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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Once again - thank you for your comments - I really appreciate them.

I did have access to a couple of books based on diary entries, one of which was A Very Unimportant Officer, however if I had gone with that formula the diary entries would have all been remarkably short - Alexander Stewart (the officer in question) actually went through his diary after the war to elaborate on the entries instead. The other diary was from Sapper Jack Martin, which had longer entries in it, but I found they didn't really fit with what I wanted to do as he was with the signallers and so didn't get involved in the actual fighting.

My absolute bible turned out to be Six Weeks - The Short and Gallant Life of a British Officer, which gave a huge amount of detail about what it was to be a junior officer in the trenches - and also out of them. It was from there that I found the occupational hazard of receiving unwanted advances from French billet hostesses - which rather amused me and found its way into the story. Much of the logistical stuff - such as how they got the troops to France came from that book as well.

I used some stories mentioned in the books, but occasionally an entry came solely from a picture - such as Captain McGee's complaint that Stephen Mallon photographed him while asleep in the dugout - that came entirely from a photograph of a conked out officer in Six Weeks (there is also a picture of snipers at work with sacks on their heads in The Soldier's War).

I must also add that I added another nod to Blackadder Goes Forth when Pat O'Nally attempted to get Charlie (McGee's batman) to cook the rat that McGee had shot for their dinner. There is a great scene in the first episode of that show with Private Baldrick trying to tempt his Captain to have cooked rat for dinner.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Not much to say...but well done. :yes:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Sorry I didn't get to comment on the last chapters. I was...er...having a wonderful time spending the weekend with friends...and a funeral this morning (not the horrific result of said weekend, may I reassure you :whistle: ).

I did take the time to read, though, and was looking forward to every update.

[quote= "Ceridwen"]I was a bit concerned that the months of training might make the story go a bit flat. I didn't want to start slap bang in the middle of the trenches, but there didn't seem to be a decent starting point during the training that I could begin at.[/quote]You did very well by starting with the training. It's the natural way. Imagine how he would've done without the necessary and proper training.

At least Alexander Stewart from "A Very Unimportant Officer" survived the war. Fills me with hope that our, by now beloved, Captain McGee will also see the end of the war and live for many more years to come.

But what a dramatic turn the story now makes with the stark reality of war hitting Captain McGee. It hit him really bad, but he came through his trial by fire.

Your descriptions of the gas attacks... Poignant. Absolutely poignant.

This story...is unique in its genre by actually being a Tony story with an old relative of Tim's. Ingenious. :yes:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Thanks for your comments. - I'm glad the endless training (not that it was that useful until they got to France itself) didn't wind up boring you.

As I've said before - I always envisioned this as being Tony's take on things, rather than Tim's, so I'm glad the concept is working for you.

The gas attack nearly didn't make the story because the timetable of where the 9th RDF went did not include their first tour of the trenches in the spring of 1916 so I didn't know about it. I found out about the battle of Hulluch while reading A Coward if I Return A Hero if I Fall by Neil Richardson - and the facts are truly awful. The basic facts of the battle are real - the Germans first sent smoke across no man's land, and then 90 minutes later sent chlorine gas - one of the most concentrated gas attacks that took place during the entire war. The poor men in the British trench (all from the 16th Irish Division) thought they were being smoked out again and did not put on their gas hoods - with horrific results.

The men in the reserve trenches were forced to go up to the front to fight off the resulting German attack while their gassed comrades lay dead or dying around them - but they managed to stem the attack and force the Germans back over the next two days. The Germans tried to gas them again on 29th April - but the wind changed direction and sent the gas into the German trench with the same horrible results.

I couldn't find accurate casualty reports for the 9th RDF, only the totals - so I've basically taken a wild guess for the story. I have also taken some licence in that there is no record of a platoon being used to evacuate those still living from the trench. I also brought in the Major for the simple reason that I wanted someone senior to McGee to be present so that his own conduct could be rewarded (if the Major had not been there, McGee would not have merited so much as an mention in despatches, let alone any medals). To add to that, no batman would have stayed behind while his officer went into the fray - but I wanted Charlie out of the battle so the Major stepped in there as well.

