Forensic Lip-Reader Recovers the Words of Those Who Fought at The Somme

#1
Posted for those who missed it in internet links section, interesting at 2:00. Shame there isn't more..



NB - Found a DM link with a bit more detail to what was interpreted.

"One Tommy, operating a mortar, is now known to have been saying to his second lieutenant: ‘I hope we are in the right place this time because if not, I’m going to bomb ’em all and then bugger off. .....

A soldier with a wounded foot repeats: ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.’ He also swears out loud: ‘F***.’ Another a soldier appeals: ‘Stop filming, this is awful.’

A corporal urges them to speed up fixing of bayonets, ordering: ‘Fix ’em, fix ’em, get ’em fixed.’ S

Soldiers of the Essex Regiment were filmed washing at a pool. They shout out ‘Hi Mum!’ and ‘Hello Mum, it’s me.’ "
'I’m going to bomb ’em all and then b****r off’: Lipreader helps Tommies find their voice | Daily Mail Online
 
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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#2
Quite chilling.

You tend to feel very far removed from the people in these old vids because the old jerky black and white filming seems so old fashioned. I was born in the 80s and only ever met a handful of WW1 veterans when I was a kid. Didn’t really mean much to me back then.

Adding voices to the people somehow makes them real.
 
#3
@ugly do you recognise one of these places?
 
#4
I'm fascinated by this skill. I've seen a few demos over the years at various 'security' demos.
It's crept into the PR world and especially in those close up tv shots in the sports medium, where the coach / team manager are in discussion with their hands covering their mouths.
 
#6
I agree with ravers- quite chilling...
I don't find it chilling, but rather comforting. The Lancashire guy was filmed in a sunken road just before going over the top on the opening day of the Somme. IIRC he is part of a pals battalion that was decimated in the first few hours of battle.
He is saying he hopes they are in the right place otherwise he is going to F off sharpish. That is squaddie humour in the face of real danger. Squaddies have been saying things like that since Harold needed an eye patch.
 
#7
Not so much chilling , but I do understand that point of view , but it's informative for me. We have grown to expect silent WW1 films in the battlefield. I think this idea works. I hope that other films will have this expertise applied to them.
 
#8
Quite chilling.

You tend to feel very far removed from the people in these old vids because the old jerky black and white filming seems so old fashioned. I was born in the 80s and only ever met a handful of WW1 veterans when I was a kid. Didn’t really mean much to me back then.

Adding voices to the people somehow makes them real.
Agreed. In a similar vein, I find this is also true of written accounts, given the Edwardian style of prose and values that come through with it when reading, which is of course further confounded further by the understandably guarded answers a lot of the old boys gave.
 
#9
Further to my earlier post, The Lancashire Fusiliers at the sunken road 01 July 1916:
The commentary is a bit crap, but the story isn't:

 

petetheplane

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
[QUOTE="Ravers, post: 8749877, member: 35600" I was born in the 80s and only ever met a handful of WW1 veterans when I was a kid. Didn’t really mean much to me back then./QUOTE]

I'm a child of the 50's. My grandfather was torpedoed twice in WW1 and once in WW2. God alone knows what he said when he was up to his neck in water for the third time. He finally retired as a Chief Engineer with Royal Mail Line. He never told me anything about his wartime experiences. Good. RIP Grandpa Sam.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
#12
IIRC he is part of a pals battalion that was decimated in the first few hours of battle.
The 1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers were a regular Bn albeit probably well bolstered by replacements by 1916 as they suffered heavily in Galipolli. The attacking Bn North of them was the 1st Bn Hampshire Regiment that were equally smashed up. The Reg Battalions were mixed with the Kitchener Battalions so there was some experienced troops in the mix. By 4th July 11 Bde part of 4 Div was put in reserve as it was so mauled. 100% Officer casualties impossible to comprehend.

From the Battalion War Diary 1st Hampshires::
July 1st
Great offensive begins – at 7’30.a.m. the whole line assaulted. The Brigade front line consisted of EAST LANCS. and SOMERSETS and the second line of the HAMPSHIRES and RIFLE BRIGADE. We had “A” Company, half “C” and “B” Coys in the front line – half of “C” Coy to look after an enemy trench on right flank and “D” Company in reserve. As soon as our troops left their trenches heavy machine gun fire was brought to bear on them from all directions and it was impossible even to reach the GERMAN front line. Our casualties in Officers amounted to 100% and was also very heavy in Other Ranks. After lying about in shell holes all the day the men came back to their original front line. That night the remains of the 11th.Brigade were relieved by the 10th.Brigade and went back to billets in MAILLY.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
I grew up with two grandfathers who fought in the great war, and remember their mates coming to stay late in the year
the only thing i got out of my Grandfather was going to see Albert for a beer
and the red headed girl who danced and laughed , and who he wished he married instead of my gran ( she used to belt him for that)
you could call him rude names behind his back as he was deaf as a post, everybody shouted in our house
the only things he liked telling my Brother and I, once he had a few bottles of stout, were that he sailed to France on the Titanic, was picked up by a London Bus, and used to ride on the toy railway from Battersea park
oh and they named a bus after him ( Ol Bill)
 
#14
A friend of mine, who does talks on the 1916 Somme had a similar thing done with other bits of the 'Battle of the Somme' silent film (still the most-watched film in British cinema history, apparently). There is a piece towards the end of troops, including wounded and Kraut prisoners, going back through Minden Post in the afternoon of 1 July. 30th, 18th and 7th Divisions on the that part of the front were entirely successful - one major asked another how it went, to which the answer was 'It went OK' - not a common expectation of the day, but including the Frogs on the right half of the divisions involved took all or most of their objectives.
 
#16
I'm fascinated by this skill. I've seen a few demos over the years at various 'security' demos.
It's crept into the PR world and especially in those close up tv shots in the sports medium, where the coach / team manager are in discussion with their hands covering their mouths.
Indeed; in the world of TV News there have been several 'amusing' incidents when interviewees have been asked to chat away for a 'cutaway' shot and have decided to say something daring for a lark as their mic has been removed...
 
#17
I don't find it chilling, but rather comforting. The Lancashire guy was filmed in a sunken road just before going over the top on the opening day of the Somme. IIRC he is part of a pals battalion that was decimated in the first few hours of battle.
He is saying he hopes they are in the right place otherwise he is going to F off sharpish. That is squaddie humour in the face of real danger. Squaddies have been saying things like that since Harold needed an eye patch.
I think it was the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. The Sunken Road was actually in No Man's Land. The film was made by Geoffrey Mallins, who went back to the British Front line afterwards to film the Hawthorn Ridge Mine being detonated.

Webmatters : The Battle of the Somme 1916: Sunken Road, Beaumont-Hamel
 

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