News from the Front- what The Gazette was reporting in the week following the outbreak of the First World War.
An extract from The Gazette on Saturday, August 15, 1914 told of the first “trial of strength” between the allied forces and enemy forces.
“Significant silence from the principal seat of war on Wednesday morning indicated what must be the most tremendous battle, or series of battles, in the world’s history.
“It is to be the first real trial of strength between the allied forces and the legions of the Kaiser.
“For the most part, silence hangs over the movements of the French, Belgian and German forces. But there is sufficient to show that a huge clash of many hundreds of thousands of men is imminent near Louvain (near Brussels).”
The Gazette also included a ‘useful information’ section about the terms used when describing war.
“It might be helpful to the ordinary newspaper correspondent as well as to the ‘man on the street’, says a Star military correspondent, if a glossary of military terms and titles were published.
“We might not then get such stupid descriptions as “immense losses in action between patrols” or, as I read in a daily paper, “a number of French cavalry divisions have crossed the frontier.”
“Evidently the writer had patrols on his mind when he wrote divisions but for the enlightenment of the general public I may as well outline the size and strength of a division, for the word will be used and misused very frequently during the next few weeks.
“In an expeditionary force a cavalry division consists of cavalry headquarters and twelve regiments, artillery headquarters and six batteries of horse artillery, engineer headquarters and four field troops of Royal Engineers, a signals company, four field ambulances and a baggage train.”