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Voice of the trenches


Desmond7
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In the Autumn of 2008, New Zealand forum member Gilllianz sent me a remarkable DVD of an elderly, but spritely Ulsterman giving a talk to schoolchildren about his experiences during World War One.

As a result of that kind gesture, a thread was started in which help was sought from forum members in an attempt to add ‘meat’ to the DVD recollections of former Rifleman Jack Trimble.

Initially we were involved in the familiar search through MICs census documents, war diaries and Divisional histories. Thanks to some remarkable corss-web co-operation, we managed to confirm Jack’s story .. almost in its entirety.

In that process, Jack’s humbling and moving tale became somewhat disjointed and would only have been followed by ‘fans’ of the thread.

To ensure that Jack’s words get the widest possible audience I’ve edited the old thread will be posting his story in illustrated chunks.

I am sure that most forum members will appreciate that Jack was in his twilight years when he made the recording. I said in the original thread that his eloquent, passionate delivery would have made him a perfect interviewee for any documentary on the Great War.

Here’s to Jack … and Quis Separabit.

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From DVD of Jack Trimble, Royal Irish Rifles, Ulster Division, speaking to a High School Class in New Zealand in the 1980s.

‘First and foremost, good morning .. this is a pleasure and it’s an honour to be asked to come and speak to you.

‘I’m 91 according to my army papers but in reality I’m 89 .. but in the First World War you had to be 19 to get in and with conscription it was later lowered to 18.

‘But we enlisted on 8th Sept. 1914 and went to France on October 4th (1915). We went to the trenches at Mailly Mallet on the Somme on the night of the 10th (October 1915) with the Argyle and Suth. Highlanders who were supposed to be giving us instruction in trench warfare.

‘Well, it was trench warfare from then until the first of July when we went over … that was a Saturday morning at 20 minutes past 7.

‘We, being the only Division to get our objectives .. the cost was extremely high .. we lost 8,000 in the first two hours we were over. Having got all our objectives and being cut up with enfilading fire (demonstrates with arms) we were forced to retire. The Divisions on our right and left were not able to move .. whether they could or not, I can’t say but that’s what we were told.

Learn more about Jack's unit (15th Royal Irish Rifles) and the Ulster Division as a whole on 1st July 1916 at link below:-

http://www.freewebs.com/denbob/ulsterdivjuly11916.htm

‘We were very embittered about it all … in Northern Ireland today (circa early 1980s?) books are being written appertaining to the 1st of July and they are saying ‘oh, for a Montgomery or a Patton’ … do you know what that means? (Class obviously does not have a clue!!)

‘Well having got into the open spaces, it wasn’t exploited .. it was three months later when the objective was taken … that was at Thiepval on the Somme.

‘From there we went to Plugstreet (his words) where it was trench warfare again, then we went to Messines …

Des note

(I get the idea Jack is doing a swift chronological walk through of where he was at this early stage .. he goes into detail later)

‘I take it you’ve all read of Messines Ridge being blown sky high? (class seems blank; I would have been too at age 14!) … From Messines to Hill 60 over near Ypres (pron. Eeprez) …

‘That was on the 7th of June (1917) … on the day of the attack we marched up at half past two in the morning and we were made to lie on our tummies all night .. we were not allowed in the assault trenches because the earth was going to vibrate very violently, which it did. But 10 past three (3.10am) was zero hour when they blew the mines up with 600 tons of ammonal beneath each one. It was dreadful (shakes head) every gun sparked at that minute and all you could feel was big lumps of boulders hitting you on the back as the earth was blown sky high.

‘I was a bomber and had a big canvas bucket filled with Mills no.5s .. it was that heavy when I stood up I sank into the ground to the middle of my thighs with the ground being erupted .. I tipped half of them out or I wouldn’t have been able to walk! (big grin)

‘We could also fire the bombs from a rifle. You had a cup and you unfixed your bayonet so the cup held the clip from going forward.

