World War 1 reminiscences of signaller Reginald Biggs, nicknamed "Private Ashmead" after the war correspondent Ashmead Bartlett because Biggs had been a cadet journalist prior to enlisting. Biggs entered Claremont camp on 1 March 1916 for basic training and departed for the battlefield on 2 July 1916. The narrative recounts routine life in the 40th Battalion as well as its exploits. The account also gives an insight into military discipline and its impact, which Biggs refers to as a "cruel scourge" that chafed him constantly. The appendix details Biggs' personal insights into America's role in the war. Reginald Biggs was discharged on 3/11/1919. This account is the product of the editing of Biggs' original narrative by the same title compiled in 1943. Biggs cites various sources: correspondence home during the war
"two scrappy and incomplete diaries" written in shorthand while under fire
clippings of his articles about the Battalion published in the Launceston Examiner
detailed recollections that transpired from the reading of the aforementioned sources. For those events in which he did not personally participate, Biggs cites as his sources recollections of combatants who were "on the spot", and excerpts from "The Fortieth" by Captain Frank Green.
These records are part of the holdings of the Tasmanian Archives