The Great War Interviews: 8. John Willis Palmer


Date Added: Unknown Date

Warning: Only available until 17:33 23 September 2018


18-year-old shop assistant John enlisted into the army in 1911, and became a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery. In August 1914 he was appointed Acting Bombardier and posted to France, where the realities of mud, fatigue and death began to break his spirit. His account is tinged with the hopelessness and cowardice felt by many men who did not feel mentally or physically capable of the endless advances and retreats over a few feet of pock-marked ground. During a time when John contemplated self-inflicting wounds to remove himself from the situation, he was injured by a nearby shell burst. Having sustained severe wounds to his back and shoulders, he returned to England.


Channel: BBC (Archive)

First Air Date: 10 Mar 2014

Duration: 17 mins


Collection: The Great War Interviews (13 episodes)

A collection of interviews with World War One veterans and civilians filmed in the 1960s for the landmark BBC series The Great War.



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