Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog Forum Index Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog
Hét WO1-forum voor Nederland en Vlaanderen
 
 FAQFAQ   ZoekenZoeken   GebruikerslijstGebruikerslijst   WikiWiki   RegistreerRegistreer 
 ProfielProfiel   Log in om je privé berichten te bekijkenLog in om je privé berichten te bekijken   InloggenInloggen   Actieve TopicsActieve Topics 

20 December
Ga naar Pagina Vorige  1, 2
 
Plaats nieuw bericht   Plaats Reactie    Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog Forum Index -> Wat gebeurde er vandaag... Actieve Topics
Vorige onderwerp :: Volgende onderwerp  
Auteur Bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 8:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

From the NRS Archive - 20 December 1918

Sir James Dodds, Under Secretary for Scotland based at Whitehall, issues letters of thanks on behalf of Robert Munro, the Secretary for Scotland to the Lords Lieutenant of Scotland and the Lord Provosts of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee in thanks for their efforts in setting up Emergency Schemes around the country in case of enemy invasion.

Now that the war is over, the Head of Command in the military advises the government that there is no longer any need for local Emergency Committees to continue, and that they are to be disbanded.

This particular letter was sent to Sir William Robertson, Lieutenant for the County of Fife.

Lees de brief op https://www.facebook.com/ScotlandsPeople/photos/a.303220286403965/1599155136810467/?type=1&theater
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 8:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

20 December 1917 - Second Conscription Referendum in Australia

The second conscription referendum is held in Australia. The referendum is resoundingly defeated, with an extra 21,000 people voting NO than in the first referendum held in 1916. Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory vote in support of conscription; the remaining states against. The referenda spark bitter debate about the merits and dangers of conscription, dividing Australia politically and socially. The decisive defeat of the second referendum closes the issue of conscription for the remainder of the war.

http://www.centenaryww1orange.com.au/events/20-december-1917/

When Australia voted no to war: the 1916-17 conscription referenda
Green Left Weekly - Michael Hamel-Green - April 14, 2016

In all the official Anzac 100-year commemorations to remember and celebrate the undoubted courage of World War I diggers, there is an extraordinary amnesia about how ambivalent Australians were about that war. This ambivalence grew as mounting casualties affected families all over the country and the 1916 Irish Easter Uprising was brutally supressed.

We forget that a majority of Australians came to oppose forcibly conscripting young men to go to the war in two national referenda in 1916 and 1917. Nor is it widely remembered that the Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick and Coburg played major roles in both the national anti-conscription campaigns and in authorities' efforts to intimidate and suppress anti-war campaigners by imprisoning them in Coburg's Pentridge Prison.

World War I claimed the lives of 11 million soldiers and 7 million civilians, and left 20 million wounded. Australia sent 416,809 volunteer troops to the war, 61,524 of whom were killed. (...)

Lees vooral verder op https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/when-australia-voted-no-war-1916-17-conscription-referenda
Zie ook hier: https://veteranssa.sa.gov.au/story/the-great-war-14-20-december-1917/
Zie ook hier: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/ww1/2017/12/21/conscription-referendum-1917/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 20 Dec 2018 8:44, in toaal 2 keer bewerkt
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 8:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The First World War Letters of H.J.C. Peirs... a digital history

Dec 20.
BAPO no. 1. B. E. F.
My darling Mother,

This is to send you my
very best wishes for Christmas
and say that I hope you will
have such a jolly time at
home all together, if only
Willy could turn up too, in
time, but I suppose there is
no chance of that. However
anyway I do wish you
everything of the very best.
I send you a very small
remembrance now, a poilu
“eu permission” in case
for Lord knows what he
is up to! I have a
large and massive photograph
for you – that’s if you would
like it. its one of the big
ones and I only had two
of them, and thought you
would like one. They are
very fine and large
if nothing else! I heard
from Father today and
Odd today (a registered
letter) and will you
thank them both – and
say I am going to write to
them in a day or two, but
you will have had so
many letters from me this
week one a day! that
I thought I would give
for a bit of a rest. This
is only just to acknowledge!
They will receive letters
of deepest and most
humble thanks in due
course. My word, shall
I dash to the papers of the
24th to see the results.
We are very busy tonight.
We are helping in a big
show at the grand theatre
here, the only thing
lacking seems to be the
audience, but perhaps
they will be inveigled
into coming when they
find out what attractions
are in store for them.
We have got shows
on every day next week
somewhere or other,
being worked hard for
Christmas, and some of
our best dancers have
gone on leave, which
makes it very trying.
it’s not the thing they
were dreading! but
perhaps you would
believe me. Still it is
a fact an absolute fact,
that they would have
given anything to stay
here for Christmas just
because of the dancing!
I send for all
my very best love
and simply heaps
of good wishes yours
Cecily.

http://jackpeirs.org/letters/20-december-1917/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 8:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

20 December 1917; Thursday | The Diary of Arthur L. Linfoot

20 December 1917; Thursday - On with Corporal Chapman first thing and after that chopped wood. Warned for guard after dinner. Went on at 2 o’clock and did from 4 – 6 and 10 – 12. Very cold. Slept in the guard room.

https://www.arthurlinfoot.org.uk/2017/12/20/20-december-1917-thursday/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 8:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Christie Letter - 20 December 1917

Letter written by Rupert Christie to his mother in Berhamphore, Wellington from France.

