The Great War – personal stories: Percival Langford

Presented as part of the State Library's World War I centenary commemoration, 'The Great War – personal stories' is a series of short films highlighting the individual experiences of Australians who participated in the war.

This film is based on correspondence written by Victorian teacher Percival Langford, who was on the staff at University High School in Melbourne when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in August 1914, at the age of 30.

A lance corporal, he served in the 4th Light Horse Regiment in Egypt and Gallipoli. On 24 May, Langford witnessed the brief armistice that took place between the Australian and Turkish forces on the Gallipoli Peninsula, in order to bury their dead.

After serving at Gallipoli, Percival was discharged as medically unfit in September 1916. For the remainder of the war, he was based at the Melbourne Recruiting Centre with the rank of Lieutenant.

The film features extracts taken from a letter Percival Langford wrote to his students at University High School, describing conditions in the trenches and the armistice of 24 May 1915.

Watch the other videos in this four-part series: