By G. D. Mitchell
Initially released in 1937 (and lengthy out of print), this can be a gripping, first hand account of a tender soldier's reports in France and Belgium in the course of the First global warfare. ' In that hour used to be born in me an apprehension that lasted through the complete iciness. It used to be the dread of death within the dust, taking place in that stinking morass and notwithstanding useless being awake through the a while. Waves of worry from time to time threatened to crush me . . . a bit weak spot, a bit slackening of keep watch over from time to time and that i may need long past over the borderline. within the mild of the solar, on enterprise flooring, i may snicker 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 by way of was once initially released in 1937. This variation - with statement via Robert Macklin, writer of Jacka VC - will permit a brand new new release of readers to fall less than the spell of this forgotten Australian vintage.
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Extra info for Backs to the Wall: A larrikin on the Western Front
All the day five-point-nines howled out of foggy space and burst with earth-shaking fury. While Walter was heating some bully over a Tommy cooker the shells arrived every minute. As the first low whistle of approach could be heard, Walter would reach over and hold the mess tin firmly to prevent it from being upset. As the roar increased to the menacing howl that indicated a near burst, I sometimes wondered if fate would allow us to get outside again. One night was enough in that dugout. We each had to lie on the same side jammed tight.
Men flung themselves into whatever cover there was—laughing. The flame and thunder continued a little while, and we went on with our work, cheerful for the break. One afternoon we sheltered in the trench alongside our dugouts. A pale sun was setting. Five-point-nines were bursting in salvos, raking the ground and tearing chunks out of a wearylooking hedge. A man was being led away by his mates. His face was a mask of blood that dripped and made lines down his greatcoat. A copy of the Sydney Mail was under my hand.
Across the shell-pocked bog I found the company in Switch trench, three thousand yards from the line. Two big shells from high-velocity guns landed on each side of me to announce my return. A five-point-nine burst right in the trench as I stood on top looking down. The ground gave beneath my feet as the side of a dugout caved under my weight. indd 41 17/1/07 3:04:22 PM BACKS TO THE WALL footed muckin’ lookin’ stoopid big ——’ came in muffled tones from something that yielded spongily beneath my rubber boots.