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August 2015

31st August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph with all the carnage in actual fighting, accidents and disasters away from the front take on an extra poignancy in wartime, especially when there is some connection with the Services. One such today can be found on page 9, as the paper reports a “lamentable disaster” on the Thames as a cutter belonging to the training ship Cornwall is sunk when a tug runs through it, and the officer in charge and sixteen boys out of a total of 26 lose their lives.
As a leader on the tragedy on page 8 observes, it is a “poignant reminder, moreover, that in spite of the battles which are turning Europe into a graveyard, and the never-tiring patrol of our seas, the old life conditions persist at our door” and in this case things are accentuated by the fact the ship was a reformatory one training boys for service both military and in the Merchant Navy, as “there is always a peculiar poignancy when young lives are cut off.”
It continues, “Therein lies the heart-ache of our struggle; not so much the present as the next generation of men … is being depleted,” and can’t resist another pop at the Germans, holding the Kaiser and his statesmen responsible for all the deaths of young men in the war, another crime to lodge at their door.
Also in today’s paper
- One by-product of the war – Anna Pavlova declines to return to Europe from America to perform with her ballet company – page 6 - France withdraws an export ban on wine if it is to one of her allies – page 7. “This prompt action will be highly appreciated by the English people” says the paper - As well as maps, the Telegraph now provides a relief model of the British front for interested readers, at a price of 50s – page 7. “An ornament for any room” claims the paper - “We are not quite at the end of one of the most anxious periods of negotiations ever known in the troubled history of the coal-getting industry” as David Lloyd George gets involved again with the South Welsh strike – page 9

30th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph “Disappointing” is how the Telegraph considered the fact that the latest flare-up in the dispute concerning the miners in South Wales had yet to be resolved (see page 7 for the latest news). In a leader on page 6 the paper was more restrained than you might have thought over the situation – yes it is critical of the miners and expects the necessary speedy resolution to involve more concessions for the owners, and clearly regrets such a conclusion to “a miserable business” but it doesn’t lambast them and condemn their lack of patriotism as you might have expected, only playing the patriotism card to praise the curing of “many rampant ills in the body politic” since the war began, and evidently hoping it will work its magic on the recalcitrant Welshmen.
Also in today’s paper
- The Engineering Notes on page 5 reveal problems with the supply of magnesium, “a metal that plays an important part in modern warfare”
- The French beat off a German attempt to raid Paris by air, and one aviator who shots down a German plane is given a nosegay of field flowers by local villagers – page 7
- Arthur James Balfour defends the lack of detailed reporting on Zeppelin air raids on the grounds more detail would help the Germans – page 7 - Russia is still on the retreat, or as they would have it a withdrawal to a new line of defence – page 7 - “Not within living memory has the mercantile community of Hull been moved to such depths of emotion” as the bodies of the submariners killed after the grounding of the E13 return to these shores – pages 7 and 8 - Men who are either German or of German birth attempt to prevent sugar exports from America to the Allies – page 8

28th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph another day where the main news stories are basically continuations of ongoing stories. Today it is the turn of the Irish to have their feats at Gallipoli to be extolled, more on the “splendid” air raids which still give no clue as to how successful they actually were, another Russian fortress in Poland falls to the Germans and now over 10,000 Welsh miners are back out on strike in a “pitiable dispute.” Page 7 has all these stories
Also in today’s paper
- “A Happy afternoon” for the London Territorials, who hold a sports meeting at the front – page 9
- Mrs Eric Pritchard looks at suggestions for blouses to be worn by women workers, and designs a “chic and practical” blouse for society folk working in ammunition factories – page 10

27th August 1915



On 26th August 1915, Arthur Wellesley Bigsworth R.N. reconnoitring the sea off Ostend in his Farman F.27 spotted the German submarine, U-14, on the surface and without hesitation attacked by dropping bombs. For his actions he received a Bar to go with his D.S.O.
Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order
“Squadron-Commander Arthur Wellesley Bigsworth, R.N.
For his services in destroying single-handed a German submarine on the morning of August 26th, 1915, by bombs dropped from an aeroplane.  Squadron-Commander Bigsworth was under heavy fire from the shore batteries and from the submarine whilst manoeuvring for position.  Nevertheless, displaying great coolness, he descended to 500 feet, and after several attempts was able to get a good line for dropping the bombs with full effect.”
This was the first ever confirmed airborne 'kill' of a submarine. Arthur Bigsworth, R.N. received his DSO for his actions on the 17th May 1915, when he managed to climb his Avro 504 above the German Zeppelin LZ39 over Ostend and drop four 20 lb bombs on its envelope, causing considerable damage. This was the first night-time attack on a Zeppelin. Arthur Bigsworth survived the Great War and would remain in the RAF until his retirement in 1935 having achieved the rank of Air Commodore. He died on the 24th Feb 1961.
It is believed that the inspiration and some aspects of author W. E. John’s fictional hero Biggles (surname Bigglesworth) are based on the real-life exploits of Arthur Bigsworth.


In todays' Daily Telegraph after recent matters at sea leading the news, it was time for Allied airmen to take centre stage today on the main news page (page 9). Firstly there was the “brilliant exploit” of a British airman single-handedly sinking a German submarine off Ostend, a sinking the Admiralty was prepared to admit to, as the Germans were aware of the loss and its location; had this not been the case then according to the statement as to Admiralty policy the poor airman would have had his “great feat” concealed. Then next to it 62 French airplanes attacked a German ironworks, throwing “with precision over 150 bombs, including thirty of large calibre.” It does seem a tad suspicious though that they don’t make any claims as to the damage these have done or indeed any other of the raids announced, which included another 127 bombs of Noyon station, which seems a bit of overkill. Also in today’s paper - T Werner Laurie advertises its “Cheap and Cheerful Books for the Trenches” on page 4, which includes such works as “In a Cottage Hospital” and “Modern Marriage and How to Bear It.” Just what every soldier wants to read at the front I’m sure - Today’s charity letter – the R.A.C. conveying a request by the British Ambassador to Russia for motor ambulances for that country – page 7. If you prefer something to help injured British soldiers, there is an appeal for electric fans for Maltese hospitals on page 11 - Eminent lawyer Lord Haldane calls for more opportunities for women in that profession – page 7 - Irish nationalist Sir Roger Casement attempts to recruit Irish prisoners of war to an Irish brigade run by the Germans, without much success – page 7 - The Government declines to discuss terms with the South Welsh miners, as more go out on strike – page 8 - Germany claims the capture of Brest-Litovsk, page 9, with more on page 10; Russia does not confirm it but the tone of the reporting suggests this is expected in due course - Extracts from a letter by Rudyard Kipling on France are published on page 9 - The French Red Cross refute statements made by Grace Ellison about their work in her first article about nursing in the war zone on August 23 –





26th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph Firstly the bodies of fourteen submariners killed by the German attack on the stranded E13 left Denmark for Hull. The Danes, clearly scandalised by what had happened, showed “the greatest sympathy”, sent “many hundreds of wreaths” and provided a “most impressive funeral service” for what was something of a propaganda coup for the British. The Danish assistance even extended to their surviving crew-mates attending in Danish naval uniforms, “as their own uniforms were spoiled when their vessel was attacked.” Underneath this article comes an account of the heroism of the crew by a Danish fisherman.
Nearby we also have over 300 freed prisoners, “released as totally incapacitated for further military service” who were allowed back home, although not, as Our Special Correspondent in Rotterdam reports, without passing on some criticism of German treatment and a harsh attitude as to who should be allowed back. They received a warm welcome at Tilbury, and from the account of Our Special Correspondent there refused to be downcast by their incapacitation. Curiously this reporter claims 6 officers and 320 rank and file returned, but the Press Bureau release below gives a different tally.
Also in today’s paper
- The latest list of gallantry awards include those British soldiers who have had Russian awards conferred on them by the Tsar, which comes to over 800 – page 4 - It seems rather bizarre that E. Ashmead-Bartlett’s special cablegram from Gallipoli on page 7 today is earlier than the one printed in the previous day’s paper. Meanwhile next to this is an update from the Press Bureau, detailing “very severe and continuous fighting, with heavy losses to both sides” and the unusually frank fact that “our forces have not yet gained the objectives at which they were aiming … though they have made a decided advance towards them and have greatly increased the area in possession” - Sir Edward Grey writes a lengthy letter rebutting comments made by the German Chancellor the week before on page 7 - Although the coal owners accept the new agreement in South Wales, some miners go out on strike again – page 7

25th August 1915



In todays' Daily Telegraph having acquired information from a “trustworthy source,” the Telegraph today turned its attention to Germany’s military strength and losses so far in the war. An article on page 8 gives the situation as best as the paper can work out, although given its perennial scepticism as to official German accounts you almost expect it to claim that losses must be higher than claimed. Even so, when you do the maths with the figures given for killed, died of disease, missing, prisoners and wounded it comes to just over half of the total figure, so where does this number given come from? Nevertheless, with a number of assumptions made, a round figure of 2 million casualties is generated, up to a quarter of these being deaths, which a leader on the subject two columns away on the page is happy to point out is more than total British casualties so far. The leader also regards the army as having reached its zenith now in terms of quality, which is all to the good, as “this great conflict is at bottom a struggle between Force and Justice, with all that makes life worth living in the eyes of the Allied and neutral nations dependant on the destruction of Kaiserism – the most menacing and accursed institution of modern times.”
Also in today’s paper
- Lighting of vehicles needs to be improved as the nights draw in – page 4
- No doubt in the light of all the court cases concerning bogus officers and soldiers, tailors are warned that they have to satisfy themselves that anybody having a uniform made or supplied to them has a god right to wear it – page 8
- E. Ashmead Bartlett’s latest despatch from the Dardanelles appears on page 9 – the headlines proclaim a “vivid story” and “desperate fighting” as well as the fact the Maoris were in action - So much for the “Treaty of Peace” in yesterday’s paper in the South Wales coalfields, as the miners refuse to sign the agreement – page 9 - W. T. Massey’s reports get some picturesque subheadings at the moment – today we have “Sentinels of the Snow Line” (page 9)

24th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph The Russian naval victory in the Baltic continued to lead the news, but it appears that it wasn’t purely them who were involved, as the latest update, whilst sticking to the eleven German ships lost and admitting to one loss of the Russian’s own, a “plucky little” gunboat, revealed that it was a British vessel that had accounted for the biggest scalp of all, the Dreadnought Moltke. If that was the case, it is quite remarkable that this is only revealed in the text of the article and not in the headline, as you’d have thought the Telegraph would be delighted to show off a British contribution.
Not that the Royal Navy was ignored in the news though, as on the same page (page 9) a “great bombardment of the German positions on the Belgian coast is reported”.
Also in today’s paper
- Today’s Science from an Easy Chair” column on page 4 is about “Races and Nationalities and their hatreds.” Despite talking about the concept in nature of “racial aversion” does this ready come under the sphere of science?
- Today’s court case involves “strange developments” as two men are tried for the suspected theft of army clothing – page 4 - Settlement is reached in the dispute which had seen the South Wales coalfields hit by a strike, in what the headline describes as a “Treaty of Peace” – page 7 - W. T. Massey writes about “war in cloudland” on the Italian front – pages 9 and 10 - How the “backwater” town of Balmoral in Nova Scotia went to war against the Kaiser is the subject of a fairly lengthy article by one Beckles Willson on page 10

23rd August 1915



The Daily Mirrors headline of “ELEVEN GERMAN WARSHIPS DESTROYED: THE "BABY-KILLER".
BATTLE CRUISER MOLTKE SENT TO THE BOTTOM.” Is derived from two communiqués released to the press, the first coming from the Russians who elaborated the success of Russian achievement in repulsing German naval forces under the command of Vice Admiral Hipper, whose objective was to destroy the Russian naval forces in the Gulf and facilitate the fall of Riga. In total, German losses amounted to two minesweepers sunk from a flotilla force of 104 ships.

On the 19of August the British submarine HMS E1 having successfully entered the Gulf fired two torpedoes at the German Battlecruiser SMS Moltke, hitting her twice in the bow torpedo room. The explosion damaged several torpedoes in the ship, but they failed to detonate. Eight men were killed, and 435 tons of water entered the ship, but reports of the ships demise were premature, the ship was repaired and would participate in the Battle of Jutland and would survive the Great War, only to be scuttled, along with the rest of the German High Seas Fleet in 1919.

It was the activity of HMS E1 that prompted a German withdrawal from the gulf.

In todays' Daily Telegraph Naval events at either end of the Baltic made the headlines in today’s paper. At the far end, Russia announced that the German attack on the Gulf of Riga had been repulsed with the loss of eleven ships. Not that the German account tallied with this, admitting to the loss of a couple of torpedo-boats, whilst sinking three Russian ships, whose loss was funnily enough not mentioned in the Russia communiqués. Needless to say the Telegraph took this to be a great Russia victory.
At the other end the grounding of the E-13 submarine on a Danish island took a darker tone as reports emerged that the Germans in a “cowardly act” had attacked the submarine even though she was in Danish territorial waters, “yet another flagrant breach of international law”.
Page 7 carries the reports, and inevitably you can read another attack on the Germans for their actions in a leader on page 6, which adds allegations that Danish ships were also damaged in the affair.
Also in today’s paper
- The first case of prosecuting someone for buying a round of drinks under new regulations comes before the courts – page 3. On the same page a person hearing a case of a drunk disorderly solider considers that the gentleman who bought the soldier a drink should also be in the dock - Last seen writing about Life in the Harem the previous year, Grace Ellison returns writing about nursing in the war-zone on page 4 - A father complains about Government departments not setting an example to companies by keeping men of military age employed by themselves instead of letting them enlist in a letter on page 4 - George V and Queen Mary visit the Indian wounded in Brighton – page 6 - “Two Englishmen” write on page 7 about a review of troops by Lord Kitchener – page 7 - Italy declares war on Turkey, “thereby putting an end to a situation which had for a long time been recognised as untenable” – page 7 - As well as in the Baltic, there is naval fighting in the Persian Gulf – page 8 - A school in South Africa whose pupils are mainly German or of German extraction has its Union flag pulled down and burned by some of these – page 8

21st August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph unsurprisingly the torpedoing of the Arabic still led the news today, as the number missing increased from 33 to 46. Page 7 contained accounts from survivors, whilst page 8 reported on the generally hostile reaction to the news. Not content with its blast yesterday, the leader page (page 6) was happy to print another one berating Germany for its actions at sea, no matter how repetitive this might be getting by now.
Also in today’s paper
- The Trade Union journal ‘The Independent’ carries an article attacking pro-German brothers as traitors – page 3
- Another fraudster comes to court on page 4, this one claiming to be a V.C. holder. Its notable how frequently bogus soldier cases come up in the courts during this war
- On the naval front Prince Louis of Battenberg writes to Winston Churchill to refute aspersions cast on the latter by the leaking of a private note, whilst an E-class submarine is grounded in Denmark – page 7 - Another Polish fortress is captured by the Germans, whose announcement is taken as face value this time – page 7 - The Anzac Inventions Board in the trenches at Gallipoli is covered in today’s report, delivered from Malta – page 8 - “To the resourceful cook fritters offer one of the most useful items of her daily menu” says the women’s page (page 10) which duly delivers recipes for savoury banana fritters and scallop fritters

20th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph,“ another ‘twice-damned deed of calculated murder on the high seas has been committed by the Germans.” The White Star Liner Arabic was the latest victim of a German submarine attack, or “dastardly outrage” as the Telegraph preferred to consider it, off the Irish port of Queenstown (now Cobh), but unlike other sinkings this one did at least see the majority of people survive, with only 33 out of 424 on board unaccounted for, so to the “admirable” arrangements of Captain Finch and his officers, and the discipline maintained on board (page 7).
Nevertheless the attack, particularly the circumstances that she was going to America, and thus could hardly been transporting military personnel or equipment, generated “widespread interest and deep indignation,” as well as the usual vituperative leader against German behaviour on page 6.
- Also in today’s paper
- The Anti-German League starts a recruitment campaign for a million members in an advert on page 4
- Lord Kitchener visits the armies in France – page 7 - Very heavy casualties in both sides as Allied attacks in the Dardanelles reportedly pre-empt a Turkish one – page 7 - Hints for Housewives on page 8 in how to economise in straightened wartime circumstances

