Centena First World War

The 100 DAYS project is a partnership between Imperial War Museums and 26 Characters, exploring the lives of 100 individuals who experienced the First World War, and 100 organisations which have commemorated the centenary.

100 writers. 100 stories.

Exactly 100 words long, with the first three words repeated as the piece’s conclusion, each centena will focus on an individual who was alive between 28 July 1914 (when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia) and 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day) and reflect the myriad ways in which the ‘war to end all wars’ affected their lives. While the individual will be a real person, each centena will inevitably explore the borderlines between fact and fiction.

‘One, another’

His beckoning caw, distant and cold
The scratch of a boot echoes deep in the well of it
Flocks sear a line in the burning white sky of it
Mud-musk and metal-tangs bleed on its edge
A youngster, unshaven and writhing, dies
Tracing folds in the face of his sweetheart

In the last, just a droplet
Ripple to join the immeasurable whole

Great rolling swells pay their loads to far shores
Allowing the other

Away from the poison and fug of the trench
The nimble savage abroad
Face to the trial
Golden in spite of it
Answers his beckoning caw

His Beckoning Caw Christina Crosby Artist


See the project in full here.