They had landed just short of the British front line in France. They could hear the big guns at the front, playing their nightly symphony. They had fuelled up the aircraft and were waiting for the pilots to say they were ready for takeoff. It was bitterly cold and both men were full of anxiety causing them to shake, the pilots were in no better shape.
“This is really stupid isn’t it?” Charles said quietly to his cousin.
“There have definitely been better plans to end this war, what can go wrong?” Alex replied. “But let’s not ask the pilots that.”
The two men laughed.
“Time to go chaps.” The pilots called out.
The four loaded up into the creaking airframe, rumbled down the grass airstrip and off into the inky black night.
Charles had never seen the front lines from above before. It was astounding to see how close the two sides were to each other. Then, out of nowhere, the snap of a bullet passing close by made Charles duck instinctively. The plane lurched over to the left, looking up towards the pilots, Charles could see one of them hunched forward over the controls. He had been hit.