Passion for the PAST from historians of the FUTURE

Life on the Western Front E.W

23rd October 1916
Leit. Robert Tarank
12th battilion
Bullecourt, France

WOW! What a day. Got to sleep at 3am this morning and woke up at 7am. Pretty long and good sleep if I must say so myself.
At 8.30am this morning there was an attack with the Germans and us Aussies. I was in the front line of the attack in the Western trench. Me and my best mate Albert we very excited but exremely nervous.
When the whistle blew, we all jumped out of the smelly, dirty and muddy trenches firing in every direction. We sprinted across no man’s land dodging all the speeding bullets. Men were being shot left right and centre it was insane and extremely intense. This sight has been engraved into my memory and will never leave. Goes to show how much pain it will cause us soldiers in the end of it all. The ones who survive at least…

My heart was beating so fast I could feel it beating out of my chest, beckoning me to stop and not fight. When I was about two metres from the German trenches, I was shot in the left ankle. Immediately this immense pain ruhed through my entire body and I collapsed in pain.
I knew that if i stayed lying there, they were sure to shoot me again and kill me so I surrendered and gave myself up to the Germans. They didnt’t have any food or medical care there so they sent me back to my team and they told me not to return. But i will…eventually.

Here I am now in the hospital, being nursed by a beautiful woman by the name of Elizabeth Green. She is bandaging my wounds and disinfecting my ankle. It aches so badly! She told me not to return to the battlefield for a further 6 months.
So in that time I will just have to wait and recover. I am just thrilled that I didn’t die because I know that Australia needs me to save and protect our country.


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