We continue to work on the reminiscences of 'old soldiers' published in the 1939 publication 'I Was There!' and publish these as new videos on our YouTube channel. 

Louis Arbon Strange, DSO, OBE, MC, DFC & Bar (27 July 1891 – 15 November 1966) Faces of the First World War IWM CC BY-SA 2.0

The most recent video is entitled 'Aerial Adventure on Aisne and Marne, by Lt Col L A Strange'. In this episode, Col Strange gives a magnificently vivid account of aerial adventure during the British advance to the Aisne. As a young man before the war he took part in several pioneer flights, including the historic race to Manchester. He was amongst the first to fly to France in August 1914, and saw much early air fighting.

Farman MF.11 Shorthorn

I Was There! Is a project produced by The Western Front Association. Our aim is to try to bring to life each of the 377 personal reminiscences included in the I Was There! series of weekly magazines published after the Great War of 1914-18. Our intention is to make the content of the readings more accessible to a much wider audience of interested First World War historians. The general aim of the production is educational, and to inform the narrative of this fascinating part of our history.

Each episode is read entirely by one of our team of volunteers. All are members or are otherwise associated with The Western Front Association. We would like to record here our grateful thanks to all those who have participated in the project.

As far as possible, we have attempted to match the voice of the original author to the voice of the narrator to aim to bring some small amount of authenticity to the spoken word.

Our narrators have been left to pronounce the various unusual (to them) non-English place names or personal names as they see fit. There is, after all, no knowing how the original authors of each episode themselves would have pronounced the words they have written.

As far as we have been able, we have attempted to match original images exactly to the events recorded. However, there are many images which are indicative of people and events, and especially military units, for illustrative effect. It proved impossible to achieve full historical accuracy throughout and the visual images should be viewed accordingly.

These videos are being grouped (following the format in the original magazine) into 'Chapters' (on YouTube these are 'playlists') and can be seen here:

Obviously as more of these are recorded and published, these chapters will increase in number. 

PDF copies of the original I Was There! documents are available exclusively to members of The Western Front Association to download via the Members’ Portal.