WWI in the Herald: December 17, 1914

17/05/2019 Posted by admin

WWI in the Herald: Archive


Lord Cromer states that the defection of the Khedive is of no great political importance, as his personal influence in Egypt is slight. But, he adds, he must cease to be a ruler, and Egypt, as a result of the war, must be freed wholly and irrevocably from the pernicious mortmain of Turkish sovereignty.

Lord Cromer was for several years British Plenipotentiary in Egypt, and understands thoroughly the political, racial, and religious questions which affect that country.

It has nominally been under Turkish suzerainty for many years past, although at one time that was suspended and gave way to Anglo-French control. Since then it has come practically under British tutelage.

At the same time British rule has done much for the defence of Egypt. Britain has also conquered the Soudan and established fine cities, prosperous agricultural settlements, and a happy and free people.

That great work was due in the main to Lord Kitchener, the man who is now conducting Britain’s war for the defence and freedom of a brave European people.

Lord Kitchener not only freed the Soudanese from the murderous attacks of their enemies, but he finally broke the power of the Arabs, whose bloodthirsty rule had rendered the Soudan a plague spot on the earth, and who sold its people into slavery, and its women to worse than slavery.

Today the Soudan, from Khartoum to the Nile, is free and true to British rule. In Egypt the British have done much to help the advancement of what should be a great country.

Not only have they set the finances in order and vastly increased the productions of Egypt by the intelligent scientific use of the flood waters of the Nile, but they have put a stop to all the abuses which existed under Asiatic rule.

The population of Egypt is a mixed one, but under British rule religion has been free. They have also instilled a new spirit into methods of education.

This must work slowly among a people which has for the most part been uncultivated and ignorant for long centuries. But still the work is being accomplished, and it will go on developing every year. The higher class of Egyptians are of course well educated.

Many have added a continental training to their home culture, and their statesmen are men of ability.

The consensus of opinion in Egypt today would be against any relaxation of the British oversight.

There are two classes which are against it.

The first are the politicians who seek self-advancement, and the second men who are led by the Turks and others to regard British rule as grasping monopoly. These classes will always be found in any country under foreign control.

If the Khedive is officially made to relinquish his throne as he has already done by his action in fighting against the British, the question will arise as to what is to be the future of Egypt.

Wholly apart from other questions, there is the paramount importance of maintaining the integrity of the Suez Canal. Britain and France are mainly interested in this.

That the war will ultimately lead to the annexation of Syria, whether by Britain or France, is now almost a certainty.

But Egypt itself will in all probability not see the rule of another Khedive. Whether it shall become wholly British or be ruled by a Government under the benevolent suzerainty of Britain remains to be seen.

But when the war is over there will be only three Powers who will have a voice in settling the future of Egypt.

These will be Britain, France, and Russia. Neither of the two latter will raise the least objection to Britain pursuing whatever policy she may deem best in the interests of Egypt. And the chances are that another fine country will be added to the dominions of the British Empire.

It will not be without some satisfaction to Australia in the years to come to remember that her troops, now encamped under the shadow of the Pyramids near Memphis, will have played their part in this historic change.

Paris, Wednesday.

The latest communique states:-

“The French and Belgians at Nieuport have occupied a line westward of Lombaertsyde to Saint Georges.

The Allies advanced 500 metres south of Ypres towards Klemzillebeke.

A previous communique stated:- “The British have captured a small wood west of Wyteschaete. We retained the ground won on the Ypres west of Hollebeke, notwithstanding a vigorous counter attack.

We made progress in the Argonne.

The enemy violently bombarded Saint Leonard, south of Saint Die.

The enemy’s artillery in Alsace is very active. We held our ground, except at Steinbach, where the German infantry gained a footing.

The Official Press Bureau reports that, after a period of quiet, fighting has been recommenced in northern France.

The Allies made a combined attack on Monday from Hollebeke to Wyteschaete, and captured several trenches and a number of prisoners.

Substantial progress was made.

London, Wednesday.

The Dunkirk correspondent of the London “Dally Chronicle” states that the desperate three days battle at Ypres began with the German bombardment of Saint Eloi.

The Allies replied with heavy artillery, taking cover of which the infantry advanced to Moorslade, where they met with determined resistance.

The Germans were concealed in armoured trucks in the railway sidings, from whence they directed heavy machine gun and rifle fire, forcing the Allies to retire and reform.

Simultaneously the Germans advanced through wooded country near Zonnebeke, and were checked by the Allies’ forces posted on the heights of Cheluvelt. Thereupon a general allied advance took place, and they regained Moorslade .

The artillery, locating the armoured trains, exploded the ammunition, and the enemy retreated, leaving the road to Roulers open.

