They were children who received golden epaulets to become adults. The “student detachment”, as they were called, was the future of the country, and the future came too soon and sent them in 1914 to be the courage and bravery that may have been lacking in addition to ammunition in the Serbian ranks at the time.
From the school and student bench, after only two months of training, they held rifles in their hands and a big heart in their chests that was supposed to command fighters who saw their children in them or were their children. The golden corporal epaulets that were supposed to separate them from ordinary soldiers shone, but not as much as their youth.
Columns of pupils and students from Belgrade headed for Skopje. Mothers and sisters covered their paths with tears and flowers, some even spilled water, and those proud boys who had already seen men in themselves set out to see their fathers.
Everyone sang out loud, and among them the youngest Djuradj, who tries to grow up in a few minutes by jumping while walking with the others. Djuradj jumps up and looks for his closest ones to see him. At some point, a girl jumped on him:
“Don’t leave your uniform there, brother. Bring it home because I won’t be able to clean it myself. “
Djuradj pulled her away from him, all daring, as if he had long since shrunk and his mustache had long since sprouted.
“Should I leave the uniform ?! I’m only going to see briefly what our neighbors are doing, and also to find Milunka and bring her back to Belgrade. Him, come on, greet the other soldiers. Some of them have neither mothers nor sisters to greet them. Just don’t give a soldier tears, but give him flowers. “
Pupils and students arrived at the front from all over Serbia, and General Zivojin Misic stood in front of them. He looks at them and…
“I should call you children, but you already have rifles in your hands. I should call your fathers, but you seem to be fathers already. It is easy to be a soldier but a Serb… A soldier is the one in the trench, and when needed, in the field, when the enemy with bayonets moves, then the Serb can be seen who he is. All Serbs are with me and I have no soldiers. Here, Serbs are defending Serbia. Here, fathers, as well as mothers, defend their nephew and the roof that only those in the distance recognize which they built, and which they want to demolish and teach the nephew to forget fathers and mothers. “
The general walks, looking at his boots, which are getting heavier than the mud and snow that sticks to his boots. He slammed his boot against each other several times, then said again:
“They call you the Student Squad. I do not see books in your hands, but rifles and bayonets. I don’t see bags on your shoulders, but epaulets.
SERBS! WHEN YOU STEP ON THE FIELD, YOU ARE NOT AFRAID OF DEATH, BUT OF THE FUTURE THAT THE ENEMY WANTS TO CREATE FOR US. SO WHEN YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ANY FEAR IN THE EYES OF THE ENEMY, YOU SHOUT THEY SHOUT THAT THEY KNOW WHO IS STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM. SHOUT WHAT THE FUTURE OF SERBIA WILL BE PROUD OF AND THE ENEMY WILL BE AFRAID. SHOUT 1300. “
Little Djuradj jumped out of the machine and in front of the water, and shouted: “CAPLIARS!”
In the same voice, everyone in the line shouted, “1300!”
Few of them returned home. They left their lives in Kolubara, the Greek islands and Albania. Survivors have always proudly pointed out that they are ONE OF 1300.
Author: Alexander of Belgrade (characters, event and speech are for dramatization, free will of the author. In memory of 1300 corporals.)