19 SEPTEMBER 1931, Page 28

The 16th Foot (Constable, 5s.), which is a history of

the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, differs in three important respects from the ordinary run of regimental his- tories. In the first place it is the work of Major-General Sir Frederick Maurice, which ensures a treatment that joins a knowledge of military technique and military history to literary skill ; Sir Frederick's account of the Boer War, kr instance, is a model of clear, condensed writing. Then the author has not been content merely to portray the achieve- - meats of the regiment dining the Great -War ; he gives them a background by sketching the history of the corps from its first enrolment in 1685. When the regiment was horn, cavalry decided the fate of battles, and the bayonet was pushed down the barrel of the musket. At the present day cavalry will still decide the issue on land, only now the mobile soldier does not bestride his steed, but gets inside, it. And lastly the price of this first-rate bit of work is such as should place it within reach of all ranks. Very briefly the principal contents of the book include an account of the regiment's

career during the war of the League of Augsburg. and Marl- borough's wars, its achievements in the Napoleonic-wars and down to the comparatively insignificant Chitral campaign, the Boer War of 1899-1902, and then the War of Nations. As Sir Frederick says in his preface, it is curious that the English " but rarely display enthusiasm for the deeds of their County Regiments," and yet it is on them that our Empire has chiefly depended both in peace and war.