British private served with 53rd Bn Durham Light Infantry in GB, 1918-1919; served with 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry in South Russia Relief Force, 1919-1920
REEL1 Background in Blyth and Durham, Northumberland, GB, 1900-1918: family; education; left school at 14 and employment as miner; story of mining accident; working conditions; memory of outbreak of war, 8/1914; story of enlistment with Durham Volunteer Training Corps, 1917; training and drill; composition of Training Corps; relations with other volunteers; enlistment with Durham Light Infantry, 6/1918. Aspects of training with Durham Light Infantry in GB, 1918-1919: medical; posted to Fenham Barracks, Newcastle; issued with uniform and kit; posted to 53rd Bn Durham Light Infantry, Catterick; description of basic training at Catterick, Guisborough and Tidworth; classed as marksman; bombing practice; trench digging; route marches; reason for re-enlistment as regular at end of war, 11/1918; memories of walking to Durham; attitude to army life and discipline; opinion of officers and NCOs; sporting activities; story of accident with aeroplane shed; reason for volunteering for draft to 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry, 1919. Recollecetions of operations with 2nd Bn Durham Light Inf in Turkey and Russia, 1919-1920: description of voyage aboard SS Kursk to Turkey, 1919; memory of Indian troops; story of drinking illicit alcohol; memory of sunken ships in Dardanelles; disembarked at Constantinople; Turkey, 1920; accommodation; guard duty at docks; memory of animals being slaughtered in street; story of mortuary; number of brothels and prevalence of venereal disease.
REEL 2 Continues: description of voyage from Constantinople to Batoum, Russia, 1920. Aspects of operations with 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry in Russia, 1919-1920: accommodation and living conditions; opinion of rations; sporting activities; duties guarding docks and question of security; relations with civilian population; duties guarding signal post and railway tunnels; story of wolf; memory of one-legged general; route marches in Pavlo and problem of hot weather; story of officer; problem of dysentery and treatment; question of avoiding VD; memory of Chinese prisoners; reason for not re-enlisting; story of accidental shooting; returned to GB and demobilisation at Tidworth, 1920. Post-war life and employment as miner. Reflections on period of service in Russia and question of not receiving campaign medal.