At the Combined Military Services Museum, research resides in the heart of our team, working to catalogue and sort through the many interesting documents that we have in our archive. Just today, we found this letter from Major General P.S. Wilkinson CMG, CB, who commanded the 50th (Northumbrian) Division. This letter, as you will be able to read for yourself, is one of the rare original hand-written documents which the museum is honoured to have as part of our archive.
It entails the great praise and appreciation that the Major General Percival Spearman Wilkinson had for his troops and conveys them during a simple, “Order of the Day”, dated 3rd October 1916. Here is the letter.
The letter transcribes to read:
Order of the Day
Major General P. S. Wilkinson C.B., CMG
Commanding the 50 th (Northumbrian) Division
3 rd October 1916
Nobody could be prouder than I at commanding such troops as you of the 50th
Within a few days of landing in this country you made a name for yourselves at the
Battle of Ypres, since that battle you have gained a great reputation on account of
your magnificent defence of a portion of the YPRES Salient during the worst months
of the year,
From the 15 th September to October 3 rd , you have had another chance of showing
your qualities in attack and it is not too much to say that no Division in the British
Army has, or could have done better.
You have advanced nearly two miles, and have taken seven lines of German
Your gallantry and determination on every occasion since you joined in the Battle of
the SOMME have been worthy of the highest traditions of the British Army.
I deplore with you the loss of many of our intimate friends and comrades.
I thank you all for the excellent and cheerful way in which you have undertaken every
task put to you.
Commanding 50 th Division.