Fuare-Walker, Henry William (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 6612
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 150, Number Of Items 5
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British officer served with 3rd Bn Coldstream Guards in Egypt and Palestine, 1937-1939; commanded Guards Depot at Caterham in GB, 1939-1940; served as staff officer with 7th Guards Brigade in France and Belgium, 1940

Content description

REEL 1 Aspects of period as cadet at Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in GB, 1929-1931: OTC training at school; decision to join Coldstream Guards; reaction to arrival at Sandhurst; opinion of training received. Recollections of period as officer with 3rd Bn Coldstream Guards in Egypt and Palestine, 1937-1939: background to posting to Egypt; troopship voyage from GB to Egypt; in barracks in Alexandria; impressions of Egyptian Army; battalion training in desert; contrast between training in Egypt and GB; recreational activities in Alexandria; lecture on venereal disease. REEL 2 Continues: inspection of official brothels; society in Alexandria; tension due to war in Abyssinia; expectations of Italian attack from Libya; move to Palestine, 1938; troops attitude towards Arabs and Jews; preparations for move from Egypt to Palestine; organisation and armament of battalion; lack of internal security training; landing at Haifa; move to Sarafand Camp; protection of Sarafand Camp; provision of food and water; move to Jerusalem; briefing for attack on Old City and lack of intelligence . REEL 3 Continues: medical arrangements and support for attack; escape of insurgents over Old City walls; co-operation with Palestine Police; occupation of Old City and behaviour of local population; lack of military maps of Old City; psychological state of troops; fear of atrocities and imposing of curfew; nature of improvised positions; opinion of Palestine Police; role as reserve battalion and cordon and search operations; co-operation with RAF; ambushing of patrol on railway. REEL 4 Continues: billeting and living conditions; return to Alexandria, Egypt. Aspects of period commanding Guards Depot, Caterham in GB, 1939-1940: reaction to posting; duties at depot; quality of recruits; incident with Fascist infiltrator. Aspects of period as staff officer with 7th Guards Brigade in France and Belgium, 1940: posting to brigade; journey to France; impressions of French troops; duties as staff captain; deployment of brigade and state of front-line defences. REEL 5 Continues: entertainment provided by George Formby; troops attitude to service in France; battalion equipment; news provided by BBC; question of ignorance of public in GB about withdrawal from continent; attitude towards service with Guards.

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