WAR NEWS BY MAIL.
THE TSAR AND HIS SOLDIERS. ■In- a character' sketch* of the Tsar, a writer m the Times says : The Tsar to-d&y ."hate outlined the accusation of insincerity, has outlived all his unpopu : laritv, and. has given the lie to all that* has been said against him. He has no doubt gone through great spiritual evolution id these parlous and suffering times. His mind has been working all the time, ' and to-day he emerges as a great, serious monarch whose entire thought and continuous anxiety have been "What must be done to save my people from their dangers and to put them on the. 'high road of a great destiny." , Before the Tsar -passed the uniformj for- tho common soldier m the war, he asked that -a Complete suit be : sent to him, and with it boots and . rifleV and a full • kit. -And he himself put. off his royal clothes and put oh the soldier'^ -'uniio**m ami shouldered the kit- and gun 'and walked m them on his estate m. Livadia some two hours. He was ■ photographed -so, and has allowed the .photograph to /,be reproduced for common sale and. for distribution among the soldiers. He is a simple man. He inherits the awful power, of his an- \ 6'estors, but lie would like to spend a j day as a common soldier m the trenches. Such an action would resound throughout history— win, the hearts of the whole non-German world. As the war goes 'bii; tlie sincerity and. nobility ot tlie .Tsar will be a- great factor m the giving of victory. '• It- is> good to see m- the idealist, the Peace Tsar, the same personality of" to-day but made wiser, stronger, simpler by suffering and responsibility—the' Great White Tsar> PARES AT CENTRE~bFHNTRENCH- : ED CAMP. a rmy excavators complete work; PARIS. December 29. * l'he army of excavators, who, early m September, began to dig Paris m whew a German siege was threatened, have- "'completed their, .work. The ' city now lies m the centre of an entrenched camp,' "'whose diameter- ijj about 60 miles dnd\ whose circumference "is nearly 200 mxW_'.'.'. , 'This' is surarounded by trenches thoroughly covered witlj. -logs ' "and// turf through .which loopholes / have" been left for rifle v fire;\-. AH .of- theim communicate with each other) .and cpntaii. transverse batiks . of earth . to .- prevent f hem b&fcjr * ehfilatfed ; livr infantry, or. /"machine gun, fire." ijuit beyond ...them are rifle pits '/and barbed ( "wiri. entanglements, placed- 'in all : 'positions where an attack mignt^ originate.-- •'"■.' ->'-•;■ - ' ' " r StilT ifujrther precautions have.; "been ,takek:in;/fr"iht of the .advanced line of trenches 3' By * digging of '■. deep • ditches whose ''existence has been concealed by a light covering/; of branches and turf, /winch makes j.'them invisible 'to apt)*rba&&g, cavalry, infantry, or artilwaf}"."' •'-" '. r '!':'" : '. ; ' ; . The. approaches to -'the trenches from the" rear : consist './of subterranean galleries wliichpermit^" the- reliefs to be mado without any. exposure of the men. , WHAT BRITAIN IS DOING' EXAMPLE FOR" AUSTRALIA. ; : ■/; .' . MELBOURNE,, Jan. 23. , pavhigjjust returned from a ttip toEngland and America, . and having seen Britain m war time, Mr T. E. .Yarley, a Well-known Melbourne business man, is, convinced that Australians have not yet -realised the seriousness of the present position for the whole of the British Empire. Mr VarJey found* m England that everyone was cutting' down social and personal expenses to the' barest minimum , • that - more ' money might be subscribed to the . war -• funds. Large manufacturers .were' displaying hi thenwindows rolls of honor with the namos of all members of their staff op active serviced They were keeping all volunteers' positions open, and often making provision for the : wives and children. ."Here, , m Australia," said Mr Varley to-day, / ''There does , Hot seem td be . anything like the same , personal sacrifice. ".' :'.' S ', ' ' -.''-, Mr • Varley states that m America he found all business^men he met solid for the' Allies. Many of them freely: expressed their disappointment . that America had not protested against Germany's violation of Belgian neutrality. "If Teddy Roosevelt had been m the chair,'' said one, "wis would have been m it by now." Mr Varley believes that the American Administration is using all its endeavor to keep out of the war with the idea of subsequently acting as peaceniaker and arbitrator; between- the belligerents.. '-/.''..';: * * APPALLING SITUATION. :."T' ;: thousands^of French .' ,i ■*} . peasants starving. ' . *'fT; ' . LONDON, Jan. 6. . ; Mr Heiibert C Hoover; chairman of the American Commissioner for Relief in '(Belgium, returned ,to London to-day from ;a tjQur. ; of inspection of the worlc being 'done foi' the commission m Belgiiun. Ih,a statement issued .this evening Mr Hoover said:- — " .' . ' *'An : , appalling, situation has been presented; to the commission with" regard to the French peasantry, m the valley of the/ Meuse, just: south of the Belgian frontier, where there are 10,000 persons without f ood^ Our investigation showed that a large numbeE of death's already had occurred there from , $taryatioiil" ; , ' . i Mr^/Hoover says the organisation for the distribution of food Supplies m Belgium is . aided by 50,000 volunteer workmen and there are only a few localities to which" relief has not yet been extend'■'ed- ..