World War 1 Christmas - Written by Noah Steffens

Noah Steffens —

An amazing piece of descriptive writing by one of our Year 8 students

World War 1 Description

Violent, deafening gunfire pierced the frozen air. A depressing energy was tightly gripping the world, like a cold hand refusing to let go, and the smell of smoke and death was almost impossible to escape. Jim was just one of countless millions of soldiers fighting and dying everyday, who had to leave home and everything they loved to fight. Back to reality, he thought. Reality sickened him, and left a bitter taste in his mouth. He looked around at the trench he was in. His home. His dirty, cold, unwelcoming home for a year. It was Christmas, but there was no celebration. For the majority of people, soldiers or not, it was just another day. Suddenly, as if a silent voice stopped everything, the bombs stopped exploding, and everything ceased. Jim, and everyone else, slowly and cautiously lowered their weapons.

Nobody wanted to fight. It was Christmas, so why should they? A confused, but total silence filled the air. If someone had dropped a pin in the middle of the battlefield, you would have have heard it. All of the soldiers, including Jim, were left puzzled at why they had stopped firing, why they had stopped following orders, and why they were yet very determined not to start again.

All of a sudden, somebody started singing. Like a disease, the song started spreading from soldier to soldier. Soon Jim was singing, and a happy chorus filled and warmed the icy air. German and English voices both sang together to celebrate Christmas, and in that moment, sides became meaningless, rivalries were tossed aside, and for what seemed like the first time in years, the soldiers were happy. It was a long time before the song ended.

Deep in thought, Jim knew what he had to do. He could make this the moment the war ended, and he wasn’t going to waste his opportunity. Hope, anticipation and confusion, although most of all, fear, swirled in his head, almost overwhelming him. Although he knew he was probably going to die, he went with his gut.

Shaking uncontrollably, he made his decision. Cold, icy fingers tightly gripping the even colder ladder to exit the trench, he began to climb. Ignoring the terrified screams of friends and the shocked yells of enemies, he slowly climbed out, and put his hands up in surrender. Although unsure of what would happen next, Jim stood there, his eyes wide, desperate and terrified, yet full of hope.

By Noah Steffens