I didn't really want to kill off so many of the other officers - but the sad truth is that the officers were statistically more likely to be killed in action than their men and so I really couldn't justify saving that many of them.

We will, for the time being, be sailing in calmer waters for the next couple of chapters though.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:00 pm 
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I like that, after the horror of the previous chapter, you lightened things up with the Unolympic Games. A fun idea and it worked well. :yes:

I have to admit that I'm missing Tim in this story. He's there, but not doing much (obviously). ;D

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:28 pm 
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I also liked the Unolympic Games. I can see the men do that, if only to shove the war to the background for a little while and have some illusion of normalcy.
And good that the men can take a breather...until they're returned to the trenches... :-/

I've grown fond of this Captain McGee already. :flirtysmile:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Oh my God! I love your Flander's Field banner - It's such a powerful and poignant poem that says so much about why we use poppies as our symbol of remembrance.

There should have been an Olympic Games in 1916 - bizarrely enough Berlin was supposed to host them that year. Although I don't think an 'unolympic games' ever took place on the western front - some of the events mentioned were real - I found an account of an afternoon of such games on Boxing Day 1918 amoungst troops waiting to be sent home after the war. The puttee-binding, horse tacking and some of the races were completely my invention - but the blindfold drill, apple 'bobbing' and jockey race (Sergeants carrying officers) did take place.

We aren't far out from the start of the Somme now - but I can say that the 9th RDF were not involved in the initial offensive and so were spared the unbelievable carnage that marked the first advance. We still have a little respite before the reality of war bites again.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:47 pm 
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For some reason, I really liked that Ziva decided to dust Tim's apartment. It was a little gesture that seemed quite touching.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:59 am 
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:flirtysmile: Tim's showing signs of waking up! But now there's the worry whether he'll ever be able to get his field status back... :-/

A very nice touch, having Ziva accompany Tony to Tim's appartment.

I can understand Tony's eagerness to continue reading the Captain's story. :yes:

Maybe a bit off topic, but I watched War Horse, last night.
I remember Benedict Cumberbatch was in Flanders for a movie and at the time the film crew was over here for 7 weeks, I believed it was for War Horse. Later I learned it was for Parade's End, a WWI TV series which will soon air here.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:25 pm 
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Thanks both for your comments

I had Ziva go over to the apartment really to just add a little variety to the current time segments, but I'm glad you liked that bit!

I haven't seen War Horse (I'm not a big fan of stories around Animals), but there is a connection between that film and my little project. The body that I used for my graphics, both the original and the face-on one in my banner, belonged to Tom Hiddleston, who played the guy who took Joey (the horse) to war in the first place.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:11 pm 
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It's an interesting story, in part of because of the missing days when the action happens which would normally be the focus of any story. Obviously, a diary entry is unlikely when one is in the middle of the battle, but it makes the focus different. :yes:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:36 pm 
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I wish I could say that it was a desire to give a different focus that affected my decision not to describe the battles! =D

I was initially going to include the battles of Guillemont and Ginchy - but I found that these battles weren't as concentrated as Hulluch, and it wasn't clear what role the 9th RDF played in either as the accounts were a bit vague and confusing. On top of that, I had always planned that Captain McGee would be transferred to the 10th Battalion - but then discovered that this would normally happen if the officer was away from his current Battalion for too long a time (normally after perhaps 1 month of leave - if that happened an Officer would always end up attached to a different Battalion - or occasionally, like Robert Graves, a different Regiment).

With the 9th RDF in action, leave would have been impossible, so the only option I really had to left to me was for him to be injured in the initial advance. It did, however, allow me to bring in the medical support that the soldiers had behind the lines.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Well, it works...no matter the reason for it. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:54 am 
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Aw! :th_uhoh2: the Captain's been injured in action!
I can understand his apprehension: losing Charlie, his company of loyal men... Alone.
And I can understand even better his mounting fears. :yes: I wonder if...nay, I'm sure...the men, including Captain Timothy McGee, have strong doubts they'll survive this war. In the trenches, every day can be their last... :'( And they're sure to realize that.

