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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 10/98: World War I  
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World War I Wednesday, 11 November, 1998, 16:28 GMT
Veterans tell of war horrors
Veterans and a relic from the Great War
Some war survivors preferred to stay at home on Armistice day
Some of the UK's oldest war veterans say they have spent years trying to forget the horrors of the battlefields.

Below are a just few of their comments, but more of their incredible memories are contained in the video interviews recorded by BBC News 24.

One veteran went to France as a teenager in a spirit of adventure but life in the trenches soon changed that.

He said: "I've seen men crouch in terror shouting 'mother'. We were only kids and we were terrified.

World War 1:Special Section
"If no-one was shot for desertion, there would have been many more desertions."

Another who was wounded five times dreaded going back to the front.

"It is not how the pictures look - with beautiful trenches and duck boards to walk on," he said.

Ypres veterans
Veterans at Ypres watch as poppies representing the dead flutter to the ground
"We were in mud and we were constantly in the rain."

A soldier, who lied about his age and was just 15 when he joined up, remembers the fear of being fired on by German missiles.

"When we started off on the job, I prayed to God and said if I was hit, I hoped the first bullet would finish me off," he said.

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BBC News
Great War veterans tell of their horrific experiences in the trenches
See also:

11 Nov 98 | Europe
11 Nov 98 | World War I
11 Nov 98 | Europe
11 Nov 98 | UK
Links to more World War I stories are at the foot of the page.


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