BBC Radio Oxford programme entitled 'The Somme'. Includes recollections of British soldiers who served during the Battle of the Somme, 1916.
REEL 1: Various recollections of operations during the Battle of the Somme, 1916: story of uniforms and rifles being taken away and given to Kitchener battalion; reaction to being issued with Japanese rifle. Description of accommodation in bell tent at Etaples. Story of breaking ankle playing football and missing opening of Battle of the Somme; posted to Northumberland Fusiliers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; joined battalion at Ramsgate and sailed to France; reason for volunteering for Machine Gun Corps. Attitude to patriotism. Amusing story about queue outside brothel. Story of walking through barbed wire in single file. Story about shell exploding and killing lance-corporal; reaction to being told by sergeant to go forward. Description of bodies on battlefield. Story of taking wounded friend to first aid post in shell hole; story of soldier smoking pipe while waiting for amputation. Description of standing on fire step waiting for officer to blow whistle; reaction to seeing friends hanging on barbed wire. Description of number of guns deployed on the Somme in 1916. Story of reading letters while on latrine behind trenches. Story of finding dead German and British soldiers locked together with bayonets. Story of shell shocked soldier drowning himself in a shell hole. Description of mud and danger of falling into shell holes. Story of German soldier surrendering. Story of exchanging details of next-of-kin with friends. Opinion of effect of casualty lists in newspapers on morale. Opinion of NCOs and officers; problem of shortage of food; story of falling over while carrying tin of hot soup on back; opinion of bully beef stew flavoured with currents.