19th August 1915




Two sinking’s occur today, .H.M Submarine E. 13 and the White Star Liner SS Arabic.
Under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey Layton. HMS.E13 was one of 57 E Class submarines and was assigned to the Eighth Submarine Flotilla. Ordered with E.8 to join E.1 and E.9 to the Baltic to intercept German shipping, particularly vessels carrying iron ore shipments from Sweden in order to maintain the British naval blockade of Germany. On the 18 August, the submarine ran aground in neutral waters near Saltholm Island between Malmö and Copenhagen. On the 19 the Danish torpedo boat Narhvalen arrived to inform the captain that there was a 24 hour limit for

getting off, no assistance could be given and a guard ship would anchor nearby. When the German destroyer G.132 came up but left when two more Danish TB's arrived, by this time it was accepted that E.13 could not be refloated and the crew were waiting to be taken off. About 0900 (or 0930) two German destroyers approached from the south flying the signal "abandon ship immediately", the leading destroyer G.132 fired one or two torpedoes which hit the bottom but failed to damage E.13, then both opened fire with machine guns, the crew jumped into the water and swam for the shore or the Danish vessels but the Germans opened fire on them until the torpedo boat Soulven positioned herself between the German vessels and survivors in the water. The German destroyers left and the surviving men picked up by the Danes. 15 members of E13's company were killed in the attack. 15 survivors including the submarines captain Lt-Cdr Layton landed in Copenhagen that evening and were interned.

The Steam Ship Arabic under the command of Captain William Finch was torpedoed by the German submarine U-24, killing 44 passengers and crew, 3 of whom were American. The deaths threatened to sever political relations between America and Germany, the Kaiser issued new orders a week later to all submarine commanders which stated that until further notice, all passenger ships could only be sunk after warning and the saving of passengers and crews.  

 In todays' Daily Telegraph an article on page 8 on the lesson from the fighting in the Vosges carried the headline “Importance of Shells.”  on page 9 we have the latest returns from the Registrar-General. Whilst the report reports on the sharp decline in the birth rate (which perhaps isn’t surprising given conceptions for this quarter would have coincided with the start of the war) there is also a headline about an “Increase in mortality.” ?

Also in today’s paper
- The case of the imposter sergeant (see August 12) sees another woman identify him as her husband – page 5 - Philip Gibbs writes about “The Germ Seekers” – page 6 - The Germans claim the capture of Kovo, but “this claim … is not borne out in its entirety in last night’s Russian communiqué” – page 7 - Another Zeppelin raid (page 7) generates another leader castigating the Germans, which is beginning to get a bit repetitive now (page 6). A breach of Dutch neutrality by the airships doesn’t help the Germans’ cause either (page 7) - Another 500 yards is gained in the Dardanelles, at Suvla – page 7 - The secretary of the Early Closing Association has a new argument for his cause in wartime – long hours in shops is deleterious to the health of women brought in to replace men who have fought, as they are not used to it, and this could impact of the health of a future generation (page 8)

18th August 1915


In todays' DailyTelegraph, for those used to the reports of successes in the Dardanelles any news of losses in that sphere would come as a bit of a shock, but reports on page 8 today suggest a nasty blow has been struck by a German submarine with the sinking of the troopship Royal Edward in the Aegean. Reports were still at an early stage, but although 600 men had been rescued that left nearly 1,000 other soldiers and crew unaccounted for, which would make this one of the more serious military losses at sea so far if confirmed.
Our naval analyst Archibald Hurd was not holding out much hope in an article on page 6, writing as if this toll was definite. It can’t have helped that conditions might have been rather cramped on board if the size of the ship suggested by the picture on page 3 is anything to go by.
Also in today’s paper
- W. L. Courtney reviews Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage” on page 4, although he takes a while to deal with the book itself
- A Cabinet Crisis in Greece – page 7. Plus ça change… - Back to the usual scepticism about Germany’s claims on the Eastern Front on page 7, although on the not unreasonable grounds that they are distinctly vague about locations - More belated news on page 8 – a “Graphic Story of the Cameroons campaign” dated June 12 - The story emerges of how the American Ambassador in Turkey saved the lives of 2,000 English and French civilians who the Turks were planning to expose to the bombardment by their country’s fleets at Gallipoli – page 8

17th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph Although that we know that the world after the “war to end war” would be a much altered one from that of the “long Edwardian summer” prior to the outbreak of hostilities, a percipient leader on page 8 was already facing the fact that “we shall be confronted with a world very different from that that with which we have grown familiar” after the end of hostilities, and this “it is an interesting subject for speculation what influences the experiences of our troops will have on social conditions in our insular land.” Having visited and experienced foreign lands, and seen “grim things, acquitted strange knowledge and learnt in the school of experience just what is wrong with things as we do them” it prophesised that the homecoming soldiers would prove to be a force for social reform.
In case you are starting to think the Telegraph was suddenly turning radical, the examples of changes it was thinking the soldiers were likely to push for were somewhat narrow in scope. An exposure to French cooking would, the paper thought, lead to changes in diet, “perhaps greater variety and nicer cooking,” whilst experiencing French café society might lead to improvements in pubs, where “the British public house leaves something to be desired” and more cafés being opened. Hardly earth-shattering stuff.
Also in today’s paper
- A new column appears on page 3, “Business and Organisation” launching with the MP for North-East Cornwall looking at whether women workers are here to stay, and the one for East Aberdeenshire on how exports can help win the war
- Army bureaucracy at its worst on page 3, where the police are asked to arrest a soldier so ill he can barely stand on the grounds of absenteeism as he hadn’t reported back so that he could be dischaerged on medical grounds - Vice Admiral John de Robeck’s official despatch about the Gallipoli landings is reprinted on page 6, nearly four months after they happened and a month and a half after the date of the despatch. - A German aeroplane drops an oriflamme with a paper attached to inform the French about the loss of one of their men, an artist, and states he fought bravely – page 7. Not that such acts of German kindness prompt the paper to praise the enemy where appropriate - A German submarine shells the Cumberland coast – page 9. How was it allowed to get all the way to there? - Articles on the start of the National Register relay language difficulties with Chinamen in the East End of London (this city inevitably being the focus of reporting on the register) and a rather patronising one about women filling it in (pages 9 and 10) - The adventures of a night patrol at the German lines is relayed on page 10, and below that Reuters provides an account of a soldiers’ entertainment, although it complains about the lack of newness of some of the songs

