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Wednesday 5 August 1914

Dear diary, I woke up as if it was any other day, except my mum wasn’t at work and neither was my dad. I went to find them downstairs until I saw a long line of suitcases. Are we going on holiday? Where to? Then there was a bang, like no other I’d heard. Almost like thunder but amplified by a million. I froze. What was that? I looked outside to see dozens of soldiers in their typical khaki uniform. My mum called for me, “Come quick!”  

My mum ushered me into the living room. She explained to me things would be different now and we were to move for safety. All I was, was scared. BANG! Oh, how I hate that noise, it’s the sound of death, the sound of destruction. Who will be its next victim? “Where are we moving?” I wondered. My mum told us we didn’t have the money since the banks had all been shut down, but we would move somewhere, somewhere away from the danger. 

I rushed upstairs since I still had money from different currencies I was collecting, it wasn’t much but it was better than nothing. BANG! My mum thanked me with great appreciation. This gave us enough money to help us get train tickets to at least a nearby city that wasn’t under attack. 


Thursday 6 August 1914

Dear diary, it was a long journey in a stuffy train. My sister started to feel motion sick, she was throwing up for hours, but we didn’t have anything to give her. We only had ninety pence which was supposed to be for us to share but we used it to buy my sister a juice to make her feel better. Luckily after few minutes she began to feel better and we were all in relief. We reached our final destination, Charleroi in Belgium. Now we’ll be safe and with family. 

Saturday 9 August 1914

Dear diary, it turned out Charleroi was also under attack but it was still safer than the city we were originally in. We lived with my grandparents; they were surprised to see us since we couldn’t contact them that we were coming. They were relieved for our safety, and we were to live with them from now on. I went into my new room which I shared with my brother and sister, and taped the windows so no force could shatter the window.  

All electricity was cut off because of the war so we were put on rations for food. I was starving and what we were given wasn’t much but I had to make do and I couldn’t complain, not anymore. We only had a fire to cook food, we all huddled around it since it gave us all the warmth and food we could get.  

Another siren was set off and as usual we ran to our nearest community shelter and waited until we were safe, for that night at least. When we’re in the shelter it’s our only time to socialise with other children like us. Since all schools are shut it means that we are home-schooled, so I have no one to talk to. In the shelter I met this girl who was really nice, we drew together all the time. My drawings were definitely better than hers, but don’t tell her that.


Monday 11 August 1914

Dear diary, we heard that the shelter we normally go to had been bombed, the one day we didn’t go was the day it got bombed. We’re lucky aren’t we, very lucky. I never saw that girl again; she was the one friend I had and now she’s gone. 

Our lives went on and there was talk about more people being recruited to join the Army. I think my dad’s age group might be called upon next. That would mean he would have to leave not knowing what his fate was. 

Suddenly, a humongous BANG! The doors slammed open, the whole house was trembling. We heard screams. An explosion had never been this close to us. We rushed to see where it had hit and it was a farm opposite us. Now all I can do is stay put and wait.