Sardines [18 January 1918]

[Editor: Published in Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 1, 18 January 1918.]


I had hoarded them for some time in the interests of war economy, when hunger got the better of me. Morning shift created an appetite, and why not sardines? So I handed them to the cook’s “offsider” to place in his oven, and retired to my dugout to dream of sardines, warm and oily, succulent and appetising.

Suddenly my dream was broken. A violent explosion occurred outside. It was followed by a metallic clang and a chorus of oaths, in which I recognised the voices of the cook and his “offsider.”

Thoughts of bombs and 5.9’s filled my mind. Presently the “offsider” appeared, holding in his hand a small piece of metal. I expected to hear again, the “just missed my head by an inch,” or “made a hole in my tunic” story. But there was something apologetic in his manner.

“Blew the blanky stove out!” he said. “Forgot to put a hole in the tin!”

P. D. Phillips.

Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 1, 18 January 1918, page 13

Editor’s notes:
5.9 = a 5.9 inch (150mm) artillery shell, such as fired from a German 5.9 inch field howitzer during World War One [see: “15 cm sFH 13”, Wikipedia (accessed 5 March 2014)]

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