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Battle of Mons 1914


21st Aug 1914 First British Troops enter Mons  In the afternoon heat of the 21st of August 1914, the first British Troops arrived in Mons. Exhausted, sunburnt and footsore from the long route march, they rested breifly in the suburb of Nimy then crossed the railway line and began to dig in, refusing assistance offered by the locals, but gratefully accepting offers of food and drink.

21st Aug 1914 4th Middlesex arrive at Mons  In the afternoon heat of the 21st of August 1914, the 4th Middlesex reached their destination, entering their allocated sector in the time honoured fashion with a single man designated as 'Point' marching alone down the centre of the road to draw any enemy fire, his comrades following in single file in small groups spaced fifty yards apart. They reached the line without incident and quickly established lookouts. A bicycle reconnaissance team from the 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment encountered a German unit near Obourg, just north of the Mons-Conde Canal. One of the cyclists, Private John Parr, was shot by German Sniper and killed, becoming the first British fatality of the war.

22nd Aug 1914 The Battle of Mons

22nd Aug 1914 4th Middlesex engaged at Mons  As the church bells of Nimy called the locals to Mass, a patrol mounted Uhlan's emerged from the wood in full view of L/Cpl Alfred Vivian and his six men of the 4th Middlesex, who were in a forward outpost in an abandoned cottage. The rapid fire of the British rifles cut down eight of the enemy and their horses at a range of eighty yards.

In the church, the priest continued to say Mass with barely a pause, but skipped his sermon and sent the congregation home.

23rd Aug 1914 German attack at Mons  The Battle of Mons began early in the morning with a German artillery bombardment of the British lines, concentrated near a bend in the canal close to the town of Mons. At 9:00 am the German infantry assault began as they attempted to force their way across the four bridges that crossed the Mons-Conde canal. The demolition charges had been placed beneath the bridges by the Royal Engineers, whilst under fire from enemy snipers.

Four German battalions attacked the Nimy bridges, defended by a single company of the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and a machine gun section led by Lieutenant Maurice Dease at the south side of the railway bridge. The 4th Royal Fusiliers were positioned along the canal between the two bridges, the swing bridge having been turned to prevent crossing. The German infantry suffered heavy losses as they advanced in "parade ground" formation, the well-trained British riflemen were making hits at over 1,000 yards So heavy was the British rifle fire throughout the battle that the Germans thought they were facing machine guns.

To the right of the Royal Fusiliers, the 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment and the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders were suffering heavy casualties in facing the German assault. With reinforcements from the Royal Irish Regiment (acting as the divisional reserve) and fire support from the divisional artillery, they managed to hold the bridges. The Germans then widened their attack, to the British defences along the straight section of the Mons-Conde canal to the west of Mons. Aided by the cover of a plantation of fir trees they inflicted heavy casualties with machine gun and rifle fire on the 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers, who despite their losses, managed to repulse the Germans throughout the morning.

The order to withdraw was given at 3pm, after a German soldier swam out to the swing bridge and activated the mechanism, allowing his comrades to cross easily. To the east the Germans had crossed the canal and were advancing on the British flank. The 3rd Division was ordered to retire to positions a short distance to the south of Mons which necessitated a similar retreat in early evening by the 5th Division, and by nightfall a new defensive line had been established at the villages of Montrœul, Boussu, Wasmes, Paturages, and Frameries. The Germans had spent the late afternoon building pontoon bridges over the canal, and were approaching in great numbers. News arrived that the French Fifth Army was also retreating, dangerously exposing the British right flank as night fell.

23rd Aug 1914 57th Field Coy Royal Engineers at Mons  57th Field Coy Royal Engineers were tasked with destroying the bridges over the Mons-Conde canal during the Battle of Mons on Monday 23rd of August 1914. A company of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was holding a barricade at the north end of the bridge at Jemappes, but the situation was deteriorating and the order was given to withdraw. Demolition charges had already been put in place by the Royal Engineers, a hazardous task, under enemy sniper fire, Corporal Alfred Jarvis RE was allocated the task of detonating the charges. Captain Theodore Wright, who had been wounded in the head, brought up the detonator and leads, but came under sniper fire every time he attempted to reach the leads beneath the bridge to connect them and after many attempts was unsuccessful. Cpl Jarvis eventually managed to connect the leads, he received the Victoria Cross for his actions in blowing up the bridge and checking the enemy advance. Capt Wright was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action and for undertaking repairs to a pontoon bridge under fire at Vailly on 14th September 1914.

