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This amalgamation joined north and south Middlesex under one Battalion, to be called the London Regiment, Territorial Force Association. Lord Truro and Lord Ranelagh decided on a grey uniform with red facings, a shako with a glazed peak. The belts were to be black and the uniform trimmings were of buff laces with silver appointments. To contain an assortment of necessary items a starched white haversack completed the uniform.

Thereafter the Regiment was referred to as the 13th London Regiment. The Princess Louise, four years later, consented to give her name to the Regiment. In , the 1st Battalion were billeted in the White city stadium were there waiting to go to France - with The Expeditionary Force. From the 27th July , Britain began to respond to the gathering crisis in Germany.

Two days later, all British troops on leave were recalled and the army was mobilized. Lord Kitchener, the new Secretary of State, appealed for volunteers. An Expeditionary Force of six divisions [80, men] set sail for France… they arrived on the 6th August and moving northeast reached the small town of Mons, in Belgium.

The first contact with the enemy was on the 22nd August. At 10pm that night they receive orders to report to their Drill Hall. Full marks must be given to their commander - that they were able to mobilize quickly, under their commanding officer Lieut. The losses were high and as the Germans were also attacking Russia… they were occupied of two fronts.

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They were following the Schlieffen Plan to outflank the Allies — to cut them off — from using the channel ports. Three hours later eight German battalions advanced against two battalions of the 3rd Infantry Division. D and B Companies of the 4th Middlesex Regiment were overwhelmed by the 31st. These three comprised the German 18th Division. By mid-day, the British began a withdrawal.

To assist them, they requested reinforcement from the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish.

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They were to form part of the then 24th Brigade, 8th Division. The Army was made up of four infantry and one cavalry division. A division at this time equalled about eighteen thousand men — this sum included support troops. Two or more divisions made up a corps and two or more corps made an army. The landings were completed by the middle of August. Almost immediately they had gone into the line alongside the French Army, trying to stem the tide of the German advance.

The object was to hold the line located by the Mons-Conde Canal in Belgium. In manpower the German and French armies were equal at a million each. The British totalled eighty thousand The German Schlieffen Plans, which entailed encircling the Allies, had been carefully planned long in advance. The BEF were crucial in keeping the line intact by stopping the German right wing. Whilst the British troops were heavily engaged the French 5th Army was engaged with the German 2nd and 3rd armies at the Battle of Charleroi.

The BEF dug them in preparation for the onslaught that was bound to happen. The battle opened at dawn on the 23rd August, with a German bombardment. There were four bridges over the canal… these the Germans had to force. Advancing in close-order, parade ground fashion, the advancing Germans were skittle down and forced to retire in confusion. Another attack was formed only this time in loose formation… this was more successful; using the plantations of fir-trees to shied them.

Fortunately the reserve battalion, the Royal Irish, gave sufficient steadying power to hold the bridges. Throughout the day the British II Corps held out. It was obvious to all that holding the bridges were not going to last. The Kensingtons had suffered 15 officers and killed or wounded nearly half the total. To the east the Germans had penetrated the parameter turning the right flank. After initially digging in - after becoming used to the place, they were ordered to retire — so as not to be cut off… by the Commander-in-Chief, General Joffre… after the French Army had been defeated at the Battle of Charleroi.

At Straightening the line the 5th Division also retired establishing a line through the villages. As news was received about the French collapse — pulling back exposing the British right flank, a further withdrawal was scheduled for that night. It was an invidious position to be in.

There had not been time to organise a proper holding action. All the time the Germans were advancing. This retreat lasted two weeks and covered miles.

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The battle had been won by the Germans although at a tremendous price of 5, casualties. The advance nearly took them to Paris. The remainder of the German 1st Army had by this time arrived.

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Although the Germans advanced they lost considerably more men — it was considered a great strategic withdrawal… saving the French line from total collapse. The 4th Royal Fusiliers defended the northern approaches to Mons. Early that afternoon the British could see they were unable to withstand the pressure.

The French army was retreating south together with the Belgian army. The British had their flank exposed and in danger of being cut off, falling back to Etreux on the 27th August. This was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force — the retreat from Belgium to the Marne. The BEF was then moved to Flanders to be in easy reach of their supply base at the channel ports… arriving the second week of October. The fighting in Belgium and France was along traditional lines, which was of armies surging backwards and forwards… in what is known as engaging if forward and retiring movements.

At the beginning of September the Allied retreat slowed down as the Germans lost impetuous becoming further from their supply base. This resulted in the Battle of the Marne which halted the German spearhead lasting until the middle of the month.

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After the battle it was decided to move the BEF north to Flanders convenient to the channel ports. Three days later the last gap in the Allied line was secured. Early on 3rd November , the Kensington Battalion marching behind their band to Watford and entrained for Southampton. Embarkation was complete by the following morning.

The next day mounting railway trucks they steamed off for St Omer grasping their long Lee-Enfield rifles reaching their destination on the 6th. A period of training followed at Blendecques. The major battle that first year for the British was the 1st Battle of Ypres fought October 19th. That month the Allies had reached Nieuport on the North Sea coast. The Germans captured Antwerp and forced its defender back. The 8th Division had been redeployed north to join two divisions of reinforcements recently landed in Belgium. The Division was lined up from La Bassee to Messines, there was little activity but you could hear the battle raging to the north.

The French Army Command and General Foch believed a coordinated attack would result in the recapture of the industrial city of Lille, then Belgium finally capturing Brussels.

