The Great War Part 162, September 22nd 1917

The Crown and the Conflict 25 So painful were his Majestys injuries that the car started off only at the rate of eight miles an hour and was promptly dropped to dead slow. Even at the pace of only three miles an hour the patient was considerably shaken up. The forKing a time unable to visit his soldiers himself, sent messages through members of his family telling them how grateful he was for their services and how proud of their gallant conduct. Early in December Queen Mary took the place of the King on various occasions. More than once she visited divisions before their departure for the front bringing with her mes­sages from his Majesty regretting that as a result of his accident, he could not attend. On December 13th a bulletin was issued by Sir Frederick Treves and Sir Bertrand Dawson :Bu c king ham Palace Dec. 131915. We are happy to report that the King has so far recovered from the grave accident of Oct. 28 as to be able to resume work with certain limitations. The King has lost seriously in weight, and until a normal state of health is attained it is essential that his Majesty should avoid any cause of fatigue. It has been necessary on medical grounds that the King should take a little stimulant daily during his con­valescence. As soon as the Kings health is quite restored his Majesty will resume that total abstinence which he has imposed upon himself for public reasons. F r e derick T r eves .Bert rand waD son .The Kings second war Christmas was avery quiet one. He sent a message to the Army and to the Navy which was published on Christmas morning in orders throughout the Empire. Despite the trials of 1915 the year igi6 opened forKing and people with a feeling of confidence and greater cheerfulness. The Kings message to the President of the French Republic struck the note of the feeling in both countries— the deep admiration for the splendid quali­ties of the land and sea forces whose services had been of such inestimable value, and offered a sure guarantee of ultimate victory. The King moved down to Sandringham. From Sandringham he returned to Buckingham Palace where his life soon assumed its regular routine. For a time he walked with a stick, and showed evident signs of how great his suffering had been. His interest in others who had been injured in the war was now greater than ever if that were possible. One of the things planned by him early in 1916 was an entertainment to several thousand wounded men yu rtu m oj/icuu p/iotograpn. GENERAL PETAIN G.C.B. A notable incident of King Georges visit to the western front in July 1917 was the investiture by his Majesty of General Petain the Commander of the Frer\fh Armies, with the insignia of a G.C.B. {Orltlsh official photograph. CEREMONY OF INVESTITURE NEAR THE BATTLE-FRONT, hi addition to General Petain a number of other officers were decorated by the King during his stay with the armies in France and Flanders in the summer of 1917. A Guard of Honour of dismounted British Lancers formed a striking background to the ceremony on one of those occasions. at Buckingham Palace. This was in the best sense of the word a family affair of the King and Queen. They and their entourage arranged the details waited on the men had them into their own home went among them and mixed as friends with friends. The great riding-school at Buckingham Palace was turned into a monster theatre. The Queen herself selected the attendants who were to be honoured with an invitation to wait on the wounded men and they included some of the greatest ladies in the land— the Duchess of Devonshire the Duchess of Sutherland the Duchess of Buccleuch Lady Farquhar Lady FitzWilliam, Lady Lansdowne Lady Keppel, and others. The men were brought into the courtyard of Buckingham Palace in motor-omnibuses from their different hospitals. Here they were greeted by the Guards Band play­ing lively tunes. Many of them were hopeless invalids and had to be carried out from the omnibuses by parties of Red Cross men who were in waiting. Quite a number were blind and had to be led along by companions who could see. Here were one-legged men and one- armed men and men with no legs and others with no arms at all. Here were some who hopped along on crutches some who limped, some still half-covered with band­ages some whose eyes would never seethe light of day again. The onlooker was hardened indeed who could watch them without emo­tion as they were helped out of the motor-omnibuses. They were quickly in their seats in the long rooms of the Palace, and here Royal fare was waiting them. Some people of lesser degree seemed to think that when they entertained wounded men, anything was good enough. The King and Queen had no such idea. The best was the only thing good enough for the soldier. All hired attendants had departed. The work of wait- of pouring tea, helping the men done by the first o f the kingdom. Suddenly unan­nounced without any display the men noticed the King and Queen, Queen Alexandra and the princesses quietly walking from table to table the inKing admirals uniform. They had a word for everyman they came in contact with. The King knew about their battles h e knew where they had fought and he seemed to know even the individual stories of many of the men. There were Canadians and Australians here. He picked out anon- D mg and was gentlewomen
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