- "I'll go!" you say to Sergeant Wilkes.

- "So will I" adds George, turning to you with a smile.

Within minutes, the two of you have left the forward trenches and are slowly winding your way towards the rear lines. Volunteering for this simple task is just a way of breaking the usual routine of filling sandbags and repairing duck-boards. There is also something soothing about getting away from the danger zone and seeing what other men are doing in the rear areas.

The two of you walk along the communication trench for nearly fifteen minutes, when you hear the distinctive sound of an enemy shell flying overhead.

- "Get down!" George screams, as the shell lands somewhere off to your right and explodes in a blast of dirt. In seconds, more of the ominous shells begin to land in front and in back of you, causing the earth to shudder and quake.

You then realize that you are stuck in an artillery bombardment with little place to take cover. The safety of your dugout, with its bomb proof ceiling, is fifteen minutes away, while the relative safety of the rear lines is still somewhere up ahead. But how far? Of course, you could stay perfectly still inside the shallow trench and hope for the best. The bombs begin to fall all around you, sending mounds of dirt over your still body.

    Date created: May 14, 1999 | Last updated: October 7, 2009