British NCO served with B Coy, 12th Bn Durham Light Infantry on Western Front and in Italy, 1916-1918
REEL 1: Aspects of operations with B Coy, 12th Bn Durham Light Infantry on Western Front, 1915-1917: duties with working party assisting tunnellers on Hill 60, Ypres sector, 6/1917; description of mines exploding on Messines Ridge, 7/Jun/1917; advanced as part of second wave and captured final objective; description of terrain on Hill 60 and route of advance; story of chance meetings with friend Jim Todd during attack; billeted in Montreal Camp prior to advance; description of posts and trench system on Hill 60; story of German soldier throwing bomb at post; general duties in line including carrying sandbags; role in charge of No. 8 Lewis gun section, 14 Platoon; description of living conditions in tunnel; attitude to danger from German minenwerfers; duties with working parties in tunnel; rate of advance; dropped green flares to guide artillery; story of firing on Germans in mine crater; description of terrain and weather conditions; problem of thirst and use of ground sheets to capture rain water; description of Sanctuary Wood; German POWs; further description of duties with working parties and method of transport; problem of digging in frozen ground; story of walking along Menin Road to Polygon Wood under shellfire, c.10/1917.
REEL 2 Continues: description of conditions in abandoned German dugout; strafed by German aircraft on way to trenches; role in operations at Polygon Wood; location of Bn HQ at the Grandstand; problem of guide tapes to front line being broken; story about bottle of rum; problem of rations not arriving; story of finding sergeant lying on stretcher in mud; duties as guide for relieving troops; description of conditions on Menin Road; accommodation in dugout; story of meeting brother Harry at Zillebeke; moved to St. Martin-le-Grand and issued with new clothing and kit; further comments on finding sergeant lying on stretcher in mud; description of attack on Inverness Copse and Glencourse Wood, Ypres, 20/Sep/1917; German casualties; story of being detailed by sergeant to locate company in front line; problem of lice and description of delousing procedure; description of terrain and living conditions; issued with thigh length rubber boots; description of billets in barracks at Ypres; story about rescue of British pilot after aircraft shot down; story about brother being wounded and winning Military Medal at Polygon Wood; use of shell holes as dugouts; various memories of friends in B Coy; remained on Ypres Salient for 12 months; story about home leave, 3/1918.
REEL 3 Continues: story about being put on charge while serving on Italian Front, 1917-1918; story of being wounded and returning with wounded brother for medical treatment in same hospital in GB.
The Battle of Verdun (21 February-15 December 1916) became the longest battle in modern history. It was originally planned by the German Chief of General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn to secure victory for Germany on the Western Front.
'Over The Top'. 1st Artists' Rifles at Marcoing, 30th December 1917, by John Nash.
Brothers Paul and John Nash were both commissioned as official war artists during the First World War - Paul from 1917 and John from 1918. Prior to becoming official war artists, both of the brothers had seen active service on the Western Front.
The trench warfare of the Western Front encouraged the development of new weaponry to break the stalemate. Poison gas was one such development. The first significant gas attack occurred at Ypres in April 1915, when the Germans released clouds of poisonous chlorine.