Fromelles. Australia's Bloodiest Day at War by Carole Wilkinson

By Carole Wilkinson

Part of the award-winning sequence, The Drum, and via the multi-award-winning writer Carole Wilkinson.

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By Carole Wilkinson

Part of the award-winning sequence, The Drum, and via the multi-award-winning writer Carole Wilkinson.

Show description

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Fromelles. Australia's Bloodiest Day at War

A part of the award-winning sequence, The Drum, and through the multi-award-winning writer Carole Wilkinson.

Extra resources for Fromelles. Australia's Bloodiest Day at War

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Only seconds, but it seems like ages. Then there’s a thud and an ear-splitting bang as it hits. Further down the line the 8th got hit pretty bad. We’ve been lucky. ‘We’re charmed,’ Thommo says. ‘Nothing will touch us today. With a bit of luck, I’ll get a little smack in the arm or the leg. ’ It’s only an hour till zero hour. I’m terrified. None of the other men seem scared at all. Some of them are joking, lounging back against the sandbags and smoking like they’re in the pub. One man is reading his New Testament.

Lieutenant Colonel Toll, one of their battalion commanders, is wounded in the head. m. The Allied artillery-gunners readjust the angle of their guns and aim behind enemy lines. This is supposed to trick the Germans into thinking that the Allies are about to attack. The gunners then quickly aim back at the trenches, hoping to catch the enemy soldiers as they take positions on their parapets. The Germans don’t take the bait. The German shelling increases in intensity. To make matters worse, men of the 8th Brigade on the far left of the attack front, where no-man’s-land is at its narrowest, are hit by shells from their own big guns that have fallen short.

I’m in France! Sally would be green with envy. She’s always dreamt of going to Europe, but instead, it’s me who’s here. Everything’s so hush-hush they don’t tell us exactly where we’re going, but here we are in a village called Steenbecque. You never heard such cheering as when we first caught sight of France on the horizon. As we sailed into the harbour at Marseilles, there was a lovely castle on the cliffs. Someone said it was where the Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned. Imagine that! On the train from Marseilles I felt like I was in a storybook myself.

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