STORY OF LA BASSEE THE BRITISH SOLDIER PLAYS FOOTBALL WHILST UNDER FIRE. In "hIs latest message issued by the Pm--i Bureau, "Eye-Witness" gives a vivid de- scription of the fighting at. LA En.f«ee. whore our troops gained ground and inflicted groat loss upon the enemy. He says tho Britivi soldier has a passion for football, so much 4iO that they are to be seen at times kicking the ball about whilst under fire. The is as follows:- Saturday, January 30, was bright and warm. The day passed in comparative quiet, although the enemy shelled our left and left centre severely. Our artillery prac- tice. however, produced good results at many points along the front. Among other successes our shells set fire to a building which was being much used by the enemy in a village east of Neuve Chapelle, and with the assistance of our aircraft a direct hit was made on a German gun near Freling- Jiien. A hostile column of infantry observed by our aeroplane.? on a road opposite our right centre was subjected to a heavy fire, which, it is believed, inflicted considerable loss. On the right similar results were reported, such as the blowing up of an ammunition waggon and what was apparently a maga- zine behind the enemy's trenches. After this explosion occurred shouts and groans were heard, and columns of smoke were seen rising from the spot. It is believed that a battery near Lorgies suffered similarly, for after we had shelled it for some time there was a heavy explosion, shortly followed by two others, and the battery was enveloped in smoke for a quarter of an hour. Sunday was entirely uneventful along the British front. To the r.orth of us local attacks took place against the French. In one place some fifty Germans tried to rush a French trench and were annihilated by artillery and rifle fire. In this area. south- east of YprcR, a somewhat strange inc; lent occurred. An officer and two men suddenly left the German trenches and rushed for- ward. and were at once shot. Their action is explicable only on the assumption tnat there was reluctance on the part cf nther men to follow. If this be the true explana- tion. it must be admitted that such conduct on the part of the German troops is rare. COLD STEEL AND HAND-GRENADES. On Monday, February 1, the Germans again attacked south of La Bassce Canal, but nof in such strensrth as on previous occa- sions. The fighting began in the early hours of the vmrning with an assault on a small trench cl, to the canal. This was success- ful, two counter-attacks carried out by us failing to regain the ground lost. When it was lijyht. however, our artillery opened so accurate a fire on the enemy that their position became untenable. A stronger counter-attack was then delivered, and our men, rushing forward, not only drove the Germans from the trench they had captured. but seized another post en the enemy's side of it on the "embankment of the canal. There was a succession of German posts on this embankment, and we had now established ourselves in one of them. Our supports then came up. and, passing through our firing line holding the first of the enemy's posts, pushed on to the second, driving out the garrison at the point of the bayonet. Thence our men were ena bled to take in flank one of the enemy's trenches to the south. and they fought their way along it, throwing hand-grenades, until they had dis- lodged the Germans from a considerable length. We thus established ourselves firmly in an advantageous position on tho canal bank and in the adjoining trenches. THE MEN'S GOOD SPIRITS. During this action we captured fourteen prisoners and two machine guns, also many wounded. Our losses were not severe, but the enemy suffered heavily, especially from our artillery fire. Although, of course, a minor operation, it was a distinct success on a small scale, and all the more satisfactory in that the useful gain of ground achieved by our troops was the result of an attempt on the enemy's part to drive us from our positions. Our men were in excellent spirits after this encounter, and cn being relieved somewhat later marched back to their billets, singing to the accompaniment of mouth organs and the roar of guns. On this morning the enemy made three attacks on the French to the south (i the Bethune road. Two were beaten back by the fire of the defence. The third was a sin- gularly gallant but extremely unsuccessful effort. The assailants reached the French trenches, and were then almost literally wiped out, seventy-five bodies being counted in front of the defenders' line. It is reported that not more than two or three cf them escaped to tell the tale. On the rest of our line there is little to report. In the centre our artillery succeeded in completely demolishing a farm in which a German gun had been located. A hostile aeroplane dropped four bombs near the Lys without doing any damage. The enemy's losses in La Bassee area ap- pear to have been very heavy, and the reason for their activity along the canal was that they had suffered severely from the enfilade fire brought to bear on them by one of our machine-guns from the post they attacked. In two days also one of their companies had lost thirty men from shell fire alone. FORCE OF EXPLOSIVES. A remarkable illustration of the force of explosives was afforded on the 25th January. Previous to assaulting, the Germans fired a mine under our front trench near the rail- way triangle to the east of Cuinchy. The explosion hurled a piece of rail weighing 25lb. a distance of over a mile into a field close to where some of our men were stand- ing. It is reported also that on the morning of the 1st February the detonation of one of our lyddite shells in the enemy's trenches on the embankment south of the canal threw a German soldier right across the railway and the canal amongst our men on the north side of the latter. The fondness of our soldiers for kicking about a football whenever they have a spare moment has often been noted. The men of a supply of ammunition column halted ly the roadside generally amuse themselves in this way. and the troops in reserve close to the fighting line sometimes while away the time in this manner even when under fire. Our Allies occasionally join in the game with great zest, and it is not an uncommon sight to see a crowd of French and British soldiers struggling madly round two sticks representing a goal not so very far from tht firing line. LIFE IX THE GERMAN TRENCHES. A graphic picture of life in the German trenches is afforded by a letter found on a German soldier: "Yesterday the French put three shells into the left of my dug-out. Ten men were hit. seven killed, and the other three were badly wounaed. "For three weeks we have been in the same trenches, which at places are twenty metres from the enemy. Twenty metres in 'front of us are the French, whom I often greet with hand-grenades. Usually some of theirs come over here as well. Shrapnel and t shell fly over us all day and into the nighti but all this is far easier to endure than the bad weather. It rains every day, and we are never dry." Prisoners who have lately come from Miil- heim, near Basle, state that food prices there have risen greatly, the bread eaten is very black, and grave fears are entertained of a shortage of food in two or three months' time. MUSIC-LOVING TOMMIES. The appeal for mouth organs for the troops. uttered on December 28 was not made in vain. Hundreds of these iietru- ments have been received from kindly donors, and the result can be heard on all sides. Not only do cheerful sounds proceed from billots and dug-outs, but many of the detachments and small bodies of men mov- ing from one point to another now march to the sentimental note3 of "Tipperary" or the lilt of "Get Out and Get under," instead of tramping the slush in s ilence. The crav- ing of our men for music has evidently touched all classes and ages. Even small children have sent their own well-worn and tiny instruments—probably cherished pos- ) sessions—as a contribution to l- L', 0' 1 the front, who are, after all, fighting their battle. The following is a sample of a letter from a small boy-an entire stranger -rec,rived at one collecting centre: "Dear -Allison nd me are sending you our mouth organs for the soldiers. They nrn't now one, but I hadn't any sixpences. With love from —— This l<,tter from "Allison and me" con- vevs better than any description the extent to which tho heart of tho nation is with itd fighting men at the present moment.
BATTLE FOR WARSAW. RUSSIANS GAINING GROUND IN POLAND The tremendous struggle for Warsaw con- tinues. The Kaiser has gone to the Eastern theatre of war, but the victory for his armies which he had hoped to witness is still to seek. In <'pite of the enormous efforts made by the Germans, tho Russians are gaining ground, and it becomes increasingly evident that the Germans are sacrificing thousands upon thousands of lives in a fran- tic endeavour to achieve the impossible. A special correspondent of the "Daily News" at Petrograd says that the results of the terrible fighting for the key positions in Central Poland encourage the belief that the Russian operations are now taking a better turn than at any time since the first German invasion was rolled back from Ivangorod at the end cf October. The Russian Army ia putting gigantic energy into the effort to change the charac- ter of the trial of strength and to gain ground besides conquering men. The victory north of the junction of the Bzura and Vistula has a value far beyond the imme- diate ground gained. Infantry moved upon Kamion in a succes- sion of determined rushes and improvised adequate cover between the town and the bank of the Vistula before ten in the morn- ing. They were reinforced by noon. and with strong artillery co-operation drove the Germans along the road to Ilovo. This pro- gress pushed the enemy well outside the range in which the heaviest guns could reatvi the Bzura, and the Russian engineers were able immediately to push on the bridge work undisturbed by the roar of battle in the north. This advance along the Ilovo road threa- tens the flank of the German communica- tions from Thorn to the fiercely contested group of farmstead, between Humin and Borzimow in the curve of the western Bzura and tlie line of the Rawlca. Men fighting for the crest of the dominating position ot Humin declare that they never heard such a roar of sonnd from the artillery cannonade since the war began. EXHAUSTED GERMANS. The Germans had 6in.. 8iit., and llin. guns in astonishing numbers, all train<d continuously on the trenches. Outside the fringe of the wood held by the Russians their infantry crowded forward in deiiie processions. When their ranks were shot through the gaps were immediately filled, and they still surged on. Their foremost men, when they reached the Russian trenches, were so exhausted that they could only gasp for mercy. But their comrades immediately behind were so near tha t nobody could be spared, and when their last charges were turned to complete defeat the Russians had to move forward among thick banks of dead. Our Allies found in the new position which they seized from the Germans a great supply of defence tools and shields by which the Germans meant to turn Humin into their own stronghold. The terrible slaughter of these battles has served to disclose Hindenburg's limita- tions. His preparations were aimed at de- livering a Budden shock on one narrow van- tage point, but the element of suddenness failed, and the Russians in two days estab- lished an ascendancy both in strength and readiness. All this time the Russian army of the extreme north keens forcing its way across marshy country above Insterburg, although meeting increasing resistance.
"WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST." —— GERMAN ATROCITIES IN BELGIUM. Terrible stories concerning German bar- barities in Belgium are contained in a report issued by the Press Bureau. The report has been prepared for the Belgian Commission of Inquiry by a special delegacy charged with the collection of evidence from refugees in Eng- land. 0" The report states that from the first moment when the German army came into touch with tho Belgian forces before Liege it sought to protect itself by thrusting before it groups of civilians, in some cases including women and even children. A witness, describing tho march of a German column in Hainault on its way to attack the French, who were falling back to the other bank of the Sanubre, said:— "There came first cyclists, then infantry in open order, then a party of about 103 hostages,' then masses of infantry, next some motors, then some guns, and lastly a group of about 300 more hostages,' who had ropes passed round them. Although the French had lined the heights which commanded the valley, they hesitated long before firing. "The same night," the witness added, "men, women and children were forced to remain on the bridge over the Sambre, so that the French would not bombard it. The next morning eight nuns were placed on the bridge." Concerning the imprisonment of civilian hostages, the report says that over 650 civilians who were taken to Germany were shut ap in a granary and forced to sleep on straw. An in- scription was placed on their backs designat- ing them as prisoners of war. The pun ish- ments in vogue were the cells and the pil- lory—on which men were exposed for hours on end—not to speak of curses and blows from sticks or the butt ends of rifles. The following are among the cases of mas- sacre specifically mentioned by the Commis- sion,ers:- At Gelrode seven young men were seized in the church, where the village people had sought shelter at the enemy's approach; they were taken out and shot, after having been slashed about with sabres. At Ermeton, the Abbe Schlogel, parish priest of Hastieres, Mons, Ponthieres, a professor of the University of Louvain, and the village schoolmaster, with certain others, were shot. At Surice, while the village was burning, eighteen men were separated from the women and told that they were to be shot. Among them were the parish priests of Anthee, On- haye, and Surice, and another ecclesiastic. All the men fell together, mowed down by a volley. One or two showed sins of life, whereupon the soldiers finished them off with the butt-ends of their rifles. They then turned out the pockets of the dead, and stripped off oome of their clothes. At Bueken ihe massacre took place long after that hamlet had been occupied by the German troops. On August 29 the men were all arrested and led to a meadow, with their hands tied behind their backs. Then eighteen were shot, including an old man of seventy and his three sons. They were executed in the presence of their wives and children. Before the volley was fired, an officer read out a sort of sentence of death, in which it was declared that one man was accused of being in posses- sion of a book belonging to a German soldier. The women, in the hope of saving the lives of their husbands, tried to call out, "Long live Germany and the Kaiser." The Commissioners state in conclusion that the scale on which the system of murder, incendiarism, and pillage was carried out de- pended on the character of the men of the different regiments. Certain German soldiers expressed their regret for the atrocities com- mitted, and said to some Btlgian women, "Don't cry; we have not done a quarter of what we were told that we might do.*
A. private message from Berlin reports that the Social Democratic leaders, Herr Liebknecht and Herr Goehre, have been called up for service in the army. Herr Liebknecht is the strongest opponent of the war in Germany. He has on several occa- sions spoken against it, voted against the credit, and refused to join in cheers for the Kaiser.
GERMANY GIVES US OFFICIAL NOTICE A blockade of Great Britain and Ireland is Germany's latest! "Enemy merchant vessels found in the "war region on and after Febru- ary 18 are to be destroyed, with or without warning to the crews or passengers. The official announcement, which app. ara in the "Reichsanzeiger," is as follows: The waters round Great Britain and Ireland, including the whole of the English Channel, are herewith proclaimed a war region. On and after February 18 every enemy merchant vessel found in this war-region will be destroyed without its always being possible to warn the crew or passengers of the dangers threatening. Neutral ships will also incur danger in the war-region, where, in view of the misuse of neutral flaws ordered by the British Govern- ment and incidents inevitable in sea warfare, attacks intended for hostile ships may affect neutral ships also. The sea passage to the North of the Shet- land Islands and the eastern region of the North sea in a zone of at least 36 miles along the Netherlands coast is not menaced by any danger. The proclamation is signed by Von Pohl, Chief of the Marine Staff. I THE BRITISH REPLY. I The question of British retaliatory measures is being considered. Meanwhile the Piess Bureau has circulated the following Foreign Office statement "The new German decree makes it evident that all grain and