23rd August 1914 Action with enemy

23rd Aug 1914 Under Fire

23rd Aug 1914 Trapped in Shellholes

24th Aug 1914 The Battle of Mons  At 2 a.m. on 24 August, II Corps was ordered to retreat into France to defensible a position along the Valenciennes to Maubeuge road, requiring a number of sharp rearguard actions against the pursuing Germans. 5th Brigade were ordered to to act as rearguard and fought a holding action at Paturages and Frameries, with Brigade artillery in particular, inflicting heavy casualties on the Germans.

At Wasmes, units of the 5th Division faced a heavy assault from German artillery which began bombarding the village at daybreak, followed at 10 a.m. by an infantry assault by German III Corps who advanced in columns and were "mown down like grass" by British Rifle and Machine Gun fire. Soldiers of the 1st West Kents, 2nd King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 2nd Duke of Wellington's Regiment, and 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment held off repeated German assaults on the village, despite taking heavy casualties, and then retreated in good order to St. Vaast at mid day.

24th Aug 1914 1st Cheshires at Audregnies  The 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment suffered 771 casualties at Audregnies on the Franco-Belgian border, whilst acting as flank guard to the 5th Division. The Battalion alongside three Companies of the 1st Norfolks, engaged four German regiments who were advancing in close formation across open fields between the villages of Audregnies and Elouges. Their actions bought valuable time for the rest of the BEF during the retreat from Mons.

The 1st Cheshire's War Diary states: "At roll call in Bivouac at Les Bavay there were 6 Officers, a Warrant Officer and 199 men - The strength marching out at 7.30 a.m. on the morning of 24th inst was 27 Officers, 1 Warrant Officer and 933 men - A loss of 78%, most of which was caused in the withdrawal."

24th Aug 1914 The Charge at Audregnies  The 9th Lancers and 4th Dragoon Guards were brought up to assist the 5th Division who were facing an advance of massed German troops and suffering heavily from enemy artillery. The Lancers at first fought dismounted alongside the British Infantry, but as the situation grew more hopeless, the Lancers were ordered to charge. Under heavy fire, the 9th Lancers charged a battery of eleven German guns posted in a Compiegne Wood. The guns had been causing terrible losses to the British infantry

Accounts in the British Press at the time put a rosey spin on the action. stating "the 9th made a furious charge, reached the battery, cut down all the gunners and put the guns out of action". It would be over a year before an honest account was printed in The War Illustrated on the 9th of October 1915: "On the 24th our 5th Division was in a very tight place, and the cavalry was sent to its assistance, the 2nd Brigade reaching the scene of the action first. The Germans were advancing in great masses, so near the village of Audregnies, General De Lisle ordered his men to dismount and to open fire on them. They did so, but the enemy still came on in good order. The general then decided on a charge, and for this chose the 9th Lancers who, at the word of command, mounted their horses and rode steadily at the enemy.

It was Balaclava over again. The squadrons rode to death, and the colonel, so we were told, said that he never expected a single lancer to return. In face of a torrent of shot and shell from guns and rifles, they dashed on until they found themselves against two lines of barbed wire, where men and horses fell over in all directions. This ended the charge. The survivors were ordered to return into shelter, and out of more than four hundred who had ridden out, only seventy two at first answered their names, Later some two hundred others turned up, but the regiment had lost heavily. Major V. R. Brooke D.S.O. was among the killed. However, the charge was not altogether fruitless. The Lancers had drawn the enemy’s fire and so had done something to help the harassed 5th Division."

Forty One members of the 9th Lancers could not be accounted for after their attack, including L/4653 Private Henry Warr, his survival was reported in The Western Gazette on 6th of November 1914: "H. Warr, of the 9th Lancers, who was in the famous charge and had been missing since the end of August, was taken prisoner by the enemy. He has written, saying that he is a prisoner at Munster, Germany, and is being well-treated by the Germans. The letter was written in September, so that it has been a very long time in transit. Warr had many friends here, and there is great satisfaction at the news of his safety.” Private Warr remained in captivity for the rest of the war.

