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The Fighting Retreat To Paris

Roger Ingpen

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .en was only that of prize riflemen firing at a disappearing target. There was no excitement, no nervousness; just cool, methodical efficiency. If the British lost heavily heaven only knows what the Germans must have lost, because, as one of their wounded officers (whom the British took prisoner) remarked, “We had never expected anything like it; it was staggering.”

The British troops went to their positions silently but happily. There was no singing, because that was forbidden, but as the khaki-29clad columns deployed and began to crawl to the trenches there were various sallies of humour in the different dialects of English, Irish, and Scottish counties. The Yorkshireman, for instance, would draw a comparison between the men they were going to fight and certain dogs that won’t fight which the Yorkshire collier has not time to waste upon at the pit-head; the Cockney soldier was there with his sallies about “Uncle Bill,” and e. . . Read More