The other day, I did come across an article on the RDF being at Ginchy, September 9, 1916. :yes:

BTW: about the casualties at The Battle of the Somme:
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Ceridwen wrote:
I haven't seen War Horse (I'm not a big fan of stories around Animals), but there is a connection between that film and my little project. The body that I used for my graphics, both the original and the face-on one in my banner, belonged to Tom Hiddleston, who played the guy who took Joey (the horse) to war in the first place.
I'm not a big fan of stories involving animals, either. In fact, it was your banner that had me got curious and so I watched the movie. I have to admit it was a very moving movie ( :rolleyes: oh dear, how did that sound?). I can't say I 'enjoyed' it, since the subject of the Great War with the senseless loss of so many lives is hardly something to be merry about or 'enjoy'. And, yup, Captain Tom Hiddleston... I thought it such a brilliant movie for the different sides we saw: the Devon company, the German kid soldiers, the older German soldier who took care of the horses like they were his kids, the French farmer and his granddaughter...the emotions of both sides. The movie also gave us some insight of how animals (in particular horses and mules) also played an important part.
:yes: I don't usually watch war movies (and certainly not the ones that are about a select bunch of 'heroes' who save the world on their own with the enemy depicted like heartless and mindless bastards) but this one I can recommend like other WWI classics: "Die Brücke" and "Im Westen Nichts Neues". And if you like to watch a more recent one involving a little romance, there's "Birdsong". Methinks I'll watch this one again... :yes:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:14 pm 
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:wavingyellow: good programme on Channel 5 (UK) tonight and next week

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:08 pm 
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akaeve wrote:
:wavingyellow: good programme on Channel 5 (UK) tonight and next week

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Thanks for that - I will give it a look later! ;D

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:14 pm 
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Ceridwen wrote:
akaeve wrote:
:wavingyellow: good programme on Channel 5 (UK) tonight and next week

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Thanks for that - I will give it a look later! ;D

it was only a thought I know you have done a lot of research

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:24 pm 
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The number of casualties recorded on the first day of the Somme are almost beyond belief - nearly 20000 killed, and nearly 40000 wounded - often for little or no gain against the enemy. Several times in the book 'The Somme' came the worst sentence of all - where a company, or even a battalion, had advanced too far without realising that their reserves were not behind them - never to be seen again.

The Thiepval memorial to the missing in the Somme region is the largest British war memorial in the world - and it has to be with over 72000 names recorded. This memorial only includes the names of men with no known grave - rather than all of the casualties that occurred during that offensive - the area is also littered with cemeteries of all sizes for men who were identified - some with perhaps 1000 graves, others with less then 10. The loss of life was phenominal - and could not be borne by the British Army as it stands today (a battle like that now and our entire army would likely be wiped out!).

Occasionally (even today), a body might be identified and buried in the nearest cemetary to where it was found and is given a headstone with his name on - if the name of that soldier is on the Thiepval Memorial, it will be removed as he is no longer missing.

Channel 4's sister channel 'more4' has a series of programmes on Saturday devoted to WWI - there is one programme devoted to the Somme that I will be tuning in for as well (see how many facts I got wrong! ;) )

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:38 pm 
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It's really interesting reading about all this as an American...because we involved in WWI only at the very end. It doesn't have nearly the emotional impact that WWII has. All this stuff is horrible to read about and I'm sure it was even worse to experience it, but it's something...other than me, foreign from me if that makes any sense, rather than something that hits home. I also don't have family who fought in either war and that makes a difference as well.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:01 pm 
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I had a bad feeling from the beginning of this story that he wouldn't survive. It's sad and, unfortunately, realistic. Even sadder in all the mentions he made throughout those entries about seeing Mary again. :-/

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:15 pm 
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We don't have Channel 4 or 5 or More 4. Only BBC1, 2 and World.
And then they only show Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph + The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.

Oh! I see there's another update! :dancing:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Oh no!!! NOOOOO!!!!! :shocked:

You killed him off! :banghead: Image

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:35 pm 
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I was a bit worried about posting this chapter after some of the earlier comments - sorry to upset you guys.

