This term we have been learning about WW1. We have been looking at the sinking of the Tuscania and the Otranto, how the war has changed Islay and we have been looking at life in the trenches. We have also been researching our own person from the trenches in the war. I am reaserching someone called Walter Whyte. He was a Lance corporal and his regiment was the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Part of our learning we were hoping to write a letter back to the family of the person you were researching. I found out lots of very sad and interesting facts about Walter Whyte. I found out that when Walter was still in school his older brother went to war and then Walter’s brother Colin went to put on the light of the lighthouse with his dad on a windy night and Colin fell into the water and his dad went in to catch him and they both drowned that night. It was very sad and a few months erlier Walter’s older brother Doughald died in the war. His other older brother went to war and was allowed to go home as their mum was struggling. Then later on Walter died in the war. One of the weird facts is that when Walter was alive he was injured by a grenade when it hit his nose. The whole of our class wrote a letter to the families of their people and this is my letter to Walter’s family.
I am having a spiffing time here, making some new friends and I only got injured a few times. I miss all the family very much. Well, I hope that soon enough the war will be over and I will be able to come how to see you all and in one piece. So how is the weather has it changed much from when I left. What I miss most is waking up every morning to see your warm, loving and caring smile, the lovely landscapes of Islay and exploring the island. I hope everything is spiffily good over there and everything is going very well. Have you found anyone else to go over to the lighthouse? I am extremely sorry I did not make it to the funeral I tried to explain but the Sargent wouldn’t let me go. I hope that you are managing ok with all the others at home and I will be as careful as I can because I know you don’t want another one of us to die.
Over here although in the trenches it is mucky, cold and full of lice and rats. Waking up every morning with rats crawling all over me and over everyone else. Itching and wriggling as the lice pinch and suck my blood. It is always a nuisance lice sucking my blood and the only way we can get rid of them is if we get the end of our cigarettes and burn them. I can’t even get started with the trenches. Water up to our ankles and mud suffocating our legs as we squelch through the trenches. Slowly making our way through sludge. When it comes to night there is not even one bed to sleep in. Most of us has to sleep on the floor and over here we have to look after our self. The worst thing is that the kilts we wear attract lice. I wish so much that I was home with you and the rest of the family. The ground is mostly muck and dead bodies. The weather over here is sometimes ok but most of the time the breeze is blowing heavily against my face.
Right now I am in the battle of the Somme in France. Every two seconds BANG! Another shell comes down failing to hit us another time. The guns firing and hitting our trench. Every time another man falling, dying and in deep pain. I am scared Mother I really want to come home. Even my friends can’t help some of them have died during the battle and some in the hospital beds. Sometimes it gets silence and just when I think that it stops another fire comes our way but that time it was different. My first gas attack. I got really scared. The gas came, some of the soldiers falling some chocking and drowning. I made it out alive. Just. I just can’t any more I want to come home mother.
Soon enough I am hoping that I will be home and everything will be back to normal. I hope you are doing very well and I am hoping to see you very soon.
Here is a piece of art I did based on my learning.