MONDAY 15 MARCH 1915
A noteworthy feature of the present war, so far as Britain is concerned, is the silence of the public in regard to the progress of the war.
Great successes, whether on land or at sea, are read of thankfully, but there is no boastfulness and no rejoicing.
It is recognised that it is undesirable to make too much of casual victories, and that there is a grim fight still ahead.
The grimness of the British determination to fight until the enemy is defeated is characteristic of the nation.
Still it is permissible to touch briefly upon the recent successes of the Allies on the west front, not only because of the proof they afford of their superiority over their enemy, but because they indicate that the long awaited advance of the Allies either has been begun or is on the point of beginning.
For many weeks the British have been gaining but their advance has been reckoned by yards and feet, but their recent advance in the region of La Bassee was for about a mile and three quarters in one direction and a mile and a furlong in another .
This ground is all trenched, and the fighting must have been of a desperate character. The British were not only able to capture this ground, but to hold it against subsequent counterattacks.
The splendid artillery work of the British forces is no doubt one of the main factors in deciding their engagements, but the courage and enthusiasm of the British and Indian infantry also play their part.
It would now seem that Britain, supported by the brave Belgians, is likely to turn the German forces in Belgian territory, and thence to press the recapture of that territory.
Meanwhile the French are exhibiting magnificent valour, and throwing the enemy back, not by yards, but by miles.
The Germans were compelled by the fierceness of the attacks to retain some of their best troops on this line.
In this way France was enabled to return to Russia the service rendered at the beginning of the war, when a Russian General invaded East Prussia to prevent the enemy from throwing too strong a force against the unprepared Allies in the west.
After this last battle it was stated that 10,000 German dead were found on the field, and that two regiments of the Prussian Guards had suffered severely.
So that while the Prussian Parliament is consoled with the announcement that its “wall of steel extends from the Vosges to the Channel, and from the Baltic to Bukovina," it is permissible to assume that in the west, at least, the great turning point in the war has been attained.
There was a sorry spectacle in Hunter Street, Newcastle, on Saturday night, when three members of the Army Service Corps were doing their best to urge on an obviously unfit horse, which was attached to a military cart, in which was a quantity of camp utensils from the racecourse at Broadmeadow.
It was learned that the racecourse was left at about four o'clock in the afternoon, and at 11 o'clock the cart was in Hunter-street West.
The men did all they could to encourage the horse, but it was evident that the animal was quite unfit to work.
Now and then some civilians would give a push to help the cart to move a bit, and by this means the slow progress made was effected. By midnight the intersection of Hunter-street and Bolton-street was reached, and there then appeared to have been some official intervention to save the horse.
A horse was procured from a cab, and the journey to Fort Scratchley was then quickly completed. The sick horse was then led away, and it seemed scarcely able to walk.
The German concentration in the direction of Ypres and La Bassee still continues.
All the troops stationed in Northern Flanders have been despatched to that region.
The Germans have mounted heavy guns at Middelkerke, and are endeavouring to destroy the sluices in the canal which runs from Nieuport into France.
A strong German attack has opened south of Dixmude.
A communique states:-
The latest report regarding operations in the Dardanelles state that two British vessels bombarded Bulnir.
Two battleships bombarded light batteries commanding Morto Bay, at the entrance to the Dardanelles, to prevent repairs being effected. A French division continues operation against Bulair, also against Morto Bay.
It is officially stated that apart from General D’Amade's force, which is concentrated in North Africa, a portion of a landing force is already en route for the Dardanelles.
General Podbielski, the president of the German Olympic Committee, now proposes to cancel the Olympiad.
It is feared that few German athletes will survive the war unwounded. It is now proposed to sell the stadium, which cost £2,000,000.
(From Embarkation Rolls)
Private Thomas William Archibald, Minmi, 20th Infantry Battalion
Lieutenant James Anderson Moore, Singleton, 18th Infantry Battalion
Private Percy Henry Thomas, Catherine Hill Bay , 20th Infantry Battalion