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WAR NOTES, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914
[By Ex-Yeoman,] LONDON, September 11. —The Rally.— Recent events must have considerably surprised many people inclined to look on Old England as effete. Recruits for the new army are rolling up steadily, the best return for one day being on September 3, when 33,240 were enrolled. Now, it happened that on that morning the news from the centre of war in France was far from inspiring. It was announced that the seat of the French Government was about to be transferred from Paris to Bordeaux, and that the German armies were within 40 miles of the former city. Moreover, the British soldiers had been compelled to give way before greatly superior numbers for over a week. Thus the situation looked critical, and it was met with increased activity at the recruiting centres. It is easy to he enthusiastic when everything is going well, but it takes a tougher character to step forward when clouds are gathering. That the best day in the matter of recruiting happened to he on September 3 is therefore worth pondering over, and we shall not hear quite so much about “ poor, played-out Old England ” in future. —Proud Families. — The list of families supplying large numbers for service is being added to every day. Particulars have just been published which show four families are contributing 28 men to the Army or Navy. Eight sons of Mr and Mrs Mann, of Nottingham, are wearing the King’s uniform, and the father’s regret is that he is too old to fight. , A Hampstead family named Hieron provides seven stalwart soldiers or sailors, and their brave old mother says; “ Whilst I am sorry to see them all go, I am a ery proud of them.” Ireland also furnishes another fine fighting family in the seven brothers Flynn, of County Mayo, and the father—who served 22 years—takes consolation in the fact that he is well represented, though past the age for active service himself. Tire fourth family concerned in this proud record is the example of six brothers named Dounie, of Aberdeen. Three are in the famous Gordon Highlanders, two in the and another in the 11th Hussars'. —A Lesson. — It is, of course, only to he expected that one occasionally hears of incidents which show tjhafc certain people lack true patriotism. England contains many residents of a decidedly mixed breed, and their want of the true Imperial spirit is understandable. A story is told of a wealthy resident in a fine mansion who wrote to the Admiralty complaining that the training of naval reservists in the neighborhood was disturbing. He must have felt surprised when he received a reply to the effect that his letter had unfolded to the authorities the existence of a verv useful house for their and that he would have to vacate his resi- [ deuce within 24 hours, as it was required for the accommodation of officers and men. —Kindly Villagers. — In contrast to the above, it is pleasing to turn to the simple acts of kindness which villagers confer on soldiers they come in contact with. The writer was in the centre of much activity during the last week-end, and.was able to learn from first-hand knowledge how the country folk treat the soldiers. “ Tommy ” has to be handy if lie wishes to keep his clothes clean and in repair, but it frequently happens that the washing and darning of undergarments and socks is done for him by a kindly soul who has a son or brother on active service. Lots of other little incidents indicate how the simple country folk admire our soldiers.
Tire writer was cycling in the New Forest on Tuesday, when he overtook an ammunition column of the 35th Battery, R.F.A., at Wellow. It was so pleasing to see the women of the villages run alongside the men and throw them apples, which, on a blazing hot day, and with clouds of thick dust flying, were very acceptable. Save for the N.C.O.s, the soldiers looked young, and they were evidently without foreign service experience. All looked the picture of health, however, and there was no mistaking their high spirits, and pleasure at the chance which has come to them. —The Straight Tip.— All hough (he following little story may not bo true, it is worth repeating. A stalwart recruit of 6ft 2in offered himself for the Colonial Cavalry being raised in London, and gave his age as 43. The limit is 42, but as the colonel looked over the man lie said: “ I will give you 10 minutes to consider your age again.” The recruit soon returned, saying that on looking up dates he found lie was only 41. lie wa.s promptly accepted. —lnspiring Words.— •Speaking at Blackhcath this week. Lord Charles Beresford said ; ” We shall win as sute us there is a sun in the heavens. Roll up and join, my lads ! This is going to he a fight (o a finish, with n clean and fair knock-out blow, and we are going to administer it.” —Fine Material.