Centenary of the Great War

ENDURANCE: The winter of the Western Front was one thing to endure, the constant threat of poison gas was another. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony

Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for December 10-16, 1917

AUSTRALIANS CHEERFULMr Gordon Gilmour, the representative of the n and New Zealand Press Association, telegraphs: Those n divisions in the line overlooking German positions are cheerful.Our men have suffered practically no casualties as yet. We have deep, comfortable dug-outs. The enemy artillery is intermittent, and only moderately destructive.General Birdwood this week distributed 265 decorations, mostly Military Medals, to the Third Division, on its completion of twelve months’ service in France. The division distinguished itself at Messines and on the slopes of Passchendaele.Recent events on all fronts have caused the men to realise that their job is far from being finished.

CAPTURE OF JERUSALEMMr Bonar Law, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced in the British House of Commons on Monday that Jerusalem had surrendered to the British troops. He said: General Allenby reports that on December 8th he attacked the positions west and south of Jerusalem. Welsh and Home county troops, advancing from Bethlehem, drove back the enemy, and passing eastwards of Jerusalem established themselves on the Jericho road. Simultaneously, London infantry and dismounted Yeomanry attacked strong positions westward and north-westward, and established themselves astride the Schekem road. The holy city, thus isolated, surrendered. British political officers, with a British Governor, accompanied by French, Italian, and Mahommedan representatives, were on their way to safeguard the city’s holy places.General Allenby proposes to enter the city officially on Tuesday, accompanied by the Commanders of the French and Italian contingents, and the heads of the French political mission.The capture of Jerusalem was in some degree delayed in consequence of the great care taken to avoid damage to the sacred places in and around the city.The newspapers recall the fact that Sunday was the anniversary of the capture of the temple by Judas Maccabaeus. There was a demonstration in the House of Commons after Mr Bonar Law’s announcement.

The London newspapers applaud General Allenby’s brilliant tactics there. There was a solemn To Deum in Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the capture of Jerusalem.

THE KING’S MESSAGEIt is officially reported that the King has sent the following message to General Sir Edmund Allenby:

“The occupation of Jerusalem will be received throughout the Empire with the greatest satisfaction. I heartily congratulate you and all ranks on the success of the achievement, which is a fitting sequel to the troops’ hard marching and fighting, and the organisation whereby the difficulties of supply, transport, and water are overcome. I rejoice in the skilful dispositions that preserved intact the holy places.”

AMERICAN SATISFACTIONThe New York newspapers are most elated at the fall of Jerusalem. They anticipate the greatest moral effect on the Turks.The New York Times holds that Jerusalem is of great strategic value. The population will welcome the beneficent British rule, with its reforms and promotion of trade. Damascus will be the next objective, it says.

The New York World says: “The capture of Jerusalem stirs civilised minds everywhere. It is not only a real military achievement, but will have memorable political consequences.”

The New York Sun says: “The German dream of expansion in Asia Minor is now ended.”

The Jewish newspapers recall the British promise. Efforts will be made to establish a national Jewish homeland.

CALL TO AUSTRALIADr Wright, the Archbishop of Sydney, states: “The event is of great importance, and all ns must be very glad to know that ‘ was there.’ I think the fact that ns have taken part in this success is a distinct call to to see that her men at the front are adequately reinforced, so that this most important gain, which will have a great moral effect on the nations at war and throughout the East, may be maintained.”

ABERMAINThe ladies of the Abermain Comforts Fund despatched 33 parcels of comforts by post on Monday to local boys on active service. These parcels bring the number up to 275, sent away altogether. The committee wishes to thank the ten school girls for the sum of £4 16s 9d collected by them at their recent bazaar. The weekly knitting class will be postponed for the holidays, and will start again on January 17th. Miss Endean, secretary to the Abermain Comforts’ Fund, has received a letter from Private J. Devon, dated from France, thanking her committee for a parcel received and much appreciated. He had met many of the Abermain boys, including his own brother.

NEWS OF THE DAYThree dug-outs blown in by Fritz in succession, and an invasion of rats, was the lot of one YMCA with n troops in France last month. J. T. Massey, a military secretary of the association, writes from the front: “Every night Fritz shelled us, sometimes worse than others, but always severely enough to make it dangerous. If we lay down for a while in a dug-out while the boiler was getting up steam, the rats would be sure to investigate, and insist on sharing the premises, and any eatables about. There are times, when, despite evil-smelling and noisy rats, the whistle and explosion of shells, and the zip of gas shells in hundreds, one can sleep, but it is an unsettled sleep, from which one is often awakened by the huge explosion of an extra close shell, which shakes the rather flimsy dug-out like an earthquake. We had three of our dug-outs blown in by Fritz, and we had to retire from so advanced a position, but the Red Triangle branch still did business.”

