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Includes the First World War Illustrations Pack – 73 battle plans and diagrams and 198 photos
“An ‘Old Contemptible’ recounts the campaign of 1914.
At the outbreak of the First World War, units of the British regular army-the B. E. F-were despatched to the continent to assist the French in an attempt to stem the tide of the advancing Imperial German Army as it marched inexorably towards Paris. The enemy viewed the ‘Tommies’ as ‘that contemptible little army.’ In that way peculiar to the British the insult became a byword for courage and honour as the highly trained and motivated soldiers in khaki demonstrated just what a contemptible little army could do. However, this was a war of attrition and despite the ‘contemptibles’ magnificent performance the ‘grey horde’ could not initially be halted. What followed was the memorable retreat from Mons. The author of this book was a subaltern officer serving in one of the county regiments of the B. E. F and chose as his title for this book the proudly worn designation ‘Contemptible.’ Although the book was written under a pseudonym it is widely believed that the writer was Arnold Gyde who served with the South Staffordshire Regiment and was one of the first British soldiers to set foot on the continent. Although the account of this vital aspect of the opening months of the conflict is presented in a ‘factional’ style it is clearly based on the author’s first hand experiences.” -Print Ed.