-■;'■ •-•■- "Firßt we must provide bread for those who are able to pay fOr it, and, second, fpod' for those who are . destitute. Broadly, the former comprise . some 5,600,000 'persons. The destitute .comprise about 1,400,000, who al*e being-, wholly fed by the public canteens. The- cost of supporUng them is about £500,000 per month, for which we are depending on the charity of the world. "This requires a total import of over , 100-000,000 pounds* of 'flour or wheat per mbntli, to say nothing of peas, salt, beans, -bacon, condensed milk, and other 'things which must be provided for the canteens." HISTORIC HILL. GUNS OF HEIGHT 108. 4 V- NONCHA^ANT~FRENCHM EN . A Times correspondent m Champagne writes: — ','••__ "East Of Berry-au-bac on the left bank of the Rivdr Aisne, you can see a small baife hill. It looks insignificant, yet Height 108 will become famous, lo its flank men have clung -for many weeks, grimly teiiafcious, as though the whole fate of the \*)v\& defended upon . their' hold. ._.'.., ■"•""A French, gunner daily repeats William Tell's exploit witirllie apple. He removes the pine , branches which coy er an " enemy-" gun from an inquisitive aeroplane just as " the shopkeeper pulls down his shutters for another days business. A telephone buzzes. Some numbers are shouted out. Tho gun Commander removes his pipe from his mouth and repeats the order. With a roar, the shell is away, and the gun recoils with* a shock which shaltes- the ground. When the .'civilians have recovered the gunners are still sucking their pipes and grinning at the surprise .of the visitors, -while the shell has burst . exactly where it was meant to go.'- ] '..' '' • -, /"After' passing' through a maze of underground galleries, we reach it room that is lined with straw and roofed with moss. Below us is the. .valley of the River Aisne. The river had strayed - from its setting. It floods the meadows and ' forms a string of miniature lakes along the roads and fields. Towards tho middle of the landscape is Berry-au-bac, .Ay.hich,,|pr four /"months has* been cpntinupusiy' bombarded. ... ,-::•. i . „ ■■'•;« Whe'r-9 omJe J"Pse up the smoke oi happy peartHs nOw^-Haiigsi, thevsmoke of , aheUfi and the '&«& «f rose-colored flame, wiile a ball gpenish smoke/, marks '-> where the shells pound into, the ruins. The fire is coming from the enemy's batteries at a camp where Caesar, once .wintered on the Aisne. ,
"The staff decides to have a- word with those batteries. An officer stoops to the telephone, and the reply goes speeding over the valley. The telephone becomes more active, and. the French ■ shells more frequent., until finally the ; German guns are silent, and the French artillery has again established iis superiority." PRTSOX COMFORTS. APPRECIATED -BY GERMANS. LONDON, .Dec. 29. A well-known Canadian railwayman gives the following narrative from a British officer from the front with whom he spent Christmas: "At our base m Franco, we had an elderly German among our prisoners, and* our treatment of. him was evident ly so different from his expectation? that one day he made the -astonishing request that he be allowed to return, to tlie: / German lines and fetch his son. w,h6 was 'enduring terrible hardships m the. • German trenches. We told him it was ridiculous. For one thing, ' howdid we know lie would ever return? However, he seemed so sincere and so deeply moved at the thoiigjit of his son's position that we let him go. He came back, ■ though, m- two days,, bringing not only his son but 50 other Germans. Their joy at being made prisoners was a mixture of pathos and comedy." FATE nii* TWO BROTHERS. A correspondent related to the victims narrates the following unusual incident : "In South Africa, at the commejicement of the war, two brothers named Winslow— descendants of the intrepid and resolute members .of the band of Pilgrim Fathers — Arere, killed on tho same day m fighting. The elder, who was oil horseback m. the front line, was shot down at the first volley of firing. 'His brother, Stationed behind I some 'rocks, at once rushed out to give him a drink, while doing so, he, too, was shot by the German force. A fellow soldier afterwards came across the sad sight of two dead brothers. Tlie brave would-ibe-Tescuer had one arm around his elder brother's neck, and he still held the cup m his other hand. A hero's death, indeed !" >- KILKENNY MAN'S RECORD. EIGHTEEN ISONS~IN THE ARMY. ; LONDON, Dec. 28. The- Briscoes of Kilkenny appeal* to hpld the recprd for the number of, soldiers m the army, as the following letter .written to a London newspaper explains : I wish to . contradict through your paper a statement regarding my son. Captain Edward Whitby Briscoe, of the Eighteenth Royal Irish Regiment, *whioh was published' m a recent edition. ' He is not an Englishman, neither is lie. serving; m an English regiment, but m the . crack corps of the British army, the good old Eighteeth . Royal. Irish. He is a soldier, by profession, and is only doing what thousands of Erin's sons are ever proud to ''do— fight for their flag and Empire; I have 18 sOnfj who will all be with the colors if their country needs them, and my only regret is I haven't more.