“We set to work to bury people. We pushed them into the sides of the trench but bits of them kept getting uncovered and sticking out, like people in a badly made bed. Hands were the worst: they would escape from the sand, pointing, begging – even waving!
There was one which we all shook when we passed, saying, ‘Good morning”, in a posh voice. Everybody did it. The bottom of the trench was springy like a mattress because of all the bodies underneath. At night, when the stench was worse, we tied crêpe round our mouths and noses. This crêpe has been given to us because it was supposed to prevent us being gassed.
The flies entered the trenches at night and lined them completely with a density which was like moving cloth. We killed millions by slapping our spades along the trench walls but the next night it would be just as bad. We were all lousy and we couldn’t stop shitting because we had caught dysentery. We wept, not because we were frightened, but because we were so dirty.”
– Leonard Thompson, British Army, Gallipoli June 1915
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.