(At top of page)
we are not getting Xmas dinner on the never we are putting in 5/-each ----- Dont you think we are lucky being able to get Turkey ----
France
20/12/17
My Dear Mother Father & All
At last I have received some N.Z. mail and it includes 3 letters from you dated 20/9/17, 26th & 3rd Oct. I had just written to you a day or so before & so now I have to start all over again. We are doing splendid at present having a very good quiet time & looking forward to Xmas which is only a week off. The Christmas gift parcels have started to arrive full & plenty here so far I have had one to myself & shared another with a mate. The pudding in them is excellent being very rich & also nice and moist. I think that each man on our Hqrs will have about 2lbs of pudding each for Xmas. Not bad is it? The parcels also include Condensed Milk, socks, towels, cap comforters, cigarettes, potted meat lollies and handkerchiefs. I suppose Rob will be breaking his neck more than ever to join when he reads this. The idea of bukshees Goodies will appeal to him. I will tell you (...)

Lees en klik verder via https://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/23116
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 8:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Birmingham Mail - Thursday 20 December 1917

THEFT OF NEWSPAPERS - In the Birmingham Children’s Court, today, Henry Kirby (13) and Leonard Kirby (12), brothers, of 91, Pritchett Street, pleaded guilty to stealing parcels of “Mails” from tramcars. Henry was seen by a tram-driver named Henry Collingwood to take a bundle of “Mails” destined for a newsagent at Selly Oak, from the driver’s platform of a car. The value of the papers was 29s. Next evening the lad was pointed out by Collingwood to Police-constable Cashnells, who arrested him. He told the officer he had sold the “Mails.”

The younger lad was seen by Clifford Mackay, a watchman in the employ of the “Daily Mail,” to take a bundle of four dozen “Mails” from a car in Moor Street bound for Alcester Lane End. In reply to the Chairman (Mr. Lloyd Wilson) Detective Williamson said boys jumped on the cars after they had left the terminus and told the drivers that the papers had been put in the wrong car. On the strength of this statement some drivers had handed bundles over to the boys. At the other end lads got the papers by representing that they were from newsagents to who the parcels were directed.

The lads were each fined.

Tuig... https://www.voicesofwarandpeace.org/2017/12/20/on-this-day-20-december-1917/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 8:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Airship Disaster on the Downs - WW1 East Sussex
BY ROSALIND HODGE

During the First World War, hydrogen filled airships patrolled the air and coastline around Britain. This duty was, however, not without some serious risks.

On the morning of 20 December 1917 five airships set out early on a routine patrol of the Channel from the Polegate Royal Naval Airship Station at Willingdon. The weather was clear although very cold with snow lying on the ground. Low cloud drifted in from the northeast around mid-day. By 3 pm the crews were recalled directly to base as thick fog had rapidly developed over the Channel and coastal area. They circled above the station attempting to find an area for landing but conditions prevented this and the pilots were forced to search safe mooring in open country. All found suitable sites and radioed for ground parties to be sent out to secure their ships until conditions allowed them to return to base. The ships were the Submarine Scout Zero (S.S.Z) class. Two ships S.S.Z7 and Z19 moored near the Beachy Head coastguard station around 8.30 pm and the three others further inland: Z6 landed just north of Hailsham whilst Z9 and Z10 landed on the Downs at Willingdon Hill Farm on the Willingdon, Jevington border. During the evening a strong wind sprang up from the east. Back at the station there was concern that if this increased to gale force, the vessels at Beachy Head could not be held by the ground crew. The pilots were therefore instructed to return to base as soon as possible.

The night was dark with sleet and snow flurries but the wind had partially dispersed the low cloud as the two ships started homeward. Z19 was the first to leave making it safely back to base. As soon as it had disappeared into the darkness Z7 took off. The captain Flight Sub Lt. Richard Swallow, flew northwards passing the village of East Dean, flying fairly close to the ground following the valley which ran through the Downs past Jevington towards Wannock. His observer wireless operator, Victor Dodd, leant over the coaming at the front of the car shining his Aldis lamp down ahead of the ship. Peering into the blackness at the vague shapes of trees and hedges below, he hoped to make out some recognisable features.

Victor Dodd described how an airship suddenly appeared in the light beam of his Aldis lamp immediately ahead. It was impossible to tell whether the other ship was in the air or on the ground, but it was obvious that a collision would occur unless evasive action was taken. Dodd shouted out a warning to Lt. Swallow who instantly applied the elevator and opened up the engine – but it was too late. They skimmed the top of the other vessel, Z10, ripping open its gasbag causing the hydrogen to rush out. Ignited by the flame from Z7s exhaust, a sheet of blazing gas leapt into the night sky and caught the stern of Lt. Swallow’s vessel. The fabric-covered fin and rudder burst into flames, the fire quickly spreading to the envelope.

Dodd shouted “well afire aft” and captain Swallow shouted back “All for yourselves boys”. Dodd recounted in a tape recording how there were two 65-lb bombs above him in racks, a box of Very lights was stacked behind his neck and he was surrounded by double-decker pans of Lewis gun ammunition, ninety-six rounds per pan. He instantly decided to take his chance and climbed out of the cockpit over the side of the car. Lowering himself down until he was hanging at arms length, he dropped into the darkness away from the roaring flames above his head not knowing how far below the ground was. At the same moment Air Mechanic Hughes, the engineer seated at the rear of the car, jumped over the side. The two men dropped close to each other, falling onto the snow-covered grass. Both received severe internal injuries as well as many broken bones.

​Without the weight of these two crew in the car Z7, burning from end to end, rose in the air to a height of 2 – 300 feet. Then, crumpling, fell, blazing into a field of gorse a short distance from the point of collision. Lt. Swallow, who stayed with his ship trying to regain control, died in the flaming wreckage.

