World War 1914 - 1918 A Pictured History part 24

iiiiw iiw iiw iM iiiM iiw iin iin iin iiw iiB iiin iiB iiiB iiin in iiiw iiH iiin iin iiw iiB iiiiiiiB iiiH iiiw iiw iM iiiB iiin iiw iiB iiiaiiiiw iiw iiB iiw iiiH iiiH itiw iiB iiiiw iiw iin iin iiw iiW iiH iiw iin in The Editor Chats With His Readers John Carpenter House, London, E.C.4 n iiw iin im iiniin iiw iiw iiaiiiB iiiw iM iiin iin in iiiw iiaiiiaiiiai IIIIBIIIBIIIBIIII IIIIBIilBlllBIIII llllfllllfllllfllllllllBIIIBIIIfllin ¦HAVE been much interested in three letters I have received from one of the “Old Contemptibles,” a private in the 2nd battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, which was in the 8th Brigade and the 3rd Division at Mons. These letters show that he went through some exceedingly hard fighting, for he passed 16 months in France, 20 months at Salonika, and then took part in Allenby’s victorious march to Jerusalem. 1 am very glad indeed to know that, in spite of it all, he is now comfortably settled in his Guernsey home. He tells me of one incident that happened during the retreat from Mons. About 2 p.m. a German battalion was attempting to get round the British left. An officer in charge of a platoon saw the move and charged into the enemy, but was Jtiiled with all his men except a corporal and one private. In the meantime the 9th and 5th Lancers appeared as if from nowhere and charged through the Germans. That eased the situation, and by dark the Irishmen got into touch with a company of the Connau?ht Rangers. At 1 1 p.m. my correspondent’s company was ordered back to manhandle the guns and drag them out on the road. R E then says that, the job being finished, the men of the Irish battalion went back to “Hell.” They lost their way and a wounded man directed some of them to what he thought was a trench, and in this they passed the night in spite of a horrible stench. The men did not know where they were, so they did not fire, but when it became daylight they saw all round them dead and wounded Germans. They were actually standing in what had been the enemy’s trenc.i lavatory. He says :“Picture our faces. We had no officer or N.C.O. and were of five different regiments, so it fell to my lotto take charge. The Germans were just across the field, apparently unaware of our presence. We could not see any of our friends, but by careful movements we got away, and I brought aback red-headed Jerry scout, got to the Royal Scots cook wagon, and by nightfall we joined our own units, or what was left of them.” They marched all that night and next day, arriving in Cambrai in the evening with the rain falling heavily, and at the end had to face another day’s fighting. O N August 26th these Irishmen took part in the battle of Le Cateau, upstanding to the enemy until ordered to retire at 4.15 p.m. My correspondent was then sent with a message to a battery of artillery and with another man made his way towards the guns. On the way, being under terrible fire, they heard sounds coming from a cave and on investigation found 57 wounded men. 1 hey rendered such aid as they could, and after a time ten artillery wagons came along and the wounded men were placed on board. V I LATER incident related by this Irish soldier is also worth 1 4 a few lines. He says that on the morning of Septem- *'¦ ber 8,1914, his battalion or brigade captured a hamlet and then the village of Orly, where they took between 500 and 600 German prisoners. 1 he majority of these belonged to a Jaeger regiment, and had on the sleeves of their coats a white band with the word “Gibraltar” on it in red capital letters. The explanation is, as the British soldiers were told by their captives, that their predecessors, whether in the Prussian or Hanoverian service is not certain, helped the British to capture the Rock of Gibraltar in 1704. CHE residence of my correspondent in Guernsey and the association of the Guernsey men with the Royal Irish Regiment have led him to take a special interest in the fortunes of the Channel Islands. In Chapter 12, Part 6, in which we describe the rally of the Empire, we mention the assistance sent from the Channel Islands. M y correspondent expands this statement by outpointing that men from Guernsey were very early in the battle area. As elsewhere, volunteers were called for on the outbreak of war and these formed a company which was sent to the 6th battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, and was thus part of the 16th Division. Later, as we say, a whole battalion of Guernsey men were sent to the front, and these were attached to the famous 29th Division. With pardonable pride my correspondent, referring to the Islands on one of which he has made his home, says :“So, you see, we were as early as any part of the Empire and in proportion to our population sent more than any other country within the Empire.” m IY readers will understand that in the planning of a serial publication such as W'oRLD War it is never possible to determine in advance exactly the number of parts to which the available literary and pictorial material will run. One knows, of course, that it would not require any very considerable ingenuity to extend a pictorial record for which such immense quantities of material are available to an indefinite number of parts but in this, as in all other part publications with which I have been identified, my endeavour is to present the essentials of a well-balanced work within the most reasonable dimensions, as in these days the space inmost homes available for new books is much more limited than it was in pre-war days. I could at least guess at the outset that to attempt to give the representative selection of pictorial documents which I had in mind and accompanied by an adequate literary narrative in less than fifty parts might have led to undue condensation in the later sections of the work. I am pleased to say, however, that, having now arrived at a stage in our chronicle of events and being in possession of all the necessary pictorial matter, I can safely arrange to complete World War at Part 56, maintaining throughout that same balance of picture to letterpress which has in the twenty-four parts now issued met with so much approval from avery wide reading public. Thus when four more parts have been pub­lished we shall have completed the first of the two volumes which will comprise the finished work, and all who contemplate its preservation inbound volume form will be well advised to take the necessary steps to have the first volume bound up either under the publishers’ special binding scheme or by arranging to have the work done locally in the official binding cases provided by the publishers, full particulars of which will appear in the next two or three issues. m m IIIIBlllBIIIBIIIBIIIBIilBIIIBillSIIIBIIIBIIIBIIII IBIIIBIIIBIIIBIIWIIBI!IBIIIBIIIBIIIB!IIB!IIBIIIBIIIBIIIBIllBlllBJItBIIIBIIIBIIIBIIiaillBIIBIIIBIIIBIIIBIIIBIia!IIBJllBIIMJr Part 2 5 o f WORLD WAR on Sale Everywhere, Thursday, April 2 5 th
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