WWI: Fifty two months, fifty two posts – 17 – Christmas Wishes from the King

King George V’s 1915 Christmas message to his troops was published on Christmas Morning in the Naval and Military Orders throughout the Empire. It was then shared with the nation in the The Times on 27th December 1915:

Another Christmas finds all the resources of the Empire still engaged in war, and I desire to convey on my own behalf and on behalf of the Queen a heartfelt Christmas greeting and our good wishes for the New Year to all who, on land and sea are upholding the honour of the British name.

In the officers and men of My Navy, on which the security of the Empire depends, I repose in common with my subjects a trust that is absolute.

On the officer and men of My armies whether now in France, in the East or in other fields, I rely with faith, confident that their valour and self-sacrifice will, under God’s guidance, lead to victory and honourable peace.

There are many of their comrades, alas, in hospital, and to test brave men I also desire with the Queen to express our deep gratitude and our earnest prayers for their recovery. Officers and men of the Navy and of the Army another year is drawing to a close as it began in toil and bloodshed and suffering, but I rejoice to know that the goal to which you are striving draws nearer to sight.

May God bless you and all your undertakings.

Thanks to Out of Battle’s blog, I can also share the response of Major-General Sir John Maxwell (who was commanding the British Forces in Egypt at the time) which was issued from from Cairo on 26th December 1915:

The officers and men of your Armies in Egypt both in the ranks and in the hospitals drawn from the United Kingdom, the Dominions, and India, unite in humble thanks for your Majesty’s gracious and inspiring greetings. We are proud of the confidence placed in us and in this share we are taking in the fight for victory. We offer your Majesty and the Royal Family our humble and heartfelt greetings.

I am as uncertain as the author of Out of Battle as to whether all the troops in the various theatres of war shared the Major-General’s view on things.

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