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75,000 or 80,000 men. It had been landed

at Boulogne and other French ports, and

mobilization and transportation had occupied about sixteen days. The British

considered this a great record, and, compared with past performances, it was;

compared with what the Germans and

French had done, it was slow work. If

the force had arrived three or four days

earlier, it could have been of great assistance at Namur.

However, it was a splendid little army,

being composed in large part of officers

and men who had fought in petty wars

in many parts of the world and hence

were not going under fire for the first

time. It was somewhat weak in artillery

and machine guns; but it was made up in

large part of skilled marksmen, trained to

fight in open order and to shoot coolly and

painstakingly at a definite mark. It could

probably have whipped anything of its

size in the world. It was to need all its

skill and resourcefulness during the next

three weeks-and after.

The commander of the British Expeditionary Force was Field Marshal Sir

John D. P. French. He was born in

Kent, in 1852, and was of Irish descent.

He had been destined by his parents for

the church but at the age of 14 he entered

the navy and in 1874 transferred to the

army. He fought in the Soudan against

the Dervishes and won high reputation

as a cavalry commander in the Boer War.

With the exception of Earl Kitchener and

Lord Roberts, the latter of whom was now

too old for active service, he was now the

most distinguished British soldier. He had

been out of sympathy with the Home Rule

policy of his government and had resigned

his commission, but he was now restored

to the service and put in active command.

The arrival of the British army did a

vast deal to hearten the French-in fact,

its moral value was several times its actual

strength. Never had been surpassed the

transports of enthusiasm with which the

grateful French had greeted the grinning

"Tommies." The kilted bare-kneed Highlanders, in particular, came in for careful

scrutiny, and the weird, haunting music

of the bagpipes was always sure to collect

a crowd. The dress of the Highlanders

was soon to draw from the Germans taunts

about "women," but, after a few hand

to hand meetings with the doughty Scots,

the soldiers of the Kaiser were to decide

that the proper name for them was "the

Ladies from Hell."

Each man of the expeditionary force

carried in his pack a parting letter from

the grim head of the British war office - Earl Kitchener of Khartourn-setting forth

that he was to remember that the honor

of the British army depended upon him,

and that to his allies he must "be invariably

courteous, considerate, and kind. Never

do anything likely to injure or destroy

property, and always look upon looting

as a disgraceful act. . . . Keep on your guard

against any excesses. In this new experience, you may find temptations-in wine

and women. You must entirely resist

both temptations, and, while treating all

women with perfect courtesy, you should

avoid all intimacy."

The British army formed the extreme

left of the Allied forces, and it extended

on either side of the town of Mons, with

the fortress of Maubeuge a dozen miles

or so in the rear. On the British right,