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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:21    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Canadian Expeditionary Force, B Company, 125th Overseas B.N. Brantford, May 18, 1916

This panoramic photograph, taken 1916, shows the 125th Battalion. This was the overseas battalion of the 38th Regiment Dufferin Rifles, based in Brantford. It sailed overseas to fight in World War I. The battalion was based in Brantford, but had members from across the County of Brant.

http://images.ourontario.ca/brant/122690/data?n=4
Hier kun je rommelen met die foto: http://images.ourontario.ca/brant/122690/image/798762?n=4
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Battle of Monastir (1917)

The battle of Monastir (Bulgarian: Битката за Червената стена, battle of the Red Wall) took place on the Macedonian Front between Bulgaria and France on 18 May 1917. It ended with a complete Bulgarian victory with only 261 French survivors.

Prelude - Between 1915 and 1918 the Macedonian front passed through the summit of the Baba Mountain overlooking the city of Bitola. Against the Bulgarian Sixth Vidin Infantry Division stood two French and one Serbian division. In 1916 the Entente managed to seize Bitola but it was impossible for them to use the city because it was within the range of the Bulgarian artillery on Baba Mountain. In the beginning of 1917 the French High command in Solun decided to make an operation to take the Baba Mountain from the Bulgarians, to seize the valley between Bitola and Prilep and to continue the blow towards the Vardar valley.

Initial battles - On 12 March hundreds of guns began to fire at the Bulgarian positions at the Red Wall and Height 1248. It continued for 24 hours and more than 200,000 shells were fired, destroying the fortifications. However, warned by their intelligence, the Bulgarians hid in the concrete bunkers on the opposite sides of the peaks and did not give a single killed or wounded soldier.

On 14 March five French divisions attacked the Red Wall, Height 1248 and the western slopes of the mountain defended by the Sixth Division. After six-days of fighting, the assault on height 1248 was repulsed with heavy casualties by the French. However, the main French blow was pointed against the Red Wall which was attacked by three divisions. The fortifications on the peak changed hands several times, attacks on bayonette alternated with heavy artillery fire. On 18 March the peak was called the "Macedonian Shipka" (referring to the famous battle of Shipka Pass) and like the defense of Shipka, when the Bulgarians ran out of munitions they began to throw rocks and tree trunks at the French troops. In the end, in the beginning of May the Red Wall fell and the Bulgarians retreated to the neighbouring peak.

The battle - From a strategic point of view the French success was useless - despite their efforts the enemy could not take any other Bulgarian position and Bitola remained within the range of Bulgarian artillery. But due to the symbolic meaning of the peak, Bulgarian commanders decided that it should not remain in the hands of the enemy.

The command of the Vidin Division concentrated its whole artillery on the Red Wall. The infantry regiments were equipped with brand new German flame-throwers. With great effort the Bulgarians managed to install by hand six gun batteries on a nearby hill from which the French positions were clearly visible.

On 18 May hurricane artillery fire poured over the two French regiments on the Red Wall (6,000 men). The new batteries were especially effective. After two hours the Bulgarian troops, covered by artillery, stormed the enemy with hand grenades and flame-throwers, annihilating any resistance. After that one Bulgarian regiment attacked the French position on bayonette .259 French soldiers and 2 officers are the only survivours left on the Red Wall surrendered.

Aftermath - The symbolic peak was regained and remained in Bulgarian hands until the end of the War. The five French divisions lost between 40% and 75% of their equipment and made no attempts to attack the Bulgarians again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monastir_(1917)
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Blairmore Enterprise, 18 mei 1917

http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/BME/1917/05/18/1/Ar00103.html
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Canada: Union Government

In early 1917, during WORLD WAR I, recruitment for the CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE fell to a very low level. PM Sir Robert BORDEN, opposed to any reduction in Canada's commitment to the war effort, announced on 18 May 1917 that the government would introduce CONSCRIPTION to Canada. On May 25 he proposed to Liberal leader Sir Wilfrid LAURIER that the Liberals and Conservatives form a COALITION GOVERNMENT to carry through the measure. After Laurier rejected the proposal on June 6, Borden tried to strengthen his government by bringing in individual Liberals and prominent political independents. His early efforts met with little success. In late summer, however, the WARTIME ELECTIONS ACT and the Military Voters' Act appeared to increase the political prospects for a government supporting conscription. These Acts, together with strong pro-conscription sentiment in the English press and personal convictions that overrode party boundaries, made several Liberals and independents decide to accept Borden's suggestion. On Oct 12 Borden announced the formation of a Union government made up of 12 Conservatives, 9 Liberals or independents, and one labour representative. A general election in Dec 1917 gave the Unionists a large majority.

