A First World War soldier reflects on his first experience of shellfire.
‘And was I panic stricken? No. Not in the least. It would be hard to analyse my feelings as I gazed at the ugly brown hole in the green field. Astonishment, excitement, realisation, relief, foreboding, curiosity and even a morbid kind of satisfaction – those emotions possessed me almost simultaneously and left no room for the sensation of fear.
‘Nothing to be frightened of, in fact – provided it did not burst any closer, that is to say. Ah, that was the question: where was the next one coming?’
Private WT Colyer, 28th Battalion London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles).