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John French

French portrait postcard of Sir John French in Uniform, Commander in Chief of the British Army in France at the beginning of the war.
Text:
Sir John French
Commandant en Chef de l´Armée Britannique
d'Après L'Illustration
Commander in Chief of the British Army
After L'Illustration
Reverse:
Postmarked Geneva 1915
Ma chere Claire
Je suis les Ordres de M. Gantes et vous repond d'apres sa dictées
En repons a vos vers charmants qui m'ont touchée profondement Je repond soyez sure bien tendrement en vous exprimant mes voeux les plus Ardents. M. Gantes
Vous les faites mieux que lui.
Votre petit Margot

My dear Claire
I am commanded by Mr. Stretchers and respond to you after his dictation
In response to your charming verses that touched me deeply, I answer be safe, tenderly expressing my wishes to you most ardently, Mr. Stretchers
You can do better than him.
Your little Margot

French portrait postcard of Sir John French in Uniform, Commander in Chief of the British Army in France at the beginning of the war.

Image text

Sir John French

Commandant en Chef de l´Armée Britannique

d'Après L'Illustration

Commander in Chief of the British Army

After L'Illustration



Reverse:

Postmarked Geneva 1915

Ma chere Claire

Je suis les Ordres de M. Gantes et vous repond d'apres sa dictées

En repons a vos vers charmants qui m'ont touchée profondement Je repond soyez sure bien tendrement en vous exprimant mes voeux les plus Ardents. M. Gantes

Vous les faites mieux que lui.

Votre petit Margot



My dear Claire

I am commanded by Mr. Stretchers and respond to you after his dictation

In response to your charming verses that touched me deeply, I answer be safe, tenderly expressing my wishes to you most ardently, Mr. Stretchers

You can do better than him.

Your little Margot

Other views: Larger, Back

Sir John French was Commander-in-Chief of British forces on the continent, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), from August 1914 to December 10, 1915, when he was replaced by General Douglas Haig.

Sir John had a poor relationship with the French, particularly with General Lanrezac, commander of the Fifth Army, to the left of which the BEF was to position upon reaching the continent. During the Allied retreat before the Battle of the Marne, he was prepared to return to the Channel and Britain. In the Battle of the Marne, the Allied commanders were slow to pursue the retreating German forces. The path before the British was open, and they suffered few casualties during the campaign.

During the Race to the Sea, the repeated attempts of each side to outflank the other that ended only when the opponents reached the Channel coast, the British were tasked with preventing the German seizure of Lille, an industrial center in northern France. Their failure to do so convinced French commander Joseph Joffre that he could not rely upon Sir John and his British troops.

In the fall of 1915, in the House of Lords, speakers began referring to the just-concluded Battle of Loos and the Battle of Neuve Chappelle fought six months earlier as "defeats." The shell shortage, the failure of the Dardanelles naval campaign, and what was increasingly looking like the failure of the Gallipoli campaign, put French's position at risk. Through writing privately to Kitchener and other means, including his close relationship with the King, General Douglas Haig managed to get French removed.

Great Britain