‘You kicked the heel in .. like kicking a conversion rugby style .. you put the butt of the rifle in and elevated or depressed as the case may be. If you fired too high it (the grenade) was lost because it only took four seconds to explode. The idea was to get it low and get distance.

‘Then it was up to Ypres (sighs, shakes head) .. and that was just hell. You were up to here (points to thighs) in mud and water. It was just awful there.’

My comments: To hear this being recounted in an Ulster accent by such a lucid, clear spoken gentleman was a real honour for me. I will transcribe the whole CD and I am looking at best methods to get the CD edited and enhanced in sound terms … that’s why I am so desperate for more info about Jack.

Note: Jack’s account is a perfect example of how the memory plays tricks. History demonstrates that the Ulster Div. had around 5,000/5,500 total casualties on 1st July .. Jack says 8,000 but I think that just goes to show the enormity of the event in his experience and perhaps is an indication of just how severely the men believed they had been ‘cut up’ on that day.

He also states that the Ulster Division was the only one to secure objectives … that may be true in the sense of the battle’s ‘northern sector’ but there were obviously successes for other Divisions in the area to the south where the British and French lines were joined. I refer to Montauban etc.

Later in the DVD he speaks with very obvious pride of ‘Our Division .. the Ulster Division’ … which may cause those who think that WW1 soldiers had little esprit de corps beyond the blokes in their section to think again!

He also states wrongly (later) that ‘we were all volunteers, there was never a conscript in our Division ..) … of course there were no Irish conscripts (wasn’t applied in Ireland for obvious reasons) but conscripts from elsewhere re-filled the ranks after battles. I would imagine that by 1918 there were sizeable numbers of conscripts in the Div.

Having said all that … I can forgive an old man his pride in his comrades and what they achieved and I can also fully understand that the passage of time has effects on the memory. As for the rest of Jack’s talk …. It’s brilliant.

Des

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Transcript 2

Jack Trimble:

Context: Jack was giving the class his 'walk through' of the war before taking questions; he had just described Ypres as 'hell' (and will return to it later) .. I get the impression Jack thought the schoolboys were getting a bit restless because he 'fast tracks' visibly ..

'After that ... we came over to San Quentin, that's in France. This is the month of March .. have you read about 21st March? The British army and the French were in full retreat .. we came right back to Amiens .. all that ground we had won (shakes head) we came right back over it again. Well, we started from Amiens again and came forward, I was there until October 1918 when our objective was Courtrai - or Cortrak(Jack's pronunciation) as they call it in Flemish, for it was up in Belgium.

Learn more about these operations at link below:-

http://www.freewebs.com/denbob/ulsterdivthebitterend.htm

'They had just taken Morzeele(?) on this side of it and we had to get over the Canal and take our objective. There were three machine guns playing havoc with our front line and the Colonel asked for volunteers. I, being the OC of the gun (Lewis) .. I got on my feet and the rest of the gun team came with me.

'So I got ... 1, 2,3 (points finger) in one small shellhole and 4,5,6 in another with the Lewis ... the Lewis is totally different from a machine gun .. it only has a panel with 47 rounds .. you have to have a feeding team to keep filling the panel and pass them over.

'Anyway, we done very well and knocked out the first two machine guns which we could pick out. The difficulty was finding them and I got on my feet (gets up, bends and then stretches) to see where he was. I got struck in the hip .. it went in here, points to hip and came out here, points to inner thigh and went in here .. (points to other leg). The hip bone was splintered and I was badly injured.

'He commanded (?) ... the stretcher bearers could not get out to me. I was hit at 11 (in the morning?) and couldn't get lifted until 4 .. the stretcher bearers couldn't get out.

'There was four Germans came in (I assume once Jack had been carted into the RAP?) .. they (the medics?) had cut all of the clothes off me and the blood had been running out of me and it had congealed and it was hard lying on it because it was hard (winces) ... anyway, one of The Germans, bad and all as they are (which is GREAT Ulster expression which tickled me no end) took his coat off and covered me with it. These four Germans carried me .. they got it (the stretcher?) on their shoulders .. it's easier when you something hoisted up and get in step.

