Rosemary Louise Brown becomes a soldier. Goes to fight the Germans having to face many perils along the way. The main one being her identity and femaleness.
I didn’t know how I would die, who does? But dying in for the ones I love and for my country seemed good enough at the time. I didn’t expect it to be this way, I was hoping to be killed in action or choke on the poisonous gassing but oh no… my fate was much worse. It was all my fault, I had caused my death and many others.
This is my story, but it could just as easily been your great-grandma’s story. My story starts close to Christmas, it hasn’t begun snowing yet but in a few weeks time the first of many snowflakes would fall – creating a perfect white paradise. I'm seventeen year old Rosemary Louise Brown; I’m from the little seaside town of Lowestoft. It was quiet before the war started. I miss the seagull cries and the roar of the waves, but I don’t even hear them anymore, ever since the bombing.
Even though it’s only a small town, stray bombs sometimes explode closer than we’d wished, scattering bits of housing, tree and all sorts everywhere. No-one has been killed and not many had fatal injures. Only poor, little Tommy, who was playing in the fields when the first bomb landed only several hundred feet from him, had lost his left arm. He was a brave boy, always wanted to be a soldier, ever since his father had signed up to join the army a year ago. Children don’t really understand the seriousness of it, you see them playing commando in the streets, shooting with imaginated guns.
Thankfully the five of us children understood that war is serious and many brave men are out there fighting for our country. Yes, there’s five of us; Anne – the youngest – probably understood the war more than any of us, it made her think of father and then that made her upset and start to cry – we don’t often talk about it whilst she’s in the room. To be quite frank I thought war was a bit pointless, but if you’re bound friends to another country then I suppose you have to help fight.
Ben – Anne’s twin brother – didn’t like the war. He didn’t want to go and fight, and die like father. The telegram didn’t tell us father had died, ‘Mr. Ben Brown has been lost behind enemy lines.’ We all knew he was dead, we just didn’t talk about it, or admit it. Ben hated the Germans for killing his father. He’d only known him for a short time, but in that time Ben had learnt to love father, almost as much as father loved him.
Mother. She took care of us – all of us. She loved us, protected us, fed us, clothed us, gave us all a safe place to live, brought us up well. To know what’s right. Then there’s the un-born baby. I count him or her as part of the five, because he is part of the family. Living inside the womb of mother. As long as he was alive – he counted. Inside and out. He was due in a few months time.
Harry – the eldest – took the war so seriously, he had signed up for the war, last week and was off in a few days. I couldn’t believe he was leaving his family, his town and his life, to go and fight Germans – who had families, homes and lives too. They would have families waiting for them to return. Always. Just like us. Harry may never, ever come back, we may never see him again – just like father.
I thought about this for weeks and weeks and weeks until I devised up a plan, I told Anne first and she started to cry. I didn’t want to tell mother because she’d slap me silly and shout stuf like who would help look after the baby when it was born? I wouldn’t be able to if I was off fighting with Harry.
Yes, I was to join the army. It wasn’t a very appealing option, but I couldn’t leave Harry to go and fight on his own, I would accompany him. I also wouldn’t tell him so that he couldn’t try and stop me, we all knew that if a girl was caught fighting in the army they were to be shot – it was a rule. Rules were made to be broken.
The one thing I didn't want to leave behind was my love for Edward. Edward and I were to be married next spring, in the orchard where we would be surrounded by pink petals and sunshine and birdsong. The last thing I wanted to do was run away from it. My head was telling me to but my heart was telling me not to. Mixed feelings are such a bummer. To make my head and heart happy I wrote Edward a letter;
Don't be mad at me, please. I love you. I will always love you. It pains me to leave you this way, I may never return from the journey ahead of me. I'm going to France to fight, please - just listen. I love you. I don't want to leave. I will have my ring close to my heart because it wanted to stay but I listened to my head.
Rosie L Brown
So with that I left Lowestoft and now my name is Charlie Brown and Harry and I agreed on the ship that we would be twins even though I looked much younger than he, it would have to work. This is where it all began…