Backs to the Wall: A Iarrikin on the Western Front by G. D. Mitchell

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 studies in France and Belgium in the course of the First global warfare. ' In that hour was once born in me a terror that lasted in the course of the entire iciness. It used to be the dread of loss of life within the dust, taking place in that stinking morass and notwithstanding useless being unsleeping during the a while. Waves of worry from time to time threatened to crush me . . . a bit weak point, a bit slackening of keep watch over every now and then and that i may have long past over the borderline. within the mild of the sunlight, on company flooring, i may snicker at destiny. yet the place the churned dust part concealed and part printed our bodies, the place useless fingers 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 version - with statement by means of Robert Macklin, writer of Jacka VC - will permit a brand new iteration of readers to fall below the spell of this forgotten Australian vintage.

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Extra resources for Backs to the Wall: A Iarrikin on the Western Front

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For a little spell I did not scratch, save from force of habit. Over several brief days the guns blazed across short ranges. We stripped and assembled them. There was a little talk of cones of fire, and the train, filled with laconic, accoutred soldiery headed for the Somme. 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.

They had a way of making us feel at home. The dags were there, the wild men, the conscientious soldiers, the lean hungry ones, and odd nerveracked men who soldiered on in spite of themselves. At the end of October we left the motor lorries and entered the squalid village of Dernacourt. Here was the edge of the zone of death, newer and fiercer than Ypres. We billeted in a barn from which most of the side wall was gone. Icy winds swept through the place and candles could not be kept alight. Mud was over all outdoors—soft, squelchy mud.

As Godfrey wrote in The Anzac Book:1 This is indeed a false, false night, There’s not a soldier sleeps, But like a ghost stands to his post, While death through the long sap creeps. In that hour was born in me a fear that lasted throughout the whole winter. indd 27 17/1/07 3:04:19 PM BACKS TO THE WALL throughout the ages. It was probably a form of claustrophobia. Waves of fear at times threatened to overwhelm me, but that I kept tight rein on myself. A little weakness, a little slackening of control at times and I might have gone over the borderline.

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