Rank #1: Episode 2.1 The diary of Percy Smythe: Build up that chest
It is April 1915, you are 21 years old, you have two brothers in khaki and on their way to god knows where (Gallipoli), you have had a big problem at work and you are broke. What do you do?
You join the AIF of course!
This is part one of the diary of Percy Ellesmere Smythe, the third oldest of four brothers who go to war. This is the story of your experiences and those of your brothers through your eyes. Come on a journey through the Dardenelles and the western front with Percy and come home in an officer's uniform with a Military Cross.
You can find out more about the Smythe brothers at the Smythe family website, www.smythe.id.au
Sep 15 2016
Rank #2: Episode 1.6 Rats as big as cats
Len takes us through the dismal winter of 1916-1917 at Ypres and on the Somme, in this episode which I almost called A for ANZAC. Find out why.
We experience the death of the well loved Colonel Howell-Price, amongst other men.
Joe Weger and his mates take prisoners in a trench raid on Hill 60 and Len describes action at Flers and sightings of some beings 'from another planet'.
Meet Sergeant Yorke, Snooksie, 'Cock' and others that Len could never forget.
This is the longest episode in the Len Jones series, so my apologies if it is too long for you. That is how Len wrote it.
May 31 2016
Rank #3: Episode 2.16 Sniper to sniper
Well, finally Percy has us in the front line. Sniping and being sniped at, machine gun bullets over our heads in no-man's-land and heavy shelling behind the lines. Percy has no qualms about taking a dead man's water bottle or another's jack-knife. Percy is really becoming the old soldier now and .... his bad luck also holds out at the end!
Feb 07 2017
Rank #4: Episode 2.26 Plastered in mud
Do you have queer ideas of warfare?
Met young Burrows, and asked him had he seen any Germans while on post. "Yes," he, "had seen a few." One he observed was putting up barbed wire entanglements.
"And did you shoot at him?" I asked.
"Why didn't you?"
"Well, he was about three hundred yards away."
I was staggered. Burrows, of course, was a new reinforcement, but it seemed incredible that anyone should think three hundred yards too great a distance to hit a man. He had not even thought the matter of sufficient importance to report it. Some people have queer ideas of warfare.
Oh Percy, what can I say? Come experience the worst winter in years.
Jun 03 2017
Rank #5: Episode 7.1 The Memoirs of Verdi Schwinghammer Part 1
An ANZAC Day Special .... well kind of! The first part of a 7 part series from the memoirs of Verdi Schwinghammer. Here is a taste of it, "That night a big air raid took place and we enjoyed watching our guns shooting at the German planes – which were caught and held in the searchlights – several close hits being secured. No bombs fell on us but one fell on the horse lines close by, killing and wounding several horses and mules." The episode covers his enlistment, training, voyage to Europe, more training and his initial days in the 42nd Battalion AIF.
Apr 24 2020
Rank #6: Episode 2.7 Dead Man's Gully and other charming places on Gallipoli
Percy is at ANZAC and settles in to the shells, flies, maggots, dead bodies, bullets, and other problems. He visits Lone Pine, Shrapnel Gully and Dead Man's Gully.
He meets up with his brothers Bert and Vern. Bert is not so well and Percy starts to get sick himself. Vern has a stellar career and Percy learns of his brave actions at Lone Pine.
Oct 31 2016
Rank #7: Episode 2.17 Stripped of a stripe
In this episode, one man gets his head blown off while gas alarms brings out, "goggle faced ogres," who, "moved about in the moonlight and the shadows." Percy mellows on the puritanical side, feeling sorrow for a bloke with VD, avoids getting into a philosophical argument with chaplain and prefers to talk to a pretty blonde girl named Georgette, ooh-la-la. He visits Armentieres too! Oh and the Prime Minister visits and gives a speech .... yes, politicians were just as bad then as they are now!
Feb 17 2017
Rank #8: Episode 2.15 Pity the 9th Battalion
Come with Percy into the reserve trenches at Sailly-sur-la Lys, which is near the soon to be infamous Fromelles.
Listen to why Private Ogilvie nearly kills Private Williams and how does the 9th Battalion loses a lot of men without ever firing a shot!
And finally Percy catches up with ..... no spoilers, but if you have followed every episode you will know who.
This is the last episode recorded with my old microphone, good things to come.
Jan 29 2017
Rank #9: Episode 2.8 Chats Beachy Bill and other nuisances on Gallipoli
Percy describes his time at Anzac Cove dodging shells from "Beachy Bill", chats, Turkish bullets, diarrhoea and the 'flu. Did any of these horrors get him? Listen and find out! Here's a "snippet":
After tea, I went for a walk up to Lone Pine. I met a couple of casualties on the way. They were 24th battalion men. A "75" had got four of them. The first one I met was wounded in several places, and the next was dead. He lay still and silent on the stretcher, and it made me feel quite "skeery" for a while.
Nov 09 2016
Rank #10: Episode 1.3 Pink Patches
"Righto Don Company, over you go".
In this episode, Len takes your on a train trip through 1916 France, then into the trenches of the Western Front for the first time. We here about life in the trenches near Fromelles before the famous battle and anecdotes about the Aussie digger mates he has made. Len takes us through the rear areas of The Somme and into the jump off trench near Pozieres. He then leaves us with a cliff hanger as he rushes from the trenches.
Mar 30 2016
Rank #11: Episode 2.14 A pretty face like a girl
Who does Percy think looks like a girl? Find out when he sees out his time at Suez and then travels to France, dodging submarines and circling around Malta.
Yes, we finally make it to France!
Jan 17 2017
Rank #12: Episode 2.13 Percy gets a stripe
Thirsty, huh, Perc? Chase after that "furphy" water wagon and watch out for the dead man's bones out in the desert.
Percy does some time near the Suez Canal but when will they go to France?
Oh, and yes he does get that elusive stripe.
Jan 10 2017
Rank #13: Episode 2.11 News of Gallipoli
Percy has almost recovered and is full of introspection, apprehension and a touch of mischief. This episode covers Christmas Dinner at St John's Hospital, New Years Eve, the death of an orange tree, or was it a peach tree? ... and the night the old cow died! My apologies to Paper Lace!
Now I used some backing music, here is a link to St Monicas Choir Facebook pageThey are a Maltese Choir and worth a listen.
Okay, so hang a sock on Christmas Eve and see if Percy's Mum leaves half a crown in it!
Dec 09 2016
Rank #14: Episode 2.9 Comin' thro' the rye .... at Malta!
In this episode Percy wants to die, no, really, he wants to die! He is sick, probably delirious with pneumonia, on a troop ship from Gallipoli and gets put off at Malta into a hospital for infectious cases. Find out what he gets up to, who he meets and how he gets on. You'll love Sister Suzie!
Nov 18 2016
Rank #15: Episode 2.10 The Maltese Tourist
Percy does the tourist "thing" in Malta, moving from hospital to a convalescent camp. Come explore Valetta and other places around Malta. This episode was re-mastered in February 2019.
Nov 26 2016
Rank #16: Episode 2.20 The Battle of Pozieres
Drum-roll time ..... Here it is, The Battle of Pozieres. Percy drinks rum and smokes cigarettes and, those following the series know, things must be really bad for that to happen! He gets buried by a shell, dug out, digs others out ... some of them ..., shot at, blown up again, machine gunned, shelled and so and so on.
He loses a lot of good mates, Bert Newland and Smith among them.
Come into this most infamous of #Somme battles of #WW1 , #Pozieres
Mar 19 2017
Rank #17: Episode 2.23 Hill 60 or Hell 60
What can I say. Nothing, Percy says it all. This time he goes from the Somme to the dreaded Hill 60 and back to the Somme. He sees his first tanks, there are more mates killed, etc! Enough said!
May 06 2017
Rank #18: Episode 2.27 Murdered in cold blood
Well, Percy is in Blighty at the 1st Southern General Hospital at Edgebaston when he hears disturbing news about an old mate from the 3rd Battalion who was killed in his sleep.
He recovers fairly quickly at the 3rd Australian Auxillary Hospital and gets furlough, when he finally catches up with brother Bert and meets the alter-matriarch of the family, Mrs Morgan.
Then there is Miss Tess, or is it Tilly, Pugsley, Mrs Caborn, Mrs Cooper, etc etc. Flirting, ...... well Percy is a master at this sport, I think more-so than the skating he also tackles!
He goes to shows, like "The Arcadians", a clip from the Edison Opera Company from around 1910 is added, "A little bit of fluff," yeah right, Percy, and detective plays etc. Also to museums and a foundry that macks mills bombs and aerial bombs.
Lastly, he is at Perham Downs awaiting classification and he learns more about brother, Verne's wedding.
It's a long episode but well worth it. Please enjoy!
Jun 24 2017
Rank #19: Episode 2.5 Baksheesh
Just a little warning. This episode includes content that could offend modern sensibilities. Some racist terms and descriptions are used. If you can handle that, Percy describes his trip to Egypt and stopovers in Melbourne, Freemantle, Aden and Suez. We finish with him spending his first night in Egypt. It is worth a listen if you don't mind the "N" word.
Oct 15 2016
Rank #20: Episode 1.5 Shaking Hands With Fritz
In this episode Len takes us back to the Somme in front of Pozieres at Moquet Farm. We also meet a couple of Germans. A very amusing little Saxon bloke and a possiblr spy. Len ends up at Ypres in Belgium.
My apologies about the variable sound quality in this episode. I had problems with my old laptop!
May 08 2016