War Office Instruction 61, 1914
The accompanying gracious message has been received from His Majesty the King for communication to the army after embarkation for active service. General Officers Commanding should give instructions to the following effect:
The Officer Commanding each unit will take the first opportunity, after embarkation, to parade his unit. He will bring it to attention and read aloud the King’s Message and then call for three cheers to His Majesty.
9 August 1914
You are leaving home to fight for the honour and safety of my Empire.
Belgium, whose country we are pledged to defend, has been attacked and France is about to be invaded by the same powerful foe.
I have implicit confidence in you my soldiers. Duty is your watchword, and I know your duty will be nobly done.
I shall follow your movement with deepest interest and mark with eager satisfaction your daily progress; indeed your welfare will never be absent from my thoughts.
I pray God to bless you and guard you and bring you back victorious.