Diaries of Private Stanley Harrison

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Diaries of Private Stanley Harrison

Harrison's diary tells of how one ordinary soldier found himself at the end of the 1st World War on a boat to Russia. It is a very thoughtful account and many of Harrison's views appear to be in tune with the Bolsheviks who he had been sent to defeat.

British soldiers role in Russia developed into one of providing aid to the Tsarist White Russian army against the Bolsheviks. In his diary Harrison reveals his views on life in the British Army and the huge gap between the lives of officers and soldiers. In the first entry Harrison notes: 'Packed like sardines. Everywhere dirty and very objectionable odours. Men have hardly room to move, yet officers live in absolute luxury . . . A disgrace to the British army and an insult to the men . . . quartered and treated like pigs.'The diary charts the terrible cold - 'Very deep snow. Feet, socks, boots etc. saturated and socks FROZEN . . . BITTERLY COLD especially working outdoors.' and the heat 'Heat this last week has been terrible . . . Too hot to eat. Too hot to work, too hot to sleep - in fact, too hot for anything. These mosquito bites nearly drive one mad . . . Oh, how I love Russia.'. Murder and mutiny are also recorded.

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Russia, Murmansk and Archangel


October 1918 -June 1919


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