Short story from Korea June 1951

Discussion in 'The Lounge Bar' started by Tolbooth, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron

    Whilst serving in Korea with Royal Irish Hussars my Dad often had to stand night radio watch. Usually it was fairly quiet and he took the opportunity to write to the wife. However on the night of 9 June '51 he penned this short story on 'Army Form C2136 (Large)'. Don't expect great literature - as far as I know he never wrote anything else - but I found it interesting.

    Also like the comment in the 'Originator's instructions' box - " To be despatched to wife at earliest opportunity"


    Private Bull crouched in the muddy foxhole. He was shivering, not with cold but because of the fear that gripped him. Five minutes to go, he thought, and then what? I may be lying on that hillside with a leg or arm off. I may even be dead. Not that, he shuddered, I don’t want to die yet. Perhaps a bullet through the leg would get me home. Can’t be sure of that unless I did it myself. Yes, that’s it. When we move forward all I have to do is pull the trigger. No one will see in the darkness and there’s enough stuff flying about to cover the shot. I wonder what Alice would say if she knew her pride and joy was a coward. No! I can’t do it. I’m too scared even to do that. His thoughts wandered on, his minds eye seeing sights he knew only too well. Of men going down, some screaming, some just sinking to their knees and toppling over without a sound. Of jeep ambulances on which the wounded could be seen being taken back to safety. He visualised other jeeps too with stretchers on, covered with the familiar army grey blanket with just a pair of boots and gaiters protruding at one end. That sort of stretcher case wouldn’t go through this hell again.

    Must be nearly zero hour, he thought, and inched his head slowly over the lip of the foxhole. Yes, there’s Captain Charles and Sergeant Brown moving out. He pulled himself out of the hole and with eyes staring towards the dark shape of the hill, moved slowly forward. Suddenly he pointed his rifle at his leg and pulled the trigger.

    A few weeks later Captain Charles went over to speak to Sergeant Brown. “Sergeant, do you remember Private Bull who stopped one in the leg during the last “do”? Well here is a cutting I’ve received from his local newspaper.” Taking the bit of paper the Sergeant read:

    “A Dakota aircraft flying wounded home crashed in thick fog yesterday. Two of the crew and three wounded were killed. Among the dead was Private Bull who lived at 73 High Lane, Calvin, Kent. Next of kin have been informed.”

    Next of Kin Have Been Informed0002.JPG
    Tricky Dicky and CL1 like this.

Share This Page