Western Mail, 19 August 1914

Shoulder To Shoulder + Zoom In
TOMMY: "Bong shoor, Johnnie! I've come." The British Expeditionary Force lands in France and marches to the Front.

Once Britain had declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914 it became imperative to get the British Expeditionary Force over to France as quickly as possible as the Germans marched through Belgium. The first units arrived there on 7 August 1914 with the rest (4 Divisions and 1 Cavalry Division) following on 16 August 1914, though this was not announced in the Press until 18 August 1914. Following General Henry Wilson's in arrival at the War Office in 1910, plans had been put into place for the deployment of the BEF in northern France on the left flank of the of the French Army to the north of Maubeuge. In the cartoon Staniforth shows a British Soldier dressed in his Khaki uniform standing next to a French soldier wearing a kepi, blue jacket and red trousers. Staniforth uses to two phrases to show the optimism of the time: 'Shoulder to shoulder' in the heading for the cartoon and 'I've come'. By 22 August 1914 both armies would be involved in the Battle of Mons. Staniforth also used 'Tommy' as the British soldier, a nickname [from the eponymous Thomas Atkins] that goes back to the Napoleonic Wars. 'Johnnie' is 'Johnnie Crapaud' -- a rather derogatory reference to a Frenchman.

Events: None assigned

Topics: Recruiting, Western Front

Individuals: Tommy Atkins

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