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Our ‘Little Contemptibles’, 1914

Photo credit: National Army Museum

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Notes

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Composed of regular soldiers and reservists, the British Expeditionary Force landed on the Continent in August in 1914. During the early months of the First World War (1914–1918) it was engaged in slowing down the German advance. This painting depicts open warfare with British infantry wearing large packs; taking cover behind a hedge and German artillery in the distance. The title of the painting relates to an order given by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany (1859–1941) in August, 1914; ‘It is my Royal and Imperial Command that you concentrate your energies… and all the valour of my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English; walk over General French's insignificant (or contemptible) little Army.

National Army Museum

London


Date

c.1918

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 76.2 x W 142.5 cm (E)

Accession number

NAM. 1998-04-49

Acquisition method

purchased from David Cohen Fine Art Ltd, 1998

Work type

Painting


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National Army Museum

Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, Greater London SW3 4HT England

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