The book details the author’s experiences at the Battle of Mons with the 4th Bn Middlesex Regiment. After being slightly wounded and separated from his unit he teams up with eight fellow stragglers from various units and, being of the most senior rank, he finds himself in command of the ‘Phantom Brigade’ as they call themselves, and with the Germans never far behind – and sometimes in front of them – they try and find their way back to the main body of the BEF.
After recovering from wounds received at Mons, Vivian returned to France in March 1915, was wounded again in May 1915 and returned to England. A few months later he went back to France and was commissioned and then wounded again in June 1917. He then transferred to the RAF, in which he served until the end of the war.
PHANTOM BRIGADE OR THE CONTEMPTIBLE ADVENTURERS
An important account of another rank’s soldier during the early days of the British Expeditionary Force. Only covering the opening month of the Great War, it is a well-written and appealing account of the adventures of an ‘Old Contemptible’ during that turbulent August in 1914. It is based entirely on actual experience and covers the period from 4th August 1914 to 3rd September 1914.