Category Archives: Speeches

3 October 1915



Message read to the 72nd Infantry Brigade at HOUTKERQUE France on Sunday 3rd October 1915.

General Mitford who is unwell and unable to be present to-day has asked me to say the following words to you on his behalf “72nd Infantry Brigade Last Sunday the Brigade went into action for the first time only a year after they came forward at their country’s call. The way the Brigade advanced under very heavy machine gun fire from flanks and rear has evoked the approbation of the Divisional and Corps Commanders. You were an example in steadiness and determination to carry out your task not only to the New Armies but to seasoned troops who could not have done better than you did. As I say you carried out your task but you had to retire. Yet do not think it was a failure for it was not, as you caused 16 of the enemy’s battalions of reserve to be brought up into our area and taken away from the French just south of us thereby enabling the French to make an appreciable advance. I should like all of you who know the relatives of those who are not with us to make known to them how gallantly they fought and how nobly they served their country in whose service they fell and what prestige they brought to the names of the regiments to which they belonged. Men of the Queens, Buffs, East Surreys, and West Kents you have added glory to the ancient regiments of which you are the children. You have made the 72nd Infantry Brigade a name which none of you can be other than proud of and which I know in the future you will never allow to diminish. I feel it a great honour to have had the chance of commanding such troops on service and I shall never forget the ground about HULLUCH village.