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May 2015

31st May 1915



Seven people are killed and thirty five injured in Londons first air raid. The attack which starts at Stoke Newington at 23:20 andcontinues through south Stepney before moving northeast to Leytonstone.  Thirty small high explosive bombs and ninety incendiaries are dropped, totaling 3,000 pounds.











In todays Daily Telegraph it's reported that the French capture Ablain. Another town and pass are captured by the |talians. Advances are reported at Gallipoli. Plenty of prisoners taken by the Russians. From the reports on pages 8 and 9 it was another good day for the Allies, or so the reports would have you believe. As May 1915 comes to a close readers of the Telegraph would have felt confident given the continual upbeat reports of how Allied soldiers are faring in the fighting,
Also in today’s paper
- Extracts from the President of Brazils’ message to the country’s National Congress take up over half of page 3, with further promised the following day. Quite why it is being covered in such length isn’t obviously apparent
- The French issue a report concerning their contribution to the Dardanelles campaign – page 7
- Striking London tram workers are ordered by their leaders to return to work, but London County Council’s refusal to re-engage men of military age leads to disturbances – page 8 - The ongoing spat between Germany and America since the sinking of the Lusitania sees Germany reply to America’s diplomatic note – pages 9 and 10 - Perceval Landon’s latest despatch from British Headquarters looks at a typical case of gas-poisoning at the front and the victim’s subsequent treatment – pages 9 and 10

29th May 1915


In todays Daily Telegraph The Battle of Festubert is one of the lesser-known battles of 1915, and although it ran from 15 to 27 May, today is the first time it appears to any great extent given that location in the Telegraph. Page 9 had three columns, which as the report comes from an undated official release from British Headquarters inevitably plays up the heroism and “stirring gallantry of British troops” whilst giving no clue that in reality there were in the region of 16,000 casualties, over three times those of the Germans, for little military gain.
Indeed it had been a bloody month all round, what with the sinking of the Lusitania, the Qunitinshill rail disaster, and now the explosion of the auxiliary ship Princess Irene at Sheerness, initially reported the previous day, had a death toll of 270 (same page).
Also in today’s paper
- A new booklet condemning the treatment of British prisoners by the German had a preface written for it by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – page 4
- Women workers provide waterproof covers for elaborate new respirators for the troops in double-quick time – page 4 - The Early Closing Association approves of the appeal to shoppers to shop earlier – page 7. Hardly a surprise is it? - The letter the previous day calling for a National Register of Available Manhood gains widespread approval, as correspondents across the country find on page 7. Talking of available manhood, employees of Glasgow pubs are invited to attend a recruitment meeting, whilst the city considers allowing the employment of barmaids (same page) - Italians in Montreal celebrating the entry of Italy to the war attack the offices of a newspaper which had criticised the country – page 7 - “An amazing and significant article” appears in a German newspaper which “breathes insult and defiance of America in every line” over submarine warfare – page 9. Over on page 10 German sailors interned in the US are clearly suffering, as twelve are reported to have gone mad

28th May 1915




It is another day where the black and white nature of the war as seen in todays Daily Telegraph is writ large, with the narrative of Britain and her allies are on the side of good and truth, whereas her foes are automatically on the opposite side. Admittedly this is helped by a contrast between the two air raids on page 9, where there is an Allied air raid on a military target at Ludwigshafen, as opposed to a German raid on innocent Southend, but there is still the belief that all is well (or at least not heading to a reverse) at Gallipoli (page 9) and the Italian army appears to be cutting through Austria like a knife through butter (page 10), which both, because they redound in the Allied favour, are accepted far more readily than would be the case if reported from the other side. The final leader on page 8 only serves to accentuate this perspective.
Also in today’s paper
- Among the books reviewed today is the sequel to the children’s book Pollyanna, entitled Pollyanna Grows Up, but our reviewer finds it “generally something of a disappointment” – page 4
- Naturalised subjects of Germanic descent hold a meeting in London to stress their loyalty to Britain – page 6. Italians in the country meanwhile stage a “great demonstration” to celebrate the country’s entry into the war (page 7, with a picture on page 12)
- Another battleship is lost off Gallipoli (page 9) although we’re back to the early days of the war in the portrayal of the ship as a museum piece. Indeed its not a good naval day as an auxiliary ship blows up at Sheerness (same page) despite the report of the deeds of submarine E11 (although saying “the torpedo was heard to explode” isn’t exactly confirmation that it damaged anything) - Newmarket unveils plans for its horse races, including replacements for the Derby and Oaks – page 9 - A letter-writer on page 10 calls for a National Register of all men of a military age, thus bringing ‘“loafers” and “slackers” … in the military net,” while another laments that statements on the drink problem, party politics and attacks on ministers impact deleteriously on the country’s reputation abroad



27th May 1915



HMS Majestic becomes the second battleship to be torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-21. Under the command of Captain Henry FitzRoy George Talbot, forty of HMS Majestic ratings were killed in the initial explosions.

HMS Princess Irene was also lost today. A total of 352 people were killed, including 273 officers and men, and 76 dockyard workers. A faulty primer was blamed for the internal explosion.


