British NCO served with 2nd and 1st Bns Northamptonshire Regt on Western Front, 1916-1918
REEL 1: Background in GB, 1915-1916: story of enlistment aged 18 in Northampton, 1915; reaction of parents; reason for enlisting; question of patriotism; memory of Kitchener recruiting poster; question of commission; story of letter from captain; description of basic training in Chatham and Gillingham; amusing story of medical examination; billets; daily routine; cross country runs; amusing story of colonel in France; embarkation leave; attitude to overseas service and question of fear. Recollections of operations with 2nd and 1st Bns Northamptonshire Regt on Western Front, 1916-1918: description of first action during Battle of Somme, France, 4/Jul/1916; burial of dead; posted to 1st Bn, Ypres area, Belgium; caught pneumonia; daily routine in trenches; story of killing German during stand to; attitude to Germans; role in Lewis gun team; memory of shooting rats; recreational activities; memories of French estaminets.
REEL 2 Continues: opinion of rations; amusing story of convalescence in GB; nickname Titch; food parcels; first impressions of France; attitude to army life; opinion of tanks; problem of lice; fumigation of clothes; description of trenches in Somme area; memory of Golden Virgin at Albert; story of air attack during church parade; topics of conversation; attitude to death; description of conditions at Passchendaele, Belgium; caught pneumonia and returned to GB; rum ration; French wine.
REEL 3 Continues: pay; memories of food at estaminets; special training in unnarmed combat; memory of seeing Field Punishment No 1; opinion of officers; tunnelling and mining activities.