Crimea: Michael Pope,

September 1854 It seemed like an age, lying there waiting for the order to continue our advance. All while, from heights beyond river Russian artillery fired upon us and front we heard crackle of musket fire as skirmishers pushed theirs back. Cannonballs passed over heads with a sound not unlike tearing cloth, struck ground in us, throwing up earth. At first I was afraid, men talked laughed among them selves, even when they were showered soil. Then began suffer losses…

April 1587 Now I saw the Spanish ships clearly. Even from this distance could see men on board scurrying around upper deck’s, and knew they were hurrying to their stations, ready for battle. But we had been too quick them. FIRE roared Mr Belson centre of gundeck. Jones thrust his smoking taper into back cannon sparks flared out hole. Back shouted, all leapt away-just in time because a loud explosion filled area us with smoke, bright flames…

The historical diaries in this series are written by fictional characters set real periods of history. This is the diary Tilly Middleton, London, 1553-1559. She describes watching an execution at bloody Tower London.

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