- ■■"•■■- EDWARD W. BRISCOE. Harristown House, . Piltown, County Kilkenny, Ireland, Dec. 8, 1914. "RUTHLESS METHODS." * WHAT A GERMAN WRITER URGES. In" view of the latest operations by German submarines m the Channel, including the- attempted', torpedoing, of a hospital ship, some comments, on the Falkland Islands fight by Count von Reyentlow, the leading German' naval writer,- are of great interest. MiFrederic Wile, late Berlin correspondent of the Daily Mail, wild' supplied these comments to his paper, likens the Count to/be ""a'*boxer, battered into grpggines/s by a stronger antagonist," succumbing to a "fit of ' towering 'rage and, flinging all the -rules of the game to the wind, fights wildly and ruthlessly." cries the Count, '"'to fight i so^pverwhelmingly mote powerful a foe, it is 'clear that ye must fight, ruthlessly — 'ruthlessly m ever--" sense of the word ; without any regard whatever for - any conceivable thing which lies outside t hesphere of the sheer final ends- of war. "The 'recognition', of the gallantry of our German sailors already expressed by English newspapers we reject with the same disgust as we rejected English praise of the Eniden. Let the English keep their 'recognition' for home eon-, sumption. The German will nave hone of it. His solo thought is devoted, m ihdreasing degree, to the '"wreaking of revenge, revenge by any and every • means "which can lead to victory. ;The Times ; says superiority won the day at the Falkland. Superioijity at sea lies im ; the*' hands i of the i English. Let us keep that" always m mind. Superiority m the -wildest sense was victorious at the Falklahds— in number of ships, b|ises, means**' of communication, and, correspondingly/ strategic organisation ' : possibilities. Especially m these" respects the' English Fleet disposes over every£m^g—Germany over ' nothing! 'For this reason it" would' be utterly beside the mark to judge the issue m home waters by' the outcome of the Falkland* battle. The course of -events m ! tlie North Slea is prejudiced m no way whatever by* them in the remote South Atlantic. ■We'' would- strongly emphasise the point' because it is a l 'truth which can be overlooked, But, on the other hand, we must realise the necessity of combating our superior foe by unreservedly ruthless methods." ' '.. - - . . .•■ • ■ i GAME. OF THE GUNS. ; GERMANS SUPPLY TARGETS. LONDON, Jan. 29. An official despatch by the British Eye? witness,, with the Headquarters Staff m France, has been issued, dated Tuesday last. It says-.— '_ "A heavy battery and. a battery of field artillery shelled dug-puts x on our right. The occupants bolted to the shelter of a house. Our .heavy guns were ,cjuickly trained on their refuge,and when the Germans retreated to the wopds our field-guns shrapnelled them out. Our howitzers shelled their 'convoy, and. destroyed some waggons. "Next days the guns made good practice against the enemy's trenches- and houses, and found" an excellent target .m the shape of a battalion marching into a small wood. *" ARTILLERY" TACTICS. "A continuous artillery combat almost takes the form, of a game m some parts of the field. As soon as the German batteries start shelling us our guns are directed against certain places m the enemy's lines, the bombardment of which, we know by experience, ~— \v ill soon have the effect of inducing him to desist. "Having obtained the range t of the most hostile batteries,«-we can generally silence them, or render their fire ' comparatively harmless. -- 4 "The weather is dry and windy i and the conditions m the trenches somewhat improved. Though the wind was blowing at a rate of 90 miles an hour the aeroplane accomplished successful flights during Friday and Saturday. The river Lys fell a foot on Monday. CAVALRY REVIEWED.; ' "The Commander-in-Chief, inspected a large force of cavalry, including inuny Indian regiments, it was drawn up m line of brigades, each regiment m cplumus of squadrons, with artillery and transport. The scope had foi- its setting the open rolling ground thinly sprinkled with snow and backed by* a dftrk wood. '■ . "A forest of lances was seen against .the/ '-wintry sky, and tho long' line of horsemenj many t-urbaned and sunonlocking, and the guns, formed, a' most impressive picture. Both nien and horses were iu /splendid condition, and fit for anything. SUPERSTITIOUS GERMANS. "In a sceptical and" materialistic age it is somewhat surprising to .find <eliance being placed" on ch&rms. Yet not a !few of our prisoners possess socalled prayers, I 'Which are really written charms against death, wounds, Ji-jea-se, and every imaginable evil. One such document covered protection against' shot and the sword, visible and ininvisible foes, and all kinds of guns, but, curiously enough, it omitted the
one mischance which actually befel its J owner, that of being made a pvi^on-r. "Many of these amulets and chii'm^ are probably of very encieut. prigi.i, an.! ! have been handed down among th? Onman peasantry for generations. PROBLEM OF TRAFFIC. "It is difficult for those who do -lot ■ know. . something of the problem <>t maintaining aa army m the field i<' realise what immense efforts and howgreat an amount of material are required to keep roads m repair, osp'rially those under motor traffic. Owi-ig to the soft earth on each side ;.f llv paved roads where we have been oparai ing, there has been .-.churned up a inrn-s of mud two feet deep, and it- has been necessary to find some:. method of increasing* the width of the road surface. This is being successfully done.'"