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The soldier smaller than a gun



This is a story about the youngest soldier in the World War I and I am very proud to tell you this story as this brave soldier is from Serbia, my country of origin. His name is Momcilo Gavric and he was born on 1of May 1906 in Loznica, Serbia, as the eighth child from eleven. In the beginning of August 1914 Austro-Hungarian killed his mother, father and all his siblings. He survived as he was not at home when this happened. Left without family and home, Momcilo went to find the 6th Artillery Division of the Serbian Army which was near Gucevo. The Major of the Division accepted Momcilo after hearing what happened to him and to his family.

His days as a soldier began and instead to play with the toys he was playing with the bombs and guns. He thought that he was doing something special by defending his country from enemies. In 1914 Momcilo took part in two most important battles, battle of Cer and battle of Kolubara where Serbia found glorious victory in both of them. At the age of ten he was promoted to the rank of Corporal by the commander of his unit.

In 1915 Serbian defence collapsed and Serbian Army and people had to search for a refugee area in Albania. This trip was really difficult as it was winter with a lot of snow and all of them were hungry, cold, with the light clothes and some of them without shoes. Momcilo was among them. He was walking with the soldier named Milos and he used to call him uncle Milos. Momcilo was exhausted but he did not want to show and he was trying to be brave as the others.  They walked together and uncle Milos tried to drag himself and the boy but at some point uncle Milos couldn`t further. Momcilo called him in tears, begged and prayed, but uncle Milos asked him to leave him as his feet couldn’t further. Then Momcilo with the serious voice told him: “Uncle Milos, I am not going anywhere without you, I would stay and die with you”. Somehow uncle Milos found strength to stand up and hand in hand with Momcilo to walk these last kilometres and get to Drac in Albanija.

Finally they managed to get to Greek island Corfu where all the Serbian survived soldiers would regain the strength and would go back to the front. Momcilo went to Thessaloniki front and in 1918 he took part in one of the most important battles of the Great War, the breakthrough of the Thessaloniki front. This battle brought the end of the war. In 1918 he was presented with the rank of sergeant by the Duke Zivojin Misic.

Momcilo from the war returned as the experienced soldier even he was only 12 year old. Most memories of his childhood are war, disasters and death, but this not stopped him to have long and successful life. In 1921 he was sent to school in England and then return to Belgrade, Serbia where he quietly lived until his death in 1993.

Autor teksta: Dimitrije Miskin iz Darbija. Ovo je njegov domaci zadatak na temu Prvi Svetski rat sa kojim je on zeleo da pokaze svojim drugovima iz skole St. Peters u Darbiju da su i Srbi kao mali narod dali veliki doprinos u ovom ratu.


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