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0008217
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Waterford News - 18th of May 1917

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/history-heritage/pages-in-history/newspaper-digitisation-pi/1917/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Sir ROBERT BORDEN: Speech before the House of Commons, May 18, 1917

Sir ROBERT BORDEN: In Great Britain I visited eight camps in all: Shorncliffe, Crowborough, Shoreham, Seaford, Witley, Bramshott, Hastings, and in Windsor Great Park, a camp of the Canadian Forestry Corps. I found the men in good spirits, in good physical condition, and undergoing careful and effective training ; at least it seemed to me excellent. I visited hospitals in Great Britain and France, and everywhere I found our men receiving, so far as I could see, the best of attention. I did not hear a complaint from any man in hospital, except from one man who complained to me that the Germans were not fighting fairly, because, he said, “when the Canadians climbed the Vimy ridge, the Germans did not stand up to them, but ran away instead of fighting like men.” I deemed it not only my duty, but my very great honour and privilege, to utilize every spare moment in seeing our men in the hospitals ; and I saw only two men from Vimy ridge who did not smile with great satisfaction when I spoke of their having driven the Germans back. Those men could not smile with their lips by reason of their wounds, but they did smile with their eyes. Let me say to the members of this House and to the people of this country that no man wanting inspiration, determination or courage as to his duty in this war could go to any better place than the hospitals in which our Canadian boys are to be found. Their patience, pluck and cheerfulness are simply wonderful. I saw some of those who are near and dear to members of this House in one of the London hospitals after that fight, the brother of one hon. member and the son of another, and I can tell those members that those young men were in fine form, in splendid spirit, proud and happy to have rendered the great service to their country which they were able to accomplish when the Vimy ridge was captured.

There is another thing that should be mentioned, and that is the very, very great kindness of the British people to all our Canadian troops. I have been among them in camps and hospitals and elsewhere, and there was hardly a place I visited where I did not find visitors at the hospitals giving great care and attention to our wounded. The troops themselves realize with the greatest possible gratitude and appreciation the kindness and attention of all those among whom they are thrown, and I know the people of this country, when they realize it in the same way, will be inspired with the same sense of gratitude.

Certain representations have been made to me and also to the overseas authorities from time to time that the Canadian troops contract drinking habits while overseas. I made it my special business to inquire as to that. I inquired of General Turner, General Steele, and of General Child of the War Office, who has to deal with such matters, and I shall place their reports upon the Table afterwards, I shall not stop to read them now. It is enough to say that these reports indicate that such representations are almost absolutely without foundation. The Canadian troops are not addicted to the habit of drunkenness. It was represented to me by General Steele, in whose word I have absolute confidence, that there is less drinking among the Canadian troops than among any other troops in the United Kingdom, and I thoroughly believe that. Drinking is almost at a minimum. I think General Steele said that three men per thousand per week in the area under his command had been brought up on such a charge during a particular period, and that was a fair average. General Steele said that he believed it was better to utilize the wet canteen than to permit the men to go to public houses near at hand. When troops go to the canteen they are necessarily under discipline and supervision. If there is no wet canteen, and the men go out to the public houses -- and you cannot very well prevent them -- they are not under the same discipline or supervision, and almost all the difficulty has arisen in that way, and not through the wet canteen. So far as general war conditions are concerned -- I am sorry to have had to trespass so long on the attention of the House, but I am dealing with an important subject, and some of these matters that seem trivial may yet be of interest -- all realize that there were great developments during our visit to Great Britain. We started almost immediately after the submarine campaign commenced, and while we were there the fortunes of war in many theatres of operations were very largely in favour of the Allied nations. There was a great victory in Mesopotamia. The offensive was assumed with marked success by the British armies in France and substantial advances were made. But I hope that hon. gentlemen in looking at the map will realize that the territory won by the offensive which commenced this spring is only an insignificant part of the Allied territory that is still held by the Germans. The overwhelming power of our artillery impressed me as very much greater in the fighting this spring than it was on the Somme. But a great struggle still lies before us in this war; that is the message I bring back to you from Great Britain and from the front. A great struggle lies before us, and I cannot put that before you more forcibly than by stating that at the commencement of this spring’s campaign Germany put in the field 1,000,000 more men than she put in the field last spring. The organization of the man-power of that nation has been wonderful. Awful as are the barbarities and methods which she has perpetrated and used, one cannot but admit that the organization of the national life of that country throws into the field absolutely the full power of the nation.