The ship crashed not far from where Dodd and Hughes lay, badly injured and half conscious. Two men from the ground party ran across the snowy field to the blazing wreck. Finding two crew members close to the wreckage, still alive but unable to move, Air Mechanic Robinson and Boy Mechanic Steere detached the now almost red hot bombs from the bomb racks of the burning ship. The bombs were liable to explode at any time, as they carried them a safe distance away from the crash site and their injured colleagues. At the same time, twenty year old Flying Officer Lt. Victor Albert Watson, thinking there was still a member of the crew in the blazing Z10 car, rushed without hesitation to investigate, despite there also being bombs on board liable to explode at any moment in the fierce heat. Fortunately he found no crew but as he turned away a bomb exploded badly injuring him with shrapnel

Some of the men used a five bar gate as a stretcher to carry the injured crew to the nearby farm. They were transferred to the Military hospital at Eastbourne, a difficult journey across snow-covered fields. Dodd suffered two broken wrists, broken legs and pelvis. Hughes suffered spinal injuries and broken legs. Following many months in hospital Dodd and Hughes recovered from their injuries and resumed to service. Victor Dodd returned to Polegate and being unable to continue flying as a result of his injuries, he transferred to ground maintenance duties on the station’s wireless equipment and airships for the duration of the war. Victor Albert Watson lost his right arm but returned to Polegate and was promoted to Captain and Senior Flying Officer at the station in June 1918.

The pilot of the Z7, Flight Sub Lt Richard Swallow, aged 26, was buried on Christmas Eve at Ockynge Cemetery Eastbourne, perhaps strangely not in Willingdon churchyard, the parish in which he was stationed and had died. That Christmas was a sad one for the shocked personnel of the Polegate airship station with any thoughts of the usual festivities marred by the tragic accident.

For their acts of heroism, the King presented the three men with the following honours at Buckingham Palace as announced in The London Gazette

Flight Lieutenant Victor WATSON RN, Air Mechanic Harold ROBINSON, Boy Mechanic Eric STEERE, Naval airship fires

The London Gazette 8 March 1918 (from Whitehall, March 6, 1918)

The KING has been pleased to award the Albert Medal to Flight Lieutenant Victor Albert Watson, R.N., and the Albert Medal in Gold to Air Mechanic, 1st Grade, Harold Victor Robinson and Boy Mechanic Eric Edward Steere, in recognition of their heroic conduct in the following circumstances:

On the occasion of an accident to one of His Majesty’s Airships, which resulted in a fire breaking out on board her, Flight Lieutenant Watson, who was the senior Officer on the spot, immediately rushed up to the car of the airship under the impression that one of the crew was still in it, although he was well aware that there were heavy bombs attached to the airship which it was impossible to remove owing to the nearness of the fire, and which were almost certain to explode at any moment on account of the heat. Having satisfied himself that there was in fact no one in the car, he turned away to render assistance elsewhere, and at that moment one of the bombs exploded, a portion of it shattering Lieutenant Watson’s right arm at the elbow. The arm had to be amputated almost immediately.

Air Mechanic H. V. Robinson and Boy Mechanic E. E. Steere, on the occasion of an accident to one of His Majesty’s airships which caused a fire to break out on board her, approached the burning airship without hesitation, extricated the pilot and two members of the crew, all of whom were seriously injured, and then unclipped the bombs from the burning car and carried them out of reach of the fire. As the bombs were surrounded by flames, and were so hot that they scorched the men’s hands as they carried them, they must have expected the bombs to explode.


Flight Lieutenant Watson subsequently exchanged the Albert Medal for the George Cross.

Boy-mechanic Eric Steere was a Sussex boy, born in Worthing and was just 17 years old when this disaster occurred. He had tried to join the Royal Naval Air Service aged 16 following the death of his elder brother in the Royal Navy in 1915. He was so determined that he joined on his 17th birthday. Sent to Polegate he soon became proficient and made many flights from that base. After the war he worked on the enormous R38 ridged airship designed during the last months of the war by the Royal Navy. On 23 August 1921 whilst on a final test flight over the Humber at Hull, it broke it’s back, split in half exploding. Of the 49 British and Americans on board 44 were killed including Eric Steere who was then aged 21.

There is reason to believe that following the disaster, Hetty Swallow, widow of Richard, was presented with a memorial clock made from the propeller of the Z7 airship. She owned the clock for the rest of her life and kept it in her home in Gravesend, Kent. Following her death, the clock was passed onto her close friends the Hammond family, and it remains in their possession.

Victor Dodd OBE continued in aircraft communications for his entire career and on his retirement in 1964 was Deputy Director of the Air Ministry. He stayed in contact with his friend and colleague Hughes.

With thanks to the grandson of Victor Dodd for a recording made in 1968 of his memories of the Airship Station and this incident.

http://www.eastsussexww1.org.uk/airship-disaster-downs-20-december-1917/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 10:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

2nd Lieutenant Lionel King-Stephens – Died of Wounds 20th December 1916
Posted by James Crouch

Lionel Eustace King-Stephens was born at home in Nidney Cottage, Kingston Lane, Teddington, Middlesex, on 8th June 1879. He was the youngest son of Robilliard and Annette King-Stephens. Lionel was their third child and he had two older brothers, Herbert and Arthur, and a younger sister, Helen. His father, Robilliard, was Welsh and Lionel was baptised at Llandyfrydog, in Anglesey, on 24th August 1879.

