World War one is a name that is usually used to refer to the international conflict that pitted most of the European nations against one another in a four-year period between 1914 to 1918. The war also spilled over to other countries such as Russia, the United States, the Middle East and several other regions. These mighty nations locked each other in a struggle they nicknamed the Great War. Before the war came to an end, its effects had already spread across six different continents. The war led to the fall of some of the great imperial dynasties which included Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey, with many observers concluding that it formed a framework for the Second World War.
As the war came to an end, peoples lives and resources had been destroyed, and many of the empires had also been destabilized. The hard political situation that cut across Europe interrupted economic growth and wiped out a whole generation of youth. It marked the beginning of the disintegration of the colonial systems and also established communism as a force that the word had to reckon with. This crisis also propelled some nations such as the United States to both economic and military leadership as positioned itself to the stature of a super power. These are the accounts of a medical doctor who served in the British Army and was deployed to France during the terrifying conflict of World War I that almost brought the world to a halt.
The day began well with a great weather outlook, and the troops were eager to move abroad and join the great adventure. Just as the second battalion of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was set to sail to Le Havre from Dublin aboard a cargo ship in 1914, chaotic hoots and sirens began to fill the air as a large crowd began to gather and cheered us to go to the battlefield and come back with a victory. The first two weeks of war were just a small tip of what would follow. After landing in France, my battalion headed southeast until we came face to face with the Germans near the Belgian town of Mons. The environment was relatively calm for my British Expeditionary Force before we crossed to Belgium. As we moved along, the French locals offered food as they cheered us on.
On the 23rd of August, all hell broke loose as the Germans ambushed us. As soon as the shelling from the Germans died down, many of the soldiers who were on the frontline fell into trenches causing more casualties. Some of the people were buried alive, and the lucky ones were pulled out with broken backs. This forced the generals to call for a retreat as we began a long march towards La Chateau, a French town. On 26th, we encountered other Germans, and another battle ensued. I became separated from the battalion as I treated the wounded. Later that day, I came across a horrifying sight of the remains of my battalion who had been killed just eleven days after their arrival in France.
We continued our march and each day brought untold horror as more and more people lost their lives in the hands of the ruthless Germans on the battlefield. On the 1st of January 1915, I was awarded a military cross owing to my service as a medical personnel on the field. The Germans launched a gas attack in the late April, and I was evacuated sick to England. All the horrific scenes at the battlefield did little to dampen my spirit as I still went back to West Africa to fight during the World War II.
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