War in 1914 had been widely anticipated, but few on either side were prepared for the fury and carnage that modern weapons could unleash. It was the soldiers of the European armies who had to face the full force of this maelstrom, and none acquitted themselves better than the men of the British Expeditionary Force, both regulars and reservists alike. A group of old soldiers, with service under their belts in India and South Africa, have settled back into civilian life as best they can, but will soon find themselves facing the might of the German army across the canal at Mons. This is to be the start of three months of hardship, suffering, terror and violent death, culminating in the crucible of the First Battle of Ypres, and the start of the trench warfare which will characterize the rest of the war. The men will face it all through their comradeship, humour, and their pride and stubbornness as professional soldiers. Few might survive, but their example would set the standard for the armies which were to follow.