Sir SAM HUGHES: Does that 1,000,000 include troops of other nations besides Germany, or Germans only?

Sir ROBERT BORDEN: It includes Germans only. Germany has managed so to organize her national life that she was able to put in the field at the commencement of this spring's campaign 1,000,000 more men than she put in the field at the commencement of her campaign last spring. That is the information that was given to me, and which I think it is my duty to place before the House, in order that the conditions at the front may be realized and understood.

Now, I desire to speak with discretion and moderation in these matters, but I cannot too strongly emphasize my belief that a great effort still lies before the Allied nations if we are going to win this war, and it is absolutely inconceivable to me that we should not win this war. The unsettled political conditions in Russia undoubtedly have handicapped the effort on the eastern front, and thus enabled Germany to make a greater effort on the western front.

Against these considerations there is the fact that a great kindred and neighbouring nation has entered into the war on the Allied side, the United States of America. That important event, which took place during our absence, must exercise a tremendous effect not only upon the issue of this war, but upon the future of the world. The fact that citizens of the United States are to fight side by side with the soldiers of our Empire cannot but have a splendid influence on the future of the two nations. Although the relations of the two countries have been good for many years, this notable event must do much to wipe out certain memories, and I know that the Canadian forces at the front will be delighted to fight side by side with those from the great republic to the south. There are in the Canadian Expeditionary Force more than 9,000 men who give their next of kin as resident in the United States of America. I do not say that all these men have come directly from the United States ; some of them may have emigrated to this country, leaving their relatives, or next of kin, on the other side of the line; but 9,000 who were undoubtedly born in the allegiance of the United States are now fighting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

But although the United States has entered this war, we do not know how long it will be before the tremendous power of that nation can be translated into military effort. It cannot be done in a few weeks; it cannot be done fully in a few months. We know that from our own experience; the British Government know it from their experience, and, therefore, it must not lead to any relaxation of effort on the part of the Empire, or on the part of any of the Allied nations.

I pause to say a few words about the submarine campaign. Perhaps its seriousness may not be realized by those who have not been brought closely in touch with events from week to week, and with confidential information which has been made available to those who have attended the Imperial War Cabinet.

I believe it will be met; I believe there is enough determination, enough resourcefulness, enough self-denial, and enough courage on the part of this Empire to meet it and to defeat it. But I would not be doing my duty if I did not emphasize its seriousness. I need not do more, in order to emphasize Germany's confidence in this campaign than to say this -- that in order to carry it on she risked war with the United States of America. That indicates her belief that the submarine war would bring the struggle to a conclusion before the United States could throw effectively its power into this contest. That is what she is trying to do now. The losses in ships have been very serious indeed, and some of the losses of late have taken place under conditions which I cannot mention to the House, but which are sufficiently grave. The cry of Lloyd George -- when he made his great speech in the Guild-hall, was this: What we need in this war is ships, and then more ships, and then more ships still. It is the belief of the Germans that they can protract the war on the western front until their submarine campaign has made it necessary for Great Britain to accept terms of peace to which none of us would listen to for a moment at present. As I have said, I do not believe Germany's attempt will succeed, but it will require courage, resolution, energy, self-denial and resourcefulness on the part of the people of the United Kingdom, and of the Dominions, if that attempt is to end in failure.

I have no confident hope that the war will end this year. Any conjecture as to the time when it will end is almost valueless. The effectiveness of Russia's efforts on the eastern front, and the speed with which the power of the United States can be thrown into this struggle, will be great, if not determining factors.

