British private served with 1/4th Bn Essex Regt in Egypt and Palestine, 12/1915-3/1917; captured during First Battle of Gaza, 3/1917 and POW in Palestine and Turkey, 1917-1919
REEL 1 Background in GB, 1914-1915: political situation in Europe, 1914; weather during August Bank Holiday; King’s proclamation on posters at outbreak of war, 4/Aug/1914; attitude to possible length of war; recruiting stations and volunteers. Aspects of training with Essex Regt in GB, 1914-1915: enlistment with 4th Bn at the drill hall, Brentwood, Essex; opinion of state of readiness for war; problem of lack of uniforms and modern rifles; drill; billets in Great Yarmouth; sentry duty; rifle practice with Japanese rifles; method of providing draft for overseas service; patrol duties along beach at Great Yarmouth; seafront shelled by German naval guns; trench digging. Aspects of voyage from Portsmouth to Egypt, 12/1915: lookouts; target practice using orange boxes; reaction to end of Gallipoli campaign and evacuation; disembarked Alexandria, Egypt.
Aspects of operations with 1/4th Bn Essex Regt in Egypt and Palestine, 12/1915-3/1917: moved into positions on west side of Suez Canal; story of Turks using pontoons to cross Canal; method of preventing further Turkish incursions; use of camels to provide link with outposts on Sinai; water, food, mail and newspapers transported by camels; reason for lectures in astronomy; recreational and sporting activities in camp; church parades; opinion of padres; problem of soldiers fainting from heat; leave in Suez; preparations for battle; problem of heat and marching in full kit; construction of railway line; description of wire netting road; method of cooking food; YMCA canteen; sleeping arrangements; religious study and services; description of crossing over Sinai; regiment held in reserve during First Battle of Gaza, 3/1917; wounded in face; description of battlefield and wounded; medical treatment for wounds; given bottles of water by padre; casualties among Red Cross orderlies; memory of wounded crying out for help; story of local women robbing and mutilating bodies; taken prisoner by Turks. Aspects of period as POW in Palestine and Turkey, 3/1917-1919: taken to first aid station by Red Crescent orderlies and stripped of clothing; description of accommodation and food in school; taken to dressing station in bullock cart; interrogated by German officers; description of train journey to Jerusalem; story of Turkish soldiers forcing local men to join army; further comments on train journey and conditions; story of being given tea on arrival in Jerusalem; opinion of conditions in French Hospital; description of journeys by bullock cart to Nazareth and train to Damascus; description of conditions in French hospital of the Sisters of St Vincent de Paul; opinion of medical treatment; description of train journey to POW camp at Afion Kara Hissar, Turkey; working parties; opinion of food; burial of dead; cooking food; religious services; communication with home; closing comments.