This book covers the whole war but deals only with the regular 1st Battalion. No attempts are made to glorify achievements, nor are moments of error concealed. This book shows the war as it was: brutal chaotic and horrifying. At no time was this seen more clearly than in the months of 1914 when the British Expeditionary Force carried out a fighting withdrawal almost to the outskirts of Paris. The 1st Battalion Royal Berkshires suffered great hardships during this period. Yet this baptism of war hardened the core of the battalion. By early 1915 they were ready to challenge the might of the German Imperial Army and to undertake successful operations like that at Festubert. This, and the many other battles of Loos, The Somme, Arras, Cambrai and those in 1918, make fasinating reading.
The details of the battalions routines during periods in reserve, or when out of the line, are particularly interesting, giving as they do a semblance of calm and normality in what was, in reality, a very unpleasant period. An excellent piece of research by Ian CULL and the team from Reading.