This was a very hard chapter to write - because I had planned the story this way, but when it actually came to the moment I had (almost without realising it) become very invested in the character myself, and I still get choked reading that final letter even now. I deliberated for a long time about adding a character death warning too - but to have done that would have completely wiped away any impact from the mundane entry on 12th November to the letter prepared for Mary.

I was tempted to change the outcome several times, because I liked the character, and would like to write more about him. But I just couldn't get away from the sheer futility of this war - where an entire generation of young men (from all sides) was engulfed in a conflict that should never have escalated beyond a diplomatic incident between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. So many men died, or were left too disabled to live a normal life that, ultimately, I found that I just couldn't change course.

I have one more chapter and an epilogue left to post - so there will be no update tomorrow as my intention is to post the epilogue on Sunday for Armistice Day.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:37 pm 
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You're going to make us wait for two days? Oh, cruel woman. :D

No, I could see it headed toward Capt. McGee dying from very early on, especially when you pointed out the average amount of time officers survived in the trenches. He healed up in time to die.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Enthusiastic Fish wrote:
You're going to make us wait for two days? Oh, cruel woman. :D


Not quite - I have one more chapter to go which I will post on Saturday, then the Epilogue on Sunday. Does that make me a semi-cruel woman? ;)

I am rather obsessively determined to make sure that the Epilogue goes up on Armistice Day itself - but I didn't have enough chapters to cover each day from the date that the Poppy appeal launched up to 11 November itself. The dramatic turn of events seemed a good moment to pause before I move on to bring Tim into the story.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Actually, I'm looking forward to Tony and Tim (hopefully) talking about it.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:52 pm 
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You just reminded me why I don't read death!fics. :sigh:

Now, who's going to cheer me up after this? 'Cause I need it. :blush:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:18 pm 
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I had a suspicion that was going to happen. I too am looking forward to Tony and Tim talking about it.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:12 pm 
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Hi! This is quite the page turner! I found Tim's namesake's story very compelling. Will be interested in seeing what happens next between Tony and his team.

The scene earlier in the story where "Capt'n" McGee and his friend (the Lt...Paddy or something?) share an orange...well, it reminded me of a scene in one of the Hornblower books.

Thank you for writing and sharing this.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Thanks for being patient with me. I just read chapter 12 and I was riveted. The writing is gorgeous and the descriptions are precise. I was gripped by the descriptions of battle, and horrified by the mustard gas attack. I was worried that something would happen to Charlie, but was really glad that he was intentionally held back so as to be there for McGee when he needed him. This McGee reminds me much of our Timothy.

Erica, this is much more than a fanfiction story. I think you should develop this into a piece of original fiction. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Thank you for your comments - I thoroughly enjoyed researching and putting this story together - something that would never have happened if I hadn't given in and watched the Pandemonium section of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Without that there would have been no graphic, and no gentle nudge to write this story.

It has given me a whole new understanding about the First World War, and the dreadful effects that it wrought on all who were compelled to fight in it. I passionately believe that the absolute carnage that came about should never have happened and wonder if Gavrilo Princip realised just what his actions would lead to when he killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914. That was a tragic event in itself, but hardly warranted the pan European bloodbath that it precipitated.

Too many men (from all sides) lost their lives for what basically amounts to almost nothing of any consequence.

I can't promise a happy ending, perhaps a bitter-sweet one instead, and thanks to everyone who has stuck with this story for hanging in there - even if I did cause a few ructions yesterday... :blush:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:14 pm 
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I like the relief of chapter 13. No deaths. Tony sees, like I do, the similarity between the two McGees. I would like to see Tony do more talking to his probie. It's very poignant. I can see Tony discussing the book with a comatose McGee, even going so far as to cast the blockbuster movie they could make of it. I also appreciate I am getting to know other characters in the story as well such as Father Joseph and Charlie. Off to read more. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Chapter 14 is also quite good. I am so glad he got to see his Mary and Paris. I am imagining his father to the buttoned up type that I suspect Admiral McGee will be when we meet him. It was lovely of him to rent such a nice suite, and leave McGee and his Mary to each other for the week. I am hoping that she is soon pregnant. That would be lovely. I am hoping that our own McGee is close to waking. Off to read the final chapter of the night. :kisscheek:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:29 pm 
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hazelmom wrote:
Thanks for being patient with me. I just read chapter 12 and I was riveted. The writing is gorgeous and the descriptions are precise. I was gripped by the descriptions of battle, and horrified by the mustard gas attack. I was worried that something would happen to Charlie, but was really glad that he was intentionally held back so as to be there for McGee when he needed him. This McGee reminds me much of our Timothy.

