You are leaving home to fight for the safety and honour 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 every 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.
This was printed in many national and local newspapers but also read out in churches across the land.