Monday, 2 November 2015

The King’s Order of the Day

Tuesday 2nd November 1915: The adjutant of the 2nd Battalion tells us of the special Order of the Day received from His Majesty the King yesterday. “I am happy to have found myself once more with my Armies. It is especially gratifying to me to have been able to see some of those that have been newly created. For I have watched with interest the growth of these Troops from the first days of Recruit Drill and through the different stages of training until their final inspection on the eve of departure for the Front as organised Divisions. Already they have justified the general conviction then formed of their splendid fighting worth. Since I was last among you, you have fought many strenuous battles. In all you have reaped renown and proved yourself at least equal to the highest traditions of the British Army. In company with our noble Allies you have baffled the infamous conspiracy against law and liberty in Europe, so long and insidiously prepared”.

“These achievements have involved vast sacrifices. But your countrymen who watch your campaign with sympathetic admiration will, I am well assured, spare no effort to fill your ranks and afford you all supplies. I have decorated many of you. But had I decorated all who deserve recognition for conspicuous valour, there would have been no limit, for the whole Army is illustrious. It is a matter of sincere regret to me that my accident(1) should have prevented my seeing all the Troops I had intended, but during my stay amongst you I have seen enough to fill my heart with admiration of your patient cheerful endurance of life in the trenches, a life either of weary monotony or of terrible tumult. It is the dogged endurance evinced by all ranks which will at last bring you to victory. Keep the goal in sight and remember it is the final lap that wins”.

Source: X550/3/wd

(1) George was inspecting 2 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps at Hesdigneul; without warning the men gave three cheers, the king’s horse reared in fright, he fell off and the horse fell on top of him. He was carried from the scene on a stretcher and taken in a hospital ship back to England where he made a full recovery; he was fifty years old at the time.

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