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Now It Can Be Told
by Philip Gibbs
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Sir Philip Gibbs (1877-1962) served as one of five official British reporters during the First World War. Born in London the son of a civil servant, Gibbs received a home education and determined at an early age to develop a career as a writer. His debut article was published in 1894 in the Daily Chronicle; five years later he published the first of many books, Founders of the Empire. His wartime output was prodigious. He not only produced a stream of newspaper articles but also a series of books: The Soul of the War (1915), The Battle of the Somme (1917), Now It Can Be Told (1920) and The Realities of War (1920).
By the time stationary warfare had been established on the western front in trench lines from the sea to Switzerland, the British Regular Army had withered away. That was after the retreat from Mons, the victory of the Marne, the early battles round Ypres, and the slaughter at Neuve Chapelle. The "Old Contemptibles" were an army of ghosts whose dead clay was under earth in many fields of France, but whose spirit still "carried on" as an heroic tradition.
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