Charlie's War Video Podcasts
Charlie Payne was 33 years old when he was conscripted into the British Army during the First World War. After being called up in November 1916, he was sent to a training battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment based at Clacton, Essex. In May 1917 he was moved to the 3rd Battalion at West Hartlepool for final training, before being sent to France in July 1917. Here, he was transferred to the 2/5th Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. Specialising as a Lewis gunner he was based in France until the Armistice in November 1918.
Charlie's wartime story lives on through the surviving letters and cards that he sent home to his wife Ida, and their four sons in Tooting, London. This correspondence forms the basis of my research for a book describing his experiences and the military and political context of the time.
To illustrate Charlie's time as a soldier, I have assembled three short video-podcasts, which can be opened by clicking on the appropriate links:
Podcast 1 Introduction and Background to Charlie Payne's wartime experiences (2 mins 23 secs)
Podcast 2 Narrative of a letter written in December 1916 describing some of Charlie Payne's experiences during training (3 mins 40 secs)
Podcast 3 Narrative of a letter written in October 1917 describing Charlie Payne's first experience of the front-line trenches in France (3 mins 48 secs)