flour is to pass under the control of the German Government, and must therefore, when imported, be regarded as virtu- ally consigned to the German Government or to authorities under their control. "This creates a novel situation, and it is probable that, if the destination and cargo of the Wilhelmina are as supposed, the cargo will, if the vesse l is intercepted, be submitted to a Prize Court in order that the new situation created by the German decree may be examined, and a decision reached upon it after full con- sideration. "Theiv is no question of taking any proceed- ings against the vessel, and the owners of the vessel will be indemnified for any delay caused to it, and the shippers of the cargo compen- sated for any loss caused to them by the action of the British authorities. "There is no truth whatever in the statement made in the Press that it has been decided that other such consignments will be seized, together with the vessels, without compensation to neutrals, for no decision has yet been taken to depart from previously existing rules or prac- tice. "The apparent intention, however, of the German Government to sink merchant ships by submarines without bringing them into port, or providing accommodation for their crew-. and regardless of loss of civilian lives, and the attempt to effect this even against an hospital ship, has raised very seriously the question whether Great Britain should adopt in retalia- tion more stringent measures against German trade. "It is recognised that. when any such deci- sion to this effect is reached, due care must be taken not to inflict loss upon neutral ships which have sailed before any warning has been given or the decision announced." I FRENZIED HATRED OF ENGLAND. "God punish England is headed in big letters across an article in the latest issue of the Leipsic "Neuste Nachrichten." It is an appropriate title for one of the most frenzied outbursts against Great Britain yet published (says the Rotterdam correspondent of the "Daily Telegraph "). The following are pas- sages typical of its tenour and language: "England set the world on fire, and hoped whilst the flames were raging to pocket the booty, whilst pretending to protect herself by a wall of iron against all possible dangers. Whilst poor France bled from a thousand wounds, whilst the land of Belgium was used as a shield, whilst the gigantic power of Russia was smashed, England thought of being a spectator, and of doing tremendous business out of it all. "But it has turned out otherwise. Already the bombardment of the East Coast has dis- turbed England's sleep and given her night- mares. Egypt is very seriously threatened. In all parts the building cracks. And now our boats are impudently steaming their way through the Channel and Irish Sea, sinking before Dover and Liverpool English steamers, threatening England with hunger, haunting her with fears of invasion. Finally, Zeppelin bombs hound the English into their specially- built cellars. "The curtain rises upon the world's stage, and a new act is beginning. We arc those who can decide the fate of England's trade if we will only advance to the attack. Though the stronger, England must bow to our will. The blockade of England is effective, now it has pointed out to the neutral Powers that we have laid our weapons along the Channel from La Manche, and that anyone directing his ship's keel towards England does so at his own risk. "Are our submarines the only weapons we can use to this end? Time will tell. This, however, is certain: We are prepared and ready. We shall stop this transport of men and war materials to France by every means in human power. You may roll your eyes round, oh England and cry aloud that we are doing deeds which fill the world with horror. But not the world; oh, no, only the world of English Pharisees. One hears the cry that England will win because she has the longer purse and the greatest credit. The longer purse can be emptied and the greater credit shattered. We are at work. "Fight to the death against England! At the present moment transports of English troops are continuing to reach France. But the near future will be rich in wild events." AMERICAN PROTESTS. There is much indignation in America at the insolent declaration of the Germans. The "New York Times" says; "The declaration will be acquiesced in by no neutral nation on earth. In its form and implications it is something new in war, quito unknown to international law. To be binding a blockade must be effective. The Ger- man Admiralty certainly cannot suppose either that the declaration of the war zone, which in its very nature cannot everywhere and at all times be effectively maintained as a bar- rier to commerce, will be respected or that the destruction of neutrals' ships within the zone would be passed over as an unavoidable and an excusable hazard in naval warfare." The "Tribune" is more outspoken: "We have no wish to urge precipitate action in such a crisis. But tbo time to make our national resolve clear is now. When the United States flag has been flouted and an American ship torpedoed, the opportunity for clearing away disputed contentions will be poor indeed. The present is the time in the name of international security to speak out plainly and make clear beyond question to the German mind the steady resolve that stands behind the United States flag and the ships that fly it."