Erica, this is much more than a fanfiction story. I think you should develop this into a piece of original fiction. :clap: :clap: :clap:


Thank you so much for your comments - I do hope you haven't read the comments immediately preceeding yours!

I will admit that the battle of Hulluch nearly got missed out as my timetable of movements of the 9th RDF completely ignored their tour of duty there. See what you get with bad intel! I found out about it by pure chance, and the reality was utterly dreadful.

You've probably noticed that Charlie gets mentioned rather alot. Most officers became very close to their batmen - simply because they relied on them so much. There is a letter in one of the books that I read that a grief-stricken batman wrote to his officer's widow shortly after the man died, expressing his great admiration for the man that he had served. As Captain McGee points out, Charlie is actually a Soldier-Servant, but the term became almost interchangable with 'batman' and so this name was often used for all army officers servants, rather than just the servants to Warrant Officers.

To be honest, Charlie is my favourite character in the diary sections of the story.

I wanted to give some light relief - although the 'Unolympic Games' was a complete fabrication on my part, although based on fact, but sporting events were common when the troops were resting - from informal football games to full blown sports days. Of course I had to make A Company win - with their Captain winning the final race for them.

The meeting in Paris came from a single sentence in Six Weeks - Married Officers could meet their wives in Paris - so I just had to do it!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:42 pm 
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He was wounded, and I expected that. I am sorry that he lost his company and Charlie. I almost thought he was starting a flirtation with the nurse as he wanted to be her favorite, but I think he is too loyal to his Mary for all that. You put in wonderful bits about daily life that ring so true such as getting chocolates, but not wishing to share them with officers that are bores.

The numbers of men who died in a single day is wrenching. I have read quite a bit about the American Civil War, and, in a single day in 1862, 23,000 men died in battle in Antietam. It is still the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history, including WWII. In the 20th century, many countries didn't know if the U.S. was capable of being a threat as WWII loomed. Hitler dismissed the U.S. as inconsequential. It was Churchill who had studied the American Civil War carefully that understood what the U.S. was capable of if pushed hard enough.

I see there is another chapter before I finish. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:51 pm 
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I'm glad you didn't provide a warning. I hate it when people get mad because unexpected things happen in stories, particularly fanfiction. The story should be an unexpected journey. I am disheartened to read the letter, but it was not unexpected. I am curious though because I suspect that there is more to know, and our McGee is now awake to tell the tale. Very much looking forward to more. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:46 am 
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Thank you once again for your lovely comments. I'm glad you were okay with the unexpected turn of events.

The decision to kill off the Captain (I won't pretend that it was all a mistake and he turned up alive in a field hospital a couple of days later) was a hard one - but the very fact that he was a junior officer made his chances of survival minimal. I mentioned earlier that, statistically, the average life expectancy of an officer in the trenches was a mere six weeks and it felt right that I shouldn't buck the trend.

I hope that, for a short moment, it reminded people of all of the fallen.

Tony has, basically, got to the point that Tim was at when the accident happened. There is nothing that Tim can add - but there are things out there that they can discover together...

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:35 pm 
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What I like about this chapter is the feeling of life moving on. It has to because it had already, and they're moving on, and doing what they can. I also totally agree with Tony that the end of the story isn't with the death of Capt. McGee. In fact, in reality, the story never ends. I've said before that when I write stories, I like to think of them continuing on after I put the FINIS! at the end...I just stop writing the story down. :yes:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Another great chapter, Erica. :clap:

Of course it's wonderful to see Tim back among the living. :dancing:

I don't know how to explain this, but to me it was like tere were parallels between Captain McGee and Tim: both injured in the line of duty with the former having died and the latter in a coma from which he luckily awoke. Then there was this diary like a red line between them with Tony as a witness.

