Excerpt from General Sir Alex Taylor, G. C. B., R. E, Vol. 1: His Times, His Friends, and His Work
This record of my father's life was not originally intended for publication. When his failing health made me reluctant to return to my work in Italy, unknown to him I occupied m... yself with the collection of information concerning his career, for it seemed wrong that his children's children should be ignorant of services of which men of distinction spoke with reverence, but of which his children's knowledge was limited to a general impression of important work done at Delhi, certain words uttered by John Nicholson, and a medley of unplaced anecdotes.
The materials at my disposal were meagre - a few notes in my father's handwriting descriptive of the Sikh campaigns; a few bundles of fragile yellowing letters - the accidental and scanty salvage of the correspondence of half a century - written to relations and friends who have long since passed away, bundles of later letters to my mother, and notes of interesting conversations made by her at various dates, a few newspaper-cuttings, and some official records of services -that was all.
My father had kept memorials of the stirring scenes through which he had lived, and letters which he prized among them an autograph letter of thanks from Lord Canning, written in i85s - these and the professional notes of a lifetime were lost in the Latona, which was run down and sent to the bottom of the sea on the coast of Italy.
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