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Welcome for the Indian troops in Marseilles, 1 August 1914 to 31 December 1915 (catalogue reference WO 95/3926)

This extract from a War Diary is dated 3 October 1914.

With the near decimation of the British Expeditionary Force at Le Cateau, 26 August 1914, reinforcements were desperately needed. But having no mass army and no conscription, the only available troops for immediate deployment were Indian soldiers. So Britain decided to bring to France Indian troops who had been scheduled to go to Egypt. Two Indian divisions arrived in Marseilles in September/October 1914. This war diary extract from shows the enthusiastic welcome the Indian troops received from the people of Marseilles.

Transcript (highlighted passage)

During the journey from MARSEILLES the troops had a magnificent reception from the people. Crowds were gathered at the stations where troop trains stopped and in many places along both sides of the Railway who cheered the troops. Along the whole route fruit of all kinds, coffee, biscuits and flags were given to the troops by the French people. Nothing could possibly have exceeded the kindness and hospitality with which the French Civilians and soldiers received all ranks.

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