that I had awakened in hell. The blankets were off me and icy winds were at large. A ring of wild drink-lit faces was round me, candles held high. Joe Hyrons led them in some ancient hymn which ran: For the lion of Judah Shall break ev’ry chain, And give us the vict’ry Again and again. ’ Sports were held on New Year’s Day, but on 2 January we route-marched again towards the line. A strong wind blew. Flocks of ravens fluttered in the air like pieces of black paper.
The wind that roared through the broken wall made it impossible to keep a candle alight, so I made my bunk in the dark. ’ That day the trail led to Fricourt, and huts. The old hands held a concert, but the new ones were very silent. Next day we set out on the march right to support in Cheese Road. The new duckboards finished at Flers. From then on it was the same old grind. Three of us shared a dugout. It was two feet six inches high, built up with boxes of live bombs, and the roof leaked continually.
Why, I never knew, nor did I worry, as I plodded my stolid way through and round shell holes. Darkness was settling like a blanket over the flat featureless waste when I located and entered the transport dugout. A heavy tarpaulin made the roof. Inside was a profusion of stores. A corner was pointed out for me, and I slumped down, thanking the gods for a dry, warm resting place. An unctuous NCO opened a large parcel from Blighty. A rich cake was revealed. A big slice was cut for the QM, another for the transport officer, and one for himself.
Backs to the Wall: A larrikin on the Western Front by G. D. Mitchell