24th Aug 1914 4th Dragoons at Audregnies  Two days after the encounter at Casteau, on the 24th of August, the 4th Dragoon Guards were heavily involved in the rearguard action at Audregnies after the battle of Mons. Part of B Sqn took part in a charge with the 9th Lancers and other dismounted parts of the regiment defended the village of Audregnies with the infantry. Pte AH Page was killed that day and lies in the graveyard in the nearby village of Elouges. This was the beginning of the Retreat from Mons, and it was not until the 28th of August that the regiment reassembled at Le Plessis Patte d'Oie.

25th Aug 1914 Street Fighting

12th Jun 1915 Atrocities Recalled

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Want to know more about Battle of Mons 1914?

There are:16 articles tagged Battle of Mons 1914 available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Those known to have served in

Battle of Mons 1914

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Alexander William. Pte. (d.16th Sep 1914)
  • Arnold Charles. CQMS
  • Atkins John Charles. 2nd Cpl.
  • Atkins John Charles. Cpl
  • Atkinson Henry Edward. L/Cpl. (d.12th June 1915)
  • Balderstone Henry. Gdmn. (d.17th Aug 1915)
  • Ball William Ormsby Wyndham. Lt. (d.26th Sep 1914)
  • Bates Eustace. Pte. (d.1st Sep 1914)
  • Betts Frederick. Sgt. (d.27th Aug 1914)
  • Bond Thomas Henry. Pte. (d.23rd Aug 1914)
  • Bowler Edward. Pte.
  • Bradley Alfred John. Pte. (d.24th Aug 1914)
  • Brady John. Cpl.
  • Bramley-Moore Swinfen. Mjr.
  • Caiger Walter Joseph. Drv.
  • Carpenter-Garnier John Trefusis. Mjr. (d.15th Sep 1914)
  • Chisholm Douglas William. Sgt.
  • Clegg Robert William. Pte.
  • Cokley John. Pte. (d.23rd Aug 1914)
  • Cooper Charles Frederick. Cpl.
  • Cruickshank David Waddell. Pte.
  • Daly Jeremiah. Pte. (d.20th Oct 1914)
  • Daniels Daniel. Guardsman. (d.1st Sep 1914)
  • Dean George Pocock Buxton. Sgt. (d.31st Oct 1914)
  • Dease Maurice James. Lt. (d.23rd Aug 1914)
  • Dease Maurice James. Lt. (d.23rd Aug 1914)
  • Doggett Albert Edward Victor. Sgt.
  • Doughty Frank. Sgt. (d.8th Aug 1915)
  • Edwards Joseph. Pte. (d.18th Nov 1914)
  • Frank Hatchett W. Pte. (d.28th Aug 1914)
  • Fulford Thomas. Pte.
  • Gale Arthur Daniel. Pte.
  • Gardiner William John. Sgt.
  • Gill William. Cpl. (d.20th Oct1914 )
  • Godley Sidney.
  • Gothard John Willie. Pte. (d.26 Aug 1914)
  • Grealey Joseph. Pte. (d.25th Aug 1916)
  • Green Frederick George . CQMS. (d.28th Aug 1914)
  • Grenfell Francis. Capt. (d.24th May 1914)
  • Hancock A. Pte.
  • Harris James. Pte. (d.5th Nov 1914)
  • Higgins John. Pte.
  • Highgate Thomas J.. Pte. (d.8th Sep 1914)
  • Hobbs Lionel Arthur. L/Sgt.
  • Hordley Jack. Gnr.
  • Jarvis Charles. L/Cpl.
  • Johnson Thomas James.
  • Joy Patrick. L/Cpl. (d.23rd Aug 1914)
  • Kavanagh Jeremiah. Cpl. (d.9th May 1915)
  • Killeen James. Pte. (d.15th September 1914)
  • Kirkby Herbert. L/Cpl. (d.31st Mar 1918)
  • Kirman Charles H.. Pte. (d.23rd Sep 1917)
  • Linder Jack. Lcr. (d.24th Aug 1914)
  • Low James. L/Sgt. (d.9th May 1915)
  • Matthews Vernon George. Sgt.
  • McGrogan John. Gnr. (d.26th Aug 1914)
  • McIlhone John. Pte.
  • McIntosh Robert. Rfn.
  • Morrison Richard Fielding. Maj. (d.25th April 1918)
  • Morrison Richard Fielding. Capt. (d.25th April 1918)
  • Moulson Walter Henry. Gdsm. (d.16th Sep 1914)
  • Nix Alfred Alaxander . Sgt.
  • Ogden Robert. Sgt.
  • Owens James. Pte. (d.16th May 1915)
  • Paginton Tom. Pte.
  • Parkinson J.. Pte.
  • Pateman Richard George. Pte. (d.19th Nov 1914)
  • Pitts Bertie. Pte.
  • Prince Maurice Victor Donald. Lt. (d.27th Oct 1914)
  • Quinn James. Pte. (d.14th Sep 1914)
  • Randall Charles Frank. Pte. (d.1st Nov 1914)
  • Randall Edward John. Pte. (d.30th Sep 1915)
  • Rees Hubert Conway. Brig.Gen.
  • Reid Martin. Pte.
  • Reilly Frank. Pte. (d.25th July 1916)
  • Roberts William Owen. Sgt. (d.15th Nov 1918)
  • Roughan James Martin. Pte.
  • Rowe Joseph Victor. Pte.
  • Shaw Percy. CSM..
  • Sheehy J.. Pte. (d.10th Nov 1914)
  • Smith Arthur Leonard.
  • Somers James. Sgt. (d.7th May 1918)
  • Stanley William Charles. Pte. (d.16th May 1915)
  • Summers James Domeric.
  • Tanner Edward. Pte. (d.27th Oct 1914)
  • Thompson Alfred. Pte.
  • Wells William James. Pte.
  • White Michael. Cpl.
  • Witherick Percy John. Sgt. (d.24th Aug 1914)
  • Wright Theodore. Cpt. (d.14th Sep 1914)
  • Wright Theodore. Capt. (d.14th Sep 1914)
  • Wyatt George. L/Sgt.
  • Yate Charles Allix Lavington. Mjr. (d.19th Sep 1914)
  • Young Frank Edward. 2nd Lt. (d.18th Sep 1918)

