Lovegrove, James Leslie (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 8231
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 private served with Royal Field Artillery in GB and Ireland, 1916-1917; served as officer with Loyal North Lancashire Regt and South Lancashire Regt on Western Front, 1917-1918

Content description

REEL 1: Background to enlistment, 1914-1916: story of attempting to enlist age 16 and attitude to being rejected, 1914; story of being handed a white feather, 1915; enlistment in the Royal Field Artillery, 1916. Recollections of period as private with Royal Field Artillery and Royal Irish Fusiliers in GB and Ireland, 1916-1917: aspects of training at Woolwich and attitude to military life and discipline; reason for being posted to Ireland following Easter Rising and description of journey to Ireland, 1916; transferred to Royal Irish Fusiliers at Kilworth Camp, Fermoy and description of basic training; opinion of Royal Irish Fusiliers and relations with civilian population; amusing story of trying to obtain commission; description of officer cadet school in Fermoy. REEL 2 Continues: Further description of training at Fermoy and opinion of training methods used. Recollection of operations as officer with Loyal North Lancashire Regt and South Lancashire Regt on Western Front, 1917-1918: question of adequacy of training for modern warfare and relationship with his men; attitude to sexual matters and venereal disease including treatments; story of organizing officers' mess; memory of arrival in France, 11/1917; problem of understanding Northern dialects; story of obtaining rifle; attitude to his men and question of social class; story of buying extra food for his men. REEL 3 Continues: Relationship with batman; description of involvement during battle of Bullecourt, Arras area, 8/1918; story of nearly being killed while in gun pit; memory of seeing line of men blinded after gas attack; use of whale oil to prevent trench foot; story of protecting German POW; attitude to punishments and executions in the field; question of mentally retarded men being sent to front towards end of war. REEL 4 Continues: further comments on use of mentally retarded men at front including examples from own platoon; opinion of Portugese troops; attitude to French troops and their habits; story of seeing rats escaping from gas attack; problem of lice and methods of delousing; amusing story of taking bath; description of attack on Drocourt-Queant Switch Line and capturing part of Hindenburg Line, 2/Sep/1918; story of ankle wound and being trapped in German trench; amusing story of taking German prisoners with unloaded revolver and being carried back to lines on stretcher; description of medical treatment in France and GB. REEL 5 Continues: description of period in officers' convalescent home in London, 1918; story of other officers' practical jokes; story of being given advice on sexual matters; memory of hearing news of Armistice while in a theatre, 11/1918; effects of period of active service. Aspects of post-war life and employment: attitude to army life following end of war and problem of finding employment; story of selling medals; attitude to awarding of medals. Reflection on period of service.

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