Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for October 7-13, 1918.
TOTALS TO DATE
Casualties among members of the AIF are down by a return issued by the Defence Department on Saturday, to be as follows: Dead 52,967; missing, 80; prisoners of war, 3,380; wounded, 150,665; sick, 74,934; casualties not specified, 216; total, 282,262. Wounded and sick are in excess of the actual number of men affected, as many are admitted to hospital more than once.
The following message from General Sir Edmund Allenby has been received by the Governor-General, through the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in reply to the congratulations despatched to him on behalf of the Commonwealth Government: “Kindly convey to the Governor-General of Australia our high appreciation and thanks for the message of congratulations sent by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia. The completeness of our victory is due to the action of the desert mounted corps under General Chauvel. In battle and in pursuit, Australian troops have taken a brilliant part, and have proved themselves worthy of their brothers whose deeds on the Western Front fill us with admiration.”
ADMIRATION OF HAIG
It is noteworthy that the French General Staff has expressed the warmest admiration for Field-Marshal Haig's battles in the last two months both as regards his generalship and the fighting qualities of the troops. They say: “The series of battles are models in conception and execution, and classic examples of military art.” Since the 8th August the British have defeated 80 German divisions. The German infantry divisions in the west are now reduced to 183, in addition to eight Austrian divisions.
THE RETURNING ANZACS
Senator Pearce, the Minister for Defence, states that all arrangements have been made by the Defence Department to enable the returning Anzacs to have furlough as soon as possible after their arrival. The department has arranged for the augmentation of the ordinary troopship rations while on the voyage. To enable the public to identify them, they will wear below the unit colours a rosette of red, white, and blue cloth. They will have two months' furlough from the date of disembarkation, and will be on full pay, with the addition of a daily allowance of 3 shillings, and will be permitted to draw up to 25 per cent of their deferred pay.
Mr Philip Gibbs states: The German suggestion of an armistice has caused much excitement behind the lines. Many saw in it the prospect of an early victory. But whatever the result of the German offer, our men regard it as a sign that the enemy realises the new military situation, and that he will certainly be forced to withdraw from his present positions in France and Belgium, whether or not an armistice results. The most common phrase is: "There must be no bargaining.”
FURLOUGH FOR AUSTRALIANS
Mr W.M. Hughes, the Prime Minister of Australia, has arranged that Australian soldiers not desirous of returning on six months' home leave shall have the option of 75 days' furlough on full pay in Great Britain, with 3 shillings daily sustenance allowance. They will be allowed to draw 25 per cent deferred pay. This applies particularly to Australians married to Englishwomen. The arrangement is the result of a chance encounter with an Australian soldier whom Mr Hughes met at Tincourt Wood under shellfire. The Australian said, “I am married to an English girl, and I don’t want to go to Australia without her.” When he returned to London Mr Hughes found others did not desire the voyage.
MAJOR RODD INTERVIEWED
Major B.B. Rodd, who has just returned from the war wounded, was interviewed by a representative of the Newcastle Morning Herald. Major Rodd said he was in the fighting on the Somme when the Germans made their great push in March, and he can never forget the scenes of men taking part in this open warfare, which was very different from the work in the north, where a number of raids had been carried out, and from where the Australians had been brought, as it was evidently thought they would be the most suitable troops for this counter-attack work. To bivouac in a wood or hollow for a day or two, dodging bombardments, and then deliver an attack when the Germans broke through, seemed to suit our men, and never were they seen to flinch, no matter how deadly the fire. At Villers Bretonneux, on April 4, particularly brilliant work was done by the two battalions which left Broadmeadow in May 1916. The casualties were heavy, but the Germans fell in greater numbers, and when they saw our fellows advancing through their line with fixed bayonets, vast numbers turned tail, and made good shooting for us. Our men were in a cross fire so terrific that the ground was being ripped up all round us, and communication was cut off by belts of enemy machine-gun fire. But our fire eventually silenced the enemy, and the town of Villers Bretonneux was saved. The work of the English cavalry was particularly in evidence round these parts, which lay at the extreme right of the British front, and where it linked up with the French, so that it was an important job to keep the enemy back. The artillery men were working in the open fields, hundreds of planes overhead, and, altogether, it was a complete battle arena, the weird tanks crawling forward adding to its completeness.
PRIVATE HIGGS MM
Private J. P. Higgs, second son of the late Dr Higgs and of Mrs Higgs, who is at present living at Dungog, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. The official records show that under heavy fire he dug two men out of a trench where they had been buried by shells. Private Higgs enlisted in October, 1916, from Dungog, with the Engineers, and has been in the firing line 10 months.