The family moved to a bigger house, “Salehurst” (number 28), Hampton Road, Teddington, a 10-roomed mansion, when Lionel was a toddler. The family had two live-in servants and the children were brought up by Octavie, a Swiss governess, one of whose duties was to improve the children’s already passable German. Lionel probably attended a prep school before he went up to St Paul’s School, on the banks of the Thames at Barnes, in 1894, aged 14.

Robilliard was a solicitor with the family firm, Messrs Stephens & Stephens, who had offices at 29 Essex Street (just off The Strand) and at 33 Edith Road, West Kensington. His three sons all became clerks. Upon leaving St Paul’s, Lionel joined the London & Provincial Bank, starting as a clerk in their Teddington branch in April 1896, aged 16. He would have to have been guaranteed up to an agreed sum, perhaps £500, by his father or some other person of good standing in the event of Lionel stealing from the Bank. As an apprentice, his starting annual salary would have been about £30 but by 1902, it had increased to £80 and rose at a steady £10 per year almost every year (tax free until it hit £160).

Lionel stayed at the Teddington branch for 16 years before he transferred to their Banstead branch in June 1912 and was promoted to resident clerk. The Bank had opened a temporary branch in a wooden hut (where The Woolpack’s car park is now) in 1905 and then built a permanent branch on the corner of Avenue Road, where Barclays Bank stands today (Barclays took over the London & Provincial in 1918), which Lionel joined as one of its first two members of staff. Beside the bank was a house in which Lionel lived. A manager, probably based in Sutton, oversaw the Sutton, Ewell, Carshalton and Banstead branches and probably visited the branch once a week but most of the day-to-day running of the branch would have been left to Lionel, the senior of the two clerks employed at Banstead.

Lionel, his older brothers and younger sister were all sporty and Lionel was a keen cricketer, hockey player, golfer and a “first class” tennis player. He played for Banstead Cricket Club, the Private Banks Cricket Club and at Fulwell Golf Club. He represented Teddington Hockey Club, later becoming club secretary, playing left wing or inside left. He had a prolific goal-scoring record in his early playing years and also created many goals for his teammates. He went on to represent Middlesex, London and the South of England at hockey and played in the first ever hockey match at Lord’s cricket ground (Middlesex v United Hospitals in November 1904). He also played football for Middlesex (probably) and the South of England. Lionel enjoyed some success in the tennis tournaments that he and his sister, Helen, competed in each year during their summer holidays in Devon and Cornwall and was rarely knocked out in the early rounds. Helen was a fine tennis player and considered to be good enough to play at Wimbledon, eldest brother Herbert was an England international hockey player and Arthur played rugby for Lennox, Rosslyn Park and Middlesex and was a member of the Barbarians team which beat Stade Francais in Paris in December 1898.

When war broke out, Lionel was the first Banstead man to volunteer as a special constable, and served with the Specials for just over a year. He resigned from both the Met and the Bank to enlist as a private in The Artists’ Rifles in September 1915. He passed out of their Officers Training Corps in January 1916 and was commissioned in the 8th Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) as a second-lieutenant. He joined his battalion in France in mid-July 1916 and soon became a “great favourite” and established a reputation as a “gallant” officer.

The Sherwood Foresters were with Third Army, just to the north of the Somme battlefield. They had taken part in the opening day of the battle, on 1st July, but were destined to avoid the rest of the fighting. Their sector was peaceful by the standards of the Western Front, their days in the line were uneventful and casualties were low (62 fatalities for the whole of 1916, a remarkably small number in comparison to the losses just a few miles to the south).

November and early December were spent in training for open warfare, perhaps in expectation of a breakthrough on the Somme that never came. By mid-October the fighting had bogged down in a sea of mud and the Battle of the Ancre in November, which was ending just as Lionel’s battalion began a slow return journey towards the front line, marked the last phase in the Battle of the Somme.

The Sherwood Foresters returned to the line near Foncquevillers in early December. The German trench mortars and artillery were busier than usual and on 16th December, Lionel led a wiring party out at night to repair the wire in front of the trenches. Fog allowed them to work on as it got light. As the fog began to clear, Lionel got his men back into the trenches and was just climbing back over the parapet when a shot rang out. Hit in the abdomen, he was evacuated to 43rd Casualty Clearing Station at Warlincourt. Four days later, on 20th December 1916, Lionel died. He was 37 years old.

Lionel was buried in Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, at Saulty, on Christmas Eve 1916.

He is commemorated on the Banstead War Memorial (as “King-Stevens”), on the Garton Memorial in All Saints’ churchyard, on the wooden panels in the Lady Chapel, All Saints’, on the Banstead Cricket Club Roll of Honour board, on the London & Provincial Bank World War I Memorial at Barclays PLC Headquarters in Churchill Place, London, on the Teddington War Memorial, the Hampton Hill War Memorial in St James’ churchyard, the War Memorial Boards at St Paul’s School, on the Fulwell Golf Club War Memorial and on the Private Banks’ Cricket and Athletic Club Memorial, Catford.

The most unusual of his many memorials is a framed drawing of a war memorial (which did not have a real-world counterpart until a war memorial was commissioned by Barclays Bank relatively recently), which hung on the walls of all branches of the London, Provincial & South Western Bank.

He is also commemorated in the Artists’ Rifles Regimental Roll of Honour and War Record, in the All Saints’ Book of Men Who Served Overseas, in Hampton Hill Parish Magazine’s Roll of Honour, in the London & Provincial Bank Book of Remembrance and in an obituary in the Pauline Magazine.

https://www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk/story/2nd-lieutenant-lionel-king-stephens-died-of-wounds-20th-december-1916/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 10:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Outlook, 20 december 1916: Behind The Turkish Barrier - AN INTERVIEW*
BY WILLAM T. ELLIS

This was the longest professional interview of my friend for Turkey talked steadily on the one subject from ten o'clock at night, with one hour's intermission; and then we resumed the theme for two hours the next morning, when the incomplete discussion was adjourned, to be resumed later. Now to compress into one brief article the high points of the interview.

