Loyal duty

Correspondence of General Willcocks, 1914-16 (catalogue reference PRO 30/57/52)

This missive from General Willcocks, commander of the Indian Corps, to Lord Kitchener is dated 13 January 1915. It highlights the fighting qualities of Indian soldiers and emphasises that they see it as their duty to serve Britain with loyalty.

Transcript (highlighted passages)

… Barring one or two Battalions the Indian troops have fought and served with a espirit that deserves the highest praise. Some of these have been clean knocked out of tune, but in these days of necessity, all believe that it is their duty to serve the Sirkar to death. We all well know how difficult it is to replace Battalions but whatever our wishes or hopes it is plain none of our units can be relieved and we fully accept the position.

… The food, clothing and necessaries for my army corps have been of the very best. No army from India has ever been so generously treated and all ranks realise this fully.

… The loyalty and endurance of the Indian troops is in my opinion beyond all praise.

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