'Five miles they had to carry me because we (the British) had gone so far on that the RAMC hadn't got (caught?) up. They put us in an old trench (sounds like pump?) .. they had all the wounded in there and I lay all that day and all that night .. then we were taken to an old French barn and put on the floor.

'A YMCA man came in and says to me 'are you hungry?', I says 'I am' and he broke off a wee bit of chocolate and put it in my mouth - he wasn't allowed to give me any more because he didn't know ... (Jack was going to say something, probably about the nature of stomach wounds?)

'Then they took us way in a Red Cross wagon .. there was no pneumatic tyres in the First World War, they had to strap you in or you would have struck the ceiling when it was going up and down .. it was rolling all over the place. That (Ambulance) got me to a Casualty Clearing Station and then they put me on the train and that got me to Boulougne and that was the war finished for me. I was in hospital to February (1919) and the I was demobilised. I was badly crippled for a while but I got over it.

'You wouldn't believe it but in 1984 I was crippled again and I had to use sticks. Anyway I went to see the Surgeon, I knew him personally, a fella by the name of Roger Weekes (Weeks?) .. I told him I was crippled, what could he do for me?

'He opened me up and took a look, he says to me later 'how have you lived?' (Jack smiles) ... he took X Rays .. do you know in the hip joint there is a bearing right round but mine was just bone on bone, there was no bearing at all. So it was a new hip joint and I've never looked back since it was put in ..'

Des note: I'll be doing a few checks with Div history etc. I have spotted one possible query and that is his status post March 21 .. far as I know, Ulster Div elements did take part in various rearguard actions in the retreat towards Amiens, but when situation stablised, what was left of Div was shipped up to Belgium. However, I tend to think this sudden leap in Jack's oral account is more down to him not wanting to bore the schoolboys than anything else.)

Below: Jack Trimble's birth certificate confirming his story of signing up under-age.

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Commentary: Jack has just finished his personal WW1 timeline … but it’s obvious he is going to have to keep the ball rolling. Teachers will love him for this given the universal rule that teenagers don’t ask questions unless threatened with imminent battering and/or extra homework ..

Jack continues: ‘Then you’ve heard of All Quiet on the Western Front? Well I suppose that comes from the time when there was a lull on your front. You had to be more particular in your look-out then.

‘We used to have a wee mirror that we put on top of our bayonet and held it up so you could see a bit of what was going on to your front. All the barbed wire was in the front. You always went out at night on a working party or patrol to see how the wire was.

‘When it was erected you had big stakes with a worm on the end of them and you screwed them into the ground. You made wee clips out of the wire before you went over and put them on the wire and fixed them to the stakes and it (the wire) was inter-cuddled (his words). Then you made round balls (of wire) - you called them gooseberries - and threw them in. They sat in there. Then you got all the tin cans you could get your hands on – you lashed them on to the wire so when anybody went out there and got caught in the wire (slaps fist three times) .. all you could hear was the jingling of the cans.

‘Of course, all the Lewis guns (sights forward) and machine guns (indicates behind) were trained on the wire and anybody who was caught in there had a very bad time.

‘But you always had to be on your guard - you never knew what they were up to and they never knew what you were up to – they were the same.

‘Occasionally we went out on a raid to get a couple of prisoners because you were always anxious to know who was holding the front in front you.

‘One night we were on a raid and we got a couple (of prisoners) .. I got a crack over the eye. I can still see the earth opening up in front of me but I was up in a flash. I didn’t know I was covered in blood until the daylight when the captain came round and said ‘what’s wrong Trimble?’. I said ‘nothing sir’ and he said ‘don’t tell lies’ .. just like that! He called the stretcher bearers and they took me down to the clearing station and there was a bit of shrapnel in there. They took the shrapnel out and bandaged me up.

‘Well I was lying on the stretcher bed when they .. a doctor came in and asked me if I would volunteer to save the life of a comrade .. what could I do? (Jack smiles, spreads arms) … ‘Yes Sir’.

