17th June 1915
Gallery Solace - The Great War 1914-1918
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17th June 1915



Flight Sub Lieutenant Reginald Alexander John Warneford VC

Just ten short days after having brought down a Zeppelin and being lionised by the British pressand public, Flight Sub Lieutenant Reginald Alexander John Warneford VC is killed in an accident while taking an American journalist, (Henry Needham,) for a flight from Buc aerodrome, near Paris.  At 2,000 feet the right hand wings collapses leading to a catastrophic failure of the airframe and puts the aircraft into a spin. Falling to about 200 feet, the plane turns upside down and to the horror of the onlookers, Warneford and Needham are thrown out and fall to the ground. Needham is killed instantly Warneford is pronounced dead an hour later, he was just 23 years old. He was buried at Brompton Cemetery, London on 21st June 1915 in a ceremony attended by thousands of mourners..

Today's Daily Telegraph forgets the fighting, in one of the longest articles in today’s paper can be found on page 11, where a whole column is given over to consideration of the wartime role of theatres. Having to face a sentiment that to indulge in forms of amusement at such a time is improper, or that to be seen attending when in mourning would be considered unbecoming conduct, yet alone the loss of potential theatregoers to the armed forces, they were struggling, but the paper argued that “there is something to be said … for the managers’ right to the support of the public.” However it would help if the “dearth of good, or at least attractive plays” was addressed, and there was an argument that “lighter forms of plays” were best suited to the current situation, taking the example of what was proving successful at the music-halls. As the Telegraph was continuing to review plays since the war began it was clear it still considered them an acceptable form of entertainment and so perhaps it is not surprising that it should argue for their continuance. Will subsequent reviews bear out the arguments here though?
Also in today’s paper:
- Birmingham tram conductors threaten to go on strike rather than work with women, forcing the authorities to cancel plans to use the latter – page 6. A local Alderman condemns them as “small-minded, unpatriotic, and blind to their country’s interests.”
- The Turkish losses at Gallipoli are claimed to be causing despair and anti-German sentiment in Constantinople – page 8
- The “British advance from Ypres” given the banner headline on page 9 doesn’t seem to advance to much in Sir John French’s latest despatch on the same page, whilst you can compare and contrast it with a German version underneath. Likewise you can compare Russian, German and Austrian accounts of the Galician fighting on the same page. In both cases the Telegraph unusually doesn’t really denigrate the enemy accounts - The Lord Mayor of London launches a fund to aid the sick and wounded of the war, and £88,000 is pledged to it by the end of the inaugural meeting – page 9 - A French paper claims half of the German and Austrian men “called to the colours” are killed, wounded or prisoners - page 10 - A Russian surgeon-major considers the rifle to be but an “infantryman’s toy” besides the heavy guns used in the war – page 10

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