USE OF NEUTRAL FLAGS. STATEMENT BY THE FOREIGN OFFICE I On the question of the use of neutral flags by merchant ships, a statement has been issued by the Foreign Office. It provides an effective answer to the German allega- tion that British merchantmen have re- ceived a secret order to use the flags of neutral states. The statement is as follows: The use of the neutral flag is, with cer- tain limitations, well established in practice as a "ruse de guerre." The only effect in the case of a merchant- man of wearing a flac, other than her national flag is to compel the enemy to follow the ordinary obligations of naval warfare, and to satisfy himself as to the nationality of the vessel and of the charac- ter of her cargo by examination before cap- turing her and taking her into a Prize Court for adjudication. The British Government has always con- sidered the use of British colours by a foreign vessel legitimate for the purpose of escaping capture. Such a practice not only involves no breach of international law, but is specifically recognised by the law of this country. In the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, it is enacted (Sec. 69 (1)) as follows: "If a person uses the British flag and assumes the British national character on board a ship owned in whole or in part by any persens not qualified to own a British ship, for the purpose of making the ship apnear to be a British ship, the ship shall be subject to forfeiture under this Act, un- less the assumption has been made for the purpose of escaping capture by an enemy or by a foreign ship of war in the exercise of some belligerent right." And in the instruc- tions to British Consuls, 1914, it is stated "a ship is liable to capture if British cha- racter is improperly assumed except for the purpose of escaping capture." As we have in practice not objected to foreign merchant vessels using the British merchant flag as a ruse for the purpose of evading capture at sea at the hands of a belligerent, so we should maintain that in the converse case a British merchant vessel committed no breach of international law in assuming neutral colours for a similar purpose, if she thought fit to do so. By the rules of international law, the customs of war, and the dictates of humanity, it is obligatory upon a belli- gerent to ascertain the character of a mer- chant vessel and of her cargo before cap- ture. Germany has no right to disregard this obligation. To destroy ship, non-com- batant crew, and cargo, as Germany has announced her irftention of doing, is nothing less than an act of piracy on the high seas.
I THE FIRST VICTIMS. I I BRITISH STEAMER AND CREW MISSING, I The Secretary of the Admiralty publishes the following reports by the masters of the British merchant ships Tokomaru and Ikaria, showing how they were torpedoed by German submarines, together with a memo- randum on the loss of the British ship Oriole, probably from the same cause:— I, Matthew Robertson, master of the ss. Ikaria, of Liverpool, official number 113,368, declare as follows :— I left Santos via Rio Janeiro, Bahia, Pernambuco, and Madeira on December 21, 1914, with a cargo of general merchandise, bound for Havre and London. All went well until January 31, 1915. When about 25 miles N.W. of Havre 12.30 on that day, I was on the bridge with the chief and the second officer, when we saw the wake of a torpedo coming towards the ship at about 30 feet from the ship. The ship was stopped at the time for the purpose of getting a pilot, as two tug-boats were coming up with flags at the fore. About a second after we saw the wake of the torpedo we were struck in the fore part of the ship on the port side. An explosion occurred and a volume of water mixed with cargo, cement, and parts of the torpedo arose about 60 feet and fell on the deck. The ship immediately began to sink by the head. The crew were ordered to launch the boats to leave the ship. The crew and I then boarded the tug, which was lying close to us, and waited for the ship to sink. About an hour afterwards, as she stopped sinking by the head, part of the crew with myself, some of the officers, and the engi- neers, went on board. A tow-rope was attached to the ship from the tug-boat, and sh3 was taken in tow. Meanwhile a part of the crew on board started to get steam in the main engines. As the ship would not steer a second tug was called to assist in steering. She was ultimately towed to Havre, where she arrived about 9.30. Dated this 1st of February, 1915. (Signed) M. ROBERTSON. Declared before me, (Signed) JAMES WALSH, British Vice-Consul, Havre. I THE TOKOMARU. I I, Francis Greene, master of the British steamer Tokomaru, of Southampton, official No. 99624, declare as follows:— I left the Port of Wellington, New Zealand, on the 9th day of December, 1914, and touched at Montevideo the 2nd January, 1915, and Teneriffe on the 22nd January, 1915. About 9 a.m., when seven miles from Havre Lightship, y: were steaming slow on our way to Havre when we were struck by a torpedo on the port side. We knew it was a torpedo from a submarine, because we could see the periscope. The ship began to settle down by the head and took a heavy list to port, and seas came over her. Imme- diately she took- a list I got the crew into the boats. My room was full of water, and I could not save any of the ship's papers. As soon as the forecastle's head was submerged we rowed away from the ship. We were taken aboard by a French minesweeper, Saint Pierre. We stood by until the ship sank, which she did at 10.30 a.m. The crew, numbering 57, and myself were saved; all effects were lost. Dated this 30th of January, 1915. (Signed) F. GREENE. Declared before me, (Signed) JAMES WALSH British Vice-Consul, Havre. [ THE LOST ORIOLE. I The British steamship Oriole, of the General Steam Navigation Company, which left London on 29th of January, was due at H avre the following day. She has not arrived, nor is there any news of her where- about, except that two lifebuoys marked "Ss. Oriole" were picked up near Rye last Saturday. There is grave reat. to fear that she may have fallen a victim to the German submarine which torpedoed the Tokumaru and Ikaria. She carried a mer- cantile crew of 21 hands all told. I The Oriole, a steel screw steamer, of 1,489 tonnage, was built last year by the Ailsa. S.B. Co., Troon. Her port of registry is London. If her crew has perished they arc the first victims of the new piracy.