— A friend of the writer’s, who was recently called up from the reserve of o(Tiers (Territorials), pays a high tribute to the quality of the. new recruits who have joined the second battalion of the 15th County of London Regiment. Though many had served before, a. goodly; proportion were raw recruits, but so keen are they that they have cheerfully put, in five hours’ hard drill daily for a fortnight. The progress has been to rapid that the men were drilled as a battalion in Regents Park yesterday, which denotes keenness and intelligence. Belafst is expected to furnish two brigades (8,000) from the Ulster volunteers. The St. Joseph's Football Club, of West Hartlepool, will not be able to play any matches during the, present .season, til] the members and the trainer having enlisted. —Will the Kaiser Go to America-? The report goes that the Kaiser has been investing huge sums of money in propei tvin America through the German Ambassador in Washington, U.S.A. lie is said to be one of the largest landowners in the Western States, and to ow.i considerable property in the West of Canada. The newspapers say that “these enormous investments in America can only mean one thing.” If he cannot “ boss ” Western Europe, he means to have the finest house on Fifth avenue. Is the Kaiser getting ready to quit? And if so, will he be successful of running the gauntlet of his own officers, many of whom are reported to be already very sick at the result of the war so far? —Protection Against Bullets.— In looking over some old newspaper files in London the other day I cams nrrees a telegram from Vicuna, dated 24th July, 1896, to the effect that a Vienna tailor named Franz Zeidler had invented a bullet-proof coat,.capable of fully protecting the wearer against being wounded by a bullet fired at a distance of 2,400 paces. The coat was thickly lined with wadding, and was therefore very light. It was claimed that in this respect it was superior to the article produced previously by a German named Jorne, who had conceived the idea of inserting within the coat a thin steel breastplate. The telegram also stated that the Emperor was to be invited to give the new padded coat a trial. To judge by tho tremendous slaughter that Tv“= been Aoitig on amongst the Gar-
mans and Austrians, it would eeem either that the tailor’s trade in padded coat”v ha* not been a brisk one, or else that his invention lias not acted up to expectations.
—German Prisoners on View.— At Aldershot (England) ‘one may go and see the prisoners of war for oneself! But not at close quarters. One is not now allowed to approach nearer than 100 yards away from the place where they are kicking up their heels in luxurious idleness, while our men who have had the misfortune to have been taken by the enemy are either butchered or set to work in the fields or digging trenches. Until a few days ago German prisoners were allowed to receive visits from their friends, but this has been stopped until the' Germans in Germany nave agreed to allow a similar privilege to British prisoners over there.
—"British” or "English.”— Some small outcry—far less than was deserving, to my mind—has been raised against our army lieing described as the ‘English army.” It has been pointed out that the Englishman really means to include the Scottish. Irish., Vv eish. Canadian. Australian, New Zealander, South African, ana Indian. But if so, why not say so? It would seem that now, more than ever before, an opportunity has come for cementing the ties of Empire. It is a y a su hstitut-e the word “ English ’ —however glorious in itself—for tm wider term “British.” —lhe Channel Tunnel,— While most of us have been congratulating ourselves that the idea of constructing a tunnel between England, and France underneath the sea has never been carried out, several peers and members of Parliamnt _ have expressed their intention of pushing forward the proposition as soon as Parliament is able to deal with it. They contend that the transport of our troops to France would have been much more expeditiously carried out if there had been such a tunnel now, and declare that allsufficient precautions could easily have been taken in the wav of stopping trains for examination, covering exits with guns, and providing for the flooding of parts of the tunnel in case of necessity. Such au easy means of reaching Prance may certainly have its value as long as England and France are on friendly terms —and undoubtedly the present war is going to have the effect of turning the “entente cordiale ” between Great Britain and France (a_ very_ much overrated and empty sentiment in the past)—into a verv strong feeling of fellowship. Indeed, it i‘s hoped over here that when peace has once more been restored, under conditions that we all like to picture to ourselves, that a ver y great stride will have been made towards the realisation of the idea of the brotherhood of man. For not only the barriers between the nations west and east of the English Channel, but the greater barriers_ between Western and Eastern civilisation and between white and brownskinned races, will have been to some extent broken down by the united attack against worldly militancy. —The “Braceless” ones in Paris. The Parisian soldiers have found a new way of keeping their German prisoners from running away. They have taken away their braces, so that they have to use one hand for holding up their trousers If you try to run with one hand clutching the waistband of your pants you will probably find that you won’t win many races. Truly tnc French must be an inventive race. —Successful Recruiting.— Great Britain has been sweariim in ra-v recruits at, the rate of ZO,COO to 30,000 per day. London alone lias provided 70,000 of theßc. _ Through the village in which 1 was staying a thousand young telegranii ists and postmen marched the other day in all the glory of their new uniform’. Nearly the whole of Lord Kitchener’s first army of 600,000 has now been enrolled.
The most popular song amongst the British soldiers is ‘lt's a Long Wav to Tipperary.’
WAR NOTES, Issue 15630, 22 October 1914
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