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Google Tour Builder telling John Wilson MMs WWI story from DLI, to MGC to RFC and the RAF


Hoping you can view this. I kind of interactive slideshow pinned to a map. In this case I roughly trace my grandather's war years, from growing up in County Durham (Shotley Bridge) to enlisting with the Durham Light Infantry, transfer to the Machine Gun Corps, then experience on the Western Front, surviging Neuve Chappelle, the Somme and Third Ypres. 

On 27th December 1917 his transfer papers came through and he joined the Royal Flying Corps (his kid brother had joined as mechanic the summer before and had then gained a commission as a bomber pilot). 

He then moved around from Hastings, to Bristol, and Uxbridge ending up with flight training out of RAF Crail, Fife from September 1918 to November 1918. He remaiend in Crail during the demob until May 1919.

Sadly his brother was killed that summer flying mail over Belgium to Germany. 

Only in 1992 did Jack return to Ypres, retracing his steps with the author Lyn Macdonald and paying his respects to his friends who had died at the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. 

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That's Nothing Compared to Passchendaele

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 5 Aug 2014, 17:35

 Fig.1. British Soldiers struggling in the mud - The First Gulf War (early 1991)

1) The cool, calm and quiet of the early morning - my work space.

2) The dog rolling over on her bed and wagging her tail for a bit of TLC

3) A pot of coffee

Set to go. iPad open on a Kindle eBook on the First Gulf War; Mac Mini in Google Docs. Working on something my grandfather said in 1991 when watching a documentary on a DLI private in Saudi Arabia waiting to enter Kuwait during the First Gulf War : 'That's Nothing Compared to Passchendaele', he said regarding the regional news programme from BBC's Looks North. Was it nothing like the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres July - November 1917) or more similar than different? Scale and technology were different, operation and tactics different due to the technology and lessons of previous conflicts, mud for sand ... but a soldier when hit by shrapnel or loses a mate feels the same pain. And there was mud too (see above). There mistakes and the wrong kit. 

The remark was pointed at the individual soldier's lot. BBC Look North were doing a profile of a 'day in the life of a private soldier of the Durham Light Infantry'. It was when looking at the man's rations and gear that my grandfather, by then in his 94th year, said this. It's had me thinking ever since, not least since the plethora of 'soldiering' we are getting and will get during the Centenary Commemorations of the First World War. 

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