ADVANCE IN PALESTINEAn official report from Palestine states: Our line has advanced midway between Jerusalem and Jaffa.The Patriarch of Jerusalem has telegraphed to the Pope that the city is not damaged. Not a shot was fired against it.Mr Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, read a telegram from General Sir Edmund Allenby in the House of Commons, stating that he had entered Jerusalem on Tuesday at noon, accompanied by a staff of commanders of the French and Italian detachments, the heads of the political mission, and military attaches of France, Italy, and the United States.The procession was on foot, and at the Jaffa Gates was received by a guard representing England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, , New Zealand, India, France, and Italy. The population gave them an excellent reception. Guards have been placed at holy places, Russian and Greek representatives supervising the arrangements, while the Mosque of Omar was placed under Moslem control. A military guard of Mahommedans was placed around the Mosque.A message from Odessa states that there was a great Jewish demonstration there on learning Britain’s plans regarding the Jews and Palestine. Fifteen thousand participated in a procession two miles long. They marched past the British Consulate, which they asked to convey their gratitude to Great Britain.

The Berlin newspapers admit that the capture of Jerusalem gives the victor considerable glory. General Allenby’s campaign was well prepared and cleverly executed.

The Austrian papers state that the Central Powers will make an effort at the Peace Conference to secure the restoration of Jerusalem to Turkey.

CARDIFFMrs Lovell, of Cardiff, has received a cable message, stating that her daughter, Nurse Ilma Lovell, who sailed from on September 14, has arrived safely at Port Said. Nurse Lovell was on the Wallsend Hospital staff.

NEW LAMBTON PSThere was a large gathering at the New Lambton Public School on Thursday afternoon to witness the unveiling of the roll of honour of ex-pupils of the school who have enlisted. The roll, which was made by Messrs. Mackie and Coy., and hangs in a prominent position in the school room, is of polished silky oak, and contains 83 names, six being marked by an asterisk, denoting that they had made the supreme sacrifice, and one, J. Mitchell, had received the DCM. Mr Estell, MP, who performed the unveiling ceremony, spoke appropriately to the occasion, as did also the Revs. Beeman and Weatherall.

MINMIThe erection of the brick wall in front of the post office, to which the roll of honour is to be affixed, was commenced this week. Mr Dann, of Holmesville, assisted by Messrs. R. Whent, A. Sneddon, and R. Fullicks (members of the committee), have given their services each afternoon after doing their usual day’s work. The brick work has been completed and the front of the monument is now being finished off with tiles.

ATHLETICSBefore going in camp, Jimmy Clabby will take part in at least one boxing contest, having entered into an agreement to meet Fred Kay at the Melbourne Stadium. Clabby is anxious to defeat Kay, who has a decision against the American. Though an American, Clabby will go to the front as a member of the Sportsmen’s Thousand. Clabby’s action in deciding to go with an n unit has added in his popularity. “ and her people,” said Clabby recently, “has treated me well every time I have visited the Commonwealth, and I will regard it as a great honour to fight beside gallant n lads. Some of my hardest contests with the gloves have been with ns and no one has a greater respect for them than I. Standing side by side with them against the common enemy is a privilege that I have sought for a long time.”

THE REFERENDUMA message, signed by 1182 n women domiciled in the United Kingdom, addressed to the women of , unanimously supports the reinforcements referendum.It points out that every division, battalion and company is now under strength, therefore every man is carrying a greater burden than is right. The women working in hospitals know that many are anxious to return to the front, simply anxious to succour their comrades. The Government’s scheme means a shorter time in the trenches, longer spells out of the lines, and quicker victory, and a return home.They appeal to their sisters in the Commonwealth not to give the enemy a chance to gloat as he did over the last negative referendum, and asks women to preserve ’s honour by voting “Yes.”

AUSTRALIANS WANT HELPBrigadier-General Paton, writing from the West front,15th October, to Mr Charles Earp, says:“For the last four weeks we have been pushing back the Germans incessantly east of Ypres, and are just out now for a breather. It has been a very trying and exhausting time for everyone concerned. To drive the Hun off Passchendaele Ridge before winter is upon us is a big undertaking, but I fancy we will manage it, and in any case we are slaying thousands of them. The reports about reinforcements are not very cheery; hope there will be sufficient to keep the divisions now in the field going, but it seems doubtful.”

ENLISTMENTSJames Frederick Begg, Hamilton; William Cedric Dorrington, Mayfield; William Frederick Dyer, Wickham; Gordon Grant, Newcastle; Alfred Cecil Horne, Wickham; Stuart William Smith, New Lambton; Henry Charles Thomas, Merewether; John Dawson Thomson, West Maitland.

DEATHSDriver William Joseph Humphreys, Wickham; Private Alfred Ernest Parker, West Maitland.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. (facebook老域名出售/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory)

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