"He stuck me on the quick of the thumb like that – indicates doctor squeezing his thumb – and takes a squirt of blood onto a section of mirror plate. He put it (the plate) in a box like a ladies box she would keep on her dressing table. He took it away somewhere and then he came back and says ‘you’re just the boy we’re looking for .. group four.’

"You have to remember this is 1916, in those days the blood was 1 to 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3 and 4 was universal .. now I understand that it’s O for universal.

‘They took me into the theatre and put me beside the boy I had to give it (blood) to. He was all (Jack grimaces) … well his arm was blown right off and he was all cracked (cut up I suppose:Des) down the side.

‘They put me down beside him and they put a board at right angles against .. you had your arm out (Jack demonstrates various parts of procedure here) … and they started working here (pats arm) .. in the meantime they tied the wrist with a bandage so you couldn’t move your arm.

‘They started doing this (demonstrates) to get the artery to swell … (Jack smiles at the obvious sickly looks he’s getting from class out of shot) … then (winces) I got nipped and turned round to see what they were up to and there they had the artery in forceps pulling it like this (Jack has one hand about a foot above his other forearm) . They cut the artery and inserted a glass tube and at the end of the glass tube was a rubber leading over to the other table and a glass tube into that so they had (tape problem: I assume he is saying the tubes were linked so blood could be transfused)

‘They put three stitches in that (points to arm) and then put a splint on and tied it to my neck. a better replica of Nelson you never saw – one eye and one arm!. They kept it there for seven days - they didn’t want you to move it .. the papers were full of it .. I don’t know where they got it from … (Jack smiles at teacher and class) .. they went on to state about the heroic Belfast man .. (Jack has a good laugh at this point).

That was my hospital experience until I was wounded in 1918.

Now, here’s one thing I want to tell you.. amongst soldiers, however the hardship, the British Tommy in particular, was always at his best ... and the camaraderie that existed (nods head to stress his point) ... no family came near.

Thus when you see these reunions today and they’re all gathered (opens his arms as if to hug someone; voice quivers) .. they love to meet. ‘You would have died for me and I would have died for you’ .. that’s how serious it was with the comradeship.

Below: Jack's 1919 programme for the parade of veterans in Belfast confirming he was 15th Btn. R. Irish Rifles.

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Thus when you see these reunions today and they’re all gathered (opens his arms as if to hug someone; voice quivers) .. they love to meet. ‘You would have died for me and I would have died for you’ .. that’s how serious it was with the comradeship.

....because if you didn't have enough to eat, I'd share it with you and vice versa...when you got a parcel from home, you just put it on the ground.

My mother made 2 griddles of bread and sent them every week with a piece of butter and a bar of chocolate...that came every week and of course you just...(motions putting down)....There were always three or four of you and you were always in a group and you were good friends.

But this existed throughout and you made an understanding that if you were Blightyed, in other words wounded, and had to go back, the parcel had to be opened...and the same if you got killed...it had to be opened...

So that was one thing I always look back on...the camaraderie that existed there among the soldiers...no matter how difficult the hardship was.

Teacher: You were lucky, you survived a couple of experiences in hospital...

Jack: Yes, I was wounded on 3 occasions....the small of the back, the eye and the hip...

Teacher: What were hospital conditions like? Because the book that we've read they're not too sanitary...in fact one of the boys who goes in needing a leg amputated ends up dying because of the unsanitary conditions...

Jack: Well now...they wouldn't be on a par with the hospitals at home, but you've got to remember that when I got the third packet, it was just a marquee we were in...you hadn't the sanitation there like what you would have in a hospital...but believe me, everything was done as well as could be done....it was no hardship, take it from me... no hardship whatsoever...

And the nurses...(voice cracks)...were the bravest people in the world....Marvellous.

We used to sing a song...I don't forget it all (pulls himself upright, and speaks the words)..."The Red Cross rose of no man's land....the one red rose the soldier knows"....(smiles and nods)

But my experience of the hospitals in general was good. I couldn't fault any of them. When you were on the other side, they weren't on a par with the hospitals in England...oh nothing like it, but you appreciated them for all that. You were out of the other end where all the violence was... (smiles) and the sisters in particular just couldn't do enough for the Tommy. They were marvellous.

