SIR - Today, August 26, marks 100 years since the battle of Le Cateau, fought by II Corps (commanded by General Sir Horace Smith-Dorien) during the retreat from Mons. The British Army had separated into two halves when I Corps and II Corps marched on opposite sides of a forest. There was no mud, the only trenches were scraped out and dug in the four hours before the German First Army attacked at 0600, no slaughter and the officers, including generals, directed their men from horseback as they rode the front line. Withdrawal was ordered at 1430 and during the withdrawal Lance-Corporal Frederick Holmes of the 2nd Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery under fire. He carried a wounded comrade back to find the stretcher bearers then, trying to find his battalion, he helped to harness and drive away a field gun by taking the place of a wounded driver. We should not see the battles of the Great War simply as sacrificed young men, we should also honour their bravery, their courage and their selflessness.
Peter J Palmer, Buttermere Road, Bradford