16th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph “Looking at the faces of the men who fought at Hooge I found it hard to realise that they had been through an ordeal beyond the imagination of old historians of war who write of human courage and endurance.”
Philip Gibbs writes on page 6 about the Battle of Hooge in his first major battlefield report for the Telegraph in the war. Gibbs had gone to France in 1914 as a reporter on the Daily Chronicle, for whom he had worked for a number of years, and by the following year was one of the five official correspondents accredited to the British Expeditionary Force. The Telegraph then came to an arrangement with the Chronicle over his reports so that they were jointly published by both the newspapers, and so he in effect became part of the paper’s reporting team for the rest of the war, although he was still a Chronicle member of staff, and would be until 1920, when he resigned over the Chronicle’s support for Lloyd George’s Irish policy.
But his reputation had been made, and his writings about the war, which would be collected in three books, prompted the British Government to award him the KBE and the French to make him a chevalier of the Légion d’honneur. The Telegraph was lucky to have articles from a man of his calibre in the paper.
Talking of correspondents, A. Beaumont waxes lyrical from Milan abut a group of them in Brescia on page 8
Also in today’s paper - The first night of the “coming-of-age” 21st season of the Proms is enjoyed by our reviewer on page 3. Interesting to see that current mainstay of the Last Night, Henry Wood’s “Fantasia on British Sea-Songs” appearing here at the first. - Page 4 has Dr E. J. Dillon throwing “a veritable flood of light on the unscrupulous intrigues of the German and Austrian diplomats to induce Italy to side with them” in a “great plot,” forgetting Italy had been allied with the two countries since 1882 - Four Austrian submarines have been sunk by the Italians, claims a headline in an article by A. Beaumont on page 6, even though there is only proof of two. Never mind: “there is, besides, good reason to believe that two other Austrian submarines were damaged and sunk … but the Austrians never mention such losses” so four it is - Austria launches a new attack on Serbia – page 7, and according to the Serbs “without any motive began to bombard Belgrade.” - The most extensively covered news story of the day is nine people dying when the Irish mail train derails – pages 7 and 8, with a picture of the train on page 3 - Old news follows on page 8, with Indian heroism at the Battle of Ypres over three months earlier

14th August 1915



In todays' Daily Telegraph, another day with little major newswise to report. The banner headline on page 7 goes to another Zeppelin raid, although there is very little actually about save a brief Admiralty statement, and Russia is holding out in the East. About the most noteworthy news item isn’t about the war, as the “Brides in the Bath” murderer George Joseph Smith is executed (page 8).
Also in today’s paper
- A translation of the Italian Green Book over the negotiations with Austria-Hungary prior to entering the war is the subject of an article on page 8, which reports that “the British public will be able to follow the negotiations in detail, and to note more clearly, on the one hand, the obvious insincerity of the Austrian Government … and, on the other, the patience and steadiness with which Italy pursued her course”. No bias there of course…
- The author of the German Hymn of Hate is having second thoughts about his work – page 8
- Philip Gibbs writes about the war in the air on the Western Front on page 9, where there is “pluck and peril” and “courteous opponents” - The “Science from an Easy Chair” column makes a reappearance on page 9 as Sir Ray Lankester looks at poison-gas in warfare. Can’t help thinking the column title and the subject make uncomfortable bedfellows - Page 9 reports upon the suicide of an officer, and it is a bit surprising to read he was paralysed down the right side. Wouldn’t that be an impediment to service?

13th August 1915



Under the command of Heino von Heimburg the German submarine UB-14 fired a torpedo at the Admiralty Hired Military Transport ship Royal Edward under the command of Mr P Wotton hitting her in the stern. Within a little over six minutes RMT Royal Edward had sunk, and with her the lives of 132 of her crew and 13 military officers, 852 other ranks.  651 survivors were rescued by the hospital ship Soudan and two French destroyers and trawlers.


In todays' Daily Telegraph Over a year of war didn’t appear to be affecting the holiday season too much, if “By the Silver Sea” today on page 3 is anything to go by. This reports “really remarkable business is now being experienced in Blackpool, “Gay holiday crowds revelling in the many and varied delights of sunny Clacton will make this month stand out in local history,” “The season is proving in every respect a gratifying success” in Llandudno, but “there are not such crowds as in normal times” in Walton-on-the-Naze even though “the beach is in capital condition.”
Meanwhile in Margate “the experiment of employing young women as ticket collectors and clerks at the local railway stations has proved successful” but “the employment of a lady as temporary shops inspector during the absence of the male inspector with the colours has been referred by the Town Council to a committee” in Southport
Despite all this holidaying at the seaside, the Mayor of Brighton has to quell rumours that the attractions there will close earlier than usual (page 4)
If abroad was still your thing, you could take up the Touring Club de France’s suggestion in an advert on page 9 of visiting the Vosges and the Jura, with advertised attractions including “the stubble fields” and “the smiling mountains”
- Also in today’s paper - High level fighting for the Italians, with a battle at 11,899 feet – page 6 - Another example of positive spin on the sinking of a navy ship (see also August 11), which concentrates on the 141 men who have survived the sinking of the auxiliary cruiser India, which is a salve for relatives of those, but no hint as to whether there were any losses – page 7 - Bulgaria states that she’ll only come in on the side of the Entente powers if they guarantee her territory in Serbian Macedonia, territory which the Germans are only too happy to allow them to have – page 7 - The dressmaking form of Worth announces it will close its London branch due to lack of demand as a result of the war, but its staff are unsuited for munitions work – “their hands are very delicate and sensitive, and would be too tender for that time of labour” – page 7. A leader on page 6 observes this “will bring home to the world of fashion, if that be necessary, the fact that a great war is in progress.” Has anyone told Mrs. Eric Pritchard? - A “lamentable state of affairs” at Covent Garden on page 10 as longer journey times for shipping bringing in greengages and plums means they are arriving in “deplorably unsound condition” creating “rivers of waste.” On a happier note on the same page, “after twelve months’ experience with poultry in war time, Great Britain may be congratulated on the satisfactory condition of the industry”

