8th September 1914

No diary entry.

III Corps came up near La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, the point of junction of the River Petit Morin and the Marne. The 4th Division (including Beck’s battalion, the 1st Warwickshires) came up against strong opposition and had to wait for artillery support. By evening a portion of the town was in British hands. It is reported that there was a huge thunderstorm at 6pm.

6th September 1914

No diary entry.

There was more marching in store for Beck and his battalion, along with tedious halts and checks due to the congestion of traffic and the chaos in the villages that had been entered, despoiled and abandoned by the enemy. The troops crossed the Marne river at Charly. There was some confused fighting during the day, with the Warwickshires in the 4th Division on the left flank.

5th September 1914

No diary entry.

The 5th September was the last day of retreat for the British and the first of a counter strike by the French. The Marne was to be a gigantic action on a scale that the world had never seen yet, in which the British were only a small fraction of the total allied forces employed. The 4th Division, including the Beck’s battalion, had begun to march south.

1st Sept

The date is written but there is no entry on this day – the retreat continues

Sir John French the Commander in Chief of the BEF [British Expeditionary Force] decided that the safety of his troops depended on his conforming to the movements of the French. It was agreed that the Franco-British Armies should fall back to the River Marne so the last stage of the Retreat began. Continue reading