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Robert Dunlop

Audregnies

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Robert Dunlop

By Philip Watson (ISBN 978-1-911628-97-2). Subtitled: 'The Flank Guard Action and the First Cavalry Charge of the Great War, 24 August 1914'.

 

Philip Watson served as a sergeant in the 9th/12th Royal Lancers during Operation Granby in 1990. In the preface to this book, he talks about his experiences from the time his regiment was warned-off through to his return to the UK. Watson refers to these experiences as a 'bottom up' view of the campaign, where his personal perspective was focused on 'those around me and above me who might cause me to lose my life...' He wanted to capture 'the essence of how it feels to be a soldier', specifically in relation to the famous first (British) cavalry charge at Audregnies on the day after the Battle of Mons. Watson has done a fabulous job in collating together a myriad of personal accounts that trace from the build up to the war, through mobilisation, embarkation, crossing the channel, and thence to Audregnies and Élouges via the Battle of Mons. The accounts are interwoven with strategic and operational details, including the German view. The fateful charge was carried out by the 4th Dragoon Guards and 9th Lancers but the author has provided extensive details of other cavalry units as well as the Cheshire. and Norfolk Infantry Regiments. The details are supported by numerous maps and photographs, including several colour photos of the area today. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand the 'bottom up' experience of cavalry and infantry in the first weeks of the war.

 

Robert 

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Steven Broomfield

Thanks. £21.51 on Amazon

 

 

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HHQ 9/12L

Dear Robert - I am glad you enjoyed my book.  As a direct result of it being published I have received 5 more primary sources of information regarding the Cheshires - the story is far from over!!!

 

Phil 

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lostinspace

On the recommendation of another forum member I've just ordered this book. Apparently, the author went to the trouble of researching the actual location of the "old windmill" at Audregnies instead of regurgitating the previous decades of "common wisdom". See "Mons" (Jack Horsfall & Nigel Cave) page 181, #12 "Windmill bayonet charge". I give the authors a pass since there is a small photo of the actual mill on page 183, and I doubt they provided all the supporting maps. Perhaps an overeager editor trying to make the last gasp charge by the Cheshires even more impressive.
 

Dave

 

 

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lostinspace

Well, fair is fair. I'm wrong about Major Watson's book being the first published description of the exact location of the "old windmill" at Audregnies. Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland thoroughly explained it in their "Retreat from Mons 1914: North: Casteau to Le Cateau, the Western Front" in 2014. I apologize for the misinformation.
 

Dave

 

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Robert Dunlop
On 18/02/2020 at 10:10, HHQ 9/12L said:

As a direct result of it being published I have received 5 more primary sources of information regarding the Cheshires - the story is far from over!!! 

That's excellent, Phil. Thank you for the references from the work that we translated - the German Official History of the Battle of Mons. Robert

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