Winston Churchill resigns as First Lord of the Admiralty:


The novelty of a new front in the war was still appealing in todays Daily Telegraph, as the first actions since Italy joined the war against Austria are reported on page 9. Naturally the Italians, as Allies, were treated in a more heroic light, and all reports of advances by her were taken at face value, whilst Austrian actions were attacked – an air raid on Venice was denigrated as the beginning of a “war of vandalism” by them. Even veteran correspondent E. J. Dillon displays what to modern eyes would be an overly credulous attitude to the Italian Government’s barring war correspondents at the front and preventing private messages being published prior to any official statements – “efficacious measures to hinder inaccurate accounts of the progress of the military operations from getting into the Press” is how he looks at them, whereas more modern cynical eyes would look at that as only getting published what they want people to think is happening. Also in today’s paper - It still seems extraordinary that reports can take almost a month to appear in the paper, such as the soldier’s story of a Dardanelles battle as recounted in Alexandria on page 5. Nearby on the page are Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett’s latest photos of the campaign. Page 9 has more up-to-date news, as another battleship is lost to submarine attack - Robert Baden-Powell writes on page 5 with an offer of educating 20 fallen officers’ sons at reduced rates in a farm school - More strikes over a war bonus or lack of one today – page 6 tells of one by printing works girls in Buckinghamshire, whose employers retaliate by threatening to stop marriage dowries, whilst page 9 reports one in the Lancashire cotton trade - Some South African troops are being disbanded after serving in what is now Namibia – page 7. It seems it isn’t envisaged using them in other theatres of war.




26th May 1915





For his actions of standing on  top of the enemy's parapet for 2 hours and throwing about 150 bombs amongst the Germans, who were only a few yards away. Leonard Keyworth (pic) will be awarded the Victoria Cross. He would however be killed in action less than five months later on the 9 October 1915. At
 Abbeville, France.



Southend again comes under attack from a Zeppelin; at 10.30pm LZ38 begins dropping 47 incendiary bombs and 23 small high explosive bombs. Although the Damage was less than in previous raids, two women and a seven year old child are killed.

In todays Daily Telegraph after the best part of a week of speculation, the new Coalition Cabinet was officially unveiled, as seven Conservatives (or Unionists as the Telegraph called them), one Ulster Unionist and one Labour member joined with 13 Liberals in the running of the country. It was a body that included five current, former or future Prime Ministers (Asquith, Lloyd George, Balfour, Bonar Law and Churchill), five peers, and interestingly after all the tension over Ulster the previous year Sir Edward Carson joined his erstwhile foes as Attorney-General. The major news, after the scandals over munition supplies, was the creation of a new Ministry of Munitions, which David Lloyd George would oversee the setting up of. Page 9 contains all the details, as well as the refusal of Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond to join the coalition, and inevitably there is a leader on page 8 to celebrate the return of the Conservatives to government after almost a decade.
Also in today’s paper
- The leader on page 8 celebrates Italy’s advance into Austrian territory (reported on page 9, alongside the usual denigration of reports of “alleged” attacks in the other direction” – “It will be a matter of considerable satisfaction to the world at large – outside the Teutonic Empires – that our enemy is suffering the pains of invasion instead of inflicting them on others.” Hang on though, what about the Russians on the Eastern Front, who claim more successes in Galicia on the same page?
- As usual, the reports from Gallipoli suggest advances by the Allies – page 9
- The latest fighting at Ypres reports the Germans emitting gas on a front of five miles for a period of 4 and a half hours – page 9 - More on Italy’s entry into the war on page 10, as “An Italian” reports on the reaction of his fellow-countrymen in London - John Galsworthy, future Nobel laureate in Literature and author of the Forsyte Saga, has a new play in London, but the Telegraph’s critic is underwhelmed – page 10 - One of the signalmen at fault for the “terrible railway calamity” at Quintinshill admits to the inquiry “I forgot the train” – page 11



25th May 1915


“To-day the great European conflict enters upon a new phase.” Italy’s declaration of war on Austria was clearly still the big news of the day as far as todays Daily Telegraph was concerned, as it was given centre stage on page 9, the entirety of pages 5 and 12, part of page 10 and the inevitable leader article on page 8, which opined “it is difficult to overestimate the critical importance of Italy’s decision to join the Allies,” although as it would pan apart from bogging down Austrian troops on their south-western borders little of substance would really be achieved by it. Calling it “Italy’s war for civilisation,” as we do on page 9, is surely slightly over the top though, despite more German barbarism around Ypres in the shape of “poisonous gas and asphyxiating shells” (same page.)
Also in today’s paper
- The previous day’s Whitsun Bank Holiday is initially reported to have been the quietest in London since Bank Holidays were established in 1871, but goes on to talk about packed buses, busy parks and going to the zoo (where feeding time seems to be a particular attraction), whilst the By the Silver Sea column talks of busy resorts – page 2
- London’s St George’s Hospital prepares to take military casualties with a mile and a quarter of beds to house them – page 4
- A correspondent on page 4 writes calling for an official order what people have respirators with them for air raids to “ward off the fatal gases, which, no doubt, sooner or later, will be exploded among us” - A football match between two Indian regiments at the front is reported upon on page 6 - An official appeal for certain behaviour from and expectations of shoppers from the Distributing Trades Committee appears on page 8 - “A number of stalwart coloured men” offer their services to a proposed “Black Battalion” – page 8 - “The full story of the second battle of Ypres… has yet to be told, but it is now permitted to give a few details” starts a report that gives more than just a few details on pages 9 and 10 - The Quintinshill disaster is relegated to page 10, as “so far no explanation is forthcoming on the exact cause” and the death toll rises - Testimony from wounded soldiers at Gallipoli being treated in Cairo focuses on the heroism in a “terrible affair” – page 11 - Luigi Barzini reports on “Life in Brussels under the Invaders’ Heel” on page 13. Will he be switching his attention to his home country not it has entered the war?

