British NCO served with 19th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers in GB and on Western Front, 1914-1916
REEL 1: Background in Salford, Lancashire, 1892: family; education. Aspects of employment in cotton mill and colliery: description of working conditions and rates of pay; question of union membership; opinion of mine owners; recreational and sporting activities; question of patriotism; memory of outbreak of war, 8/1914.
REEL 2 Continues: reason for enlisting and question of pay; description of enlistment at Pendlebury Town Hall, 9/1914; medical examination; posted to C Coy, 19th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers. Aspects of training in GB, 1914-1915: description of movements in England and Wales; opinion of accommodation and food; drill; PT; route marches; rifle and bayonet training; opinion of training; tactical exercises; attitude to army life and discipline; relations with fellow recruits and NCOs; opinion of officers; relations with local civilians; description of journey from GB and arrival in Boulogne, France, 8/1915; role as corporal and question of finding billets.
REEL 3 Continues: Recollections of operations with 19th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers on Western Front, 1915-1918: description of trenches and dugouts near Senlis, France; rations; tea and water supplies; rum ration; cigarettes; care of uniform; problem of lice and scabies; problem of rats; memory of corpses in No Man's Land; washing and sanitary facilities; replacement of brass buttons with khaki buttons; problem of trench feet and treatment; problem of cold and mud in trenches; state of health; description of daily routine including stand-to; use of periscopes; duties as corporal including organising sentries.
REEL 4 Continues: cleaning rifles; topics of conversation; problem of German snipers; role as sniper; description of German artillery and small arms fire; reaction to being under fire; memory of gas shells and opinion of gas masks; memory of German minenwerfers; use of Mills bombs; description of role in night raiding party; preparations and weapons; use of Bangalore torpedo; question of artillery cover; story of German night raid; description of night patrols and wiring parties; role of working parties; question of stress; attitude to shell shock cases; question of morale; sleeping arrangements; relations with fellow soldiers; opinion of officers.
REEL 5 Continues: question of competency of officers; daily routine and duties out of line; sporting and recreational activities; amusing story of stealing eggs; alcohol; relations with local civilians; food parcels; communications with home and question of censorship; description of going over top at Douai, 2/1916; role of 19th Bn in Somme area; description of attack at Thiepval and casualties; memory of wounded officer; question of role of officers during attack.
REEL 6 Continues: assessment of qualities of officers and NCOs; attitude to promotion and pay; story of being wounded in hand by shrapnel and treatment, 1916; returned to GB for further medical treatment. Aspects of period in GB, 1916-1918: description of medical treatment in GB; appearance before medical board and discharged from army, 1917; question of pension; story of employment in colliery and factory. Reflections on period of military service and attitude to war.