12th August 1915



In todays' Daily Telegraph, another day where nothing particularly fresh or notable leaps out of the paper to justify an introductory paragraph, but some stories of interest today are:
- A court case on page 4 will have echoes for anyone aware of the Marin Guerre story in France or the Americanised film version Sommersby, as a man claiming to be a Sergeant returned home from the Dardanelles is accused of being an imposter
- Italian Alpini soldiers take a 10,000 foot high peak from the Austrians – page 6
- A German officer’s account of his army’s entry into Warsaw can be found on page 6
- Our man in Athens reports that Italy’s entry into the war means that Austrian troops that were intended to invade Serbia have been transferred to that front instead – page 7 - Philip Gibbs writes about actions around Hooge on page 7, where British soldiers used their fists in fighting (exactly why it came to that is not explained) and states that “it is not what the soldiers call a “health resort.” - Peace moves in America are dismissed as German intrigues best ignored – page 7 - The National Egg Collection for the Wounded announces its plan to collect a million eggs for this purpose, with the patronage of Queen Alexandra – page 9. A “commendable scheme” says a headline - “The grouse season in Scotland will be one of the most remarkable on record” states an article on page 9. Unsurprisingly there is a shortage of guns for this year’s season

11th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph “In the whole record of senseless assassination not one single combatant has been killed, and not one single piece of military character has been so much as damaged.”
Another Zeppelin Raid was staged on the East Coast of England, with fourteen killed and the same number wounded (page 7), and the Telegraph was quick to lambast the Germans’ raiding by this means in its first leader on page 6. Citing statistics that the majority of casualties in the raids to date were women and children it accused the Germans of murdering blindly in raids of a cowardly nature due to the fact they only occurred on the darkest of nights “so as to afford the maximum chance of escape from our aeroplanes and guns.” Not all did in this occasion, as one of the Zeppelins involved was damaged and then destroyed, which was the aspect of the raid the headlines focussed primarily on.
The leader then went on to probably the most vehement castigation of the Germans so far in the paper – “The whole foul business is of a kind to sicken the very soul of any man with the faintest spark of military honour in him. It is born of a mere blood-lust, a cannibal appetite for simple slaughter, with an added delight in the helplessness of the victims which is perhaps the most repulsive of all the symptoms of moral degeneracy.” Strong stuff indeed.
Also in today’s paper
- Russia is still being drive back in Poland, losing Lomza and preparing to evacuate Vilna – page 6. The situation must be serious as the Telegraph doesn’t even bother to dispute the German account as per usual at the moment. However a German naval squadron is repulsed in the Baltic near Riga to provide some kind of counterweight (page 7) - The fighting around Hooge sees a violent artillery engagement which renders all the trenches in open ground south of the village untenable – page 7. - Sir Ian Hamilton reports an advance of 200 yards at Gallipoli, as well as a fresh landing which has made “considerable progress” - page 7, a report which enables a leader to assert fresh optimism about the situation there on page 6 - A destroyer is sunk by a mine in the North Sea – page 7. The report focusses on the 26 survivors; only at the very end do you find that her usual complement was 100 - Sir Hiram Maxim, of machine-gun fame, announces he has invented a new apparatus to protect soldiers against gas attacks – page 7 - Two lady tram conductors in Portsmouth give their pay to charity – page 7 - “A tropical thunderstorm” hits South London, whilst a storm in Manchester kills two men working in a sewer – page 8

10th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph Germany and Poland were interconnected in the main stories today, in several ways on page 7.
Firstly, Germany was still advancing through Warsaw, but the fact she hadn’t published any inventory of “booty” taken in the city was seen as a sign that the Russians had left very little of worth behind them, thus enhancing their image.
Then we have the capture of the city provoking the American United Press to ask the Kaiser on what basis he’d consider peace terms. The Kaiser declined to reply, but his Chancellor Bethmann-Hollwegg did in his stead, talking of “such firm safeguards as she needs for a lasting peace and her national future” (which, as a leader on page 6 pointed out, was so vague it could many absolutely anything) and “freedom of the oceans.”
Finally we have the oddest of the trio in the deportation of the Kaiser’s “court pianist” Madame Maria Jenotha, as an enemy alien, despite her being Polish and her longstanding connections with the British monarchy and the country. It’s clear the Telegraph found it difficult to see why she had to go and the timing is certainly curiously coincidental, to say the least.
Also in today’s paper - Antipodean innovation is pictured on page 5, with Australian soldiers having adapted their trousers into shorts - Sir John French announces that trenches near Ypres have been retaken by British forces – page 7 - Another Turkish battleship falls to a submarine attack – page 7, with a picture of the battleship on page 5 - Advice as to how to fill the new national register is given on page 8 - A “new departure” in a London West-End theatre – patrons will be permitted to smoke (page 8)