24th May 1915



Given that so many soldiers perished in action during the war, it is a cruel irony that the majority of those killed in Britain’s worst-ever rail disaster should be troops in wartime, but that was the case on 22 May 1915 when a Liverpool-bound troop train carrying a battalion of Royal Scots was at the centre of a disaster at Quintinshill, near Gretna caused by lax practices by signalmen and railway staff on the line. With two goods trains held in the loops a local train was shunted from the line to Glasgow onto the line to London to let a late-running express train through, but this put it on a collision course with the troop train coming in the opposite direction, which duly ran into the local train and overturned onto the other line, where it was hit by the express, causing an inferno. Around 216 Royal Scots perished as a result, only 83 who could be identified, along with 12 civilians, making an estimated toll of 228 which is more than double the second-worst crash in British railway history (Harrow in 1952). Clearly despite the blow to the war effort this was not something that the powers that be could cover up, as pages 9 and 10 tell the initial tale (with a given death toll lower than reality) along with pictures on page 3 and a leader on page 8 which concludes “the railway accident at Gretna seems to bring upon our shoulders an intolerable burden of anguish and bloodshed and death.”
Also in today’s paper
- Having waxed lyrical about the troops in Egypt, W. T. Massey now turns his attention to extolling the Italian army on page 4, as the country finally gets round to declaring war on Austria, causing Germany to declare war upon it in return (page 9)
- The London County Council hits back in the tramway strike by ordering all those eligible for military or naval service to “forthwith return their uniforms and badges to the tramway depots” and inviting men above military age to replace them for the duration of the war – page 6
- Hall Caine pleads on behalf of his fellow Manxmen on page 6, who are suffering due to a fall in tourism, and suggests well-to-do enemy aliens be sent there who can “pay reasonably for their support” whilst presumably under some form of internment - “A Neutral Correspondent” lays into Austria on page 7 – “an anachronism,” “coming downfall of an obsolete system,” “a race without iron” and so on - Today’s eyewitness account for General Headquarters is about the Second Battle of Ypres, and is one of the longest issued so far – page 7 - Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria’s opinions on the Allied forces appear in a report of an interview by him on page 10


22nd May 1915





The Quintinshill rail disaster occurs today and involved five trains, killed a probable 226 and injured 246. Those killed were mainly Territorial soldiers, 214 from the 1/7th (Leith) Battalion, the Royal Scots heading for Gallipoli. The accident occurred owing to poor working practices on the part of the two signalmen George Meakin and James Tinsley. Both men were found guilty of culpable homicide and breach of duty. Tinsley was sentenced to three years penal servitude and Meakin to eighteen months imprisonment. The soldiers were buried with full military honours. Among the coffins were four bodies which were unidentified. One coffin was simply labelled as 'little girl, unrecognisable,' and another as 'three trunks, probably children'. As no children were reported missing the railway company moved the bodies to Glasgow for possible identification, but no one came forward to claim the bodies. The four were buried in Glasgow's Western Necropolis on 26 May. The engine crew of the troop train were both from Carlisle, and they were also buried on 26 May at Stanwix Cemetery. The surviving officers and men of the Royal Scots were taken to Carlisle on the evening of 22 May. The next morning they were redispatched on a new train to Liverpool, but on arrival at Liverpool they were medically examined and all the enlisted ranks plus one officer were declared unfit for service overseas and were returned to Edinburgh. It was reported in the Edinburgh Weekly that on their march from the port to the railway station the survivors were mistaken for prisoners of war and pelted by some children.




21st May 1915




Compared with the rush to war in July and August 1914 Italy’s entry has been a most protracted affair, and although by now everybody knows she is going to enter the war, after a final attempt by German and Austria to prevent this (headlined in a typical example of anti-German phrasing “Collapse of the German Plot,” as it the Treaty of London wasn’t a similar example of legerdemain on the Allied side) she is still taking her time. In todays Daily Telegraph on page 9 we read that the Italian parliament accorded to the Government “full powers for war” whilst the Government on its part stated that is was “resolved to make good Italy’s rights by force of arms.” “Probably the most momentous session in the history of modern Italy” was how the Telegraph described it, but surely it is time she actually got on, put everyone out of their misery so to speak and declared war now? Also in today’s paper - Almost a month after the landings, page 3 has two photos from Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett on the opening stages of Gallipoli. Page 10 has the latest update, with reports of heights taken which will put the Allies “in an advantageous position to develop their future operations.” - The Regent Palace Hotel takes out a full-page advert about its upcoming opening on page 5. 1,028 bedrooms is a serious number to have, whilst single room prices are relatively cheaper than most these days - The Combat Respirator in page 6 doesn’t look exactly like the most efficacious piece of kit - Soldiers register their disgust at the “unpatriotic” London tram strikers – page 7. On page 10 Cannock Chase coalminers are the latest to walk out over issues concerning a war bonus - Lloyds Bank offers facilities in all its branches for the deposit of small savings, a “new departure” which it is hoped will encourage thrift – page 7 - The Old Bailey espionage trial (see May 19 for the start) ends suddenly as the defendant hangs himself in his cell in Brixton Prison, his suicide note saying he had had a fair trial (pages 9 and 10)





