Topic: British Army
Sergeant-Major Timothy Gowing, Voice from the Ranks; A Personal Narrative of the Crimean Campaign by a Sergeant of the Royal Fusiliers, edited by Kenneth Fenwick, 1954
Well, I've got back to camp again. We have had a rough twenty-four hours of it; it rained nearly the whole time. The enemy kept pitching shell into us nearly all night, and it took us all our time to dodge their Whistling Dicks (huge shell), as our men have named them. We were standing nearly up to our knees in mud and water, like a lot of drowned rats, nearly all night; the cold, bleak wind cutting through our thin clothing (that now is getting very thin and full of holes, and nothing to mend it with). This is ten times worse than all the fighting.
We have not one ounce too much to eat and, altogether, there is a dull prospect before us. But our men keep their spirits up well, although we are nearly worked to death night and day. We cannot move without sinking nearly to our ankles in mud. The tents we have to sleep in are full of holes, and there is nothing but mud to lie down in, or scrape it away with our hands the best we can—and soaked to the skin from morning to night (so much for honour and glory)! I suppose we shall have leather medals for this one day—I mean those who have the good fortune to escape the shot and shell of the enemy and the pestilence that surrounds us.