SOLDIER WEEPS IN COURT. I Found guilty of obtaining £2 15s. from the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Associa- tion by fraud, Florence Elizabeth Thomp- son, thirty-four, was sent to prison for four months at Middlesex Sessions on Saturday. Her husband, a soldier in the Scots Guards, was in court. He has been wounded, but is returning to the front next week. Leaning on his stick, he stood anxiously awaiting the sentence, and when his wife was being removed from the dock he burst into tears and cried, "Oh, Florrie, what will become of the little ones when I go back! Oh, what can I do!" He was con- soled by two policeixen and helped out of the court. In the hall his four litle children, whose ages ranged from two to eight years, began crying. Meanwhile, the woman, who had stretched her hands out to her husband, was taken below by the warders. According to the evidence the woman said she had received no money from the War Office since November 9, but the Army Pay Office produced her receipts. She alleged that the receipts were not in her hand- writing, and that she had received an anonymous letter stating, "I have received your money. Signed, Enemy." She was asked to write "enemy," and it was pointed out that both she and the writer of the anonymous letter epelled- the word "enimy."
KILLED BY A SCRATCH. I A scratch on the finger received while he was at work in his garden a few days ago caused the death on Sunday of Mr. Frank Brazier, of Caterham, a well-known horti- culturist and exhibitor. The injured finger was amputated, but blood poisoning followed. Mr. Brazier's wife died in a local hospital only on Friday last.
Mr. F. J. C. Ganzoni, M.P., who has been in action with the 4th Suffolk Regiment (Territorials), in which he holds a commis- sion, has telegraphed to his political agent at Ipswich that he is in hospital at Bou- logne suffering from froet-bitten feet and bronchitis. Numbers of automobiles have lately passed through the Liege district carrying coffins towards Germany. One of the coffins was shattered as the result of a collision rÆ- tween the automobile and a cart, and the curious were able to see for themselves that it had contained, not a corpse, but a number of church ornaments.
RUSSIA'S TASK. RUSSIA'S TASK. I GOING STEADILY THROUGH WITH HER WORK." In the course of a description of his experi- ences at the front, Professor Pares, the autho- rised correspondent at the Russian Head- quarters, writing under date January 1, says: "At this Staff, as at the General Staff, life was very simple. We all met twice a day for a plain meal without any alcohol; there was plenty of conversation, but it was that of men engaged in responsible work; any news from outside was welcome,' especially from the Western Allies, and there was full appreciation and sympathy for their hard task. There was plenty of news from other quarters of the Russian fiont, and one could have a much juster and fuller perspective of how things were going than anywhere behind the army; the two things which stood out even more here than elsewhere were on the one hand, the im- mensity of the sacrifices which have been asked and are being cheerfully made by Russia, and on the other, the sense of quiet confidence as to the ultimate result. These things were, of course, talked of here with greater detail. "There is a photograph of a battlefield not with a few straight lines and some scattered dead, but with zig-zag lines all close together, and simply heaps of Austrian dead (the Russian dead had already been removed). From the attack of one German division on this side one thousand corpses were counted. The Germans and also the Austrians advance in close column, which may give material sup- port to the men, but results in terrible losses, as compared with the more individualistic ad- vance of groups of eight .\0 ten on the Russian side. In bayonet fights practically no quarter can be given, and sometimes the men can only use their rifles as clubs. "The Austrian Army is already no more than a relic of its former self, though it still makes some vigorous moves, and covers every retreat with a tremendous cannonade, often re- sulting in the capture of the guns and men thus left behind. It must not be forgotten that Russia has had to deal with practically all the forces of two of the three Allies (Austria and Turkey), as well as with an ever- increasing proportion of the forces of the third (Germany). But bhe is going steadily through with her work, and already it is possible to see more clearly both what has been achieved, and how Lhe remainder of the task can be at- tempted.
FINANCING THE WAR. I I- ALLIES TO UNITE THEIR FINANCIAL I RESOURCES. The following statement has been issued by the Treasury:- The Chancellor of the Exchequer, accom- panied by the Governor of the Bank of England and Mr. E. S. Montagu, returned on Saturday evening from Paris, where he proceeded at the beginillg of last week for a conference with M. Ribot and M. Bark, the Finance Ministers of France and Russia, on questions affecting the financial relations of the Allies. At the close of the conference the follow- ing statement was communicated to the Press: "The Finance Ministers of France, Great Britain, and Russia, have met together at Paris to examine into the financial questions arising out of the war. "They are agreed in declaring that the three Powers are resolved to unite their financial resources, equally with their mili- tary resources, for the purpose of carrying the war to a successful conclusion. "With this aim in view, they have de- cided to recommend to their respective Governments to take over in equal shares the advarces made, or to be made, to the countries which are now fighting with them, or which may find themselves in the near future in a position to take up arms for the common cause. "The amount of these advances will be covered by the individual resources of the three Powers, as well as by the issue at a suitable opportunity of a, loan in the name of the three Powers. "The question of the relations to be estab- lished between the Banks of Issue of the three Powers was the subject of a special understanding. "The Ministers have decided to proceed jointly with all purchases which their Governments have occasion to make from neutral countries. "They have adopted the financial measures necessary to facilitate Russian ex- ports and to re-establish, so far as possible, the parity of exchange between Russia and the other Allies. "They have determined to meet in according as circumstances may require. The next conference will be held in London."
