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 international conflict. ' In that hour used to be born in me a terror that lasted in the course of the complete iciness. It was once the dread of loss of life within the dust, taking place in that stinking morass and although useless being wide awake during the a long time. Waves of worry now and then threatened to weigh down me . . . a bit weak spot, a bit slackening of keep watch over from time to time and that i may need long gone over the borderline. within the gentle of the solar, on company floor, i may snigger at destiny. yet the place the churned dust part concealed and part printed our bodies, the place useless arms reached out of the morass, seeming to implore relief - 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 international warfare I. Backs to the Wall through was once initially released in 1937. This version - with observation by means of Robert Macklin, writer of Jacka VC - will permit a brand new new release of readers to fall below the spell of this forgotten Australian vintage.
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Additional info for Backs to the Wall: A larrikin on the Western Front
From our line went showers of Mills rifle-grenades, to burst with shrill detonations on the enemy lines. Steadily the fire died down. indd 25 17/1/07 3:04:19 PM BACKS TO THE WALL overhead, as if to renew it all. Sergeant Doddridge pushed into our post to see if we were still alive. ‘Just the usual evening strafe,’ he said, casually. ’ Doddy laughed, and said that he would report the shells falling short. Tea was brought up to us. Many times I stopped in the middle of a bite, until the menace of some approaching missile was past.
The rain told its dismal, monotonous tale on our helmets. The hard, reflected glow of Very lights played on the features of the others. ’ We moved together to a folded stretcher and trudged off. We heaved our man out of the eight-foot sap with mighty labour, sinking waist-deep as we heaved, and struggled off through the mud. The casualty station had been shifted and we did not know its new location. So we had to take him back to Cheese Road. We put him under cover and ordered the sentry to hand him over to the bearers.
But portions of the shell-cases hissed and smacked into the earth round us. We trembled against the sodden ground, naked to the storm. The enemy guns took up the game, and the earth rocked to din indescribable. indd 24 17/1/07 3:04:19 PM To sunny France eddied round us, billows of stinking acid smoke from the German shells. The concussion jarred through us in wave upon wave of fury. Demoniac shrieks of descending shells, snarling of swarms of ragged fragments, blow upon blow of concussion. All the fiends of hell seemed to be struggling and wrangling round us.
Backs to the Wall: A larrikin on the Western Front by G. D. Mitchell