20th May 1915




“We welcome the idea of a National Government.” Herbert Asquith had confirmed in the Commons that the rumours swirling over the formation of a coalition to prosecute the war were true, and that although both his post and that of Sir Edward Grey as Foreign Secretary were sacrosanct, all other posts were open to alteration as to who should fill them (page 9 where the paper merrily speculates as to what will be the outcome). The Telegraph was cheered by this news, its leader on the subject (page 8) claiming that it had wanted such a thing for some time, “suggestions which we refrained from printing for patriotic reasons,” the Liberal Government has been “a little stale” by the time the war began, and that the Conservatives had not sought such a coalition but it was in the best interests of the Empire that they did so.
Little did anyone know that with the formation of a Coalition it would be the last time in the country’s history that a Liberal-only Government would govern the country, 56 years after the party’s formation as a coalition of Whigs, Radicals and Peelites. Like a century later it would turn out that the Conservatives would be the gainers from a Liberal-Conservative coalition, whilst the Liberals would be the losers, albeit not immediately as drastically as 2015 turned out.
Also in today’s paper
- Fred. J. Melville’s philately column on page 4 looks at stamps from Germany, its colonies and Austria. Is this an allowable form of trading with the enemy?
- A full page advert on page 5 takes up Lord Kitchener’s call for 300,000 more recruits, and states that the maximum age is now 40 (up from 38) and the minimum height is now 5ft 2in (down an inch). An article on page 9 also confirms these changes. To help the cause on page 7 the Earl of Derby calls on mothers to overcome their reluctance to let their sons go to the front - The cudgels are taken up against the Civil Service over its treatment of a Boy Clerk who was mobilised with his territorial unit, thereby being made unavailable to take up an impending promotion to Assistant Clerk which meant he lost his pay and rank and was thereby being “penalised for his patriotism” – page 6 - The Government requests that the Jockey Club announces the abandonment of racing for the duration of the war, save for Newmarket, “the peculiar circumstances and industries of which, dependent as they are entirely on racing, combine to make this exception expedient” – page 9 - Wounded Allied soldiers in hospitals in Egypt tell of Turkish atrocities – page 11

19th May 1915



Parliamentary matters led the way in todays Daily Telegraph, both inside and outside the Palace of Westminster. Inside the Houses of Parliament Lord Kitchener gave his latest review to the Lords, which stated that the Allies were forced to deploy asphyxiating gases as the only adequate way of protecting them against the Germans’ use of such items, claimed the news from Gallipoli was “entirely satisfactory” (although E. Ashmead Bartlett’s latest official despatch admitted to “very slow progress”) and called for 300,000 more recruits, although he specified that none should come from munitions industries.
Things were rather more exciting in the Commons, where a campaigner against the continuance of football in wartime entered the chamber and seized the mace, whereby several MPs and attendants wrestled it off him and dragged him away.
Meanwhile outside of Parliament the tensions between Lord Fisher and Winston Churchill at the Admiralty mentioned the previous day were such that it was rumoured that Fisher had tendered his resignation, Churchill’s “high qualities will be utilised in another office” and that this, combined with “an increasing tendency to question and challenge the action of Ministers” had made the prospect of a coalition government much more likely, although the last does seem quite a leap just from these two things.
Page 9 has all this news
Also in today’s paper - An espionage trial starts at the Old Bailey, with an indictment six feet long – page 5. Interesting phrasing to describe the defendant – “one of the three men who are supposed to have been guilty of espionage” - The Goodwood race meeting is the latest sporting event to be cancelled due to the war – page 9 - The latest news from Gallipoli – a spirited Gurkha attack enables them to capture a Turkish gun – page 10. On page 11 the loss of an Australian submarine the previous month is admitted


