The four pieces that we wrote about were:
1. A photo of a grave at a war cemetery in Belgium.
2. A young soldier going to war (we wrote letters pretending he was our big brother).
3. Simpson and his donkey at Gallipoli.
4. A photo of soldiers in a river.
Here are our stories. We hope you enjoy reading them. Some of them are sad but that's how we feel about war.
Letter to Alec
I’ve been missing you lots and lots.
How was your trip? Was it hot going over the equator? Have you made any friends? What’s the weather like over there?
I’ve been riding your horse Lightning. I hope that’s okay. Your best friend Michael says hi.
There has been an enormous flood. Lots of the animals have died.
I’ve had to help Mum because Dad has joined the New Zealand Defence.
My 8th birthday is coming up and I think I am getting a puppy.
Last night we had mutton with mashed spud and cauliflower for tea and ambrosia for pudding.
Please come back in one piece.
P.S. can I have your bedroom?
A Sad Day
A sad day for
. More poppies come and go.
Tears falling onto the grave stones one by one and thousands more to
come. New Zealand
The men who died for us with guns in hand, wanting to go back home to their kids and wives, but the men kept strong.
It was the most deadly place of all.
By Mackenzie Frost
World War One
I can see some soldiers in a trench about to fire at me. I dodge and they miss. I can see explosions. The smoke from them is covering the air. The air is black.
My back is really sore from carrying my gun, my ammunition, my kit bag and my water bottle.
I have already won a Victoria Cross and some other medals which make me happy but I am still scared. I feel like I’m going to die any second.
One of my friends has died so I buried him. I felt sad for him.
I can hear cries of people dying and calling help me out of this river. I am soaked from crossing a river at my waist. I am helping some soldiers get out of a deep river. I just crossed. My mates have got their guns out in case some Turkish soldiers try to shoot us. I am nearly out of ammunition. I have only got six bullets left.
My Sad Life
Bang! Bang! is all I can hear.
“Help I’m stuck!” someone is saying. It is my friend John. I pull and pull. After two minutes he is out and shooting again.
The bombs are going off. I am dodging the bullets like I’m still in training. Suddenly a bullet hits my leg. I am down, thinking will I survive?
After about 10 seconds I make myself get up. It is bleeding really badly. I get the bandage out of my pocket and bandage it up.
I start running again. I stumble. It is no use. I start yelling for help. Duffy the donkey and his handler come after 10 minutes. Duffy carries me to the hospital. He smells of old blood. I feel sick but I am happy to be rescued.
Today was not fun, not at all. That’s because I had to carry a wounded soldier that weighs a tonne, well maybe not a tonne but he was extremely heavy.
I have good food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but sometimes I’m too busy to have lunch.
The guy who owns me is John. He works so hard that he sometimes misses tea.
I carry wounded soldiers and water and sometimes food up and down the hill.
I look cute in the photo don’t I?
My feet sometimes hurt, but the best thing is that I’ve got nothing to worry about.
Duffy The War Donkey
I wish I was a human, all safe in my house. Instead I have to carry injured men to safety.
My ears are hurting from the blasting of the guns. My fluffy back is so sore I can’t carry one more person. I can smell a strong scent of blood coming from behind me. Then I remind myself I am carrying an injured man.
I am thankful for all of the other donkeys that take my place when I am too tired. I think that I have carried a dead man. The man that I think was dead had like 20 bullet holes in him. Don’t worry I have made friends with the other donkeys.
I wish I wasn’t a donkey because I have to carry people to safety. Every day I also have to transport food around all day, but what I really hate is blood running down on me.
Sometimes I like being a donkey because I get fed every day and also because I’m a hero for my owner. I’m just a good donkey.
The Big Battle
I am worried about everything. I see explosions. I can see the Turkish people. I can hear people screaming for help. My friend is a doctor. Every day he rescues up to 25 people an hour.
I can hear and see the Sergeant. He is saying “Push forward – don’t be scared.”
