Edward Gleichen commanded the 15th Infantry Brigade during the tumultous opening battles of the Great War. The division was mobilised by 10 August 1914, and fought in the opening battles at Mons, Le Cateau and the Marne. The 15th Infantry Brigade was a regular formation tht comprised four battalions from Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Dorset and Cheshire. Detailed accounts by battlefield commanders from 1914 are surprisingly rare. This long out of print account of the actions of the British Expeditionary Force, which was first published in 1917, was based on a diary of events written at the time by Brigadier General Edward Gleichen. It originally appeared under the title The Doings of the Fifteenth Infantry Brigade - August 1914 to March 1915. This volume is much more than a brigade diary, providing the reader with a detailed and privileged insight into the problems of command during the confused actions in Flanders and France from the perspective of the men who helped to forge the legend of the Old Comtemptables.
Major-General Lord Edward Gleichen was a British courtier and soldier. He was the only son of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a half-nephew of Queen Victoria. He joined the Grenadier Guards in 1881 and gradually rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a Major General. He was Sudan agent in Cairo from 1901 to 1903, then Military Attache to Berlin from 1903 to 1906. He and Kaiser Wilhelm II fell out, and Gleichen was sent to be Military Attache in Washington D.C. from 1906 1907. He was then Assistant Director of Military Operations from 1907 to 1911. He served the Great War, commanding the 15th Brigade from 1911-1915, and then the 37th Division from 1915-1916.