18th May 1915





In todays Daily Telegraph Another day, another Zeppelin raid which engendered yet more critical comment of Germany’s use of them in a leader on page 8 (the paper is clearly still happy to carry on attacking the enemy in terms we’ve heard many times before by now) but this time it had British aircraft (or machines as the official Admiralty announcement termed them) to contend with. However, despite 10 planes reported as having been involved in attacking the airship, which were all apparently exposed to heavy fire back from it (what arms was it carrying to achieve this?), all they were able to report was a belief in the airship being severely damaged. Pages 9 and 10 contain stories of the raid on Kent (with photos of damage to Ramsgate on page 3), whilst page 9 also reports about another Zeppelin which came to grief in Belgium under the headline “Gasbag’s Mishap.” Also in today’s paper - On the quirkier side of the war on page 3 a surgeon of the Military Hospital describes soldiers as “large babies” which the Hon. Rupert Guinness opens a recruiting shop for the Royal Navy Division - The Chelsea Flower Show opens – page 4 - The uncle of the famous Mitford sisters is among the heirs of peers killed in action listed on page 5 - Sir Claude Phillips is concerned that the National Gallery’s precautions against German air raids are incomplete – page 7 - There are hints of tensions at the Admiralty between Winston Churchill and Lord Fisher – page 9 - German losses at the Second Battle of Ypres are reported to be 150,000 – page 9 - “The first stage of the great battle for the possession of the heights of Aki Baba has come to a close, and although the British army is not yet in possession of this commanding position, the enemy has been forced to disclose his strength and the character of his defences, and we are now in a position to estimate the full measure of the task that lies ahead.” E. Ashmead-Bartlett looks on the positive side in his latest official despatch from Gallipoli – pages 9 and 10 - A hint of massacres of Armenians in Turkey appears on a short article on page 10






17th May 1915


In todays Daily Telegraph “The crisis is nearing an end.” Italy had been a member of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary since 1882, but had declined to side with her allies on the outbreak of war, and indeed from the many articles concerning her negotiations with them over the last few months seemed to be trying to use it as a lever to gain territory from Austria. Our Eastern European expert Dr. E. J. Dillon had written not much less interminably than the negotiations themselves on the subject, and page 9 contains no less than four articles carrying his byline as the Alliance was formally brought to an end. “The popular enthusiasm is indescribable” he reports as the country prepared to enter on the side of the Triple Entente.
What few people knew though was that Italy had made a secret treaty with the Entente Powers, the Treaty of London, signed the previous month, which offered the country a larger slice of Austrian territory and effective control of the Adriatic, and so was already committed, whilst her opening up of another front against the Austrians would be a strategic boon to the Entente Powers. Not that she was a country to be feared; her ultimate unification the previous century was achieved as much if not more through the help of other countries (France and then Prussia) than by her own means and indeed when pressing for more land at the Congress of Berlin in 1878 the Russian delegate Gorchakov derisively commented that she would have a lose a battle first.
Also in today’s paper
- Paris celebrates the festival day of Joan of Arc, and the British there lay wreaths in her honour – page 7. Whether she’d have appreciated shouts of “Vive l‘Angleterre!” around her statue is debatable though
- Six British soldiers, fugitives since being separated from their comrades at Mons nearly nine months earlier, escape into the Netherlands after what is well described as an “amazing odyssey” – page 8 - A Zeppelin bombing raid is described in an understated use of language as a “visit to Kent coast” – page 9 - The London tram strike sees 6,000 men out – page 9 - The British go on the attack on the Western Front, in what is described as a “brilliant advance” – page 9 - “Steady progress” on interning enemy aliens is not stopping anti-German riots, and the Riot Act has to be read in Walton-on-Thames – page 10 - Wounded from the Dardanelles paint a picture of fierce attacks from the Turks, but “they had no stomach for the cold steel” – page 11 - “Official telegraphs from Lisbon announce a revolutionary outbreak there” – page 11 - The Roll of Honour, which again takes up most of a page, includes a serious number of New Zealand wounded at Gallipoli – page 12. It does seem incongruous, to put it mildly, for a Selfridges fashion advert to sit on the opposite page to this though

15th May 1915




In Todays Daily Telegraph Italy was in the middle of a Government crisis as it prepared to go to war, Enemy Aliens were being rounded up, albeit “the number was quite small in comparison with the masses that will have to be dealt with,” there was more on the fighting in the Dardanelles (see pages 8 and 9), but what was the news that seemed to be interesting the Telegraph more? The removal of the Garter Stalls of the Germans and Austrian struck off the roll the day before, which featured in an article and an editorial on page 8 as well as a picture on page 3. An interesting case of priorities. Also in today’s paper - Telegraph praises Socialists shock on page 5, although it is German Socialists deploring the German/Austrian exultation over the sinking of the Lusitania which naturally would please the paper - A petition to Pope Benedict XV to make an intervention over prisoners of war is presented – page 6 - The German use of gas embitters Allies troops against them – page 7. It also appears to be affecting the health of Flemish villagers – page 11 - London tramwaymen go on strike in a dispute over the war bonus and a demand for a cut in working hours – page 9 - A Special Correspondent reports on the munitions work done by women at Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness – page 10





14th May 1915



In todays Daily Telegraph
”Members listened with anxious attention, and there was evident relief and satisfaction when it was found that the Cabinet has resolved to grasp the nettle boldly.” The Government responded to the anti-German rioting, which by now had spread to South Africa, by proposing plans to intern or repatriate the majority of enemy aliens, and requiring naturalised ones to satisfy the authorities of their loyalty. “The reception was most favourable” in the Commons and there was no time wasted in setting the policy into action, as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner ordered the arrest of enemy aliens of military age in London.
Page 9 carries all this news (with more articles on the topic on page 10), as well as the latest anti-German measure as the Kaiser, various other German relatives of the Royal Family and the Emperor of Austria were all struck off the roll of the Knights of the Order of the Garter. Had someone at court read the letter in the issue of the 1st May which had called for such a measure?
Also in today’s paper
- There are French advances around Arras, with a fair amount of arms captures – page 9
- Over 500 die as the Turks sink HMS Goliath in the Dardanelles – page 9 - General Botha captures Windhoek, thus establishing control over German South-West Africa – page 10

