A Short World War one Story, about a boy losing his brother in the chaos of the war.
Everyone was there. The men were lined up; eager for what was awaiting them. The women were lighthearted as their husbands would represent the country. The children were playing happily, not aware of what was happening in their surroundings. He was also there. He was lined up with the other men. All of them were waiting to get into the office.
The men had their most expensive clothing on; the clothing they usually used only for church. They wore shoes that looked like they had polished all night. Their dark-colored coats matched their smart ties and contrasted with their bright white shirts. Their hair was covered by their bowler hats and their differently patterned flat caps. He was wearing a simple white shirt, a jacket on top, a flat cap and his best dress shoes. They all looked very sophisticated.
My older brother was signing up for the war. He had no idea what war was like, and neither did I. Our great-great-grandfather said he had been in a war against the French. He said war was exciting – and that a man could not really live without going to war. Especially if you were fighting against Britain’s enemies.
They were lined up in front of the recruitment office, because the army needed volunteers to help the already fighting soldiers. The day was humid. We were all hot and sweaty, especially because we were all trying to fit in the alley where the recruitment office was. There were a lot of men joining the war, young and old. They all seemed very anxious to join the war. In the newspapers, the war was being advertised as the place where a man could go to be known as a hero in future years.
The sign was plain, just showing “Army Recruitment Office.” No one paid much attention to it, because there was a large camera stationed near the office, taking a few photographs. Cameras had just been introduced then, so I had no idea what the camera did, until my brother explained it to me. Everyone looked at the camera and smiled or made a pose before every picture, showing their enthusiasm for joining the war.
The officials in the office said that the war was going to end by December, so we could celebrate the victory of the British over Christmas. They sounded quite confident when they said it, so we believed them.
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