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Want to know more about Battle of Mons 1914?

There are:16 articles tagged Battle of Mons 1914 available in our Library

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Adventures of a Motorcycle Despatch Rider During the First World War

W.H.L. Watson

The Battle of Mons, The Battle of le Cateau, The Great Retreat, Over the Marne to the Aisne, The Battle of the Aisne, The Move to the North, Round la AssÉe, The Beginning of Winter 1914, St Jans Cappel, Behind the Lines
Mons 1914: Britain's Tactical Triumph (Praeger Illustrated Military History)

David Lomas

The first major clash of the Great War, Mons came as a nasty shock to the Imperial German Army. Assured by their commanders that they would sweep the French and their British allies in the British Expeditionary Force--"that contemptible little army"--into the sea in a matter of weeks; they were stopped in their tracks at Mons by a numerically inferior British force. Eventually forced to fall back by overwhelming German numbers, the British carried out a masterful fighting retreat across Belgium and northern France. David Lomas examines not just the battle of Mons itself but also the ensuing British retreat, the battle of Le Cateau and several smaller engagements. The British Expeditionary Force of 1914 was one of the most highly trained armies ever fielded by the United Kingdom: having been denied the requested number of machine-guns due to financial considerations its soldiers had been taught to fire 15 aimed shots per minute, in some cases more, from their excellent Lee Enfield rifle
Battlefields of the First World War: A Traveller's Guide

Tonie Holt & Valmai Holt

Mons, Ypes, Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, the Somme...The names are no less poignant three-quarters of a century on, and the emotional pull of the physical reminders of the First World is undiminished. This book covers all the major battlefields of the Western Front, including Mons, where the British Expeditionary Force under Sir John French went into action for the first time to halt the German advance through Belgium; Le Cateau, scene of the last of the old style one-day battles; Verdun, the fiercely defended stronghold which came to symbolize the fighting spirit of France; the Somme, where the British suffered a scarcely credible 60,000 casualties on the opening day of the five-month battle; St Mihiel, the first all-American action and a striking success for Pershing's Doughboys; as well as Cambrai, the Kaiser's Offensive and the British and American breakthrough on the Hindenburg Line. At each historic site the book describes the events leading up to the battle, the aims and tactics o
Major and Mrs. Holt's Concise Guide to the Western Front - North