This autumn my friend is out of Turkey, where he has spent more than a quarter of a century. To tell how he got out – an interesting story in itself – would be to tell whence he came, which would never do, since Turkey has a genius for bitter reprisals. I owe too much to this man to be the means of hurt to him or his. My first clear understanding of the Turkish question came one memorable night in Constantinople when I was a listener in a group comprising my friend, an official of the United States Government, the Constantinople correspondent of Reuter's, and a representative of Great Britain, all of them veteran specialists on the Near Eastern question. Of these four, the man who knew the theme best was my American friend. He seemed to think first in Arabic and then translate into English. He has a trick of illustrating his meaning by the familiar Arabic gestures. He it was who spoke the last word of the talk of the mysterious Bruises and who gave the historical setting to the "Arabian Nights" tale of the Salonika Jews and how they have become, ostensibly, Moslems, until now they are in control of the Young Turk party.

Other and more personal debts I owe to this Yankee in Turkey. When I would have gone into Arabia with only a brace of automatic pistols for defense, he made plain by the story of one of his own narrow escapes why a rifle carried in plain sight on the saddle bow is almost indispensable. From him I learned the trick, which did me good service clear down into the desert of Mesopotamia, of having target practice when making camp, for the benefit of inquisitive natives. What to look for when I went to Petra, and – only the initiated will understand this – what to look for, and where, when I rode a camel, I learned from his book of experience. With him amid the ruins of Phoenicia I discovered that the Crusaders were grave-robbers, and by him I was instructed in the merits of sweet lemons as thirst-quenchers in desert travel. He translated for me the Arabic slogans of the party of liberty and traced their roots clear back to free soil of America.

So, because he really knows, and because he is possibly the last man out of Turkey, I interviewed for The Outlook this American who is the better patriot for being a wise internationalist. our talk swept round the whole circle of Turkish affairs, from the inexplicable defeat of the British in Mesopotamia to their strange failure to enter Constantinople when it was open to them, during the Gallipoli campaign; from the revolt of the Arabs to the anti-Young Turk Movement on Anatolia; from the feud between Djemal Pasha, Governor of Syria, and the Germans, to the manner in which Enver Pasha has "dug himself in" with the Germans. Insults to America and Americans, death for even Moslem leaders, starvation for the people of the Holy Land, plague for soldiers and civilians alike, death in most dreadful forms for the Armenians, exact news a concerning the progress of the Bagdad Railway, and startling forecasts as to the war's outcome, all were crowded into this comprehensive interview.

We talked first, and often, of Constantinople:

"Enver Pasha and Talaat Bey and Bedry Bey and Khalil Bey are the men now in control there. That secret governing group of Young Turks is still hidden far out of sight, but Khalil Bey is supposed to be of them. Enver pasha has dug himself in with the Germans. More and more, as the Turks are showing their resentment toward his conduct of things, he is keeping safety by increasing German support.

Constantinople is almost a Teutonic city. Germans are everywhere. Although the use of all languages except Turkish on public signs of officially prohibited, the city is placarded with German notices. (Did I tell you that, while the English language is prohibited in Turkey, the American language is permitted?) There are two great wireless stations in the city, one of which, though operated by Germans, is supposedly under the control of the Turkish Government. The other is German absolutely, with no pretense of Ottoman interference. There is a strong German garnizon in Constantinople, which is Enver's measure of self-protection.

Poverty? It is beyond words. People are literally dying of starvation in Constantinople, as in most other cities of the Empire. Soldiers' widows and orphans fare worst, perhaps; for while a pittance is given to the family of the living soldier, this ceases when he is killed. I have seen the people grow black in their faces from long-continued hunger. The poor have gone to a mission hospital and actually begged for the dish-water, hoping that they might get a few scraps. I have seen them working over the garbage for the bits of orange peel. After that the family served all scraps and placed them in clean paper and left them where the poor could find them, instead of throwing them into the garbage-can. Night after night people would steal into our yard and beg for even a crust. Night after night we saw them in a dying condition, but had nothing with which to help them. We knew of entire families dying of typhus one after another. Some missionaries, in order to avoid the unpleasant notice of unfriendly officials, took women and children into the hospitals as patients and after feeding them up for a week or two had send them away again. The Government buried the dead from disease and starvation at the rate of forty to fifty daily!

For sixteen months the people have been gathering every possible plant and root that that could be eaten. My native neighbor planted a few potatoes almost under our windows, but the starving people came by night and dug up the seed potatoes and ate them!

Bread is sold by the Government on tickets – a capital device for getting all metal money into the hands of the authorities; and also for the extortion of baksheesh. Practically the only money in circulation is this paper currency, printed in Germany. My friend then gave me for examination a twenty-piaster note, which almost any printer cold duplicate. This money has depreciated forty per cent, and is still going down. You can imagine the effect upon an already impoverished.

The 1915 crop was in good part lost, owing to the deportation of the Armenians at planting time. What was left, together with the 1916 crop, was commandeered by the army. It, too, is below normal, one reason being, in addition to the loss of men, the requisitioning of all the animals of the farmers. Instead of being a great storehouse of food for Germany, Turkey itself is going hungry. When I passed through Germany, the commonest question asked me by the officials who examined my passport was whether Turkey had plenty of food. I told them that the price of flour had increased eight fold, and that the poor people had sold even their cooking utensils in order to buy food.