I LIFEBOAT CAPSIZES IN GALE. I The crew of the Flamboroagh South Land- ing lifeboat, met with an exciting experi- ence on Saturday night, when in a heavy gale the boat was launched to the aid of a steamer ashore on the rocks near Flam- borough Head. Tossed by the waves, the lifeboat sailed for two miles, but was struck by a heavy wave on nearing the stranded steamer, and capsized. Eight of the lifeboat's crew were thrown into the water. Coxswain John Leng and the second cox- swain, William Major, were lashed to their posts, and when the boat lighted itself the coxswain found three of the crew clinging to the boat. Flares were lit and the men who had been thrown into the water, some of whom wore cork jackets, were seen floating on the waves thirty yards away. By clever manoeuvring and the aid of a boathook all the eight men were rescued. The lifeboat was tossed about by great waves and filled with water twice. It was I impoible to reach the stranded steamer, so the lifeboat fought its way to the North Landing. This was less than a three-mile journey, but it was after nine a.m on Sun- day before the lifeboat was safely beached. The crew were exhausted. The second cox- swain had four ribs broken and had to be taken home in a motor-car. Other members of the lifeboat crew who had gone out with boots only partly laced reached the North Landing bootless. Some of them drove home in a pony trap, but the rest walked home with sacking tied round their feet, and with fishermen supporting them on either side. The rocket life-saving company on shore established communication with the stranded steamer, and by Sunday evening six of the crew of seventeen had been brought ashore.
WILL DECLARED VOID. I An extraordinary will case came before the Court of Session at Edinburgh. Miss Catherine McCaig, of Oban, who died in 1913, left directions, to her trustees to erect within the McCaig Tower, Oban, eleven bronze statues of her father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Each status was to cost not less than £ 1,000. Directions were given also by testator for certain work to be executed in ths tower, which was built at a cost of .25,000 by her brother. The value of the estate was about X30,000, and certain beneficiaries, whose annuities were to be postponed until the statues were erected, now challenged the validity of purpose of the will. t The Court held that the directions in ques- tion were wholly void, having neither reason nor public sentiment in their favour and in. volving sheer waste of money.
The British colony in Rome has formed a branch of the Patriotic League of Britons Overseas, with Sir Rennell Rodd, the British Ambassador, and Sir Henry Howard, the Special Envoy to the Vatican, as presi- dents. It is proposed to collect subscrip- tions to build a Dreadnought. The eastern and western parts of Berlin have been placarded with official announce- ments calling on members of the Landsturm of the years 1886-1887-1888 to present them- selves before February 12 in order to join the colours. Many of these men are sixty years cf age and upwards.
BIG TURKISH FORCE REPULSED. An attack by a force of 12,000 Turks hai& been made upon the Suez Canal. They at- tempted to cross the Canal by means of pon- toons and rafts. Our artillery and ships opened fire, and after twelve hours' fighting the Turks were driven back with heavy losses. The Cairo correspondent of the "Daily Chronicle says that a large number of dead were left on the field in front of the British positions, and eight officers and 282 men were taken prisoners. Four rtfeu succeeded in crossing the Canal and escaping, but their early capture is ex- pected. H.M.S. Hardinge (a troopship of the Royal Indian Marine) was twice hit during the action by shells and ten men were wounded on board. In the action generally on land two officers and thirteen men. were killed and fifty-eight wounded and of these one officer and two men of the killed and one of the wounded belong to the Egyptian Field Artillery, which behaved splendidly in the action, and lent most valu- able service. At Ism a ilia Ferry the enemy was found en- trenching about 800 yards in front of our posi- tion, and rifle fire was opened on our troops, from a force of about 2,000 men. Intermittent fire was kept up during the day, but the enemy ventured on no attack, nor did they succeed iu inflicting any casualties on our side. Our outposts attacked at El Kantara. early in the morning, and here the enemy were quickly driven off with a loss of twenty-ono- killed and twenty-five wounded. Thirty-six. prisoners were taken. A partial attack was made later in the day from a southerly direction, but the enemy- would not approach nearer than 1,200 yards from our positions. Eight more dead Turks were later found; here, our casualties being one officer slightly wounded and four Indians killed and twenty- four wounded. It is estimated that the total enemy force engaged during the fighting mentioned in this message and lasting from the night of Febru- ary 3 totalled at least 12,000, with six bat- teries of guns. A high official tribute is published regarding; the splendid conduct of the troops, British,. Egyptian and Indian. TURKISH LOSSES THREE THOUSAND. The total Turkish losses in the fighting are- officially estimated at 3,000. The enemy left 4.00 dead on the field, the prisoners number GOO, and it is estimated that there were 2,0(0 wounded. The Chronicle correspondent at Cairo says that among the dead found on the field at Touesoum was a German officer. Additional details (says the correspondent) only tend to emphasise the effective nature of the repulse of the forces attacking the Canal. A convov of ninety camels feU into our hands laden with stores and ammunition. We also captured three maxim guns. The staff of the attacking army must have had a narrow escape, for the Turkish Commander was- wounded. He managed to escape. According to prisoners, the advance guard,, which was in action, came from Seila, in Palestine, and had taken twenty-five days to march to the scene of action. Commander-in-Chief DjemeL Pasha is dc- clared to be with the main army, which is at present at Beersheba. The wounded Turks in hospital here are. highly pleased at the treatment they are re- ceiving. "We never dreamed of this," they- aay.