9th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph “The Germans are violently bombarding almost the whole front, as if in a hoarse song of praise for the fall of Warsaw.”
Whilst the Germans were clearly active now on both fronts, as this report on page 8 shows, it wasn’t only in the military sphere that they were busy, if a report from Petrograd on page 7 “from an absolutely trustworthy source” is anything to go by. This claimed that the Kaiser, through the King of Denmark, offered the Russians terms of peace. This, our special correspondent there, was “by no means improbable” a situation, as knocking an enemy out on one front would enable Germany “to concentrate all her energies against her Allies in the west,” as indeed would happen in 1918. However, the Kaiser’s plans came to nought, as Russia’s response was that she “does not desire peace, but victory.”
- Also in today’s paper
- Another lengthy roll of honour today, covering all of page 4 and part of page 5, considering there has been relatively little on the paper of late about British and Empire troops in action
- Today’s letter of appeal – Countess Beckendorff for food and other necessaries for Russian prisoners of war due to the inadequate and poor quality fare given them by the Germans – page 6 - A report that Turkey plans to send 100,000 troops against the Allied forces at Gallipoli “occasioned much joy to everybody in the British lines” it is reported on page 7, with the “waiting Colonials … straining at the leash”

8th August 1915

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7th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph The German capture of Warsaw was still the dominant story today, and another Polish fortress, Ivangorod, had also been taken, the news of both of which our man in Rotterdam reported led to “an orgie of flag-waving and revelling” in Berlin (page 7). And from the tone of the reports from Petrograd there might be more losses in the offing for the Russians, with the news that “no serious attempt would be made to defend Riga.”
But the Telegraph was refusing to look on the dark side. Never mind the psychological impact of quitting the Polish capital, a leader on page 6 claims that withdrawing from Warsaw only means the Russians have fallen back to stronger positions, thus adopting the usual tone of spin so familiar from reports from Russia on the Eastern Front, and going to say that “if the joy-bells of Germany are never to sound for anything more decisive than the occupation of Warsaw, they will assuredly come to more funeral music in the end.”
Also in today’s paper
- “A Correspondent” writes on page 3 about how performances of music at seaside resorts on the east and south-east coasts of England are “practically unimpaired” by the war and still of a pleasingly high quality. Next to this the programme for the proms is announced, which includes German music but that of living composers from that country
- A French officer recounts a tale of his meeting the German Crown Prince after being captured – page 8 - The Treasury asks the public to use bank notes as much as possible in everyday life rather than gold, to help the reserves – page 8 - The General Secretary of the British Gardeners’ Association criticises a proposal to turn parks into vegetable gardens, but suggests where there is open space that can be practicably used for the purpose getting convicts and workhouse inmates to cultivate them – page 8 - The women’s page looks at how women can serve in the police force – page 10

6th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph The Telegraph’s refusal to accept enemy reports at face value is taken to somewhat absurd lengths today. The banner headline on page 7 reads “German claim to have taken Warsaw” which suggests that there may be some doubt about the matter. Yet even the Russians, who as we have seen over the past year are always loth to admit losses, admit they’ve evacuated the city, so its not as if it is any doubt. The headline below on the report itself admits to the “Fall of Warsaw”, which renders the banner even more ridiculous. The fall generates articles about the city and Polish history on page 12
On page 10 comes an article on Army Messengers from Philip Gibbs. Gibbs has appeared in reports copied from the Daily Chronicle earlier in the war, but this is the first one bylined from him as a Telegraph writer. He will be one of the paper’s main reporters from the Western Front for the remainder of the war.
Also in today’s paper
- By the Silver Sea on page 3 reports on the Bishop of Manchester’s mission on Blackpool beach, where interest in it is “greater than ever,” and that in Walton-on-the-Naze “the great majority of the men folk were wearing official badges, showing what an enormous amount of energy is being thrown into the production of munitions of all kinds”
- Among the book reviews on page 6 the Telegraph finds interest in the dry-sounding tome “British War Finance 1914-1915” and enjoys a John Buchan novel (not one of his more famous ones though) - G. K. Chesterton writes appealing for more donations to the National Committee for Relief in Belgium on page 6 - David Lloyd George defends the decision of railway companies not to run excursion trains to the Eisteddfod (page 7) at which he is in attendance himself (page 9) - The British Museum reveals steps have been taken to protect its collections form air raids, and that due to the war visitor numbers are down – page 7 - E Ashmead-Bartlett reports from Gallipoli on the consolidation made by Anzac troops of their lines, and of how millionaires are working as miners, although his simile of how they work would not be acceptable a century on – page 8 - Canada, South Africa and India celebrate their anniversaries of entering the war – page 10, although again celebrate does seem an odd term for this - The next batch for awards for Gallantry and Mentions in Despatches is released, covering pages 13,14 and part of 15

5th August 1915


On this day the British Submarine C33 failed to return to her home port of Harwich. Under the command of 39 year old Lieutenant Gerald Ernest Berkeley Carter, HMS C33 had been on a 'U-Boat Trap' patrol with the armed trawler Malta. No wreckage was ever found and the Admiralty assumed that HMS C33 was lost to a mine with the loss of her crew.
Lt. Gerald Ernest Berkeley Carter
Sub-Lt. Colin James Buchanan
Petty Officer 1st Class Alfred Alexander
Gunner Arthur Godfrey Bishop
Signalman Ernest Granville Bennett
Leading Seaman Henry Percival Black
Leading Seaman Godfrey William Hocking
Able Seaman William C. Clarke
Able Seaman Leonard Green
Able Seaman Albert William Hill
Able Seaman Clarence John Wharton
Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class William Charles Duncan
Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class Alfred Hunt
Leading Stoker William Thomas Lashbrook
Leading Stoker William David Windebank
Stoker 1st Class Edward S. Saunders
Stoker 1st Class George Heath