There is no commerce whatever, of course. Of sugar there is none; coal is almost entirely lacking. Oil is four dollars a gallon, and hard to get. Medicines are not to be had; one of the reasons for the spread of the plague in Turkey is the lack of medicines and the high mortality among the native physicians."

"Did you see much plague?"

"It is everywhere, both cholera and typhus. Plague camps for the soldiers were within a few feet of us at several halting-places on the journey. One hears in Turkey that half the army has perished from disease. we took all possible precautions, and were very fortunate, finding on us only one Pediculus vestimenti – only the word he used to describe the busty little traveling salesman of the typhus plague was not Latin.

"Who are hardest hit? It is not easy to say. The Jews in and the American war ships are in a pitiable plight, because they look to the foreign mails for their support, and these have been closed. In all Syria it is estimated that from eighty to one hundred thousand persons have died either from acute starvation or from malnutrition. The situation grows worse daily. There will have to be relief from Merica if the people of the Holy Land are to be saved."

I hasten over the Armenian news; it was more of the same awful tale of deportation, outrage, and death. This summer the atrocities broke out afresh, especially among the Armenians who had secured work under the Germans at road-making and tunnel-digging. These, too, had to move on to the fate of their deported compatriots. My friend said that it is the opinion of himself and other Americans in Turkey that certainly less than twenty per cent of the deported Armenians, and probably not more than ten, have survived to reach their destinations. And over a million were deported" When the native Christians in one place wanted to carry food to an arriving horde of Armenian survivors, they were prevented by the Turks. The matter was carried up to the governor, who brutally answered, "These people were not sent here to live."

An American missionary who resides near one of the colonies of Armenians, and who has been made desperate by the scenes he daily witnesses, said to my friend, "Government of no Government, prison no prison, if I can get hold of food or money, I'm going to feed these people."

"The man who has never experienced the stench of dead bodies in his nostrils, and who has never lying on the roadway, and has never witnessed with his own eyes of heard from the lips of beholders, in all the plainness of Oriental speech, the foul-minded why Americans in Turkey are ready to indorse any measures that will stop these horrors. Nor can we comprehend the indifference of America.

"Perhaps if you had seen a dying woman dig with her own hands a shallow grave and strive to cover herself in it, so that the dogs – who are full fed these days – might not get her body before death came, you would count this matter an urgent one."

At this point my friend let light in upon an interesting diplomatic situation. "Of course you know that Turkey refuses to allow the United States Consuls to send seals pouches of mail to the Embassy at Constantinople, as is the immemorial usage. Consular mail in censored, just like everything else. The immediate reason is that the Turks do not want the stories of local conditions and atrocities to get out of the country through these official channels."

Here I delete certain vigorous observations concerning America's duty to uphold her National Prestige abroad and to protect her nationals. The man ten thousand miles from American soil may be expected to see vividly and state strongly this principle. We have for many years allowed Turkey to take liberties with American dignity and rights which, if generally known, would have aroused our people to the highest pitch of indignation. The deaths of Rogers and Maurer, American missionaries slain at Adana in 1909, go unavenged. Some of us have not forgotten that at the siege of Van, more than a year ago, the American flag was riddled with Turkish bullets and Americans were fired upon by Turkish troops. The destruction of American property, by order of the Ottoman officials, has been on a scale that makes one wonder whether the fact of war justifies the United States in acquiescence in these latest outrages.

Honor is a delicate thing and has curious ramifications. Hear my friend explode: "The seal of the United States Government is supposed to be inviolable. When the consuls of the Allied nations left Turkey, their consulates were turned over to the United States Government. Protection of them became duty of honor. So these consulates were officially sealed and guarded by the authority of the United States of America. They were a trust that could not be violated without shame greater than that involved in an efferent to our Government directly. Nevertheless the Turks broke the seal of the American Government upon the French Consulate at Beirut and ravaged the archives that were under the solemn protection of the United States. out of those files they secured the names of various persons in Syria, especially leaders in the Maronite Church, and straightway executed them as having been in correspondence with an enemy country. The American flag was not big enough to shelter those men, among them the most enlightened and influential citizens of the Lebanon."

There is a kink in the Turk's brain that turns him to reprisals and espionage. In the days of Abdul Hamid his spy system was like a shadow of death over the land. Now the news is that a horde of informers and secret police infest the country, especially at the Centers of population. All mail entering the Empire is opened, and every clue that leads to any critic or enemy of Turkey is vindictively followed out, both against natives and foreigners. Nobody knows when his hour to become the object of suspicion will strike. This terrorism, amid a people wasted by war and want, is a form of "frightfulness" that is one of the most hideous of the ills that now stalk through the land.

Not a scrap of paper was brought out of Turkey by my friend. The border examination looks well to that, with its meticulous examination of travelers, from the hair of their head, where tiny rolls of tissue paper might be concealed, to the soles of their feet, upon which maps may be drawn with invisible ink. "What they do to one reveals their own mind and methods," sententiously remarked this man, in comment upon the indignities he had undergone. No written memoranda were needed, however, for the most significant news of all – the two new "pan" – oply of this war.

"Pan-Turanianism and Pan-Arabia are today real movements in Turkey. There is a clear and formidable effort being made to bind all the Turks together as a unity, independently of Islam. It rather takes one's breath – doesn't it? – to attempt to conceive of a Turkey that is not dependent upon Mohammedanism for its law, its institutions, its standards, its power, its life. The Young Turks, who never were really good Moslems, have cut the Gordian knot of their difficulties over the faith by boldly projecting a nation that will separate Church and State. Instead of the religious tie, they will substitute the racial tie, rallying all Turks to the ancient tribal standards under which they grew unto power. Freed of the fetters of the faith, they aim to subjugate the Arabs and the Christian peoples, and to deal by a strong hand with the old and reactionary Moslems.