RED CROSS SOCIETY
The usual weekly consignment of goods was despatched to Sydney during the week. The secretaries report having received donations of goods from the following branches: Hexham, Wallsend, Killingworth, Toronto, and goods have been made by Speers’ Point. The Junior Red Cross at Nelson's Bay is desirous of purchasing a spinning wheel, and for this purpose the children of the district have been gathering wild flowers, which have been sold in Newcastle by the Red Cross Society, assisted by the VADs. The proceeds have been divided between the society and the junior circle at the Bay. The Eastern fete, to be held in the grounds of the Mental Hospital, in aid of Jacks' Day, promises to be most successful. Flowers, sweets, and cigarettes will be sold, and there will also be a hoop-la table. Refreshments will be served in the refreshment booth in the grounds. Oysters and prawns will also be available.
TOYS FOR SOLDIERS' CHILDREN
A meeting, convened by Messrs. Nat Phillips and Roy Rene (Stiffy and Mo), was held at the Victoria Theatre on Thursday morning, for the purpose of assisting the League of Honour in its effort to raise sufficient money to provide toys for the soldiers' children and gifts for the mothers at Christmas. Alderman Kilgour, the Mayor, occupied the chair, and included in those present, in addition to several members of the League of Honour, were representatives of the company now appearing at the Victoria Theatre. The Mayor commended the good work of the League of Honour to the citizens, and expressed the wish that the money required to make the children happy at the festive season would be speedily raised. Mr Phillips said nothing would be lacking on the part of the profession to make the proposed sports carnival a success. It was decided to hold the carnival on the Newcastle Showground on Wednesday afternoon, October 23. A street appeal will also be made in the morning, under the direction of Stiffy and Mo. Dr May Harris, the president of the League of Honour, thanked Mr. Phillips and his co-workers for coming to the assistance of the league.
When the announcement was made that the original Anzacs were to be given home leave it was mentioned that probably Adamstown would be represented on their return by Privates P. Johnson and F. Mullans, but unfortunately word has come through during the past week that both young men have been severely wounded. Private Johnson has been away just on four years. Private Mullans, who is better known as "Splinter" Davies, is one of the Anzacs who first landed on Gallipoli. He went through that campaign without a scar, and has been in the thick of the fighting In France. Hs is a brother of Mrs. A. Wilson, of Narara Road, Adamstown.
CATHERINE HILL BAY
Mr Gillon presided at a welcome home tendered to Private Stewart in the Wallarah Hall. The chairman said they were all pleased to see Private Stewart and to welcome him home. Although he had been unfortunate he hoped that he would soon be restored to health, strength, and prosperity. Mr Akhurst, in moving a vote of sympathy to Mr, and Mrs Hopwood in the loss of their son, who was killed in action, referred to the noble character of one who had heard the call of his King and country and went and had made the supreme sacrifice; also to Mr and Mrs. Hancock, who received word of their son being seriously wounded, they wished to convey their sympathy. Mr Baker briefly supported Mr. Akhurst in his remarks. The Girls' League, in welcoming Private Stewart, asked his acceptance of a small present. Songs and recitations were rendered, and dancing was indulged in.
The Lambton Citizens' Soldiers' Committee, early after the inception of the war, decided to beautify the park, including the erection of new gates, the financing of which has been completed. The foundation stone will be laid by Mr J. Estell, MP, on Saturday next. The pillars are composed of Bowral trachyte with iron gates, and the wings will be iron picket on stone foundation. The pillars will be utilised for a Roll of Honour and memorial purposes to those soldiers who have fallen, and as a mark of the citizens' gratitude to those men who voluntarily enlisted.
At a meeting of the Lambton and New Lambton Presbyterian Girls Club, which was established in May last, the secretary reported that up to the present the members had knitted 53 pairs of socks for the War Chest, and 20 pairs for the 30th Battalion, and a similar number was almost ready for the 35th Battalion. In July last a number of parcels was despatched to soldiers, who, prior to enlisting, attended the church. The club received the sum of £4 as a donation from the defunct Lambton Tennis Club, which amount was expended in articles for the comforts fund.
The Pelaw Main colliery mechanics farewelled Private Tom Street on the occasion of his departure for the second time to serve his country. He enlisted early in the war, but was wounded by shrapnel at Pozieres in 1916, and was subsequently invalided home. The presentation of a gold medal was made by Mr. John Dodds, who congratulated Private Street on his splendid patriotism in again enlisting, and so setting an example to those eligible who were free to go, but did not realise their obligations. In reply, Private Street said that, having regained his health, he felt that it was his duty to return to his comrades, because he knew how men were needed to fill the gaps in the ranks of the Australians.
Pte John Archibald, Kurri Kurri; L/Cpl Sydney Patrick Mannix, Telarah; Cpl Ernest Mooney, Bulahdelah; Gunner Jem Page, Scone.