Taylor, Raynor (IWM interview)

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Catalogue number
  • 11113
Production date
1990-02
Subject period
Alternative Names
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

Object description

British private served with Glamorgan Yeomanry in GB, 1916-1917; served with Welch Regiment on Western Front, 1917-1918; served with provisional companies in GB,1918-1919; served as officer's servant with North Russian Expeditionary Force, 1919. Met Lloyd George whilst on duty at Folkestone, Kent, 1919; served as NCO in Holinwood Coy, Oldham Bn, Home Guard, 1940-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Recollections of background in Hollinwood, Oldham, 1898-1914: family circumstances; Primitive Methodist and Sunday School activities; education; work as half time piercer at Urban Twist Cotton Mill, 1910-1911; recreations based on Sunday School; Boy Scouts and Boys Brigade activities; reasons for avoiding working in coal mining. Recollections of work as piercer at Durban Cotton Mill, Hollinwood, 1911-1916: initial status as learner; pay; factory conditions. REEL 2 Continues: factory conditions; trade union activities and strike over pay; system of morning 'knocker up' and importance of punctuality; meal breaks; latrines; fire precautions; promotion system; processing stages in spinning of cotton; skills of cotton spinners; reactions to outbreak of war, 4/8/1914; pre-war reputation of regular soldiers and mother's reaction to brother's initial attempt to enlist; attacks on German shops and attitude to German manufactured goods; promotion opportunities on mass enlistment of mill workers into army, 1914; initial drop in orders and production prior to increase in military orders, 1915; falling standards of production. REEL 3 Continues: successful introduction of women into spinning department; origins of women workers; relationship with women workers; increased pay; continued recruitment of mill workers into local units; question of joining up. Review of effects of war on Taylor family, 1914-1919: recruitment of brother Albert Taylor to 7th Bn, East Lancashire Regt; pay allowance from Albert to family; story of Albert's first leave, 1915, including reception from family and community, method of delousing uniform, his souvenirs and news of conditions on Western Front; nature of letter and parcel contact with Albert; recruitment of brother Jack Taylor and his service at Gallipoli with Royal Naval Division, 1915; question of impact on mother of receipt of 10 War Office telegrams relating to sons' various wounds and story of how Albert was reported missing in action, 1918 and his subsequent return having been POW, 1919; death of mother with influenza, 1919; reaction to prospect of conscription, 1916. REEL 4 Recruitment procedure, ca 8/1916: attestation; kitting out at Ladysmith Barracks, Ashton; punishment for exchanging outsize uniform with brother Albert Taylor; kit. Recollection of conditions of service and lifestyle with Training Reserve Bn at Prees Heath, ca 8/1916-11/1916: size of camp; one legged soldier; hut accommodation and beds; stealing coal for stove; role of hut orderlies; kit inspections; question of stealing; relationship with ORs including question of bullying and story of recruit from wealthy background whose parents intervened to secure his transfer as officer to Royal Flying Corps and his subsequent death; food rations; drill; route marches. REEL 5 Continues: rifle training including firing on range and method of cleaning; bayonet training; instructors and their methods; tactical exercises; relationship with instructors and officers; recreations; relationship with civilians. REEL 6 Recollections of period with 2/1st Glamorgan Yeomanry at Wrentham and Beccles, ca 11/1916: over-crowded tent accommodation and effects of storm at Wrentham; pay; cigarette smoking and drinking habits; weekly budget for pay; issue of bicycles as cyclist unit; bicycle route marches; hut accommodation at Beccles; hand and rifle grenade training. REEL 7 Continues: Lewis gun training including stripping mechanism, role of team numbers, method of firing and weigh of ammunition; gas mask training; trench digging; tactical training and methods of attack; infantry nature of training; training role of unit; relationship with Welsh soldiers and reaction to them speaking Welsh; opinion of Colonel Marsham and regimental sergeant major; selection as trumpeter and trumpet calls; preparations for guard duty and competition for 'stick'. REEL 8 Continues: story illustrating RSM's attitude to ORs; relationship with NCOs; training role of unit; relationship with civilians. Journey with draft to Boulogne, France, ca 8/1917: reaction to send off at Beccles railway station; view of gun flashes from Folkestone and story illustrating personal morale during crossing English Channel; march to St Martins' camp; role of drafting officer; advice from veterans. Posting to 1st Bn Bn, Welch Regt in Somme area, ca 8/1917-9/1917: conditions on train journey; early lice problem; reception; relationship with Welsh troops. REEL 9 Continues: move into line; reconnaissance patrols; wiring parties; limited perspective; attack of influenza; inspection for VD. Period in hospital, ca 9/1917. Period at Infantry Base Depot, Etaples, ca 9/1917: German air raids and close escape from bombing; training in 'bull ring'; opinion of instructors and military police; story of meeting friend; draft back to unit. Recollections of conditions of service, lifestyle and daily routine in Somme area, ca 9/1917-3/1918: nature of trenches and strong points; barbed wire. REEL 10 Continues: nature of dugouts; ration parties and food rations; water supply; rum ration; cigarette ration; tobacco ration and smoking pipe; ammunition supply; uniform; question of washing and shaving; absence of latrines; waste disposal; lice problem. REEL 11 Continues: rat problem; corpses; effects of weather; trench feet and use of whale oil; state of health; stand to; rifle cleaning and breech cover; conversations and question of relationship between South and North Wales ORs; question of superstitions; sentry duties and use of periscope; relationship with NCOs and officers; sentry duty in pairs; Verey lights and importance of remaining still when caught in No Mans Land; crescendos of fire caused by nervous sentries; German shellfire; story of German fixed rifle sniping in village. REEL 12 Continues: story of German fixed rifle sniping in village; reaction to German machine gun fire; question of staying awake