When the British troops advanced into Belgium in 1914 to face the German foe, it was with a sure and steady confidence in the outcome. These same men trudged back, grumbling, along the same path toward France as the full weight of the German steamroller advanced toward the numerically small British Expeditionary Force. At Mons they turned at bay and gave the Germans a tough time, but little more than a check as two corps could not hold up two huge armies. As the static battlelines began to coalesce, from Switzerland to the English channel, the fierce fighting flared up for any advantageous town, and none more so than Ypres. The first battle of Ypres was a bitter, bloody affair which ended the German advance but at terrible cost to the last of the regular soldiers of the B.E.F.
Along with these hardened professional soldiers went a handful of amateurs determined to help; these members of the Royal Automobile Club with their motor cars were attached to various headquarters to aid in transmission of orders. As the eyes and ears of the army, the two cavalry brigade were in need of the most help from the R.A.C. volunteers as they ranged far and wide.
The author was attached to the cavalry during retreat from Mons to the first battle of Ypres; he admired and had grown fond of the men with whom he had shared much danger. His post enabled him to meet a great number of the high-ranking officers, and in his capacity as messenger would have been better informed than most. His book is excellently written and deserves reading and re-reading.
Author — Frederic Abernethy Coleman 1876-1931
Text taken, whole and complete, from the edition published in New York, Dodd, Mead and company, 1916.
Original Page Count – xvii and 381 pages.
Illustrations – 50 illustrations.