TURKISH PRISONERS' STORIES. GERMAN OFFICER'S WHITE FLAG. The Press Bureau has communicated the? .following announcement, which was offici- ally issued at Cairo on February 6: Two Ch a wishes of the 7cih Turkish Regi- ment captured at Tossoum make the follow- ing statement Our division, the 25th, left Bir es Saba for Halir el Auja, and then, crossing Wadi el Arish, continued, its march in the desert until we reached Kataib el Kheil, four hours- distance from the canal. We brought with us many boats, which wer-j carried on card and dragged by oxen and buffalo. At Kataib el liheil we were divided up into parties, each of which was ordered to attack a point on the canal. Our party, compos.ed. of half a tabur (500 to 600 men), were ordered to attack Tossoum. We came as far as the canal bank, but we were met with a very hot and well-aimed fire, which caused a great many casualties amongst us, and, then we were surrounded by troops from be- hind, and so we were hemmed in and taken, prisoners. Arif Bey, our commandant, was, wounded and carried off the field. Our next officer was wounded and taken prisoner. A first lieutenant of the 7th Regiment states: My corps began its march for the final o). jective at six p.m. Tuesday, February 2, moved through the night, and was in action, at dawn or soon after. I was in the second line until the first line was checked, and. then moved up with my detachment in sup- port. The rifle fire was very fierce as wo approached the canal, but we managed to get a boat launched with our half company.* After we had sustained severe casualties the boat was riddled aDd sank; it was then that I was wounded. 1 landed with two boatmen and a third man, all that was left of my half company. Finally, I and one of" the boatmen alone survived, and then I sur- rendered to some Indian troops. A German major who was shot during the fight near Serapeum was found to 1J.e. carrying a white flag in a specially de., signed khaki wallet. TURKS DESERTING. The following statement, was issued by the I ress Bureau on Sunday: No fuither fighting has taken place on. tho Canal. Besides Arabs, a number of Anatolian soldiers are deserting and giving themselves up to the British Authorities They are very despondent over the failure of their attack on February 2. Sorr? deserters state that they attempted to rejoin their regiments, but saw the German and Turkish officers shooting runaways, so thought it safer to come back to the British lines. During the recent fighting none of the enemy reached the West bank of the Canal except prisoners and the four soldiers, whose escape has already been notified. :0" buildings in Ismailia were hit, nor did any shells come into the town. Most of the, enemy's shells dropped into Lake Timsah. TURKS IN FULL RETREAT. The following statement (announced on Mon- day night by Press Bureau) was officially issued at Cairo during the day: The losses suffered by the enemy in their attacks on the Canal were heavier than at first supposed. It is difficult to estimate the number of killed amongst the enemy owing to' the wide area over which the action extended, but over 500 killed, including six drowned in the Canal, have now been found and buried bv our patrols. There were 652 prisoners, 100 of whom were wounded, and deserters still con- tinue to come in. The four Turks who were reported to have! Orossed the Canal have now given themselves up. The Turkish army is in full retreat to- wards the east, and there are now no enemy forces within twenty miles of the Canal. Even at that distance there are only small rearguard. forces which are retiring steadily eastwards. This retreat is probably due first to the dis- couragement of the troops at their defeat on February 2 and 3, and to the lack of water in the western part of the Sinai Desert. Whether they will so far recover their moral a' to attempt a second attack on the Canal can- not as yet be determined. Sheik Sidi and Ahmed, the Grand Senussf, in conversation with a British official, ex- pressed his great annoyance in that certain people had spread baseless reports in regard to his intentions, and thus threw doubt on hi. pledged word of friendship towards Egypt and its Government. Suleiman El Bareuni, a well-known Tripoli agitator, and others who were discovered in- triguing against Egypt have been arrested by the Grand Senussi. jgjjB