Friday 5 September 2014

The 1st Bedfords at Tournan-en-Brie

Tournan-en-Brie Chateau

Saturday 5th September 1914: Today the 1st Bedfords arrived in Tournan-en-Brie just over twenty miles south-west of Quincy after a night march. Our contact with the battalion reports: "We arrived at 8.30 am and after a short rest went blackberrying and collected quite a lot for our meal! By standing in a queue we managed to get a bath in the château. At a farm nearby we had an awful bargain for some chickens and after having had a good meal settled down to a good sleep. At night the order came through that the German army was in retreat and that the British army was to advance and crush them".

"Although we were elated at the news we were rather bored at the idea of having to move off and "crush" them as we thought we were going into a rest camp for a refit and we had been looking forward to it!" The Division is is a pretty bad state, very much under strength and has hardly a gun and we are all pretty well tired out". It does look as if the long retreat of two hundred miles and thirteen days from Mons is over.[1]

Sources: X550/2/5; X550/2/7

[1] 5th September 1914 is the date which historians judge the Battle of the Marne, which will last until 12th September, began. The majority of the fighting was done by the French, who had six full armies. These armies and the British Expeditionary force launched a counter-attack on the Germans which would drive them back forty miles north eastwards to the River Aisne. This counter-attack meant that the Germans would never reach Paris, the main goal of their advance. Altogether one million French and British fought 1.5 million Germans with around a quarter of a million casualties (of which around 80,000 each were fatalities) during the eight days of fighting.

No comments:

Post a Comment