on night sentry duty; wiring parties; minor leg wound during successful attack by German patrol on wiring party; medical treatment of wound at casualty clearing station; reconnaissance and fighting patrols including question of NCOs not going far into No Mans Land and over enthusiastic soldier on patrol; German mustard gas shells; gas masks; personal morale; question of shell shock cases; periods in support and reserve lines; rest periods including cleaning uniform and refusal to cheer George V whilst on route march. REEL 13 Continues: rest periods including refusal to cheer George V whilst on route march and subsequent photograph published in Daily Mail, cleaning uniform, profitability of bingo, running games after being given set of cards by wounded soldier and question of spending profits, crown and anchor, brag and pitch and toss gambling games, relay races, canteens, visits to estaminets and letter and parcel contact with GB. REEL 14 Continues: rest periods including letter contact with GB, emotional reaction to receiving letter breaking up relationship with woman in Oldham and story of subsequently meeting her when wounded, parcel contents, question of censorship of letters and consequent repetitive format employed, relationship with French civilians and question of visiting brothels; GB leave including question of civilian awareness of conditions on Western Front, visit to former Sunday School and question of return to front; telegram notification on being wounded; patrols; personal morale prior to attack on German line, ca 1917. REEL 15 Continues: attack on German line, ca 1917, including personal morale, advance across No Mans Land, use of hand grenades to clear German front line dugouts and consolidation; special friend; situation following German offensive, 3/1918; view of artillery unit retreating across canal bridge; makeshift units formed to hold line; re-organisation; beginning of advance. Recollections of attack in Merville sector, Bethune area, 1918: situation; attack in sections across No Mans Land under German machine gun fire; death of friend; story of being wounded by German shell in hand whilst getting out of shell hole. REEL 16 Continues: state of hand and field dressing; close escape from advancing British troops; amputation of finger and medical treatment at regimental aid post. Medical treatment and evacuation to GB, 1918: scene at casualty clearing station and chloroform anaesthetic prior to operation; period at Wimeroux hospital. Recollections of medical treatment in GB, 1918: ; question of official policy of sending wounded to hospitals distant from home town; sleeping in padded cell in hospital at St Albans; period at Summerdown Convalescent Camp, Eastbourne; question of return to active service; visit from mother; reactions to loss of kit. Posting to Provisional Companies and period as guard at various German POW Camps, 1918. REEL 17 Continues: German POW working parties on farms; story of dispute with farmers over feeding arrangements for guards; story illustrating relationship with German POWs; story of escorting party of German POWs by train to segregated camp for recaltricant German POWs at Stafford; German POWs working parties at lumber camps; story of being invited to tea by Rudyard Kipling and recites 'If'. REEL 18 Continues: reaction to meeting Kipling and question of effects of loss of his son; Armistice celebrations, 11/11/1918; delay in repatriating POWs; question of demobilisation. Various aspects of period as officer's servant on mission to disengage North Russian Expeditionary Force at Murmansk, Russia, 1919: seasickness during voyage out; story of meeting friend at Murmansk; relationship with White Russians; evacuation and seasickness during voyage back. Period on passport control at Folkestone1919: duties inspecting passports and visas; story of speaking to Prime Minister Lloyd George on his return with British Delegation from Peace Conference, ca 7/1919. REEL 19 Continues: story of speaking to Prime Minister Lloyd George on his return with British Delegation from Peace Conference, ca 7/1919; reception of party of Australians under death sentence. Demobilisation from Prees Heath, 1919: issue of suit; award of pension for loss of finger; photograph of three brothers in uniform; story of going for drink with father. Post-war career: brother Albert's problems in adjusting to civilian lifestyle. Work as packer at Durban Cotton Mill; story of buying house with sitting tenant and consequent delay before moving in, 1922; death of mother and question of effect of war. REEL 20 Recollections of service with Hollinwood Coy, Oldham Bn, Local Defence Volunteers/Home Guard, 5/1940-: signing on at Hollinwood Council School; issue of LDV armband; question of appointment of officers; stories illustrating nature of recruits; state of civilian morale; speed of recruitment; uniforms; issue of various rifle types, question of effect of hand wound on shooting ability and shooting course on rifle range; regular instructors at drill nights; aircraft recognition course and difference in sound of German and British aero-engines; change of title to Home Guard; anti-sabotage patrols; digging trenches on Oldham Moors; story of discovering illegally slaughtered cows in moor quarry. REEL 21 Continues: nature of trenches dug on Oldham Moors; fatal accident digging trenches; night guard duties on various important local installations and amenities fund to provide food for guards; daily routine; question of volunteers dropping out of Home Guard; parades; role organising war fund raising events with local concert party from Pay Corps in local cinema; promotion to corporal; role acting as 'enemy' in exercise to simulate German attack on Manchester; country exercises; impact of Churchill's wartime speeches; civilian attitude to Churchill during visit to Oldham during General Election in 1945. REEL 22 Continues: civilian attitude to Churchill during visit to Oldham during General Election in 1945 and his subsequent refusal to accept award from townspeople; attitude to Labour government; nature of Home Guard platoons based on workplaces; German air raids including role of Home Guard and Air Raid Precautions unit and effects of German bomb fracturing main gas supply pipe; value of Home Guard service. Review of administrative and refereeing wartime football activities. Story illustrating enthusiastic reception of first local wounded soldier Sergeant Sam Pearson on his return from Western Front, 1914.

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