I see the sea. It is not blue. It is not turquoise. It is red.
I can see the poppies getting squashed.
The Famous Donkey
My name is Duffy. John Simpson found me in the battlefield. When I go downhill I bring injured people to safety. I bring water when I go uphill.
I think I bought 500 men down to the hospital tent. I also took 1000 gallons of water to the soldiers.
I am John’s favourite donkey. He doesn’t always bring me because I get tired after that walking.
I hope you are all right there. We miss you. Your dog is sad now you have gone.
How is the food there? We had chicken for tea last night.
Can I have your bedroom please? But we miss you and I also miss you too. Did you shoot anyone yet?
From your little brother A.J.
TO THE WAR
I was in the Gallipoli war. I’m even lucky to be alive. It all started in 1914. I was 19 years old and they were asking for men to go to war. I thought that it would be cool.
Then I went to practice being a soldier. There I met a guy named Alec and we became friends. I was 20 now and it was time to set off for Gallipoli. I had my camera, but when we got there it wasn’t cool, at all. Alec and I ran to beach.
I was as scared as ever. We were getting closer and closer to the enemy. We jumped into the trench. I thought it was going to be the end. We had to move out of the trench. I could hear the Commander shouting “Move out! Move out!”
We ran. We came to another trench. It was empty. We jumped into it. But just as we jumped into it, the water started to rise. I made it out and helped Alec out. Then I heard a bullet fly past my head. I looked at Alec. He had blood on him. He fell into the trench. There was no hope of getting him out now. He sank to the bottom.
I charged to the enemy. Bombs went off around my ears. Bullets went flying everywhere. Then a bomb went off too close to me. It hit me in the leg. I went down with a thud.
In a second the stretcher bearers were there. They took me as fast as they could. I was sent back to New Zealand and I didn’t go back to Gallipoli.
I am Duffy, John Simpson’s donkey.
My legs are very sore because I have been walking up and down about 15 times already.
My ears are hurting because the sound of guns is filling my head.
Now all I can hear is dead people lying whining, all dead screaming on the ground in a deep dark puddle of blood.
I Hope I See You Again
How are you? I hope you are good.
Thank you for the birthday card. I got lots of presents from my friends. We had a big party.
Yesterday Sam and I went outside for a picnic and we picked up some rocks and made a rock pile for you.
Can I have your room? I like your bed.
For tea last night we had fish ‘n’ chips and my best friend Ellen came over for the night. We drew pictures. Here is a picture of Sophie our new pet rabbit.
From your little sister Jaimee
I feel so emotional and frightened. It almost feels like as soon as I get out of the ditch I will die. But I won’t! I will try to keep going for my family, for my town, for New Zealand. I will come back to my family.
I can hear crying. Wounded people are screaming. Somebody yells “Fight for victory!”
Then all of us soldiers jump out of the ditch and fight and fight and fight.
A Life in the Army
It is a tough life in the army. Our trench is filled with water. I am pulling a G.I. out of the trench. I left him as soon as a canon shot at me. I ran for my life. I shot and stabbed the enemy.
Woosh - a bullet went right over my head. I heard a scream as some people got
blown up by a canon.
We called for reinforcement. We are getting blown to pieces.
Just then the radio man got blown up just as I said that a plane dropped more people off.
In the Trenches
Hi, I am David. I am a soldier. I have to have a bayonet at the end of my gun and so do my friends Bob, Billy and Sam. We are with the Maori Battalion.
Oh no, my enemy just pushed me into a trench full of blood “HELP! HELP!” I scream at the top of my lungs, I feel like I am going to drown with all the heavy equipment on my back it feels like it weighs 20 tonne.
Finally somebody is coming to help pull me out. But I am slipping. I get back up again and we try again and again. The solider has to give up. He gets another solider and then they both pull me up.
My name is Duffy. I am a donkey.
I carry water and food to the battle site and I will bring an injured soldier back with me. They use me because they have no more stretchers.
