1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Edgar Middleton

Contributed by: Julia Fixter, on 2008-11-07

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First Name Edgar
Surname Middleton
Year of Birth 1880
Year of Death Unknown
Regiment Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Place of Wartime Residence Ingham, Lincolnshire

Edgar's Story

Extracts from a letter from Edgar:

It is something like hell let loose

I have just come out of the trenches for a rest of 6 days. We have had a pretty rough winter, often up to the waist in water and mud but this last time has been much better. We are now in a village just behind the firing line, there is not a whole building in it. The Germans give us a dose of shells occasionally. When they come we are like rats and run for our holes in the ground. The inhabitants are all away out of the danger zone but it makes ones heart sore to think of the homes that are destroyed.Some have been abandoned in haste. One sees gable ends or solitary walls standing, often with a picture handing to it while here and there one comes across groups of small wooden crosses all telling their tales of war but we chaps take all things as they come. You people at home have not the slightest idea of the meaning of war. It is something like hell let loose. Yet strange to say we are never afraid for we do not rely on our own strength alone but on one above and when cannons are roaring and rifles are cracking, in fact what every engine of death is doing their utmost we often offer up a silent prayer whilst standing at our post our eyes fixed on the enemy's lines the whole time determined not to yield one inch and I can tell you it finds out the men. I am pleased to say we are their masters here and when the time comes they will know it. We work very hard and do a lot of duty.

Often days at a time we are unable to wash or shave but amid all everyone seems cheery and you hear good natured chaff and banter no matter what the situation may be, for we have learned to look on the bright side of everything. I have seen in some of the papers the temperance people objecting to the issue of rum. But I can tell you had it not been for that, a great many of us would not have been here today besides it is only a very small ration and when men have been standing on sentry all night in deep waters they are chilled to the bone and you should see how it warms them up. I must not forget to mention our friends here, the rats. They swarm around in thousands and sit and stare at us while we eat our food looking for a share but I can tell you I wish they were all in Germany, where we all hope to be before long.

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