Our Indians at Marseilles
Mirza Firuz Shah
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Bahadur Shah II 1837–1857
Publisher and Place:
Smith, Elder & Co., London - 1915
Royal Mughal Ref:
M. MAURICE BARRES, the distinguished Academician, who saw this diary in MS., was so much delighted with it that he offered Mlle. Bibikoff his own article on the Indian troops as an Introduction to what she had written. The Diary itself is jotted down with all the bright enthusiasm of a youthful artist fresh from the studio of M. Detaille, the celebrated battle painter. The translation has aimed at keeping the writer’s actual impressions, even though, as in the case of certain customs among the Indians, they are based on a misconception :—at keeping, above all, those many little touches which in their frank and simple directness, unstudied and unrevised, reveal an impressionable personality as genuine as it is unselfconscious.
A HAPPY chance made me a witness of a most extraordinary event in this great war, full as it
is of the unexpected the arrival of the Indian Expeditionary Force at Marseilles France.
The city was decked with flags as if it were one of the great national holidays. From the Cannebiere to the Prado was just a sea billowing with a crowd of many colours, all in holiday attire, with little flags of the Allies in button-hole or dress, shouting welcome to the gallant, bronze-faced soldiers who marched by with dignified yet swinging gait, and smiled with a flash of dazzling teeth when people threw them flowers and children gave them flags.
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