I will do that about 15 times a day. My ears are really sore after the day.
I feel a bit sad but ok. I love John Simpson. He is my best friend. He is my best friend because he loves me. He helped get injured men to safety by using my back.
I miss the sound of birds singing.
On the Battlefield
The poppies are swaying side to side in between the gravestones. The gravestones have carvings on them, very special carvings to remember the soldiers that died in the war.
I feel sad and brave. The poppies are red because it shows the colour of the soldier’s blood. The poppies stand straight up like a soldier. On the grave stones there are special symbols.
Hi, I am running at the speeds of 20 kms an hour in Dardanelles, Turkey.
I call Dardanelles Death Town because I’ve seen trails of people who have got shot.
I have won a Victoria Cross already.
Every dead body that is not being buried, I bury.
The dead bodies are in all sorts of positions. Once I saw a dead body with a gun and bullet beside it.
We just made a trench under the water of a river in Dardanelles. One of my Anzac mates called Dave looked to see if anyone was attacking us. There was. The Turkish were seeking trenches and once they located us they started shooting, but they will get stuck because we have smashed glass on the trench and we also put some special needles and nails on it so they will capsize.
The Tall Poppies
The poppies are standing up tall beside some gravestones at the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium. All the gravestones are nice and hard so they won’t break in half. The grass is green in the back ground. The gravestones make me feel sad because to see all the soldiers how have died in the war.
World War 2
People are helping people out of the trenches.
The Australians and New Zealanders are attacking the Germans.
People are getting shot back into the trenches. I can hear the guns going off and the grenades exploding.
People have to carry people that have been shot. They are going to the beach to go to the medical centre. It is very slippery because it is raining.
I am a soldier from the war. I fight in France and Gallipoli. Whenever I’m there I hear guns shooting and bombs exploding in the air. I see men shooting and bombing our enemy. I see soldiers hiding in trenches and men helping men out of deep rivers and streams and deep ditches too.
Sometimes I feel brave, but other times I am scared and I want to be back with my family.
At night when we stay at the camps in our tents, I am scared that our enemy is going to bomb us in the middle of the night.
Today when I got back I was told that Simpson and his donkey Duffy brought back about 29 injured or dead men, back to the camp.
Sadly my best friend was killed. I try to dodge all the guns shooting and the bombs coming towards me. I’m going to be brave and survive and hope to get back to my family.
IN WORLD WAR ONE
I feel scared that we are running down the river so I have to ask my friends for help. I can hear gun shots.
I run and start to dig the trenches so we can hide in them and people can use the machine gun to help the team shoot.
I can see soldiers from my battalion dead on the ground and I can see people in the trenches wearing gas masks.
I sleep in my tent for the night. In the morning I go and help out.
My name is Duffy the donkey. I carry injured people to the hospital tents on my back as quickly as I can. That is why John Simpson always says “Hurry up!”
I get very tired, because I’m going up the hill and back at least ten times a day. I smell blood when I walk across the battlefield.
John Simpson found me at the top of the hill. He thought this is a good way to carry injured people to hospital because there were bombs bombing, and grenades exploding.
Life in the War
Here we are in the trenches pulling out men that are almost sinking into the water.
I feel worried that I’m going to die but I have to keep fighting for my country.
I hear gun shots and screaming and I feel unsafe because when I look at this place it’s horrible and frightening. There’s blood all over the place that makes me feel sick.
The Scared Soldiers
I can feel mud slopping down my boots.
Shrapnel is blasting into my skin.
My sadness for home is painful.
Pain is in my left shoulder from the gun shock.
I can see blood in the water.
Grenades are flying in the air.
Wounded soldiers are lying on the ground.
Mud and dead trees are scattered as far as the eye can see.
Muzzle flashes everywhere.
Men are retreating into trenches.
I can hear screams of horror.
Explosions are crushing the dirt.
Guns are firing bullets past our heads and helmets.