Bailey, Vivian Horsman (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 8832
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 180, Number Of Items 6
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British officer served with 53rd Bde Royal Field Artillery in Egypt and Palestine, 1916-1919

Content description

REEL 1: Aspects of training with Royal Artillery in GB, 1914-1916: reason for joining Royal Artillery; education and training with OTC at Malvern College and Oxford; story of being commissioned into 1st Herts Bty Royal Field Artillery, St Albans, 8/1914; description of role as ADC and training in GB, 1914-1915. Recollections of operations with 53rd Bde Royal Field Artillery in Egypt and Palestine, 1916-1919: role as Adjutant to Marquis of Exeter in Suez, 1916-1918; memory of training course under Colonel Kearsey; description of preparations for First Battle of Gaza, 3/1917; role as Intelligence Officer at 54th Div HQ; role as galloper to General Hare; description of operations during Battle; story of withdrawal of 1st East Anglia Field Ambulance; story of General Doddington's refusal to retire from position at Ali-el-Muntar; opinion of Sir Archibald Murray and attitude to outcome of Battle; opinion of General Dobell; role as Liaison Officer between 54th and 52nd Divs; question of preliminary artillery bombardment and casualties; role as Adjutant to 270th Bde 54th Div; comparison of Murray and Allenby and question of leadership; role as Adjutant to 53rd Bde 3rd Lahore Div., 1918; story of Allenby's preparations for Battle of Aleppo; memory of Arab prophecies about end of Turkish rule in Palestine. REEL 2 Continues: story of Allenby and prophecy concerning entry into Jerusalem; description of role of adjutant in Royal Field Artillery Bde; daily duties and nature of responsibilities; memory of Royal Artillery OTC at Malvern College, GB; further comments on artillery training in GB, 1914-1915; description of composition of battery and type of guns and question of changes made to organisation during war; opinion of training; qualities required by battery commander; question of horse management and moving guns; description of role in protecting Suez Canal prior to advance into Palestine; use of wire netting on roads for marching troops; problem of moving guns over sand and use of peg-rails; story of combined training with Navy; further comments on role as Adjutant to Marquis of Exeter; amusing story of peach jam. REEL 3 Continues: role of artillery supporting infantry during First Battle of Gaza, 3/1917; problem of ammunition supplies; comparison of Allenby and Montgomery in First and Second World Wars; further comments on ammunition supplies during war; opinion of planning and execution of First Battle of Gaza; memory of General Marsh; problem of water supplies and requirements of horses and mules; problem of poisoned and booby-trapped wells; memory of Jaffa oranges;description of role as galloper between 52nd and 54th Divs during First Battle of Gaza; question of access to senior officers and delivering messages; memory of camel hit by shell; description of preparations for Second Battle of Gaza, 4/1917; story of horse wounded by shrapnel; question of preliminary artillery barrage and lack of ammunition. REEL 4 Continues: further comments on artillery barrage; description of preparations for Third Battle of Gaza including role of artillery batteries, 10-11/1917; question of Turkish resistance and speed of advance; re-organisation of batteries by Colonel Dunbar and types of guns; story of Allenby visiting front line; question of morale after Third Battle of Gaza; opinion of Allenby and Murray; role of Navy and Royal Flying Corps in Third Battle of Gaza; description of signals and communications; story of breaking back in riding accident and regaining horse; opinion of medical treatment. REEL 5 Continues: Description of battle at Sharon, 19/Sept/1918; deployment of artillery in 53rd Bde Royal Field Artillery and location in Hadrah Road area; role of artillery and movement of guns during battle; memory of artillery barrage at 4.30am and counter-barrage; story of crossing No Man's Land and re-locating batteries; description of course of battle; question of Turkish resistance and opinion of Turks; description of terrain at end of battle; use of Bible as guidebook; role of cavalry in desert campaign; opinion of Australians and question of discipline; problem of heavy rainfall; comparison of climate in Egypt and Palestine and effects on health; problem of water supplies; opinion of rations. REEL 6 Continues: problem of boils and period in convalescent home in Alexandria; memory of Armistice with Turkey; role as Staff Captain with 53rd Bde Royal Field Artillery in Palestine, demobilization, 5/1919; daily life and duties in Palestine. Post-war employment on Lord Exeter's estate at Burghley.

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