Re-issuing of Kitchener’s message to the Australian and New Zealand troops in 1914 by General Birdwood before their departure to France.

In his own message to the troops, General Birdwood praises the Australian and New Zealand troops for their reputation as ‘good fighters’ but he emphasises the need for discipline in the new warzone that they will find themselves. Although he professes to have faith in their treatment of the ‘defenceless women’ they will find themselves amongst, he counsels against the temptation of the readily available alcohol. In an interesting contrast to Kitchener’s message, Birdwood exhorts the troops to preserve the reputation of the Australian and New Zealand armies, rather than the British Army.

Kitchener’s message from 1914 strikes a more strident tone in its exhortations for discipline and general good conduct. His final admonition for the troops heading overseas is for them to ‘do [their] duty bravely. Fear God. [And] honour the King.’

Part of the collection of World War I memorabilia donated by Sergeant John Lord (#6252), although it is believed that not all of the material relates to his own war service.

John Lord was 19 years old when he enlisted with the Australian Imperial Forces in June 1915. Originally part of the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, 11th Reinforcement; Lord was transferred to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance upon its formation in February 1916. He subsequently moved to the headquarters of the Assistant Director of Medical Services, 4th Division, in December 1918 where he seems to have spent the remainder of the war. Although listed as ‘effective abroad,’ Lord returned to Australia on 30 October 1919, and was discharged from service on 12 March 1920. He died in 1951.

Physical Description

Single sheet with typed text, short hand-written note on back.

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