Sunday, 18 November 2012

"Sherlock Holmes" Volunteers

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's letter to the War Office, 1914

I have been told that there may be some difficulty in finding offficers for the New Army. I think I may say that my name is well-known to the younger men of this country and that if I were to take a commission at my age it might be of help. I can drill a company - I do so every evening. I have seen something of campaigning, having served as a surgeoon in South Africa. I am fifty-five but I am very strong and hardy, and can make my voice audible at great distances which is useful at drill. Should you entertain my appplication, I should prefer a regiment which was drawn from the South of England - Sussex for choice.  

Taken from Voices by Peter Vansittart, who in the list of contributors says of Doyle that he was "An Anglo-Irish doctor, spiritualist, legal reformer, quixotic in his approach to many social wrongs and miscarriages of justice, writer of historical and scientific romances and detective fiction." A chronicler of the Boer and Great Wars.

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