18th June 1915
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THE GREAT WAR BLOG

18th June 1915


It was the centenary of the Battle of Waterloo, but the current situation meant that commemorations of the battle could not be celebrated as might have been expected a year earlier; indeed save for a leader on page 8 and a Zam-Buk advert on page 11 referencing the battle there is nothing specifically about it in the paper.
As the leader noted, the country was “in a position at once strangely different from, and yet in essential features similar to, the General European situation on June 18, 1815.” After all, “once more … our country and the best of Europe are ranged against a cruel and autocratic despotism which threatens the liberties of the world. Once more we are fighting a tyrant whose success means the ruin of all fair hopes of liberty, and a crushing defeat to civilisation.” Only this time, whereas in 1815 it was Britain and Prussia leading an allied force against the French under Napoleon, this time for Prussia read France and for Napoleon read the Kaiser.
To celebrate the occasion a Rudyard Kipling poem entitled “France” is reprinted on page 10. On page 6 a correspondent unearths a letter from Sir Robert Peel after a trip to Paris in 1815 which doesn’t portray the Prussians in a good light, and argues they’ve regressed over the intervening century, but that’s about it for the epochal battle on its centenary – the war had truly overridden the anniversary.
Also in today’s paper
- Statistics show 1,115 people died on the railways in 1914, 16 fewer than the previous year – page 4. A further 80 died on the premises of railway companies. - “An old playgoer” responds to the article the previous day about theatres in wartime by calling for the legalisation of smoking in such premises – page 6. On page 11 it is the turn of music to have similar treatment - Two columns of page 7 are given over to the start of the season in British Spas. A leader on page 8 expresses confidence in those running them to rise to the opportunity provided by most foreign spas being effectively out of bounds, British doctors meeting the needs of their patients, as well as “British waters, British climate and British food.” - Italian Alpini troops conduct another “brilliant exploit” on page 9 - The Telegraph’s parliamentary correspondent predicts Lloyd George’s upcoming munition plans on page 9, whilst Glasgow workers come back from the front where they have been shown at first-hand the need for shells. - Similarly the City Editor looks forward to the Government’s introduction of a war loan – page 9 - German “ravings” over the Karlsruhe air raid are printed on page 10, although the Telegraph is blind to the fact they are little different from its denunciations of enemy raids. The West End of London is threatened with revenge. - Plenty on the fighting in Galicia today, with reports on page 9, Professor Pares’ latest lengthy despatch from Russia on page 11 and Our Military Correspondent analysing the situation next to a map of the area on page 12 - A Major is fined in his absence for striking a bus conductor who’d stopped his wife getting on a bus until all the passengers had got off – page 13. The judge says the major has “absolutely no defence” for what he did

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