I think any of the women who nursed in either of the wars demands a lot of respect.

"When you attend these reunions ....." - Jack was a member of the King's Empire Veterans. See certificate below.

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Jack: If any of you have any questions fire away and I'll do my best to answer them ...

Class: silence

Teacher: While they'e trying to think .. one of the things we can't appreciate was what it was like to be in the trenches.

Jack: 1917 was the worst winter we had for bad conditions. But in the trenches, on the firestep .. because you had a firestep (makes shape of step with hands) and the trenches went like this (makes zig zag motion) .. well you had a password to tackle anyone coming this way (right) or that way (left). 1917!The snow and the hail .. we didn't have greatcoats, they had to take them off us (Jack fiddles around his ankle) because they got all heavy and wet ,, you could hardly move in them because ...

'Then they gave us the leather jerkin with no sleeves in it. Then they introduced the groundsheet. Whn I joined up at first the groundsheet was just a parallel peice of waterproof .. then they developed it to form a cape that would go up around here (motions at neck) .. but you weren't llowed to have it too tight to your neck because if you got a gas attack the idea was to get your helmet (gas helmet?) on as fast as you could, it was always at the ready ... (jack makes motions here of tucking in around his neck) .. you had no time to think about it when the gas was around.

'But this was the winter of 1917 ... one morning the officer came around .. I couldn't lift my riflle to challenge him. He says 'What's wrong Trimble' and I says 'I'm near frozen to death Sir' ... you see I'd been standing out all night .. no cover or anything .. you were out in the elements. He said 'OK' and got a jar and poured some rum and water and that was the first thing to warm me up. I thought I had frostbite.

'Frostbite .. aye. And in the end what they made us do was take off our shoes and they gave us whale oil to rub over our feet when we were going into the line. The platoon or section officer came round to see you had done it .. if it hadn't been for the whale oil we would have ben in a terrible way. Your feet was never dry in winter.

'In Belgium you could not go down due to the nature of the country but in France you could dig trenches - I mind communication trenches in France .. they were maybe amile or a mile and a half long .. and they were called names like Picadilly or Sherwood Avenue .. you always referred to the trench by name.'

Teacher asks about food

Jack: The food ... that depended on how you were situated .. whetehr they could get it up to you. It was put in big dixies, it was sloppy in nature .. there were no three course meals (Jack has a laugh) .. your own dixie, well you drank from it and ate from it and if it was getting too greasy you dipped it into the water in a shellhole and rubbed it round with some clay to get the grease off it.

'Then if you had a wee condensed milk tin and a spot of hot water you could get a bit of a shave .. you could pass it around nine fellas before you changed the water .. (another grin)

Teacher: We hear a lot about vermin.

'The vermin was bad in the summertime especially .. you take your shirt off and there's no use of washing it .. you would get a candle down the seams and you could these things (the lice) going off like a bombardment. That was them bursting.

'The rats, we used to have a shot at them. Where you get men living like that with food here and there, the rats come around.

Jack remembers an anecdote about the food.

'When it came to bread .. the platon sergeant had a difficult job .. sometimes he would have got what would be divided into three .. three to a loaf, four to a loaj or five to a loaf or whatever. At times you were very hungry ... at Ypres we never got warm food .. never. They couldn't up with it. When it rained it was dreadful. I was up at Ypres for the 31st July attack (the Ulster Division were performing carrying party duties on that date) .. we had our tanks there but everyone got bogged and the poor old horses were strewn all over the place.

Learn more about the conditions Jack faced at Ypres at link below:-

http://www.freewebs.com/denbob/ulsterdivlangemarck.htm

Jack Trimble transcript 5

Jack : 'Ypres .. I've been there on many occasions since ... (goes off on a ramble here so bear with me) ... I became London Superintendent for the Blue FUnnel Line and went across to Antwerp in 1944, one of our ships was running on an interim certificate (?) and the (allies?) wouldn't renew it ... my chief, Mr Holt said I'm sending you to Antwerp .. the RAF flew me over. I had to go to the Town Major and get a ration card.