Now, as to our efforts in this war -- and here I approach a subject of great gravity and seriousness, and, I hope, with a full sense of the responsibility that devolves upon myself and upon my colleagues, and not only upon us but upon the members of this Parliament and the people of this country. We have four Canadian divisions at the front. For the immediate future there are sufficient reinforcements. But four divisions cannot be maintained without thorough provision for future requirements. If these reinforcements are not supplied, what will be the consequence? The consequence will be that the four divisions will dwindle down to three, the three will dwindle to two, and Canada’s efforts, so splendid in this war, can bring himself to consider with toleration or seriousness any suggestion for the relaxation of our efforts. The months immediately before us may be decisive. They may be decisive even if the war should not end this year. Germany is bringing into play during the present season the last ounce of her manhood. What have we done in this war? We have sent 326,000 men overseas in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Including reservists in British and Allied armies, and men enlisted for naval defence, 360,000 men at least have left the shores of Canada. It is a great effort, but greater still is needed. Hitherto, we have depended upon voluntary enlistment. I myself stated to Parliament that nothing but voluntary enlistment was proposed by the Government. But I return to Canada impressed at once with the extreme gravity of the situation, and with a sense of responsibility for our further effort at the most critical period of war. It is apparent to me that the voluntary system will not yield further substantial results. I hoped that it would. The Government have made every effort within its power, so far as I can judge. If any effective effort to stimulate voluntary recruiting still remains to be made I should like to know what it is. The people have co-operated with the Government in a most splendid manner along the line of voluntary enlistment. Men and women alike have interested themselves in filling up the ranks of regiments that were organized. Everything possible has been done, it seems to me, in the way of voluntary enlistment.

All citizens are liable to military service for the defence of their country, and I conceive that the battle for Canadian liberty and autonomy is being fought to-day on the plains of France and of Belgium. There are other places besides the soil of a country itself where the battle for its liberties and its institutions can be fought; and I venture to think that, if this war should end in defeat, Canada, in all the years to come, would be under the shadow of German military domination. That is the very lowest at which we can put it. I believe that this fact cannot be gainsaid.

Now, the question arises as to what is our duty. I repeat once more, a great responsibility rests upon those who are entrusted with the administration of public affairs. But they are not fit to be trusted with that transcendent duty if they shrink from any responsibility which the occasion calls for. If the cause for which we fight is what we believe it to be, if the issues involved are those which have been repeatedly declared by all our public men and in all the press of Canada, I believe the time has come when the authority of the state should be invoked to provide reinforcements necessary to sustain the gallant men at the front who have held the line for months, who have proved themselves more than a match for the best troops that the enemy could send against them, and who are fighting in France and Belgium that Canada may live in the future. No one who has not seen the positions which our men have taken, whether at Vimy Ridge, at Courcellette, or elsewhere, can realize the magnitude of the task that is before them, or the splendid courage and resourcefulness which its accomplishment demands. Nor can any one realize the conditions under which war is being carried on. I have been somewhat in the midst of things at the front, yet I feel that I cannot realize what the life in the trenches means, though I know that I can realize it better than those who have not been as near to the front as I have been. I bring back to the people of Canada from these men a message that they need our help, that they need to be supported, that they need to be sustained, that reinforcements must be sent to them. Thousands of them have made the supreme sacrifice for our liberty and preservation. Common gratitude, apart from all other considerations, should bring the whole force of this nation behind them. I have promised, in so far as I am concerned, that this help shall be given. I should feel myself unworthy of the responsibility devolving upon me if I did not fulfil that pledge. I bring a message from them, yes, a message also from the men in the hospitals, who have come back from the very valley of the shadow of death, many of them maimed for life. I saw one of them who had lost both legs pretty well up to the hip and he was as bright, as cheerful, as brave, and as confident of the future as any one of the members of this House -- a splendid, brave, boy. But, is there not some other message? Is there not a call to us from those who have passed beyond the shadow into the light of perfect day, from those who have fallen in France and in Belgium, from those who have died that Canada may live -- is there not a call to us that their sacrifice shall not be in vain?

I have had to take all these matters into consideration and I have given them my most earnest attention. I realize that the responsibility is a serious one but I do not shrink from it. Therefore, it is my duty to announce to the House that early proposals will be made on the part of the Government to provide, by compulsory military enlistment on a selective basis, such reinforcements as may be necessary to maintain the Canadian army to-day in the field as one of the finest fighting units of the Empire. The number of men required will not be less than 50,000 and will probably be 100,000. These proposals have been formulated in part and they will be presented to the House with the greatest expedition that circumstances will permit. I hope that when they are submitted all the members of the House will receive them with a full sense of the greatness of the issue involved in this war, with a deep realization of the sacrifice that we have already made, of the purpose for which it has been made, and with a firm determination on our part that in this great struggle we will do our duty whatever it may be, to the very end.