13th May 1915


Under the command of Captain Thomas Lawrie Shelford, HMS Goliath, was one of six Canopus-class pre-dreadnought battleships and was assigned to the British Dardanelles Squadron on the 25 March 1915 to participate in the Gallipoli campaign. On the night of 12–13 May, while at station and being screened by five destroyers the Turkish torpedo boat Muavenet manned by a combined German and Turkish crew managed to evade  the screen and fire two torpedoes which struck Goliath causing a massive explosion. Goliath began to capsize almost immediately. 570 of the ships company lost their lives including her Captain Thomas Shelford, with only 130 of her crew surviving the sinking



In todays Daily Telegraph Perhaps it was the shock of just what was occurring with anti-German riots across the country in the wake of the Lusitania’s sinking (pages 9 and 10, with pictures on page 3), or maybe an appreciation from the sentiments expressed in a number of letters from as well as interviews with some of those here (page 10) that fairness ought to be given, but the Telegraph’s leader today on page 8 was rather more conciliatory to Germans living in Britain than the previous day’s, admitting that some of the acts inflicted by the populace on them were “indefensible and unjust” and accepting that some were loyal to their adopted country: “We wish to believe that there are good Germans as well as bad; honourable British citizens as well as enemies of the German race.”
Also in today’s paper
- Australian Davis Cup-winning tennis player Anthony Wilding is the latest sportsman to die in action – page 4


12th May 1915


The Telegraph’s leaders have during the course if 1915 getting ever more fervid in their denunciations of the Germans, and today’s first one on page 8 turns its aim of Germans living in Britain, who as pages 9 and 10 reveal have been targeted still further in the wake of the sinking of the Lusitania. While it was quite happy to print letters from such people denouncing the treatment of British prisoners of war earlier in the year, the sinking of the Lusitania seems to have decided it that such people are no better than their compatriots across the Channel, and even if they have taken British citizenship they are still murderous Huns at heart, and deserve all the acts of expulsion and ostracism they find inflicted on them. Harsh stuff indeed.
Also in today’s paper
- A side-effect of the war rears its head on page 5 as the High Courts find themselves with a shortage of jurors
- A German attack near Ypres is made under cover of poisonous gas, but the troops are mown down by British shrapnel – page 8
- King George V commands that no celebrations for his birthday be held except for the flying of flags – page 10 - Conservative politician Sir Frederick Milner calls for more generous treatment of wounded soldiers in a letter on page 11, observing that far more is done to help Allied soldiers in the same boat than for the British themselves

11th May 1915




In todays Daily Telegraph “The sinking of the Lusitania is the crowning outrage. It is an act directed not against us as belligerents, but against humanity.” The most notorious sinking of the war, which led to the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew, which turned out to be lower than the initially feared loss of over 1,400 quoted in the articles on the sinking on page 9 today, unsurprisingly led to another editorial article full of invective against the Germans on page 8. And the news reports weren’t far behind either – “the German submarine pirates committed the most infamous outrage of which they have yet been guilty,” and “the great crime” being examples as the “appalling news” dominated the day, with other articles on pages 5, 10 and 11 on the ship.
And the Lusitania wasn’t even the only victim of the Germans either, as two other liners fall victim off the Irish coast, as page 6 reveals
Also in today’s paper
- More industrial action hits the country, as builders in Northampton down tools in a dispute over pay and a revision of working rules – page 5
- Trade is still going well despite the U-boat menace, as the value of British exports increases in April, although it is down on a year earlier, whilst the value of imports is higher than the corresponding month in 1914 – page 7 - Lloyd George drops his spirit duties plans and replaces them with a ban on the sale of spirits under three years of age accomplished by compulsory bonding – page 9. The opposition of the Irish Nationalists was a key facet in the Chancellor’s U-turn, which leads to the rare sight of them being praised in a leader on the subject on page 8 - Two more lengthy reports from Gallipoli from E. Ashmead-Bartlett on pages 9 and 10, in reverse chronological order, with another mix of recent and past reports from the campaign on page 11 - The women’s page turns its attention to war babies – page 12 - England’s rugby captain is killed in action – page 13

10th May 1915









In todays Daily Telegraph the “hideous crime” of the sinking of the Lusitania was still the dominant news story, with much of pages 8, 9, 10 and 12 given over to the aftermath of the initial reports. The death toll was now reported to be 1,502, and there was world-wide horror of the act, with Americans now referring to “the outlaw German Government.”. However this did not apply in Germany, where a Cologne newspaper, although deprecating the death of non-combatants” claimed that the news will be received by the German people with unanimous satisfaction.” As ever, it demonstrates that conventional morality is a casualty of wartime; as one anonymous Italian statesman observed “this is no longer war; it is organised slaughter, perpetrated by a race suffering from dog-madness.”
Also in today’s paper
- Wartime isn’t affecting spring fashion, if the article on this week in the shops on page 4 and adverts on that page, as well as pages 5, 7 and 11 are anything to go by. Meanwhile it is trousseau week in Selfridge’s – page 13
- An incident well down the article in the latest eye-witness report from General Headquarters is picked out in the headline, as fitting with the theme of German disregard for civilised behaviour of the day a captured Prussian officer is amused at seeing the effects of German gas attacks “”Amazing Savagery”) on the Allies – page 5
- The drinks trade unsurprisingly expresses its satisfaction at Lloyd George’s abandonment of his drink taxes – page 11 - Another day showing the cost of the current fighting, as the roll of honour takes up most of page 14