'The doodles were coming over then - the flying bomb, the first rocket shaped like a plane not the second one. When one came down you thought the ship was going to disintegrate!'

Teacher draws Jack back onto subject: 'In WW1 did you have enough ammunition?'

Jack: 'Oh yes ... you could have had two bandoliers with 150 rounds in each ... and the SMLE .. all the clips had five rounds .. you could have ten in your rifle .. one in the breech you know. No, we were nevr stuck for ammunition.And we got any amount of mills .. but I always thought the German bomb was better .. they were like a beetle (beetling stick from flax mills?) .. do you know what a beetle is, well it was .. the German bomb had a handle and it was better for distance ... (CD jumps)

'You had to aim through your knuckles (Jack demonstrates throwing bomb) it was supposed to be that a cricketer could make a good bomber but .. ahh .. the German bomb, you could throw it far enough. The Germans were very efficient ... they introduced a light field gun with a high velocity shell .. we called it the whizz bang it went wheeeeez ... BANG (does great impression and has a chuckle)

'Our 18 pounder was our light gun that was the Royal Field Artillery and then they had a 4.5 .. and then there was the Royal Garrison Artillery after that and the Royal Marine artillery after that - the Royal Horse Artillery had 13 pounders.'

Class/teacher: What was it like to join up?

'Enthusiasm knew no bounds in 1914 .. there was ones that didn't want to go but it seemd that for everyone that didn't there was two that did. We never had a conscript in our Division, we leading voluntary recruiting .. we had a great Division, that was the Ulster Division.' See note at bottom.

Class: In your first action ... how were you? (Oh I wish I could have been asking the questions!!!! Grrrrr)

Jack: 'After it .. you were very proud that you were one of those that went in .. and more thankful that you were one of those that came out. But I never regretted it. I was young. I did often think of my mother .. the feelings she must have had (shakes head). But you were young and irresponsible, as I say, enthusiasm knew no bounds in 1914. And the King came to visit us three times in England and in France (unsure about the France visit, may have been Prince of Wales. That was the old Ulster Division.

'We were all very proud. WE had a great Division and they were all just as enthusiastic as I was. Candidly, I would do it over again .. you know more now than you did then .. but you just wanted to be there.

Jack goes on slight ramble again, class gives him blank looks:

Jack: I was the last one made a 7-year apprentice in Belfast in 1912 .. but, any more questions? Jack is referring to the famous Harland and Woolf Shipyard in Belfast, home of the Titanic. Learn more about H & W at the time at link below.

http://www.titanic-titanic.com/harland_and_wolff.shtml

Class: What was it like between the British and the Germans .. did you get together for Xmas .. was it more honourable than it is today? (Whaaaaat! Aaargh. Des)

Jack: Believe me there's always some chivalry (Jack's word) .. but when you went in it was either you or him and that was the feeling that prevailed. You didn't do him in cold blood if he threw his arms up .. you took him.'

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More coming when time permits folks.

Meanwhile ... transferring a DVD to format for upload to PC ... who has the techno magic touch? In short, if a DVD was provided to a member could they (for instance) upload it in chunks to something like 'You Tube'?

Des

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Thanks for that - will have play around to see what happens.

Footnote: Once all the transcripts are keyed in, I propose to delete any 'non-Jack' material from this thread ... that is NOT a reflection on any other post by the way .. just 'housekeeping'.

Des

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Thanks for that - will have play around to see what happens.

Footnote: Once all the transcripts are keyed in, I propose to delete any 'non-Jack' material from this thread ... that is NOT a reflection on any other post by the way .. just 'housekeeping'.

Des

Surely that is censorship not moderation.

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Who will decide on whether a post is non-jack or jack ? I enjoyed your posts Des, but I wouldn't dare venture to edit them even if I thought they needed it. Same goes for posts. If it has not already been rejected as off-topic, I think it should stand. STET, I believe is the professional term?

