Topic: Tauranga and Districts WW100 Diary Competition: Emma Campbell

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Emma Campbell's entry in the Tauranga and Districts WW100 Diary Competition (2015). Emma is from Papamoa College.

Diary - HC - Emma Campbell - CoverDay One

Another day another bullet, is this really what my life has come to? I have been here for a while now. I like to say that my life is exciting. That's what I tell people when I write to them. Truth is it's not. Each day brings a sense of hope that we are one day closer to the end of the war. I've lost count how long I've been here now. My life has become a routine: I wake up, eat, fire at the enemy and finish my day reading. This isn't what I thought it would be.

Day Two

The same tough Anzac biscuits are eaten for breakfast. I can't remember the last time I ate real food! My routine takes place again today. On the battlefield I fight for my life. Men around me fall lifelessly to the ground, but I am forced to carry on past them. I have learnt that in this war it doesn't matter who is the strongest. This I know for certain. I fell to the ground in agony today after being shot in the leg. I remember looking up at someone and thinking I was going to die. Everything went black.

Day Three

I awoke today to the torturous screams of a man nearby. It took me a while to realise where I was. I was not dead. I was surrounded by people coughing, spewing, choking, infected, bleeding and slowly dying. It was much worse... I was in hospital. The wait all day is long and agonising. There are so few nurses for how many soldiers there are here. Everywhere I look there are desperately wounded men pleading for help. The entire area is infested with flies, carrying diseases and getting into everything. I know that staying here is a wish to die.

Day Four

This place is indescribable. Just having to think about it and write it down leaves a pit in the bottom of my stomach. It causes my brain to scream in pain. Not only physical pain, but pain to see my wife, child, and mother and father. All around me, men arrive one after the other, some with blown up body parts and unrecognisable from whom they once were. As I was thinking about it, a soldier was brought in beside me. It takes time to realise who it is. It's my best friend's little brother!

Day Five

It is astonishing to see Anthony, Raymond's younger brother next to me. He must be at least four years younger than me. He is only seventeen. I grown furious at the realisation. Looking at him, causes me more pain than looking at my own torn apart leg. The right side of his body is burnt so badly, making it hard to recognise him. His body is as pale as a ghost and his eyes are far and distant. I glance at him for a moment, before his heart stops beating and he dies right in front of my eyes.

Day Six

I woke up today. The pain is unbearable. I'm not sure which pain is worse; the pain in my leg or the pain in my heart. I came here to make my parents proud but how could they be proud of this mangled body I have come to call my own. The smell of rotting flesh is all around me and I know it's a smell that will be imprinted in my brain long after this war is over. the small of canvas tents, cigarette smoke, blood, sweat and faeces. These are some of the memories I will take home.

Day Seven

Soldiers often complain about this war and all it has taken from them. Truth is, I have become accustomed to it. Over the long period of time that I have been on duty in Gallipoli, I have seen so many incredible things. I have made friends from all over the world and learnt life changing skills. I know for certain that I am no longer the immature, mischief, lost young boy I was when I came here; instead a disciplined, mature, wise young man. My father once told me: "Every man dies. Not every man really lives".

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Tauranga and Districts WW100 Diary Competition: Emma Campbell