Tonie Holt & Valmai Holt

Mons; Le Cateau; 1st Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, 2nd Ypres; Loos; Aisne/Chemin des Dames; Verdun, The Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele; Cambrai; Kaiser's Offensive; St Mihiel/Meuse-Argonne; Hindenburg Line Following in the Holts' series of five best-selling Battlefield Guides comes this Guide to 15 of the First World War's most significant battles of the Western Front. Whether travelling on the ground or in the mind the reader is carefully and concisely guided through the Western Front with a mixture of succinct military history, cameo memories, poetry and informed opinion - as well as careful travel directions. Each battlefield has a brief Summary of the Battle, the Opening Moves, a description of What Happened and a Battlefield Tour of the most salient features, accompanied by a sketch map and photographs of the battlefield today. There are sections on Tourist Information and War Graves Organisations and a sketch map on the end papers puts the battlefields in Perspective. This book conti
Before Endeavours Fade

Rose E.B. Coombs

From the Belgian coast, across the fields of Flanders, over the valley of the Somme and down the line to the Argonne: all the major battlefields of the First World War - Ypres, Arras, Cambrai, Amiens, St. Quentin, Mons, Le Cateau, Reims, Verdun and St. Mihiel - are criss-crossed in this book over more than thirty different routes, each clearly shown on a Michelin map. Every significant feature is described in detail. Indispensable for anyone contemplating a tour of the battlefields in Belgium and France, this book combines the years of knowledge, travel and research of its author, Rose Coombs, who worked at the Imperial War Museum in London for nearly forty years. Since her death in 1991, "After the Battle's" editor, Karel Margry, has travelled every route, checking and revising the text where necessary, as well as re-photographing every memorial. Many new ones have been added, including the new cemetery at Fromelles inaugurated in July 2010, yet we have striven to keep true to the fla
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Before Endeavours Fade

1st Bedfordshires: Mons to the Somme Pt. 1

Steven Fuller

In August 1914 the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment were amongst the small professional British Army who gathered and prepared for a war that would `be over by Christmas'. With a long and proud history, dating back to 1688, the regiment's fighting men had already served through numerous wars and rebellions over and above long periods on garrison duties in the `Fever Isles', the New World, and throughout the expanding British Empire. So when war was declared the `Old Contemptibles' of the 1st Battalion would find themselves heavily engaged in more intense fighting during the first three months of the Great War, as it came to be known, than many of the newly raised `Service' battalions would experience during their entire existence. Despite heavy casualties, atrocious conditions, and a steep learning curve, they remained professional and stoic through the early fire and movement battles and then the stagnant, arbitrary nature of trench warfare. They endured pitched battles, heavy she
Retreat and Rearguard 1914: The BEF's Actions from Mons to the Marne

Jerry Murland

Jerry Murland is an ex soldier, mountaineering instructor and teacher. He is also the and author of the recent, and highly regarded Aristocrats Go To War. He brings the all rounder's approach to his analysis and history of wahat Basil Liddel Hart called "that thing apart", the regular British Army of 1914. This is a period and a subject in which I have a particular interest; Murland's book is one I opened with particular relish and closed without finding disappointment. Like the best of current military historians the author has the ability to knit his narrative of events with truly apposite personal stories and accounts. Drawn from published and unpublished papers and accounts, they both colour his work and inform the reader. Absurdly, the Pen and Sword's publicity release for the book describes the account of the 12 day, 200 mile, retreat from Mons as a "near rout, "over blood drenched miles". Murland gives the lie to such half baked blurb. Certainly, there was poor, broken, co
The German Army in World War I: 1914-15 Pt. 1

Nigel Thomas

."..beautifull illustrated and the eight color plates show off a variety of WWI uniforms/equipment that are appropriate for armies that fought in the RCW...fills a very necessary spot in my wargaming library... As always, Osprey books form the first line of any 'attack' on a new period of study!" -"HMG Reviewing Stand" Product Description This is the first of three books that study the German Army of World War I in great detail. They give a comprehensive study of the organisation, uniforms, insignia and equipment of the Imperial German army - in practice the combined armies of Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Wurttemberg. This first volume covers the troops who fought at Mons, Arras, and 1st Ypres in 1914; in winter 1914; at Neuve Chappelle, 2nd Ypres, Artois and the Argonne, 1915; and in East Prussia and Poland, 1914-15. It reflects the impact of the first period of trench warfare on the uniforms worn at the outbreak of war.
There's a Devil in the Drum