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I think you have mis-read the proposal ...

The original thread which dealt with the subject was 'Des in Kew Help Appeal' which provided, thanks to many forum members, much background material to confirm Jack's overall story. This thread was designed specifically to allow members who had not seen the material in the original thread to have a coherent 'read through' of what I consider to be highly informative and personal testimony.

Thus, the plan to 'cull' the 'keep it up' posts is not a matter of moderation - I actually welcome those posts! However, to keep the coherence of Jack's testimony 'on course' I think it would be wise to allow his words to flow without interruption.

This is not a matter of censorship at all. It is simply a matter of readability.

Des

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Yes Des I see what you mean. But as a moderator you are in a unique position to do such a thing and to decide what is OK and what isn't. You can call that editing if you wish. I had understood that moderators were empowered only to edit or close threads if they did not abide by the rules of the Forum. Which rule are you utilising to do this.

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Be nice if we all had the power to do that to keep "our" threads readable! Also, would we ordinary mortals not be chastised if we reposted stuff on one section from another for the benefit of "members who had not seen the material in the original thread"? Surely it's up to all members to trawl the forum themselves for items of interest.

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Lads - I do not see what the fuss is about ... at the outset of the thread it is clearly stated what the proposal is!

Anyone can look up the original thread which appeared in 'Soldiers' .. this thread is designed purely to provide information in a clearly readable fashion. THis has nothing to do with what I can or cannot do as a moderator. I am quite happy to keep ALL the posts which are presently on the thread ... but I submit my aim is true in attempting to provide a piece of history.

I can say no more. I am puzzled by this sudden turn in events.

Des

By the way - the original 'research' thread in soldiers is still there. It has not been edited in any shape or fashion.

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Guys,

Whats you're problem with this? Des wanted to keep all the information together for readibility purposes. He has also proposed to keep all posts on the thread. So where does the problem lie.

Ali

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"I propose to delete all "non Jack" material from this thread"

But perhaps I misunderstood that statement, if I did I apologise but it seemed fairly clear to me when I read it as a statement that Des intended to remove any post he believed to be "non-Jack". Perhaps it meant something else?

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Keith - yes that is what I meant. Once all Jack's transcript material and pictures are on board I do not think that the (very welcome) but essentially superfluous words of encouragement or my asking for information on transforming a DVD to upload format really add to the overall story?

Do you feel that is in some way wrong?

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So where does the problem lie.

Well, if we all started reassembling stuff from existing threads and reposting it elsewhere for the benefit of those who hadn't seen it in its original location then pretty soon the place would be as bad as the BBC for repeats! Then there is the issue of the privilige of deleting 'extraneous' posts in order that a thread becomes an extended article by one member - well, if we were all able to do that then the place would be more akin to a newspaper supplement than a discussion and debating forum, wouldn't it?

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Having read this through, I am not sure the Forum is actually the best place for Jack's material. Surely the GWF is for discussion, rather than a static presentation of material (even if it does have links to YouTube or something like it). Des, if it helps I would gladly have the material on LLT - and thinking about it, it might not be a bad way to launch LLT2, something I have been plotting for a while ... will PM you.

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George - Whatever sinister light you may wish to cast on it, this was an attempt by myself to be helpful to forum members. Nothing else. Where in this thread is there any attempt to stifle debate? Who is having a debate?

Des

Chris - thanks for your kind offer. I would have no problem with your proposal.

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Look Des, I'm not getting into another argument here. Suffice to say I've not even implied that there's anything "sinister" going on, so behave. Neither have I suggested that the intention is to "stifle" (your word) discussion or debate - but starting a practice of removing posts except your own from a thread may very well achieve that. I could be equally "helpful to forum members" if I had the power of a moderator to remove the extended discussion of Lloyd George on the Harris Haig book thread. You can see how things would end up , though, if we did all have the power to do that though, can't you? Stop taking all criticism as personal. It isn't, and neither has the inherent interest of the material you've posted been criticised. But on a discussion forum you do have to put up with people, well, discussing however vexatious you may find that.

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