Two weeks after the German invasion in Belgium, German scouts on horseback, named 'Uhlans' were first spotted in the BIE-region. Dressed in long overcoats and top hats, and equipped with long lances, the scouts looked terrifying to the local population. The Uhlans scouted out the terrain and were employed to perform various acts of sabotage.
On 24 August 1914, a second wave of German scouts arrived at Lichtervelde. After clipping telephone and telegraph lines, stealing money and claiming horses from the local population, the Uhlans travelled on towards Torhout, Roeselare, Rumbeke and Ingelmunster. August 24th became known as “Flying Monday”. The arrival of the frightening German scouts caused a great number of panic-stricken civilians in the southern part of West Flanders to flee.