Source: Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada. 12th Parliament, 7th Session (January 18, 1917: September 20, 1917). Ottawa: J. de Labroquerie Taché, 1918. Pages 1523-1568.

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/primeministers/h4-4072-e.html
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

To: Mother and Dad Driscoll, Dubuque, 159 Kaufman Avenue.
From: Private Lewis Driscoll First Recuit Company, Fort William, Maine
.

Fort William's Maine, May 18 - 1918

Dear Mother and Dad : -
Well today is one of our days to rest and do nothing. It is now 1:30 and the weather is hot and disagreeable. Every Saturday and Sunday is a day of rest, except on Saturday mornings is inspection and the rest of the day to ourselves. Sunday, the day is nothing doing all day. Thought I would write a line today, because tomorrow I am on guard duty and would not be able to write. Got a letter from Carl this morning saying that he had sent a pen and watch, but I guess I will then get it later in the day or Monday. We'll be mighty glad to receive it. Also received a letter from Hazel a day or two ago and have answered it already. Received a letter from Ben, he is stationed down in Virginia and he likes the army life fine. I guess Hazel will tell you before this that I received a letter from Aunt Laura and they are all well and enjoying the summer heat. We have been having hot weather for the last 3 or 4 days. I am getting to get a tan as an Indian. This breeze we have and the heat sure tans a person.
I read in the Dubs paper that cyclones have been up in Iowa. Have they been near Dub or did Dub. get any of it. I hate to see the time come when they have a storm up here. They claim they sure are fierce, especially when they come from off the ocean. Was playing ball this a.m against the 4th Company and won the game. Was so hot that I took another bath so I am sitting here with my fatique clothes on. I guess you wonder what fatique clothes are. They are a suit of overalls and jumbper that they issue us all. to do company fatique work in and also when we are clean our guns or go over to the big guns. Have been rather busy everyday since Monday studying for a second class gunner. I don't really think I have much of a chance but will try my luck and maybe come out O.K. They are examing us all pretty early it general requires about 6 months studing to pass. If I pass 2nd class later on I will go for first class. Second class pays three dollars more per month so it is really worth while, because every little counts with a soldiers because he doesn't get excited with the amount he gets anyway. Suppose the "" doings is all over. Hope you succeed O.K with your part of it. How is everyone in the neighborhood, suppose they are all worrying about the war. But it is nothing to worry about because it is going to end soon.
read that one of Dad's men made a get away. Suppose he is kept busy as ever with his office work. Carl said that Fed is the same old fellow, so guess he is the same old lively dog. I often wish I could have him with me, but nothing doing, they wouldn't treat him right, mean the way I would like to see him treated. Has Merlin left for the army camp, hope he finds it interesting
Suppose the summer weather has started in Duberque by now. It sure can't be any hotter than up here. Well Mother, I have said almost everything I can think of at present, so will bring note to a close. Please write as often as your time permits. Remaining
Your Loving Son,
Lewis

http://letter.ie/0017/0003.html
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

1st Pursuit Group History - May through July, 1918 - Comprised of 17th, 27th, 94th, 95th, 103rd, 147th, and 183rd Aero Squadrons

18 May 1918

17th - Major Harold Fowler, M. C. assumed command of the American Air Service Units with the British Expeditionary Forces and had the 17th Aero Squadron tentatively equipped with the I 10 horsepower Sopwith Camels. The Squadron had previously trained, and the enlisted personnel had been trained in the maintenance of the Sopwith SE-5's, but the English Government could spare none of them at the time.

27th - 1st Lieutenant Malcolm Gunn entrusted with the design of a squadron insignia. An insignia proposed to have a shield in cloud background and pierced by an arrow was disapproved by the Chief of Air Service due to confusion with the insignia granted the 94th Squadron. Corporal Blumberg drew up the insignia, an American eagle with outspread wings and extended talons, which was said to have originated on the side of an Anheuser Busch Beer Wagon. The squadron was experiencing great difficulty with the pilfering of food from the mess hall and orders were issued by the Squadron Commander that the mess hall would be locked after every meal and no one, officer or enlisted man, other than the cooks, would be permitted to enter. The pilfering still continued.