8th May 1915



In todays Daily Telegraph “The sinking of the Lusitania is the crowning outrage. It is an act directed not against us as belligerents, but against humanity.” The most notorious sinking of the war, which led to the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew, which turned out to be lower than the initially feared loss of over 1,400 quoted in the articles on the sinking on page 9 today, unsurprisingly led to another editorial article full of invective against the Germans on page 8. And the news reports weren’t far behind either – “the German submarine pirates committed the most infamous outrage of which they have yet been guilty,” and “the great crime” being examples as the “appalling news” dominated the day, with other articles on pages 5, 10 and 11 on the ship.
And the Lusitania wasn’t even the only victim of the Germans either, as two other liners fall victim off the Irish coast, as page 6 reveals
Also in today’s paper
- More industrial action hits the country, as builders in Northampton down tools in a dispute over pay and a revision of working rules – page 5
- Trade is still going well despite the U-boat menace, as the value of British exports increases in April, although it is down on a year earlier, whilst the value of imports is higher than the corresponding month in 1914 – page 7 - Lloyd George drops his spirit duties plans and replaces them with a ban on the sale of spirits under three years of age accomplished by compulsory bonding – page 9. The opposition of the Irish Nationalists was a key facet in the Chancellor’s U-turn, which leads to the rare sight of them being praised in a leader on the subject on page 8 - Two more lengthy reports from Gallipoli from E. Ashmead-Bartlett on pages 9 and 10, in reverse chronological order, with another mix of recent and past reports from the campaign on page 11 - The women’s page turns its attention to war babies – page 12 - England’s rugby captain is killed in action – page 13


7th April 1915



One hundred years ago today at 14.10 the German submarine U20 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger fired a single torpedo at the RMS Lusitania the British Cunard Lines  Blue Riband holder, and briefly the world's largest passenger ship. Hit on the starboard bow, just beneath the wheelhouse.











Within moments of two violent explosions the ship began to founder, Eighteen minutes after the torpedo struck the stern rose into the air and slid beneath the waves. Of the 1,962 passengers and crew aboard Lusitania at the time of the sinking, 1,191 lost their lives.


Todays Daily Telegraph: "The great venture has at last been launched.” Just under a fortnight after the start of the campaign comes Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett’s first reports from Gallipoli, which cover the opening landings at some length on page 9, helped by the fact that there are three despatches over the course of four days run together. Although obviously having to accentuate the positive and not say anything which would fa foul of the censor, it is arguably the first time in the war that the Telegraph is in a position to have one of its own correspondents on hand to give as close to a first-hand account of the opening of a campaign as possible rather than having to rely on War Office reports and second-hand accounts from eyewitnesses. Meanwhile page 11 gives the latest news, including claims that only four people out of a Turkish regiment are left alive, and Our Special Correspondent in Athens claiming Turkish public opinion “understands now that the enterprise of the Allies will be pursued to a successful conclusion.” Also in today’s paper - An Italian steamer is nearly hit by a torpedo fired when a party of ladies is visiting a destroyer in Newport – page 7 - Commemorations of Garibaldi in Italy see future Fascist founder Gabriele d’Annunzio produce a discourse clearly anticipating war with Austria – page 8. Below this article the Pope tells of his sorrow that Italy appears to be joining the fray - “The famous Hill 60 still gives rise to furious fighting” and it seems the most contested eminence of the war to date given the continuing reports of to-and-from action there – page 9




















6th May 1915



In todays' Daily Telegraph an official report on the German use of gas at Ypres was given centre stage on page 9, which came from a Belgian commission based in Le Havre, and reported just two days after the first use of the gas. Why it should take nearly two weeks to be published, give the grave nature of its contents and its use to the Allied propaganda cause is slightly mysterious, but it enable it to appear the same day as a report from South Africa for the Germans’ poisoning of wells with arsenical cattle dip.
These two stories prompted the most virulent denunciation of the enemy yet in a Telegraph leader – “Every day seems to add to the appalling indictment which humanity has to frame against men who do more fiendish things than are recorded of the barbarians of the Middle Ages … Reckless cruelty on the sea is equalled and surpassed by diabolical crimes on land. Poison, murder, piracy, inhuman trickery. infamous lying – everything comes handy to these violators of truces and solemn engagements, these desecrators of Divine shrines, these heartless butchers of women and children. Their offences smell rank to Heaven; they call for vengeance from the mercy seat of Grace itself.” (page 8)