In todays' Daily Telegraph The “Service of humble prayer on behalf of the Nation and Empire” at St Paul’s and a meeting at the London Opera House to mark the anniversary of Britain’s entry into the war which “was the appropriate and complementary incident” to the aforementioned service according to a leader on the meeting on page 6 were the key stories as far as the Telegraph was concerned today. Both are covered at some length across pages 7 and 8, with the stories about the service effectively flanking the Opera House one, with full details of the speeches given, a setting of articles which does seem somewhat counter-intuitive.
Also in today’s paper
- It’s a tad curious how much coverage had been given over the past few days to the proceedings of the Ancient Order of Foresters, and there is another whole column on page 5 today given over to this
- Russia is still on the back foot around Warsaw, although the reports say the Germans are struggling to make headway – page 7
- History is made in the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, as for the first time a wedding is held there with a bride and bridegroom of purely American nationality. The bride is the daughter of the American Ambassador to the Court of St James’s, which might explain why it was able to take place there (page 8)

4th August 1915


In todays' Daily Telegraph “To-day we celebrate a solemn anniversary. This day a year ago Great Britain declared war against Germany, and united herself with France and Russia in resisting one of the most brutal despotisms which have ever soiled the pages of history.”
The anniversary of Britain’s entry into the conflict saw the Telegraph continue to castigate the Germans in no short measure, as the extract from the start of the leader on page 6 shows. Yet “it is an anniversary of which we are proud, because in that wonderful mixture of good and evil which represents the onward course of humanity we have gained as much profit as disaster out of a catastrophe which at first sight seems unrelieved in its blackness. It is a not a day for humiliation, though it is a day for humility.”
The anniversary was marked by tributes to Britain from politicians from allied countries (page 6), and a service at St Paul’s Cathedral which is unfortunately termed a celebration in the article on page 7.
“There has been nothing like it before, and we fervently hope there will be nothing like it again in the years to come” said the leader. Such hopes would be in vain, with a far more destructive war fought partially by regimes far worse than the one denounced in this article less than three decades away.
Also in today’s paper - Book reviewer W. L. Courtney joins the ranks of those giving a retrospective account of the first year of the war on pages 4 and 5, this article having a map showing what has been taken, retaken and evacuated over this time - Francis Younghusband, famous for his 1904 expedition to Tibet, writes a letter on page 5 reiterating how the war is a “fight for right” against the Germans and giving it the status of a holy war - A new Belgian Grey Book includes the claim that German foreign minister von Jagow proclaimed to the French Ambassador that small nations must go – page 7 - As usual, a report from Gallipoli proclaims another gain, to the crest of a ridge on this occasion, and the Russians are still resisting on the Eastern front – page 7

3rd August 1915



 Lieutenant George Arthur Boyd-Rochfort A 35 year old Irishman serving with the Scots Guards in France was awarded the Victoria Cross for a selfless act that endangered his life in order to save the lives of others.  In a communication trench south of La Bassee Canal, Boyd-Rochfort was in charge of a working party of 40 men near the front line. When a German trench-mortar landed on the edge of the trench parapet, having noticed it land, instead of seeking cover Boyd-Rochfort, shouted a warning, dashed towards the shell and hurled it as far as he could, the shell exploded almost immediately. This combination of presence of mind and courage saved the lives of many of the working party. Boyd-Rochfort later achieved the rank of captain and survived the Great War he became a racehorse trainer like his brother Cecil Boyd-Rochfort who also served with the Scots Guards during the Great War. George Arthur Boyd-Rochfort died in Dublin on 7th August 1940.

In todays' Daily Telegraph With a bank holiday reporting lull on the fronts, save news of British submarines reporting sinkings in several theatres (page 7) there was as much about the holiday as anything in today’s paper. Page 2 carries mixed reports on bank holiday railway traffic – it was quietest at Waterloo in memory but a record exodus from Tyneside, and travel to Southend seems to be busier than the report of July 31 suggested. Meanwhile By the Silver Sea on page 3 reports that “the tripper element was absent” from Brighton, record numbers in Eastbourne and “animated scenes” in Torquay. Not everybody had a happy time though, as a village in Leicestershire suffered havoc from a whirlwind (page 8) Also in today’s paper - Archibald Hurd looks back on the first year of the war at sea on page 4. The accompanying table of losses shows that Britain has lost most battleships and most tonnage, but the majority of lost ships were over a decade old, unlike German losses - The Russian Ambassador to London stresses Anglo-Russian solidarity and pledges to fight to the end – page 7 - France is suffering issues with its meat supply, not helped by the fact that many French people “preferred fresh horse meat to the idea of foreign “frozen” articles” – page 8











2nd August 915




The European War that was predicted to have been over by Christmas has now lasted a year and spread globally. For the British, known deaths of United Kingdom forces exceeds 100,000, with two thirds (70, 000) killed on the Western Front.  In amongst the roll call of the fallen there are seven names: Private John Condon, Ernest Warden R.N, John Gatliff R.N, Thomas Quinn, James Simmond, Harold Wright, Merchant Navy and Cadet Edward Davis, all aged just fourteen, their childhoods marred by war, their young lives sacrificed in the defence of their country, in a war that was supposed to end all wars.
Their names should be synonymous with the consequences of war, unfulfilled lives, ambitions and loves…When will we ever learn?

       In todays' Daily Telegraph  The bank holiday produced the smallest paper (excluding the special Sunday editions) of the war so far, comprising a mere 10 pages. As it happened there was not much new news to report anyway – Russia promised autonomy for Poland after the war (although given she was still planning a withdrawal from Warsaw due to German pressure was this a tactical move?) whilst the Kaiser claimed “I did not will the war,” on the anniversary of Germany’s entry into it, blaming the country’s enemies’ wish to humiliate it for the conflagration (both page 5). Meanwhile Arthur James Balfour took exception to a German article about “a year of naval warfare” in the New York World (pages 5 & 6) and in Germany “infuriated housewives attacked the dealers in potatoes” and butter dealers were mobbed (page 6). Otherwise it was pretty much business as usual although the make-up of the paper was altered a bit (law cases are for example on the back page), just less of it.