At G.H.Q.


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Arguably the most personal of the major British command memoirs of WWI, covering the full duration of the conflict. Charteris was Haig's BGGS (Intelligence) from 1916 to 1918; his nickname 'The Principal Boy' derives from his early promotion (Brigadier-General at 38) and his perceived influence upon Haig himself.

“All of us who served through those four eventful years from August 1914 onwards, have stored in our memories recollections that we treasure. We can hardly expect that any of the years still remaining to us will rival in interest that period of our lives.

Many may have had the good fortune which was mine, that every scrap of writing sent home from the front was carefully preserved. Others also may have sought to frame from these letters for the benefit of their own families, some readable and coherent record of their doings and their thoughts in the years of crisis and strain. Such was my intention when I began the writing which has now developed into this volume. For, as I wrote, I found it necessary to refer to the records which I myself had of my work at G.H.Q. I had not kept a formal diary; but very early in my days at G.H.Q., I found it necessary to keep notes of my views from day to day, and in particular of the conversations which I had with many people in high places. A most careful and painstaking secretary had seen to it that all the letters which I received and wrote, other than those to my own home, were carefully filed.

From these records I have compiled this volume. It is published in the hope that it will serve to give some idea of the life and problems of G.H.Q., and perhaps throw some light on events that are still obscure.”—Brig.-Gen. John Charteris

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