Major Bernard Law Montgomery

Despite being best known for his heroics in World War II, Bernard Montgomery also saw action in the First World War. Montgomery began the war as a full Lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in August 1914. At the time, Montgomery was only twenty-six years old. He joined the Warwickshire Regiment in 1908 at Peshawar after passing out of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. The Royal Warwickshire Regiment crossed over to France in August 1914 and narrowly missed the Battle of Mons. On August 26, 1914, Montgomery's regiment counterattacked a German Regiment and was left behind in the confusion that would become the Retreat from Mons. The regiment marched three days between the German Cavalry screen and German main column, eventually making it back to the British lines.

Montgomery later led his platoon in an attack on the village of Meteren on October 13, 1914. During the successful attack, Montgomery was shot in the chest and knee and evacuated to the Advanced Dressing Station. The doctors thought he had little chance of survival and a grave was dug. He eventually recovered and was evacuated to a hospital in England. After recovering from his wound, Montgomery returned to the front in 1916 as a Brigade Major and a member of the staff. He was present at the Battle of the Somme and began to develop his views concerning the distance between staff and troops. He believed the staff should serve the commander and troops, not the troops serve the staff. He was later attached to the 47th London Division and devised a system of information relay from the front to HG using wireless sets, which he would improve upon during the North African Campaign in WWII. Montgomery started the war as a lieutenant and ended as a chief of staff.

By Matt Church

Montgomery, Bernard. The Memoirs of Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, K.G. Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, 1958.

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