In the meantime other Germans attacked Pouecapelle, Passchendaele, Langemarck, and Sexschoote. The enemy were trying in weight of numbers to break the line, but nowhere succeeded. There was much hand-to-hand fighting, and the casualties were estimated at 24,000.

The line of battle was a few kilometres long north and south of Ypres.

London, Wednesday.

The War Office announces that no further voluntary hospitals whatever are required at present for the British expeditionary force in France.

Any voluntary hospitals now on the Continent or hereafter proceeding there must work as base hospitals.

Cairo, Tuesday.

The Australian encampment behind the Pyramids of. Cheops and Chephren is a wonderful sight.

There are miles of white tents, intersected by streets. Thousands of white pebbles have been arranged as emblems.

The Government is erecting booths for cafes and shops.

Admiring crowds visit the camp, and watch the men and horses exercising.

Washington, Tuesday.

The Navy Department has learned officially of the arrival at Guam of the German converted cruiser Cormoran, 1614 tons.

The commander of the Cormoran was notified by the United States harbour authorities that he must leave within 24 hours, or be interned.

As it is improbable that the cruiser will be able to secure sufficient coal to take her to the nearest German port, she will probably be interned.

The Cormoran’s whereabouts have been unknown since she left Kiao-Chau.

A later message states that the Cormoran has decided to be interned.

Melbourne, Wednesday.

The following message has been received from the Secretary of State for the Colonies:-

After comparative quiet, fighting has recommenced in Northern France.

Yesterday the Allies made a combined attack on the line Hollebeke-Woteschaete, making substantial progress. Several German trenches were captured and numerous prisoners were taken.

The French Government reports some progress in the Argonne and Woevre districts and in Alsace.

Melbourne, Wednesday.

Senator Pearce, the Minister for Defence, has decided, in view of the destruction of the German Pacific fleet, to reduce the strength of the garrisons guarding the ports and costs of the Commonwealth.

Melbourne, Wednesday.

Instructions relative to the internment and treatment of alien enemies, which have been laid before the Federal Houses, include the following provisions:-

Points to which the attention of censors should be specially directed, being some of the methods by which attempts are being made to evade censorship, include:-

1. Writing inside envelopes and covers.

2. Apparently harmless, but unintelligible, marks or signs inside envelopes and covers.

3. Writing in faint pencil across or between the lines of letters written in ink.

4. Writing underneath postage stamps.

5. Underlining of phrases, words, or letters, which can then be read in a pre-arranged order.

6. Writing in “chemical ink,” which may be revealed by heating in an oven, or with an iron, or by the application of petrol.

Where prisoners of war are interned in a manoeuvre area, and it is found practicable to utilise their services for carrying out improvements in that area, they may be paid at the rate of 1s for each day’s work actually done, as pocket money.

The wives of detained prisoners of war, who are in destitute circumstances, may be paid at the rate of 10s a week, with the addition of 2s 6d a week for each child under 14 years of age.

Officers of the detained enemies’ vessels, if allowed to live outside and apart from the interned prisoners of war, may be granted an allowance for their upkeep at a rate not exceeding the sum of 20s a week each.

Where a number of these officers are domiciled in the one house, an allowance of 15s a week may be granted to the necessary cooks and stewards who accompany their officers. The number of cooks and stewards so employed is to be limited by the district commandant.

Brisbane, Wednesday.

Captain Mortimer, of the steamer Montoro, which arrived in Brisbane today from Singapore, stated that the Montoro met a steamer which had just returned from the scene of the destruction of the Emden, having gone there in response to a wireless message.

She reached the island about three days after the fight. It was found impossible to get near the scene, owing to a terrible stench of corpses which littered the crumpled decks of the Emden. At that time no attempt had been made to dispose of the bodies.

According to stories of eye witnesses, the Emden was battered beyond recognition.

The collier which accompanied the Emden was scuttled by the Germans, and sunk with a thousand tons of coal.

Some of the officers of the Emden are interned at Kuala Lumpur.

Brisbane, Wednesday.

The inquiry into the alleged mutiny on board the troopship Kanowna, when the vessel was on her way back from Port Moresby, was continued today.

Walter Rowlands, a fireman, gave evidence to the effect that, coming on deck on the conclusion of their watch, five firemen forming the watch found there was no water in the washhouse. They saw the captain, from whom, however, they got no satisfaction. One of the men observed that if the men could get no water they could not work. The captain ordered the men off the bridge, but they were subsequently brought back, and were taken down to their quarters, and placed in confinement for mutiny.

Corroborative evidence was given by other firemen.

The inquiry was adjourned until to tomorrow.

(From Embarkation Rolls)

Private Jeremiah James Dwyer, Maitland, 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment, 5th Reinforceme

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