Prelude to War (Descent of Kings, #1) by Maria Albert

The German general Falkenhayn had other opinions. He ordered the capture of Dunkirk, Calais, and Boulogne. He struck the Belgian defences on the Yser River. By far it was the worst battle fought — there was an almighty clash of troops. Only a few miles down the road was Ypres. There was constant hand to hand fighting as the battle swayed from one side to the other.

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The problem for the British was that the position was vulnerable to superior German artillery. The Innocents being eight German units of young volunteers many of them students. Almost immediately there came the four day Battle of the Aisne. The method of waging war changed to one of stagnation as each side settled down and dug Battle Lines.

Henceforth the artillery and its insatiable appetite for ammunition and the strung barbed wire developed into the Western Front. At the start of November , the Kensingtons were attached to the 8th Division as part of the 25th Infantry Brigade. The gradually retreated from prepared positions to the south of Mons losing a third of their men. It had been a difficult initiation but the coped well a tribute to their previous training. Now it was going to be a hard slog — fortunately they did not know then how hard it was going to be…. During the 14th November , the Kensingtons marched to Estaires.

This small mill town on the banks of the Lys was to become very familiar to the Battalion. The low-lying land around the river and bridge; the lined cobbled roads shaded by tall poplars on either side echoed to the sound of marching feet. He recognised the enormous efforts made and made reference to it.


The 8th Division went into the line just south of the Belgian frontier, close to Armentieres. Rating details. Sort order. Apr 22, Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews rated it it was amazing Shelves: high-fantasy. Eladar is given the task of meeting Talon, but Talon is late. This is just the beginning of the journey that brings these men together throughout the story in adventures, danger, rescues, love and loss.

Well, this is a very complex story that is just the beginning of a fantastic series. There are many characters that we follow as they journey across land and sea each on their own journey, but crossing paths with other characters that will affect their lives. The story begins with Hardred and Alnas working as guards on a caravan when they come across a boat stuck in the river, they lend a hand to Oberas, but Hardred disappears while chopping down an underwater tree.

We are then introduced to Eladar, a water elf, who is waiting for his brothers friend, he pulls Hardred from the water and revives him just as Talon and his cousin Beryl show up, they join up briefly with the land caravan and water caravan and we discover Oberas and Eladar are previously acquainted. We then head straight to the town where they are all heading, Ardock, and young Rion who wants to be an apprentice trader with Oberas. This story jumps from character to character but shows it clearly, it also jumps from place to place so we could be in the forest, water or town depending on who we visit next.

Although we learn some of what is happening there is much left unsaid, just who are Talon and Beryl? Just who is their Enemy? What is going on? This story is just what it says it is, the prelude. We become invested in the characters as we discover more about them, but we are left with the mystery of why they are so important. There is danger, rescues, escapes, death, loss, fear, anger, happiness, developing love and young crushes. There are many threads to this story that twist and twine around the characters, there are also many more characters that we meet who will probably also be important to future books and there are three more to come.

This story is a bit confusing especially with names as some characters have more than one, you also begin to wonder where the story is going because it is complex with the different species of humanoids; water elves, wood elves, humans, Amontirs, the Enemy and nothing seems to get answered. I will recommend this story to those who love high fantasy, a complex in-depth storyline, new budding relationships and an ending that leaves you wanting more. View all 4 comments. Sep 28, Catherine Wolfe rated it it was amazing. After the first few pages I was sorely tempted to put this book aside.

As a reader you are dropped into the story with very little exposition, and the number of characters thrown at you seems daunting at first. So many of the names are the same, especially in family members; then you realize that many of the characters have 'travel names' as well as actual names, and when you realize later in the novel that some characters also have 'true names', well, that can be a little overwhelming.

For a wh After the first few pages I was sorely tempted to put this book aside. For a while I wished for a cast of characters at the start of the novel, but quickly dropped that idea. It would have meant wasting an enormous amount of time flipping back and forth that could have been better spent reading the novel. And I am so glad I persisted. Once I had adjusted to the number of characters I wondered how I ever had a problem, and I would have missed out on a wonderful fantasy novel had I not finished it.

It would be a waste of time to try and explain the plot giving any more detail than the information found in the publisher's blurb. There is simply too much plot happening in too many places starring too many characters to shrink it down to a couple of paragraphs. The chapters which at close to an average of 35 pages are very long , switch between one set of characters and another, and it is to the author's credit that when coming to the end of any chapter I cried Nooooo, for I desperately wanted to continue with the adventures of the characters in that chapter.

The novel is at times joyful, suspenseful, and sad. Beware that characters you grow to like do die in this novel. Also, if you want long and vivid sex scenes, well, this is not the book for you. There is one couple with a lot of promise for more , and their relationship is only mentioned a couple of times in passing. Oddly enough, although I enjoy well-written sex scenes as well as anyone, I didn't miss them at all here.

The last chapter of the novel flits back and forth between the cast of characters rapidly, as the suspense mounts in expectation of the tumultuous and deadly times that look to be ahead. My next purchase of books will have to include the next in the series, Heir to the Throne, for I am anxious to find out what happens to my favourite characters. I just hope it won't be months before the final two books in the quartet are released. One small niggle I did have with the book concerned the writing style. Until I got used to it, I found it a bit, well, stilted is the best description I can find.

That quickly ceased to be a distraction, as the plot completely sucked me in. A definite 4. Feb 11, Coty rated it really liked it Shelves: kindle , glbt , fantasy , magic , magic-user-witch-wizard-sorcerer , mm-romance , own. Great adventure story with Elves, Dwarves, Wizards and lots of fantastic creatures.