I wish particularly to bring to your Lordship’s notice the admirable work done by the Royal Flying Corps under Sir David Henderson. Their skill, energy, and perseverance [Transcriber: original ‘perseverence’] have been beyond all praise. They have furnished me with the most complete and accurate information, which has been of incalculable value in the conduct of the operations. Fired at constantly both by friend and foe, and not hesitating to fly in every kind of weather, they have remained undaunted throughout.
Further, by actually fighting in the air, they have succeeded in destroying five of the enemy’s machines.
I wish to acknowledge with deep gratitude the incalculable assistance I received from the General and Personal Staffs at Headquarters during this trying period.
Lieut. Gen. Sir Archibald Murray, Chief of the General Staff; Major Gen. Wilson, Sub-Chief of the General Staff; and all under them have worked day and night unceasingly with the utmost skill, self-sacrifice, and devotion; and the same acknowledgment is due by me to Brig. Gen. Hon. W. Lambton, my Military Secretary, and the personal Staff.
In such operations as I have described the work of the Quartermaster General is of an extremely onerous nature. Major Gen. Sir William Robertson has met what appeared to be almost insuperable difficulties with his characteristic energy, skill, and determination; and it is largely owing to his exertions that the hardships and sufferings of the troops—inseparable from such operations—were not much greater.
[Illustration: Map. 2.—The retreat continued. From Compiegne, Sept. 1, to the new position south of Meaux, Sept. 3 and 4.]
[Illustration: Map 3.—Commencement of the battle of the Marne, Sept. 6 (Sunday), morning. Concentration of the Germans on a central point, and the position of the British force when it resumed the offensive.]
Major Gen. Sir Nevil Macready, the Adjutant General, has also been confronted with most onerous and difficult tasks in connection with disciplinary arrangements and the preparation of casualty lists. He has been indefatigable in his exertions to meet the difficult situations which arose.
I have not yet been able to complete the list of officers whose names I desire to bring to your Lordship’s notice for services rendered during the period under review; and, as I understand it is of importance that this dispatch should no longer be delayed, I propose to forward this list, separately, as soon as I can. I have the honor to be,
Your Lordship’s most obedient Servant,
(Signed) J.D.P. French,
Commander in Chief, British Forces in the Field.
The Battle of the Marne.
17th September, 1914.
My lord: In continuation of my dispatch of Sept. 7, I have the honor to report the further progress of the operations of the forces under my command from Aug. 28.