24th December 1915
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24th December 1915











In todays Daily Telegraph: “Christmas, which in olden time came to us with a message of bountifulness and good cheer, must change its mood and bring home to our hearts different moral. We must not waste, we must not spend beyond proper and inevitable limits; we must realise how tremendous is the task before us, how crushingly huge is the warfare to which we are committed. Every man can help only so far as he realises the supreme duty of sacrifice.” The Telegraph’s Christmas leader, found on page 6, made no bones about how the festival was occurring at a time of stress for the nation, but did rather tangle itself in knots over how it should be celebrated. After all, after this sober passage it goes on so say “There is, however, another and a happier duty which is required of us at a season like this. There is no virtue in a gloomy face; nor is any particular strength to be derived from merely melancholy thoughts. We must teach ourselves the lesson of hopefulness and cheerfulness quite as much as the lesson of economy. It is an easy point of criticism to urge that the most foolish attitude to the war is one of groundless optimism, and that it is wiser and better to know the worst. Everyone must acknowledge, of course, that it is mere stupidity to rejoice when there is no occasion for rejoicing. But of the two extreme moods we fancy that pessimism is the worst – the most enfeebling, the most debilitating of all mental states.” However, it then goes to sober the mood again, which could well make readers a bit confused as to what they should be doing the following day, except perhaps go to Church, as it stressed the religious side of the season. Meanwhile on page 7 Philip Gibbs gives an up-to-date article on “Christmas in British Trenches,” which accentuates the positive side to back up the middle section of the leader. Also in today’s paper - Another report of a record mailbag of Christmas mail to soldiers at the front on page 5 - Page 6 has a festive wartime poem entitled “London chimes” - Speculation that the Austrians are readying an attack into Greece on page 7 - Official casualty figure for the Dardanelles campaign reveal that the number is over 112,000 – page 7 - Details of the sinking of a Japanese liner in the Mediterranean stage that all on board were saved, which is impressive given that no warning was given by the submarine that sank it – page 7 - Sir John French gets an enthusiastic send-off from the soldiers in France, reports Philip Gibbs on page 7 - Dramatic evidence is given in a court case concerning a Lieutenant being tried for the murder of a Canadian sergeant on page 8 - An artist described as the “Last Pre-Raphaelite painter” has an obituary on page 8 - A Christmas manifesto by German Socialists refers to “blood-stained monarchs” and says “the Kaiser must fall” – page 9 - An article on page 9 waxes lyrical about the new soldiers’ buffet at London Waterloo


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