100 years ago ….

From the letters etc shown in the spreadsheet, Stanley was now in France and just had some “narrow escapes” in fighting near the River Ancre.

Follow him from now on as centenary dates arrive.

Roger  17/01/2017

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ACCESS

TODAY, 15 JUNE 2016, ACCESS TO SITE CHANGED FROM PRIVATE TO PUBLIC.  Roger Bray

OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED BY THIS WEB SITE

OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED BY THIS WEB SITE

The letters and diary of John “Stanley” Joyce present a fascinating insight into his times serving as a soldier in France and Belgium in World War 1. You sense the optimism, enthusiasm, excitement, as involvement nears. Then he has to adapt to the realities of trench warfare. There is tragedy, bravery, endurance, and there are poignant moments that help to put his life at the front in context. He offers interesting comments and views and clearly was a very lucky man to survive.

If you access the spreadsheet it links together the letters, his soldier’s diary with the overview that is in the dispatches of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig and with the battle orders of the Regiments with whom Stanley served. This link brings to life his involvement and locations

The Dispatches provide the wider context within which Stanley’s War took place. They are a vivid historical read.

Then there is the interactive map! Follow Stanley in time across France and Flanders.

From the map access the Images and see photographs and images from WW1.

From the map also link to YouTube. There some links are suggested which enable you to access films of the time

Stanley was gassed in April 1918 and so it was especially poignant to see the films and photographs of gas attacks and their effects. The photograph of soldiers, partially blinded by the gas, following each other, each with a hand on the shoulder of the one in front, just makes you wonder if that was exactly what Stanley had to do.

The real films of WW1, as opposed to recently created films, included footage of some very intense shell fire. This too made me think of Stanley’s several references to shellfire. He was buried at one stage by shell fire debris and my cousin Robert said he talked to Stanley about that. Apparently, when asked “Why didn’t you just dig your way out?” I understand that Stanley replied something like “which way?”. (This is the only conversation I have heard about in which Stanley mentioned the war.)

Roger Bray 1/2/2015