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Active Service Pocket Book (1910)

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Lieutenant Bertrand Stewart


"For though it may be said that success in war is the outcome of the three Cs - Courage, Common-sense, and Cunning - yet study has also a great say in the matter".
Lieut-General Sir R. S. S. Baden-Powell

A rare 4th edition of the British Army Active Service Pocket Book, published in 1910. A vast compendium of information and advice, running to over 1000 pages, It proved to be a very popular book with serving officers, and at a 5th edition was published before the outbreak of the First World War. Encompassing almost everything a junior officer would need to know, the book covers a very wide range of military subjects, including: laws and customs of war, attack, defence, operations of mounted troops and infantry, counter attack, defence of woods, night operations, cavalry, artillery, compass work, frontier warfare, rearguards, outposts, fire discipline, machine guns, ammunition, cyclists, orders, horse management, transport, field engineering, explosives, demolitions, encampments, first aid, morse code, ciphers, aerial reconnaissance, etc. IIlustrated with diagrams, line drawings and photographs.

Bertrand Stewart (1872-1914) worked as a solicitor in London and fought in the Second Boer War and the First World War. When the Boer War started, Stewart had joined up as a private, and fought in British operations at Cape Colony, Orange River Colony, and the Transvaal. In 1906 he became an officer in the Queen's Own West Kent Yeomanry. In 1911, Stewart volunteered to spy on Germany while disguised as a tourist. He was arrested after receiving a code book from a German double agent. Stewart had been trying to gain information about the defences of the East Frisian islands and the Weser estuary. He was tried by the Supreme Court of the Empire at Leipzig on 31 January 1912, and after four days, he was found guilty and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in the Glatz Fortress. Stewart and another British spy, Captain Trench, were later pardoned and released by the German Kaiser as a favour to Ernest Augustus the Duke of Brunswick when Augustus married the Kaiser's daughter, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia. Stewart was annoyed at his imprisonment and sued the British government for £12,500 for damage to his health. When WW1 started, Stewart was given a position in the Intelligence Department on the Staff of Major General Allenby. Bertrand Stewart was killed in action on 10 September 1914 during the Battle of the Marne, when his unit was facing fierce German attacks near the River Vesle.


In good condition. The cover is in good condition, with general signs of wear and use, and some marks. The binding and hinges are good and secure. The text and illustrations are in good condition, with some marks.

Published: 1910
Leather-covered card cover with gilt titling
Illustrated with line drawings and diagrams
Dimensions: 105mm x 140mm
Pages: 1024