A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 267

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THE WORK OF THE AIRMEN


There was one lad with our battery who received a bullet in his arm first go oh at Mens, but kept on his mount until the Wednesday,whenhecollapsedatCambrai. Hehadanarrow shave from blood-poisoning, but the doctors and his own pluck brought him through. There was a man of the Bulls v^iio carried a wounded chum for over a mile under German fire. An incident of this time which necessitated superhuman exertions was the change of base from Boulogne and Havre to St.Nazaire. TheadvanceoftheGormanswestwardhadmade the former ports appear unsafe, and St. Nazaire on the Loire was thenchosen. Boulognewastheeasiertoclear,butthesituation at Havre was more difficult Some idea of the magnitude of the task is to be gairicd from the fact t^ai during four days (from August 30 to September 3) 2o,o(x>: officers and men, .7,000 horses and 60,000 tons of stores had been dispatched from Havre to St. Nazairc.

Of one arm of tiie service during the l-attlcs of Mous.and Le Gateau and during the retreat only passing niention lias been made. That is the Ro3'al Flying Corps, then testing its powers as a fighting force for the first time. It took the field under Brigadier General Henderson, with an advance base at Amiens and later at Maubeuge. Its arriv^al in France lias already been described, and without delay it took upon itself the. duties oC aerialreconnaissance. Tomakethefirstofllicscinanywarin the service of the British army was the privilege of Captain P. B. Joubert do la Fcrtc, of No. 3 squadron, in ct Blcriot, and Lieutenant G. W. Mapplebcck, of No. 4 squadron, in a B.E., on August 19, During the following days and during the rt'U'cal constant reconnaissances were made, which .were invaluable in sDotthig massed movements of the epemy. , One of the most \aluab'le of these was made on August 22, and rcpoilcd the massed troops of von Kluck's 2nd corps evidently engaged in an attempt at an enveloping mov'cment. During the retreat the R.F.C, found itself under the necessity of retiring its headquarters every day and, with its machines and [)ersoimcl, a great bulk of material upon which its very cxisiciice depended. Mostly during the short halts landing grounds had to be improvised, for no regular aerodrome w^as available, and alt thetimereconnaissanceworkhadtobecontinued. This,bythe way, did not concern only enemy movemont. During the con- fusion and reliremeut the R.F.C; observers rendered great help

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