Sir A. Conan Doyle and Cavalry Training

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Sir A. Conan Doyle and Cavalry Training is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Pall Mall Gazette on 13 april 1910.

Sir A. Conan Doyle and Cavalry Training

Sir, — I regret if I at all misread your correspondent's letter. It was his use of the word "heresy" in connection with Mr. Erskine Childers's views which gave the impression that his view was an extreme one.

A civilian like myself might indeed feel helpless before the authority of so great a soldier as Sir John French, if it were not that Lord Roberts has declared himself strongly on the side of the rifleman, and against the preparation for shock tactics.

As to the French, Germans, and Austrians, it is they who should be sitting at our feet, not we at theirs. We have had the experience, and it drove a lesson into us. Why should we forget that lesson at the bidding of foreign theorists?

Bakenlaagte must remain a matter of opinion, and personally I do not believe that any cavalrymen could have ridden down such troops as the Buffs and the Scottish Horse, who formed the bulk of Benson's force.

As to Great Britain not producing mounted riflemen, she will certainly never produce them if they are not trained; but surely it is notorious that the regular mounted infantry reached a very high standard in the last year of the African war.

Yours faithfully,

Windlesham, Crowborough, April 12.