The rebellion of the Arabs, under the Shereef of Mecca, which has cost Turkey the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and also Jiddah, the Red Sea port thereto, has intensified the purpose of these radicals to separate the nation from all connection with the religion of the Prophet. They say nothing, naturally, of what it will mean to deprive the Sultan of all his spiritual offices and titles, as Commander of the Faithful. All of this, to my mind, is purely speculative, for I neither believe nor hope that there will be any Turkish Empire left after the war to become an experiment in Pan-Turanianism or anything else.

As for the Arab rebellion, that has several causes. For years the Turks have been trying to repress the Arabs and to abolish the use of the Arabic language. Long before the war there was a deep unrest among the peoples of the Arabic-speaking parts of the Empire, including all Syria and Palestin, over the repressive measures of the Young Turks. For their part, the Arabs, who are Semites and fundamentally religious, have regarded with increasing disfavor their progressive rulers, whom they call "infidels." To them the religious bond is supreme. So, making an excuse of the hanging of a number of eminent Moslems by the Government, they have declared the independence of Arabia and have set up a separate nation, with the Shereef of Mecca, and kinsman of Mohammed himself, as Caliph.

This is not small, tribal politics. The fine Italian hand of Britain is behind it. King George rules over more Moslems than any other sovereign, and more Moslems than any other sovereign, and he cannot afford to take chances with another "holy war." So long as the caliphate, or headship, of Islam is vested in the Sultan of Turkey there is trouble in prospect for the British Moslem peoples. Therefore the British have fomented the Arabian revolt, less to make trouble for Turkey and for the Turco-Teutonic expeditions to Suez and Mesopotamia (though it will do that also) than to assure the spiritual headship of all Mohammedans to a place and a people that cannot be a manace to the "Pax Britannica." Moslem everywhere will recognize the appropriateness of recognizing a Caliph who is seated at the Holy City of Mecca, and who is also, as the Law directs, of the Prophet's own blood."

From this tremendous news, with all its far-reaching consequences, it was an easy step to a discussion of the action of Turkey after the war. My friend has clear-cut ideas, the summary, I gather, of the view of himself and other internationalists both in the Levant and in Great Britain. Of course Britain will get Arabia and southern Persia. Only so can she safeguard the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean. The Queen of the Weves must guard her waters. Likewise, since really high politics always regards the springs of action of her Moslem peoples. Therefore all the holy places connected with Islam – Mecca, Medina, Kerbela, and Nejef, and possibly also Damascus – will come under British suzerainty, if not direct rule. Incidentally, Great Britain will thus possess beyond all menace the Great oil-fields of southern Persia and of the lower Tigris Valley, as well as the immense agricultural tracts in Mesopotamia which are being opened by the Willcocks irrigation scheme.

"France will get at least upper Syria, and perhaps also Palestine, although the latter's prospects as an autonomous state, under the protection of the Powers, are good; for thus the Jews could fulfill their dream. Russia will have upper and eastern Asia Minor, and free access through the Bosphorus, if not control of Constantinople. Italy will have some of the littoral of Anatolia, as well as opportunity on the Egean shores and some island acquisitions.

One reason why it will be safe for Russia to hold Constantinople is that Britain is to have the sentinel islands of Mitylene and Lemnos, as well as Salonika. So, with Cyprus, Malta, Port Said, and Gibraltar in addition, she will still control the Mediterranean.

By the way, General Townshend, the defender of Kut-el-Amara, is now a prisoner on one of the islands on the Sea of Marmora, and his wife has been permitted to join him. The other Kut-el-Amara prisoners are in Asia Minor, and Tokat, where Henry Martyn died, seems to be their objective. There has been considerable sickness among them."

Here we were back again among the fighting men and their doings. "There has been a deal of fine road-making in Turkey under the Germans. Prisoners and Armenians have been used for this. Anew motor road has been laid through the Cilician Gates and around the head of the Mediterranean. There are two big gaps in the Bagdad Railway construction, one of forty-two kilometers at Bozanti, where the Taurus Mountais are being tunneled, and another of seventy-five kilometers at the tunnel through the Amanus Mountais. Army motor lorries supply the missing transportation over fine new roads. Some of these huge motor trucks have gone, loaded, all the way from Essen, in Germany, to Bagdad. What an 'ad' for some German motor manufacturer!

All the military supplies for the armies in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia and Syria are dependent upon this one line of communication with Germany. If the Allies should break it in the Balkans, the jig would be up with Turkey. The country is absolutely blockaded by sea and land, except where the railway from Europe enters. At present the end of construction on the Bagdad line is at Ras-el-Ain, or a little beyond; the tracks have crossed the Euphrates River, but they have not reached the Tigris. A decisive battle probably will be fought at Ras-el-Ain, where there is a great storehouse of supplies. Great Britain has made all things ready to retrieve this winter her defeat on the Tigris."

Which again brings us into the realm of prophecy, and that is a good place to stop, with the simply reminder that the Allies have an open road to Turkey from nearly all sides, and that they command the sea routes. Whereas Turkey has nothing; she is dependent upon her masterful confederate for every bullet she shoots, and every rifle that shoots it, and every pound of powder that is behind it. She does not manufacture a single steel rail or car or motor truck. Even the uniforms of her soldiers must come from Austria and Germany, from the European shoes to the new cap called the "Enverine," "Enver Pasha's one constructive contribution to the war." Disease has devastated the troops, and their foreign officers are hated and feared. Considering their handicaps the Turkish soldiers have made a wonderful record, but it cannot save their country from paying the price for their ruler's sins.

