05 - With the War Cry



by Margaret du Plessis



 Our Champion War Cry Seller

Mrs Tucker is at present our Champion Indian War Cry Seller, having realised about seven rupees in five days, equivalent  to a sale of nearly 450 copies, and this during the rainy season. Our officers and soldiers should do the same. [1]

Editor of the War Cry


Six weeks after arriving in India, the Army was publishing the War Cry in three languages -11,000 copies in English; 2,000 in Gujarati; 2,000 in Marathi.

This is the title of the first Indian English War Crys


The Official Gazette of the Indian Division of the Salvation Army.

The War Cry was printed at the Anglo-Vernacular Press, Bombay.

“For a long time Mrs Major Tucker had a great deal to do with the editing of the Indian War Cry, for which she frequently wrote articles and songs, many of them of an extraordinary striking kind. The songs published in “Heart Warblings” certainly showed in almost every sense how intensely Mrs Tucker’s heart went with every movement of The Army in India, especially in those very steps which were most opposed and ridiculed by the enemy” 

She was a most persistent and successful “War Cry” seller and beggar, both in the streets of Bombay and the railway station, where she might often be seen making her way about from carriage to carriage, and pressing a “War Cry” upon all who would purchase it, very often with the result that a larger coin than was required would be given for it, with the remark “No change.”

To understand how much of self-abasement this required, you must try to picture a squire’s (pastor’s) wife doing it, dressed in the very cheapest soldier’s uniform, and there will then be wanting something to represent the Indian heat, the sore-footedness and weakness of body under which all this was continually done. 

Mrs Tucker was a keen evangelist, and wherever she travelled she was able to engage in conversation with fellow travellers. Fortunately we are able to read today about some of her unforgettable experiences. Not only was she an evangelist but also a skilled writer.

Mrs Major Tucker as Evangelist and Writer


Three separate stories [4] come from:


By Mrs Tucker

No 1

Seated in the tram among Mahomedans,  Parsis, Hindus, Arabs, Jews and Christians. “English, Marathi, Gujarati eke ek paisa!”. 
A refined Hindu says in good English: “Why War Cry? – I don’t like the name of your paper . I neither like war nor (‘your’) crying.”

“Neither do I. We are people of peace.”

Against whom then do you fight?”

“Sin and Satan.” 

The Lord opens my lips and soon we are in the midst of an interesting conversation. He buys a War Cry, others buy War Crys. All listen to the sweet story of Salvation – not a word is lost – nationalities are forgotten as we talk and think of the good time coming when the Prince of Peace shall be Lord of all.

My name is asked, the tram stops, my Hindu friend and I shake hands and we part perhaps for ever. Oh that he and I may grasp hands in the streets of the New Jerusalem.

*        *        *        *        *

No 2

Coming home from the meeting, fewer people in the streets now, but tram packed with natives. I begin (to play) the native air “Hilli Milli” on my accordion. Some Mahomedan gentleman in front looks round and one asks “English Baja?” Lips are unlocked. My husband went on deep in conversation; I need not ask the theme. Those in front turn round, those at the back turn forward. The tram stops, our friends get out with a “God bless you” and we are left almost alone (for a time).

“Lord, give these dear brothers Mukti,” is our secret prayer as their parting words ring in our ears. “Many shall come from the east and sit down in the kingdom of God” comes an answer from the Master Himself. Weariness is forgotten as we determine to work on in faith remembering “the night cometh.”

*        *        *        *        *

No 3


I am sitting in a tram with one of our dear lasses by my side with the War Crys on my lap. A native in front turns round and says gently, “Guzarati hai” “Yes” – He gives his pice gladly.

An Englishman at my left declines a paper, then suddenly asks my name. Instantly he brings out a pice with “I have no more money with me or I would give you a rupee for it.” Then he is asked if he is saved. At this he looks doubtful and begins to talk about his troubles and his hopes but he is kept to the point. God says that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. We may have any amount of religion, Satan lets us have plenty if only our hearts are not right with God.

He (the Englishman) acts strictly on the defensive. A lively cannonade from God’s arsenal is poured forth incessantly and he seems convinced. The tram stops, and with a kindly word he goes away and the sweet assurance comes from the Holy Spirit that His word shall not return void and that other hands shall gather in that precious soul.

One sows and another reaps. Amen Lord.


Only use me to advance Thy Son’s Kingdom.



[1]   This was reported in The Indian War Cry June 13 1883 (No 37)

[2]   International War Cry- 12 March 1887

[3]  Extracts from International Headquarters War Cry 12 March 1887 which carried the news of Mrs 
Tucker’s untimely death in India. Her life story was summarised together with recognition of her dedication and commitment to the Lord’s work in India.

[4]   Spelling as in the original document – The Indian War Cry No 37, June 13 1883; paragraphs added for easier reading