Tuesday, October 14, 2014

14 October 1914 (2) - With the Irish Guards

Postmark: Army Post Office, 14 October 1914

"best of health..."

"On the 12th of October the Third Army Corps reached St. Omer and moved forward to Hazebrouck to get touch with the Second Army Corps on its right, the idea being that the two corps together should wheel on their own left and striking eastward turn the position of the German forces that were facing the Tenth French Army. They failed owing to the strength of the German forces on the spot, and by October 19, after indescribably fierce fighting, the Second and Third Army Corps had been brought to a standstill on a line, from La Bassée through Armentieres, not noticeably differing from the position which our forces were destined to occupy for many months to come. The attempted flank attacks had become frontal all along the line, and in due course frontal attacks solidified into trench-warfare again." (The Irish Guards in the Great War, Kipling).

14 October 1914 (1) - With the Irish Guards

Postmark: Army Post Office 14 October 1914

"Cpl Seaman, Irish Guards... write and let me know if your money arrived... I can see about it as we are a long way from the fighting at present"

Corporal is underlined twice in the card - a promotion.  

"The opposing lines had been locked now for close upon a month and, as defences elaborated themselves, all hope of breaking-through vanished....  Orders came to the Battalion on Sunday, October 11, to be prepared to move at short notice, and new clothes were issued to the men, but they did not hand over their trenches to the French till the 13th October, when they marched to Perles in the evening and entrained on the 14th at Fismes a little after noon, reaching Hazebrouck." (The Irish Guards in the Great War, Kipling).

Saturday, October 11, 2014

11 October 1914 (2) - With the Irish Guards

Postmark: Army Post Office, 11 October 1914
"Just a card to let you know that I am still in the best of health.  Hoping you and Lucy are the same.
Write soon."

"The opposing lines had been locked now for close upon a month and, as defences elaborated themselves, all hope of breaking-through vanished. Both sides then opened that mutually outflanking movement towards the west which did not end till it reached the sea. Held up along their main front, the Germans struck at the Flanders plain, the Allies striving to meet the movement and envelop their right flank as it extended.

Orders came to the Battalion on Sunday, October 11, to be prepared to move at short notice, and new clothes were issued to the men... (The Irish Guards in the Great War, Kipling).

11 October 1914 (1) - With the Irish Guards

Postmark: Army Post Office, 11 October 1914
"Dearest wife, just a card to let you know I am still alive..."

"In twelve days the British Army had been driven back 140 miles as the crow flies from Mons, and farther, of course, by road. There was yet to be a further retirement of some fifteen miles south of Esbly ere the general advance began, but September 3 marks, as nearly: as may be, slack-water ere the ebb that followed of the triumphant German tidal wave through Belgium almost up to the outer forts of Paris.(The Irish Guards in the Great War, Kipling).

The Irish Guards then took part in the "Miracle" of the Marne, advancing again, retaking villages previously held by the Germans.  However, by October and the Battle of Aisne, a new type of warfare had arrived: trench warfare.