WW I Aug 15 Headline

August 15, 1914, London Daily Telegraph

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British troop transports make 137 separate crossings of the Channel from August 14 to 18 bringing the British Expeditionary Forces from Portsmouth, England to Havre, France, some 80,000 troops, 30,000 horses, 315 field guns, and 125 machine guns … not what was planned or promised to the French, but ordered by British War Minister, Lord Kitchener, predicting a long war and the need to build troop levels for the future.

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WW I Aug 15 Japan

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Rudyard Kipling’s “Hymn Before Action” appears on the same page as the war news, in the Telegraph. What was to become known as War Poetry of WW I has not yet been invented….

HYMN BEFORE ACTION

THE earth is full of anger,
The seas are dark with wrath,
The Nations in their harness
Go up against our path:
Ere yet we loose the legions—
Ere yet we draw the blade,
Jehovah of the Thunders,
Lord God of Battles, aid!

High lust and froward bearing,
Proud heart, rebellious brow—
Deaf ear and soul uncaring,
We seek Thy mercy now!
The sinner that forswore Thee,
The fool that passed Thee by,
Our times are known before Thee—
Lord, grant us strength to die!

From panic, pride and terror,
Revenge that knows no rein,
Light haste and lawless error,
Protect us yet again,

Cloak Thou our undeserving,
Make firm the shuddering breath,
In silence and unswerving
To taste Thy lesser death!

Ah! Mary, pierced with sorrow,
Remember, reach and save
The soul that comes to-morrow
Before the God that gave;
Since each was born of woman,
For each at utter need—
True comrade and true foeman—
Madonna, Intercede!

E’en now their vanguard gathers,
E’en now we face the fray—
As Thou didst help our fathers,
Help Thou our host to-day!
Fulfilled of signs and wonders,
In life, in death made clear—
Jehovah of the Thunders,
Lord God of Battles, hear!

 

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