5th May 1915



SS Ophelia was boarded on 17th October 1914 and seized by the Royal Navy for violating Hague Convention X of 1907 concerning hospital ships. The Prize Court was told how she was using coded wireless transmissions and that Dr. Pfeiffer, threw overboard a number of documents and secret codes, an enormous number of Verey lights were discovered on board. Fired from special pistols, Verey lights can be used as signal devices. The Ophelia had 600 green, 480 red and 140 white lights, and all records of how many she had before the seizure were destroyed before boarding. For comparison, a British hospital ship would stock about 12 lights of each colour. The Prize court agreed and Ophelia  was appropriated for the British Navy  renamed the SS Huntley and used for transporting fuel from Portishead to Boulogne. On 21 December 1915 she was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat UB-10 .75 miles (1.21 km) off the Boulogne LV. Germany later used the seizure of the Ophelia to try and justify its attacks on hospital ships:

Ronald Poulton-Palmer England Ruby Union Captain was killed by a sniper's bullet whilst supervising trench work from the top of a superior officer's newly repaired dugout. It is said – to a man his platoon wept at their and the nation's loss. He was twenty-five years of age.



According  to today's Daily Telegraph It was a “day of surprises” as David Lloyd George presented what was meant to be the 1915 budget, but proved to be just an interim measure, for “it attempted no certain estimate of the expenditure for this year; it fixed upon no definite figure as the probable deficit; it made no proposals for meeting the enormous deficit which is bound to arise,” and enormous it was, projected to be £862 million if the war were to continue for another year. Even so, it the event despite expectation no new taxes were being immediately raised save the proposed ones of alcohol already announced as a solution to the drink issue, and in another surprise it looked as if Lloyd George was backtracking on even those. Page 9 gives all the details of this Budget that barely was.

Also in today’s paper
- Another tale of German perfidy on page 5 as a Naval Prize Court hears about a captured hospital ship allegedly being used to spy on the British
- Sir John French damns the Germans’ use of gas in a report on page 9
- The Allies claim to be advancing at Gallipoli having seen off a Turkish attack – page 9 - It emerges during a speech by Herbert Asquith that an official census of employed men fit to fight in the Services is to be set up – page 9

4th May 1915





The on going fighting around Hill 60 at Ypres was the main war story in today Daily Telegraph (page 9), with Sir John French’s despatch revealing the Germans were now using two methods for delivering what was elsewhere described on the page as a “dastardly poisonous gas trick.” At home it was the Budget that was headlining the news, with Lloyd George expected to announce tax increases to prevent a deficit at the end of the financial year (pages 9 and 10, with a leader on page 8)
Also in today’s paper
- Naturalised Germans in Britain write on page 7 about the good treatment they have received when interned as enemy aliens in this country
- The usual scepticism is displayed to a German claim of victory over the Russians in Galicia – page 9
- More action in the North Sea as a British trawler converted into a minesweeper comes off best in an encounter with a German destroyer – page 9 - Civil Service examinations are suspended, as women can be employed in the stead of men of military age – page 12


3rd May 1915


On the morning of 2nd May 1915 Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was killed by a direct hit from a German shell, what remained of him was buried later that same afternoon. Unable to use the services of a chaplain Alexis friend John McCrea conducted the funeral service, a simple wooden cross one amongst many marked Lieutenant Alexis Helmer resting place. The following day while John McCrea sat in an ambulance  he looked to where the dead lay, nameless and voiceless in a Flanders fields and, seeing the wild poppies in bloom, he began to write in an outpouring of emotions.

The poem “In Flanders Field” was published anonymously by Punch on December 8th 1915

Among the moved millions was professor Moina Michael, who famously penned a response to the poem when the war ended, ten months after McCrae’s untimely death from pneumonia at age forty-five. ‘We Shall Keep the Faith’ sees Michael pledge to “wear in honour of our dead” the “Poppy Red,”




“Naval Fights in the North Sea” runs the banner headline in today's Daily Telegraph on page 9 today. However, read on on that page and you’ll see that it is not exactly anything major happening, for what we have are a destroyer being sunk by a u-boat and two German torpedo boats being sunk by a division of British destroyers after sinking a trawler. Clearly there was nothing significant enough going on elsewhere to take the Telegraph’s attention.
Also in today’s paper
- Montrealers are “given sensational evidence that Canada is in a state of war” when an Austrian prisoner tries to escape and is shot dead – page 7
- Queen Mary’s provision of lifebelts to British sailors inspires the French to do likewise – page 8
- A German threat to Atlantic liners is published, is “harshly criticised on the grounds of its extremely bad taste” and does not “have any perceptible effect on passengers sailing in the Lusitania” – page 9, as that ship departs New York on its fateful last voyage - The Government publishes more documents on the drink problem, with plenty on this issue on pages 9 and 10, including the upset it is causing in Portugal

1st May 1915




The official despatch of the opening of the Gallipoli campaign appears on page 9,of todays Daily Telegraph, and would have everyone believe that all was going well. Admittedly there was Turkish resistance, but all through the gallantry of the Allied troops is stressed, even if the despatch admits “The casualties in the army have necessarily been heavy.”
It concludes “The next phase of the operations will be dealt with when it is complete, and not in daily communiqués.” With hindsight of knowing what actually happened, could one read between the lines that this was because all was not going to plan, but those in charge wished to conceal the fact as much as possible?