John F. Lucy

A classic. Lucy enl, with his brother in the RIR 1912, 2nd Bn. in France & gives a very fine account of the 1914-1915 campaign.His brother was killed at the Aisne & Lucy was eventually sent home for a rest: ?My leave... was a nightmare.My sleep was broken The simple cover and unusual title do not do this splendid book any favours, for I can honestly say that this is one of the most eloquent and most interesting accounts of the Great War I have read in recent years! This excellent volume tells the fascinating story of John Lucy, a young man from Cork, who shortly after leaving school, was, along with his brother locked out of their home by their Father one evening and told to stay out. They therefore traveled to Dublin and being full of life and spirit and seeking adventure, joined the Royal Irish Rifles in January 1912. After training at the depot and subsequent postings to both Dover and Tidworth, they joined the 2nd Battalion as it moved to France. Sadly his brother was kill
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There's a Devil in the Drum

The Confusion of Command: The Memoirs of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas D'Oyly 'Snowball' Snow 1914 -1918

Dan Snow & Mark Pottle

The enemy has got to be fought everywhere and hard... Everything is going very well indeed and no one minds the losses as long as we are moving. The never-before-published papers of General Sir Thomas D Oyly Snow provide a remarkable insight into the mindset of the Great War commanders. Despite being severely injured during the first Battle of the Marne when his horse fell and rolled over him, cracking his pelvis Snow served at some of the most important battles of the Western Front. His memoirs include the battle of Loos, the second battle of Ypres, the battles of Arras and Cambrai, the retreat from Mons and was responsible for the diversionary attack on Gommecourt on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Somme. This volume is comprised of vivid extracts from contemporary notes that only an eyewitness can offer coupled with frank postwar reflections that show the wisdom of hindsight and perspective, which brings an open awareness of military folly. D Oyly Snow died in London, aged 82, on
True World War 1 Stories

Jon E. Lewis

This is a collection of nearly 60 personal accounts of the war to end all wars, including the first gas attack, life in the trenches, Gallipoli, the war at sea, aerial dogfights and life as a prisoner of war. It is a record by those who were there at some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict including Loos, Mons, Ypres and the Somme, from the opening moves through to the day that peace was signed.
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True World War 1 Stories

Riding The Retreat: Mons to the Marne 1914 Revisited

Richard Holmes

"His ride, like the campaign of August 1914, took place in scorching weather, passing through still-recognizable battlefields and cemeteries of distracting sadness. The author tells two stories in parallel: that of his own journey and a first-rate account of what happened eighty years before." - Max Egremont, "Evening Standard" .,."an effortless blend of past and present." -"Independent on Sunday" Product Description The retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from Mons in the early months of the First World War is one of the great dramas of European history. Blending his recreation of the military campaign with contemporary testimony and an account of his own ride over the route, Richard Holmes takes the reader on a unique journey - to glimpse the summer the old world ended.
Retreat and Rearguard 1914: The BEF's Actions from Mons to the Marne

Jerry Murland

The British action at Mons on 23 August 1914 was the catalyst for what became a full blown retreat over 200 blood drenched miles. This book examines eighteen of the desperate rearguard actions that occurred during the twelve days of this near rout. While those at Le Cateau and Nery are well chronicled, others such as cavalry actions at Morsain and Taillefontaine, the Connaught Rangers at Le Grand Fayt and 13 Brigades fight at Crepy-en-Valois are virtually unknown even to expert historians. We learn how in the chaos and confusion that inevitably reigned units of Gunners and other supporting arms found themselves in the front line.
The Young Gunner: The Royal Field Artillery in the Great War

David Hutchison

The Young Gunner describes the history of the Royal Field Artillery in France and Flanders in the Great War, including the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The book is based on the letters and journals of Second Lieutenant Colin Hutchison who joined the army aged 19 just before the war started. He found himself in command of a single gun in battle in 1914, a section of guns in 1915, a battery of six guns in 1916, and a brigade of 24 guns by the end of the war. He tells the story of front line action in thirteen battles on the Western Front, including Mons 1914, Ypres 1915, The Somme 1916, Passchendaele 1917 and Ypres 1918. His personal stories are inspiring, but more importantly his letters and journals describe, in a consistent style, not only life on the front line with the artillery, but also the details of his tactical deployment in battle.David explains, from his perspective, why so many men died unnecessarily in that war, and why the changes in tactical thinking he saw as necessary t


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