Contributed by: Sara Featonby, on 2008-11-11
|Year of Birth||1897|
|Year of Death||1991|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Carlisle, Cumbria|
Shortly before my grandfather died in 1991, my mother gave him a tape recorder and asked him to talk a little bit about his experiences in WW1 as he never spoke about what had happened to him. In the transcript of his memories that he dictated he tells of many events, some with great sadness that reduce me to tears every time I read them, and others with some dry humour which he was well known for.
He begins by saying he enlisted in the 5th Border Regiment in June 1914 with two other Carlisle boys. Having been sent to Barrow for training, one of the lads was struck by lightening in a tent and the other killed.
In 1916 he went to France and fought in the Battle of the Somme where he was hit by shrapnel.
He was then posted to the 6th Battalion of the regiment at the end of the battle of Messines.
He took part in the attack towards Poelcapelle and Paschendale and describes in some detail the vile and difficult conditions he endured.
He has much more to say and my family are very proud of him and so glad that my mother persuaded him to write his account of the terrible war. Thomas Radford was the much loved grandfather of my two sisters and I.