94th - Lieutenant Campbell while on voluntary patrol attacked an enemy bi-place near Verdun. After firing a few bursts his guns jammed and he was forced to bluff his way until he corrected the jam, after which he fired a short burst and the enemy plane was shot down in flames. (confirmed). Captain Marr engaged an enemy bi-place in indecisive combat near Verdun. Lieutenant Thorne C. Taylor attacked an Albatros and a bi-place Rumpler and saw the Albatros go down in flames near Verdun. (unconfirmed).

http://www.acepilots.com/wwi/us_1st_2.html
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 18:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

1919: The Winnipeg General Strike

Sunday, 18 May 1919 - Mayor Gray: Zero Tolerance

Proclamations by Mayor Gray on May 18th outlining a couple of zero tolerance matters:

"Let me make this absolutely clear. If the food supplies and the protection of life and property are not maintained I shall take whatever action may be necessary to secure them and maintain the authority of the government as it is established by the voice of the people".

http://1919winnipeggeneralstrike.blogspot.com/2009/05/may-18_18.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 19:05    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The peace treaty at last
The Guardian, Sunday 18 May 1919

How the terms were presented | Clemenceau's instructions | Remarkable reply by the German leader | Face to face

The first step in the final stage of the establishment of an enduring peace was taken this afternoon in the Trianon Palace Hotel at Versailles. For the first time Allied and enemy plenipotentiaries were face to face. The proceedings were described on the official paper as a "conference". It had, however, inevitably another aspect; those who had the privilege of witnessing the memorable scene could not avoid associating the proceedings in the dining hall of the Palace with those of a court of justice. The arrangement of seats lent itself to this idea.
Round the room sat representatives of an outraged world. The German plenipotentiaries facing them occupied seats at a little table in the bottom of the hall, placed there in the manner of those called upon to answer an indictment. It was an aspect of the afternoon to which the tone of the principal German representative, in so far as it was intended to excuse and palliate, lent colour.

The scene which I was privileged to witness, had perceptible significance in keeping with its historic import. It was no mere formality. There was throughout a certain tension. One was acutely conscious of antagonists brought face to face. There was no attempt on the part of the Allies to emphasise this feature. They extended to Germany's representatives in every particular "the courtesy of privileged nationals." A dignity was observed on their part which was only to be expected yet the impression of adversaries was distinctly there. One heard in the clearcut, precise tones of the President, France's veteran statesman.

A Contrast in the Speeches

M. Clemenceau, in his opening words, struck the note of the afternoon: "The time has come when we must settle our account. You have asked for peace. We are ready to give you peace."

Contrasting with the President's clear, articulate voice was the guttural baritone of Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, who throughout his long statement conveyed the feeling of a certain emotional strain, his voice rising from time to time in the course of a strange medley of humble pleading and repudiation and justification.

The appeal of the proceedings, which began at three o'clock was initially to the eye. The folding glass doors opening from the long corridor by which the Conference Hall was approached admitted a remarkable procession of the world's remarkable men.

M. Clemenceau took his place at the centre of the head table and shook hands with the Allied delegates who passed his chair.

A dramatic entry was made by the German plenipotentiaries. The folding glass doors were suddenly thrown back, and an official in black, wearing a ceremonious silver chain, quieted and announced "Messieurs the German plenipotentiaries."

With the exception of Count Rantzau the delegates preserved a motionless and impassive attitude. When Rantzau commenced to read his speech he adjusted the tortoiseshell glass which from time to time during the preliminaries he nervously pushed up and down on his forehead.

So far as the Allies were concerned, M. Clemenceau's opening observation that this was not the time or place for superfluous words was strictly adhered to. His few introductory observations and his explanation of the procedure occupied only some ten minutes.

Count Rantzau's first words were heard with a silent and intent expectancy on the part of the assembly.

His statement, "We know that the power of German arms is broken," was impressively uttered. He remained seated in accordance with Conference customs.

One of the German interpreters translated his speech a few sentences at a time into French and it was thereupon translated into English by a second interpreter, who spoke with a marked American accent. The speech with this process occupied forty minutes. A statement of such length, and touching, as it did, a large field of controversial matters, was not anticipated, but it was listened to throughout with an unbroken silence and attention.

One had the impression of a curiously conflicting attitude on the part of the speaker. In the main we seemed to be hearing a desperate plea for leniency from one not accustomed to speak in such terms. At times the tone seemed to change suddenly, and the Count became accusative, protesting vigorously that not Germany alone was guilty. No observation was made in response. An early instruction of M. Clemenceau was that there would be no oral discussion.

Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, speaking in German (the speech was translated into French and English), said:-

Gentlemen, - We are deeply impressed with the sublime task which has brought us hither to give a durable peace to the world. We are under no illusion as to the extent of our defeat and the degree of our want of power. We know that the power of the German arms is broken. We know the power of the hatred which we encounter here, and we have heard the passionate demand that the victors shall make us pay as the vanquished, and shall punish those who are worthy of being punished.

It is demanded of us that we shall confess ourselves to be the only ones guilty of the war. Such a confession in my mouth would be a lie. We are far from declining any responsibility for this great world-war having come to pass and for its having been made in the way in which it was made. The attitude of the former German Government at the Hague Peace Conference, its actions and omissions in the tragic twelve days of July, certainly contributed to the disaster, but we energetically deny that Germany and its people, who were convinced that they were making a war of defence, were alone guilty. The Outbreak of War.

Nobody will want to contend that the disaster took its course only in the disastrous moment when the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary fell the victim of murderous hands. In the last fifty years the Imperialism of all the European States has chronically poisoned the international situation. The policy of retaliation and the policy of expansion and the disregard of the rights of peoples to determine their own destiny have contributed to the illness of Europe, which reached its crisis in the world-war.

The Russian mobilisation took from the statesmen the possibility of healing, and gave the decision into the hands of the military powers. Public opinion in all the countries of our adversaries is resounding with the crimes which Germany is said to have committed in the war. Here also we are ready to confess the wrong that may have been done. We have not come here to belittle the responsibility of the men who have waged the war politically and economically, and to deny any crimes which may have been committed against the rights of peoples.

New Aims of Social Progress

You will find us ready to examine upon this basis the preliminary peace which you have proposed to us with a firm intention of rebuilding in common with you that which has been destroyed, and of repairing any wrong to Belgium - any wrong that may have been committed - principally the wrong to Belgium, - and to show to mankind new aims of political and social progress.

Considering the tremendous number of problems which arise, we ought as soon as possible to make an examination of the principal tasks by special commissions of experts on the basis of the treaty which you have proposed to us. In this it will be our chief task to re-establish the devastated vigour of mankind and of all the people who have taken part by an international protection of the life, health, and liberty of the working classes. Belgium and Northern France.

As our next aim I consider the reconstruction of the territories of Belgium and of Northern France, which have been occupied by us, and which have been destroyed by war. To do so, we have taken upon ourselves a solemn obligation, and we are resolved to execute it to the extent which will have been agreed upon between us.

In this task we cannot do without the co-operation of our former adversaries. We cannot accomplish the work without the technical and financial participation of the victorious peoples, and you cannot execute it without us. Impoverished Europe must desire that the reconstruction should be fulfilled with the greatest success and with as little delay as is in any way possible.

This desire can only be fulfilled by a clear understanding about the best methods to be employed. It would be the worst method to go on and have the work done by German prisoners of war.

Certainly the work is cheap, but it would cost the world dear if hatred and despair should seize the German people, when they consider that their brothers and sons and fathers who are prisoners are kept prisoners beyond the preliminary peace doing the former penal work. Without any immediate solution of this question, which has been drawn out too long, we cannot come to a durable peace.

http://century.guardian.co.uk/1910-1919/Story/0,,99312,00.html
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Mei 2011 19:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The New York Times, May 18, 1919 – Dr. Anna Howard Shaw...

...who led NAWSA’s effort to support the World War, is awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Secretary of War. She is one of the first women to receive such an honor.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=990DE7DA1E3BEE3ABC4052DFB3668382609EDE
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Mei 2018 7:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

JOURNEY TO BAGHDAD 31 Jan – 18 May 1918

Editor’s Note: Tom’s personal diary entries continue after Tom is transferred to the Army’s Machine Gun Corps where he serves as a Sergeant and Staff Sergeant, 31 January 1918 to 15 March 1919.

May 15, 1918 - At Kut-el-Amara. Hot winds blowing, scorch everything up. Almost choking for a breath of fresh air.

http://www.mkheritage.org.uk/odhs/tom-garners-first-world-war-diary-preface/4-journey-to-baghdad-31-jan-18-may-1918/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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​World War 1 Letters Home May 1917: Back in London, shopping, making wedding plans and wants a nice quiet wedding ...