So Tony, like Tim, has come to know the Captain so well from reading his diary. I can understand he wasn't satisfied with the brusque ending. He's eager to know more.

I do now wonder, though, what would've happened if Captain McGee had stayed with his former battalion. Both Charlie and Stephen survived the war... :-/

Yeah... The Captain's remains being found after 8 years...so sad, but it gave closure, alas never to Mary... :no:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Thanks once again for your comments.

McMhuirich wrote:
I don't know how to explain this, but to me it was like tere were parallels between Captain McGee and Tim: both injured in the line of duty with the former having died and the latter in a coma from which he luckily awoke. Then there was this diary like a red line between them with Tony as a witness


I like that parallel, I didn't think about that at the time, but I think you're onto something there!

The tragedy of the Great War was the sheer randomness of the deaths. Perhaps Captain McGee may have survived if he had remained in the 9th battalion - but who can say? Although I will be honest and admit that no matter what I wasn't going to kill off Charlie for all the tea in China. ;)

It is an odd thing to say, but the fact that all of my lost ancestors have a grave, rather than being lost somewhere in the fields of France and Flanders - with their names on a memorial of the missing instead - was a relief to me. Perhaps when Tim experiences that feeling too I was projecting my own feelings into him there.

I was very cruel to poor Mary though - but often the women who had lost their menfolk just never found out what really happened to them, and I needed Mary to illustrate that.

Enthusiastic Fish wrote:
I also totally agree with Tony that the end of the story isn't with the death of Capt. McGee. In fact, in reality, the story never ends. I've said before that when I write stories, I like to think of them continuing on after I put the FINIS! at the end...I just stop writing the story down. :yes:


That is so true. When we write fiction, we are capturing only a brief period of time in our characters lives.

Although the events of Captain McGee's life have come to an end, I like to think that his memory now lives on in both Tim and Tony - regardless of whether they decide to publish the diaries or not.

Just to lighten the atmosphere a little - I managed to get a copy of the two pictures that inspired comments in the story (by photographing the pictures in the book - so please forgive the slightly naff quality!).

First - this inspired the incident where Stephen Mallon photographed the conked out McGee in the dugout.

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And here are the snipers - their heads covered with sacks to stop the light shining around them which would give their positions away to the enemy.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Those are interesting photos! Thanks for sharing them.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Thanks for the pics! They do help to form an idea of his life in the trenches. :yes:

Why not including them in your story? :D

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:12 pm 
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The picture of the sleeping officer always makes me smile it's my favourite picture of all the ones I've seen in my research - there was no way that I could let it go by without a mention. ;D

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:21 pm 
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I would be unsurprised if that particular officer reacted much as Capt. McGee did.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:22 pm 
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And I loved it, too. :yes:

Asleep and, if only temporarily, free from the cares and dangers of war.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Okay, so these are Germans soldiers, but they also had a try at the fantastic art of rat catching. I wonder what their recipes were like. :whistle:

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And this: a truce soccer game Christmas 1914 in Belgium (under a spoiler because of the size of this picture)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:07 pm 
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I don't think I will show the top picture to my gerbils - they'd never speak to me again!

I am thinking of Private Baldrick's three special recipes as we speak - Saute, Fricasee or perhaps Rat au vin (rat run over by a van...) - in the words of Lieutenant George - Tally Ho! Barf! Barf!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:48 pm 
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It's very sweet how McGee and Tony are working together on this. I like how they've been able to piece together information beyond what was in the box. I am curious to see if the two of them go to see his grave. And I am glad that Tony tried to cast the movie. That is so DiNozzo. :clap: :clap: :clap:

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:05 pm 
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I do believe that you are psychic!!!!! :jumpgreen: ;)

I couldn't have Tony not have some movie thoughts - after all, he lives and breathes movies - although I'd like to think he was joking when he suggested Steven Segal... :lol2:

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Very nicely concluded. I knew there would be some joining together of present and past. I just wasn't sure how you'd do it. I guessed wrong, but I like this a lot. ;D I'll likely never have this kind of experience since my family has never been military and I have lots of relatives who are interested in family history, but the moment of connection is lovely.

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