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Adventures of A Despatch Rider CDROM





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Adventures of A Despatch Rider

CAPTAIN W. H. L. WATSON

WITH MAPS

William Blackwood and Sons

Edinburgh and London

1915

CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAGE

I. ENLISTING I

II. THE JOURNEY TO THE FRONT . 12

III. THE BATTLE OF MONS . . . 26

IV. THE BATTLE OF LE CATEAU ... 40

V. THE GREAT RETREAT . 51

VI. OVER THE MARNE TO THE AISNE . . 76

VII. THE BATTLE OF THE AISNE . . .105

VIII. THE MOVE TO THE NORTH . .140

IX. ROUND LA BASSEE 167

X. THE BEGINNING OF WINTER . . .197

XI. ST JANS CAPPEL 230

XII. BEHIND THE LINES . . . '253

Adventures of A Despatch Rider.

CHAPTER I.

ENLISTING

AT 6.45 P.M. on Saturday, July 25, 1914, Alec and I determined to take part in the Austro-Servian War. I remember the exact minute, because we were standing on the "down" platform of Earl's Court Station, waiting for the 6.55 through train to South Harrow, and Alec had just remarked that we had ten minutes to wait. We had travelled up to London, intending to work in the British Museum for our "vivas" at Oxford, but in the morning it had been so hot that we had strolled round Bloomsbury, smoking our pipes. By lunch-time we had gained such an appetite that we did not feel like work in the afternoon. We went to see Elsie Janis. The evening papers were full of grave prognostications. War between Servia and Austria seemed inevitable. Earl's Court Station inspired us with the spirit of adventure. We determined to take part, and debated whether we should go out as war correspondents or as orderlies in a Servian hospital. At home we could talk of nothing else during dinner. Ikla, that wisest of all Egyptians, mildly encouraged us, while the family smiled.

On Sunday we learned that war had been declared. Ways and means were discussed, but our great tennis tournament on Monday, and a dance in the evening, left us with a mere background of warlike endeavour. It was vaguely determined that when my "viva" was over we should go and see people of authority in London. . . . On the last day of July a few of us met together in Gibson's rooms, those neat, white rooms in Balliol that overlook St Giles. Naymier, the Pole, was certain that Armageddon was coming. He proved it conclusively in the Quad with the aid of large maps and a dissertation on potatoes. He also showed us the probable course of the war. We lived in strained excitement. Things were too big to grasp. ..........

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