Junior Constitutional Club
Piccadilly
London
W1

18th May 1917

My Dear Mother

(...) Alison went back to Ascot by the 3-50, so I escorted her to Waterloo & saw her off. This morg. we went to Harrods & pottered about & I bought a camp bed & she odds & ends. We lunched at Russian Exhibition at Grafton Galleries & had a look round after, then to see St. Mary’s Chelsea, as she wanted to see it. We saw Warwick St. yesterday & I had chat with P.P. …

Brenda told us all about flats, Alison thinks we’d like one near Sloane Sq. or Cadogan Gardens, they are very nice I believe & B. thinks we should get one there early enough for Winter.

Italians seem to have done well & tonight I see War Office announce some of our Artillery is helping Italians, Norman Smith is there & a most interesting place it seems to be …

We have decided on the quietest of weddings, no bridesmaids or anything like that & just you & her mother & sister of course, Norman if home to give her away or Jack, who is in Black Watch & in Scotland. Mrs Smith much relieved we only want the quietist of weddings & A will be married in a hat! Which I believe is the way to describe it …

Best of love
Yr affect. son
Arthur

http://www.arthursletters.com/ww1-letters-may-1917.html
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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WALTER DRAYCOTT’S GREAT WAR CHRONICLE

Friday 18 May 1917 - Bde. due to be relieved at Petit Vimy I wonder? No matter tho’ I trust all is well with them.

http://greatwarchronicle.ca/2017/05/18/friday-18-may-1917/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
Naar boven
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Rupert Christie - Letter - 18 May 1917

Description - Letter from Rupert Christie to his mother in Berhamphore, Wellington, written Stevenage. He discribes his trip to the dentist and various people and places he visied. He is being sent to Haynes on a course and is not looking forward to it. Meet several people who had been with his Dad and George in Somoa.

So many diaries, so little time... http://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/22252
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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The Diary of Arthur L. Linfoot - January 1914–December 1918

18 May 1916; Thursday - On parade as usual.

https://www.arthurlinfoot.org.uk/2016/05/18/18-May-1916-Thursday/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Richard Willis Fleming's Digital Diary

18 May 1916 - Our brigade and the 1/2nd were out early this morning doing a small practice scheme. I was orderly officer to Colonel Robertson. Bathed at midday. It was a respectably cool day for a change.
General Parker spoke to all the men of the brigade this evening and said he hoped we got a chance of getting even with the Turk here and then going to another sphere of operations. Six of our aeroplanes went out on a strafe to El Arish early this morning, and I believe one hasn’t returned, but we’ve no definite news yet.

http://generic.wordpress.soton.ac.uk/ww1digitaldiary/2016/05/18/18-may-1916/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Edward Thomas McCAFFERTY

Year of Birth: 1888
Place of Birth: Toowoomba, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 28 December 1915
Date and Place of Embarkation: 18 May 1916, Sydney, New South Wales
Ship: HMAT Demosthenes A64
Rank: Sergeant
Unit(s): 41st Australian Infantry Battalion
Regimental Number: 933
Died: 23 June 1917

https://cdfhs.org/services/projects/ww1-soldiers-mccafferty-edward-thomas/
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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18 May 1915 - WW1 Blog - Jersey Heritage: Restrictions placed on seasonal workers

There has been urgent attention given to the matter of how best to process Breton workers now starting to arrive for the potato harvest. With the Aliens Officer already stretched to capacity by his present duties, the Lieutenant Governor has imposed strict conditions on anyone arriving from France to work in the Island.

Despite fears that the war would severely decrease the availability of seasonal labour from France, Breton farmworkers have recently begun arriving in considerable numbers. As designated ‘aliens’, wartime travel regulations and restrictions apply to them and need enforcing. This includes checking every person’s papers. With boats arriving from France at all times of the day and night, meeting each and carrying out the necessary checks had been proving too difficult for the Aliens Officer, Arthur Luxon. To ease matters, the harbour authorities are now preventing any passenger from disembarking until ten o’clock in the morning.

Furthermore, boats carrying French workers are now only permitted to dock at St Helier or Gorey harbours. It is forbidden to land any persons at one of the Island’s smaller harbours and ports. The Honorary Police will receive instructions to strictly enforce this latter regulation.

https://www.jerseyheritage.org/ww1-blog/18-may-1915
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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