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THE KING'S VISIT TO THE TRENCHES

- HEARTY RECEPTION BY HIS TROOPS. With chivalry worthy of his great ancestry and his illustrious Throne, King George has gone to the front, and tor the first time for close- upon 200 years a monarch of these realms stands upon a t ontinental battlefield surrounded by a British Army. The King's departure was announced officially as follows:-

The King travelled over to 1 ranee on Sunday night (November 00l to visit tile General Headquarters of the Expeditionary Force. He was accompanied by Lord Starafordham and Major digram.

His Majesty and the members of Ins suite left "Buckingham Palace- at about 3 p.m. and proceeded to the coast, where a warship was in waiting to convey them across the Channel. On many occasions since the beginning of the war the keen &hxietv and solicitude with whicn the King "has followed the fortunes of his Army have been evident, and it is well understood that, had it been possible or desirable. His Majesty would have made the visit now announced at an even earlier stage m the operations. His visit to the actual scene "of the operations is but an additional illustration of the deep personal attachment ho feels towards the Army, and there is little doubt that it will give additional courage and valor to the troops.to whose magnificent conduct in the held Hii- John French has paid such eloquent tribute. Already we know how inspiring the visits- paid by the Tsar to his soldiers in Poland have been, while the wonderful bravery displayed by King Albeit in Belgium 'is one "of the epics of the war. These monarehs, however, were in their, own country. It was left for King George to cross, to'foreign soil for the purpose ot chcerintj and encouraging his forces m their tremendous struggle. The last time a British King was actually present with his troops when fighting on a foreign soil was at the battle of Dettingen, wnere--42,000 men—English, Hanoverians, and \iistrians. under the command of King George TL— routed superior forcesooff f the French under the Due de Xoailles. Ihis was on June, 22, 1743. The King, accompanied by the Dnkci of Cumberland, haa arrived in Flanders to find the army under Lord Stair in an extremely perilous position. Here is the story as history tells it: "King George at once left the rear and put himself at the head of his army. There seemed no course but _to cut his war through De Gramnwnt's forces. This commander, however, thinking himself engaged with the advanced troops of the English Army only, and thinking to crush them, rashly" left'his strong position and crossed the ravine. He found himself in front of the whole English Army. The King's horse had run away with him, and he had dismounted and put himself at the head of his troops. Addressing to them a few inspiring words, he led them to the attack with much gallantry." The net result was that the' French troops were defeated, and left 6.000 dead on the field. RECEIVED BY THE PRINCE OF WALE?'. BRILLIANT SCENE AT BRITISH HEADQUARTERS. H;,s Majesty., on arrival in France, was received by the Prince of Wales, will bo* remembered, joined Sir John French's staff only three weeks earlier. ( His Majesty proceeded by motor to the General Headquarters of the British Army, and there he was visited by President Fointare. the French Prime Minister, M. Yiviani, ai.d General Jotfiv. The staff of otiiceis who attended the King was headed by Sir John French, the British commander. Ther was a long and extremely intimate conversation l>etweyn the King and t-Jie President. Then His Majesty took the- opportunity of personally congratulating General Joftre on the success which hai rewarded his command, and on the valor of the French troops. Subsequently His Majesty and the French President motored out together to the- British front in an open car. During the whole of the journey the population turned out en masse and cheered themselves hoarse as the motor car sped along the roads. The- King and the President drove right into the midst of the British lines, and made a thorough inspection of the numerous object 3 of interest connected with the provisioning and supply of a great army in the, field. In the evning M. Poincare was invited by His Majesty to remain to dinner at the' British Headquarters at the front. Among those present at this historic gathering were the Prince of Wales, General French, M. Viviani, General Duparge, and Colonels Huguct- and Penelon. The jame night M. Poincaw- and M. Viviani returned to Paris —Bivouacs With His Soldiers.—

With the true instinct of his sailor upbringing the King spared no pains to see iT.d "understand for himself all the hardships of life in the fighting line. One. of tic most thrilling ot His Majesty's experiences occurred when, guided by two high staff officers, he visited a number of bivouacs, and even entered the trenches. He talked with the men by their camp tires, and although the nature of the visit prevented anything iu the' way of a demonstration, it was wonderful to see the delight and enthusiasm awakened by the Royal visit.- What touched them all «'as the King's keen personal interest in their welfare. His eagerness to'know liow they were fed, what life was like, in the firing line, whether they were, receiving everything that was possible to make for their comfort, were all evident in a hundred questions. The soldiers talked freely to His Majesty, and the one thing which was repeated over and over again was that he need "hav** no fear they meant to see this thing through. The- one feature, of the visit" which impressed His Majesty most was the general cheerful determination khowu everywhere to make the be.st of anything that came along till the Germans wertt beaten. While the King has thus l*sen busily engaged in the lighting line itself and with important business, he has not forgotten the wounded, who fiil the field hospitals and are daily Wing pas?€-d in hundreds to the coast. Every momt-nt His Majesty has been able to sparo he has devoted to interviewing and cheerinc; the wounded men. He has talked with them, shaken their hands, patted their beads, and done everything to show how proud ho is of them and how anxious he is fur their ■vrelfaro. It has been pathetic to see them try to cheer or salute His Ma-

AU the men hitherto employed there having gone to the front, the work of the Camtcrwell .Public Library is now being carried on by eight girls.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150121.2.5

Bibliographic details

THE KING'S VISIT TO THE TRENCHES, Issue 15706, 21 January 1915

Word Count
1,106

THE KING'S VISIT TO THE TRENCHES Issue 15706, 21 January 1915

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