Author: South Wales Miners Library, Swansea University
Provider: South Wales Miners' Library
Interview of Edwards, B. by Francis, Hywel on 23rd July 1973.
The interview forms part of Swansea University’s South Wales Miners’ Library collection.
1 audio file (4 min. 30 sec.)
Francis, Hywel: When did you enlist then?
Edwards, B.: I enlisted in August 1914
Francis, Hywel: Where?
Edwards, B.: I enlisted in Canada and then I came back and I got into the Welsh division as soon as ever I was here. We went to France in 19, early 1915. I was there then I was demobilised in the end of January 1919.
Francis, Hywel: What action did you see then?
Edwards, B.: Beg pardon
Francis, Hywel: Did you see a great deal of action?
Edwards, B.: Oh yes. Well I remember on one occasion there, one of the boys taken bad and they asked me would I go up with the transport, transport with some stuff, and the funny thing was the only trip that I ever had to go up there I had a horse killed and one badly injured and I saved, some of my clothes was torn, but I didnâ€™t have a scratch on me. That was on the Somme, 1916. I saved very good, didnâ€™t have a scratch, only more of a shock, it happened too sudden. I didnâ€™t know then whether it was a bomb or whether it was a shell, it happened so sudden you know.
Francis, Hywel: How did you feel about the war. How did you feel about your experiences?
Edwards, B.: Oh, I was fed up with it. I was dying to come back out of the way. Sleeping out there in all kinds of weather and everything, oh I was fed up with it to the hilt. And then on top of that again, we lost a lot of our boys now through sleeping out in the wet and cold not used to it. They had rheumatic fever, they had to discharge them, send them back. No, I was fed up with it, the weather was killing one. And then during, during the war then, the four years I had four leaves on during the month of December, and not one on the Christmas. I was going back once on a Christmas Eve, well I was heart-broken to think that I was going back then when the jollifications was on here, yes.
Francis, Hywel: What kind of Christmas did you have then, that particular time?
Edwards, B.: Oh we was, we had good Christmas out there. Our Commanding Officer, he was a multi-millionaire, Captain , before Christmas you know, heâ€™d have all the poultry out there alive everything so that weâ€™d have it fresh Christmas day, fair play, oh a thorough gentleman, one of the best. Then we lost him about the middle part of the war, he had to go to Italy and he couldnâ€™t take us with him, we wanted to go with him but no, he had to go to Italy to another corps. He had everything out there.
Francis, Hywel: What about the first Christmas out there, do you remember the first Christmas?
Edwards, B.: Yes. Oh the first Christmas passed, passed all right, quietly.
Francis, Hywel: Did the, there was some fraternising between the German and British troops werenâ€™t there?
Edwards, B.: They tell there was in one part there, yes.
Francis, Hywel: Yes, You didnâ€™t see that at all?
Edwards, B.: No, I didnâ€™t see that. I was told that they was wishing each other Merry Christmas and one thing and the other and that, I didnâ€™t see that.
Francis, Hywel: What did you do when you came back then, when you were demobilized?
Edwards, B.: I was driving the cars, the old tram-cars in Ponty.