VIVID frontline experiences of the Great War, as recorded by a soldier from Portland, are being made available online through a new blog. The diaries of Regimental Sergeant-Major George Beck are being published by the Dorset History Centre exactly 100 years after they were written, with regular entries posted online giving a first-hand account of his remarkable story.
RSM Beck, originally from the Midlands, married a Portland girl and settled on the island. He served on the Western Front for the entire 1914-18 conflict, and was awarded the Military Cross in April 1918.
His diaries chronicle the daily struggle in the trenches, including several major battles and the introduction of gas as a battlefield weapon in May 1915. Sgt Beck also details the famous Christmas truce of 1914, writing on 25 December: “Germans very eager to exchange almost anything for our ‘Bully Beef’ and jam.”
The diaries have been transcribed by History Centre volunteer Alison Schwalm. Members of RSM Beck’s family still live on Portland, and his granddaughter Caroline Milverson provided the History Centre with his diaries.
To view the blog, go to http://news.dorsetfor you.com/rsm-beck-diary. The first entry will go live today. As well as posting the full diary entries on the blog, the History Centre will be ‘live’ tweeting entries from the diaries a century after they were written. Follow the tweets @RSM_GBeck on Twitter