An Important Archive Relating to Field Marshall Sir John French

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Date of Auction: 14th December 2006

Sold for £1,900

Estimate: £800 - £1,200

King George V to his Commander-in-Chief 1914, a fine emotive letter from the King to the commander of the British Expeditionary Force in France during the First Battle of Ypres. Handwritten letter in ink on black-edged monogrammed mourning paper, dated Buckingham Palace, Oct. 29th 1914: “My dear French, Nothing but press of work has prevented me from writing to you before to express my thanks for so kindly sending me the German flag by Genl. Lambton. It will be a most interesting possession which I shall place in Windsor Castle and record the gratifying words in which it was sent to you by Genl. Joffre. We are now passing through some anxious and critical days and I follow with the keenest interest your daily telegrams. [On our Army:] …no troops in the world could be better. Their bravery, patience and endurance fill me with admiration… I am glad to think that the Indian Corps is now relieving the 2nd Corps who require rest and refit. That success will ultimately be ours I have no doubt. I deeply regret the heavy losses both in officers and men which we have sustained especially during the last fortnight, but the fighting spirit is splendidly maintained. I grieve at the death of my cousin Maurice [Prince Maurice of Battenburg, KRRC, killed in action at Ypres]… Believe me, very sincerely yours, George R.I.” Annotated in pencil by French ‘write’ & “Ackd. JF 11/11/14.” very good state £800-1200