[*The man here interviewed is not "The Man from Constantinople" whose story Dr. Ellis wrote for The Outlook of December 8, 1915.— THE EDITORS.]
http://www.armeensegenocide.info/pers-vs/OU-20-12-1916.html
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 10:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Australian Naval History on 20 December 1916

December 20, 1916 - HMA Ships SYDNEY and MELBOURNE, (cruisers), were damaged when the destroyers HOSTE and NEGRO collided and sank off Norway. Both ships lost a man and seven were injured when the destroyers’ depth charges exploded.

https://www.navyhistory.org.au/20-december-1916/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 10:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

War Diaries 20 December 1916 - Extract from 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment War Diaries 20th December 1916

Wilfred was killed during a raid on enemy trenches in positions near Ploegsteert Wood near Ypres. The objective was to capture or kill the crews of three Minnenwerfers (trench mortars). The battalion war diary states:

"1916
December
20th Wed.

Holding Line. A small Wirecutting operation was carried over during the afternoon, bombardment by all kinds of Heavy and Light Artillery, T.Ms etc. lasted from 3.10 pm to 3.40 pm. The objectives were:-

(1) To cut a gap in Enemy wire about U21.b.7.5 (junction of support & front line northern face of Birdcage.)
(2) To catch & kill any enemy about in his trenches with short surprise bombardments of selected points.
(3) To catch and destroy the personnel of the three located Heavy Minnenwerfers when they retaliated with short bursts of Artillery fire. A party was sent out at dusk to prevent the enemy from mending wire & to catch any if possible. Casualties, 2 killed 3 wounded.


http://thegreatwar.whitchurch-shropshire.co.uk/extract-war-diaries-13th-battalion-cheshire-regiment/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 10:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

20th December 1916 - King's Shropshire Light Infantry Battlefields

The 1st Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry-Front Lines at Givenchy lez-la Bassee between the Canal and Red Dragoon Crater:-
2 p.m. the Battalion is relieved by the 1/Cheshires and proceed to billets in Le Quesnoy.

The 2nd Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry- Greece:-
One 2/K.S.L.I. man died of illness on this day 100 years ago:-
16796 Pte. Samuel, Harris, the son of Edward and Mary Ann Harris, of 27, Bridgnorth Rd., Madeley.
Born Madeley, Shrops.
Enlisted Ironbridge, Shrops. about 11th January 1915
Landed in France 02/06/15 and posted to 2/K.S.L.I.
Wounded August 1915 while in Armentieres sector
Died 20/12/16 of Tuberculosis aged 25.
Buried in Lembet Road Military Cemetery, Salonika.

The 5th Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry-Brigade Reserve at Agny:-
Nothing to report.

The 6th Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry-Camp at Carnoy:-
Day spent cleaning arms, clothing and equipment, after which several fatigue parties found and the rest of the men work on improving conditions in the Camp.
Also Major-General W. Douglas, Smith, 20th Division, inspected the camp.
Draft of 164 men arrive from Base in the evening.

The 7th Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry-Billets at Bus-les-Artois:-
110 men and proportion of officers and N.C.O.'s moved to White City and relieved one company of the 1/R.S.F. The reminder of the 7/K.S.L.I. marched to Courcelles. The men moving into White City following the railway from the Sucrerie-Auchonvillers road.
Between the 15th & 20th December 20 men were admitted to Field Ambulance.

https://www.facebook.com/KSLI.Battlefields.tours/posts/100-years-ago-today-20th-december-1916-the-1st-battalion-kings-shropshire-light-/1370626109617218/
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 20 Dec 2018 10:47, in toaal 2 keer bewerkt
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 15708
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Dec 2018 10:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

12th Light Horse Regiment War Diary and Routine Orders, 1916 - 1919

The following photographs are from the individual pages which made up the War Diary and Routine Orders of the 12th Light Horse Regiment from reformation in Egypt in 1916 until the final days in Egypt prior to embarkation in July 1919.
The Routine Orders, the item which is the purest history of a unit. It is the unvarnished story detailing aspirations and events as they unfolded without any gloss attached to them as they are written to maintain the efficiency of a Regiment on a day to day basis.
The Routine Orders of the 12th Light Horse Regiment are not complete and so are filed as found. During and after the conclusion of the war, no great imperative was felt for their preservation. Their needs had been served and so preservation was of the lowest order. That we have them today is a blessing and we can only thank the foresight of the clerk who preserved what we have now.


12th Light Horse Regiment Routine Order No. 258, 20 December 1916, p. 1: http://alh-research.tripod.com/12th_light_horse_regiment_routine_orders_1916_1919/index.album/12th-light-horse-regiment-routine-order-no-258-20-december-1916-p-1?i=323
_________________

“Stop whining.”
– A. Schwarzenegger
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Berichten van afgelopen:   
Plaats nieuw bericht   Plaats Reactie    Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog Forum Index -> Wat gebeurde er vandaag... Tijden zijn in GMT + 1 uur
Ga naar Pagina Vorige  1, 2
Pagina 2 van 2

 
Ga naar:  
Je mag geen nieuwe onderwerpen plaatsen
Je mag geen reacties plaatsen
Je mag je berichten niet bewerken
Je mag je berichten niet verwijderen
Ja mag niet stemmen in polls


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group