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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Today's Independent on Sunday photograph


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Today's Independent on Sunday piece in its History of the First World War in 100 etc etc considers GHQ at Montreuil. Contents not too bad, though obviously it has an agenda and suffers somewhat from what it does not say (for example, the location of M sur M close to good rail links and roughly mid way down the British line; and the fact that Haig significantly more often than not was not there). The big irony, given that the text looks in some detail at the visit of George V in 1918, is that the photograph is not of Chateau Beaurepaire but of Val Vion (I am almost certain) and was taken in 1916 (you just have to look at the fact that Joffre is there, for example, to get a clue), which of course was not really a chateau (or at least not as popular imagination would have it) but rather a chateau-farm (at a push).

For anyone who has been to Chateau Beaurepaire (one cynic called it Chateau Mauvaisrepaire), one would realise that it was hardly an 'enchanted chateau'; it is actually rather small in the great scheme of things.

The swipe (or perhaps more accurately the implied swipe) about senior officers with Boer War medals - well, that should hardly be surprising, should it? The Boer War ended only a dozen years before the Great War started; I don't see people complaining about the fact that GHQs in the Second World War were filled with senior (and not so senior) officers who had similar rows of medal but from the Great War, some twenty five and more years earlier. Indeed, there were not an insignificant number of senior German and French officers who would have been carrying medals from the Franco-Prussian War, which ended forty three years before 1914.

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Any bets that newspaper editors have the smallest and draughtiest rooms in the building?

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