A LOOK ROUND. I "Old King Coal." I [BY SENTINEL. "] I THERE is another call on us for A economy, one which will cause nearly as much inconvenience as economy in food, but one which it is not less necessary to heed, if we are determined to win the war and to be good brothers to our Allies. This time the U-boats have very little to do with it. At the bottom of the difficulty over the coal supply lies the fact that our sturdy miners have been called upon to do their duty as soldiers, and that the places of the young and strong have been taken by older and weaker men. There are many other reasons, some of them difficult for those who are not familiar with the ins and outs of the coal trade to understand. But that is the main one. It is simply another way of saying that even a coal-miner cannot be in two places at once, and that, as the first necessity of the moment is to keep the ranks of the Army full, we civilians have got to make the necessary sacrifice and to keep smiling." Coal is at the bottom of everything, especially in war time. It drives our ships it smelts the iron from which is made the steel for our guns and shells; it is the raw material of most of our new explosives. The depth charges which destroy the U-boats; the bombs with which our aeroplanes disturb the billets and communications of the Huns, and thus save the lives of count- less of our soldiers; the shells which Granny despatches into the enemy batteries all derive their force from coal. And, if that is true of our own Army, it is not less true of the French, the Italians, the Belgians, and all our other Allies. But these are all, except America, dependent on Great Britain for coal. Italy has none, or very little, of her own. The mines of France and Belgium are in the hands of the Ger- mans. So, if the war is to go on, Britain must send coal to France and Italy, not only to keep the home fires burning" but also to keep the armies supplied with munitions. Any failure to do so would be paid for with the blood of the soldiers who are bravely fighting for our safety and the freedom of the world. We send a great quantity of coal to Italy, but hardly a tea spoonful reaches the people for domestic use It is all required for the manufacture of guns and ammunition. There are only eight Italian cities where there is any longer anv gas. In the evening the people sit in the dark, and they are cutting down their olive trees for fuel. That is just as if we should cut down our orchards in Somerset and Kent, in Worcester- shire and Herefordshire, and burn our apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, and plum trees. That fact ought to bring home to us the scarcity from which the people who threw back the Austrian attack on the Piave and turned the tide of the war are suffering. We must be the good brothers of these people, and help them even if our kitchen fires themselves burn low. Coals are indeed now black diamonds," as they have often been called. It is high time to think what are are going to do to eke out the coal ration which is all we shall be able to get. Of course, we look to the Government to take all fitting measures to increase the supply. But we must help ourselves as well. The natural substitute for coal is wood, and of wood their ought to be no pcarcitv at all. Our timber trees are being felled right and left, and there must surely be a large-supply of top end lop which can be made available for the home hearth. That is one resource. Another is the dead boughs of which the trees would be all the better relieved if arrangements could be made for them to be cut. And there is any amount of waste wood besides. Furze or gorse, again, may be burned, its it once was in former days when coal was scarce and dear. In other places there is peat to be obtained. It all wants organisation, and, of course, labour is scarce. But it is the sort of thing we could organise for ourselves, tnd for which a good part of the labour could be supplied by old folk, women, and children. Why not call village meetings and get together a village fuel committee in each place to inquire into the resources which are available and the best means of geting the stuff cut up and distributed to the homes of the people fairly? We need not always wait for the Government to tell us what to do, though it is in all cases desirable to let the Government know what we e-re doing and ask if it is all right.
HUNS IN THE RICKS. [BY S. L. BENSUSAN.] I The returns of the great grain harvest in the hands of the authorities tell us that agriculture has fought hard for the country this year; to complete his work the farmer must see that this hard-won grain feeds his fellow-countrymen and does not go to fatten rats. It is not re- cognised clearly enough in this country that we have nearly as many rats as we have men, women, and children, that a rat will devour a pound of wheat kernels in a week and damage much more than that if he gets the chance. Farmers do not realise that the rat is a worse enemy than smut, black grass, charlock, American blight, and wire-worm put together. He can see all these troubles and deal with them as far as his knowledge and resources permit, while the- rats do not declare them- selves, need to be looked for, and if allowed to thrive in stack and granary will not only cost the farmer himself hun- dreds of pounds, but will deprive the nation of a large share of the food it has a right to expect. The Damage They Do. Experts differ as to the value of the damage wrought by rats in rural England alone, and if we set the figure at one hun- hundred thousand pounds a day from the date when the first oat stack is made, to the date late in the following spring when the last wheat stack is threshed, we shall probably be well within the mark. At the time of writing, comparatively few rats are in the barns and out-buildings; they are spending their summer in the hedgerows, and you may see them feeding on the stubble in the early morning, with young partridges, pheasants, and other really welcome visitors. When the weather ceases to be inviting, and the plough begins to invade stubbles from which most of the grain has been so industriously collected, the rats will seek the corn stacks. If they come to some that are built on staddles they will be forced, after much endeavour, to give up all attempt to gain admittance unless some careless farm-hand has left something that will serve as a bridge. Unfortunately they will not find many stacks on staddles; these useful defences against the rat are all too few in England to-day, and some farmers object to them on the ground that they cannot support a very heavy weight. Thresh Out Early. This year the farmer must begin to make an effort to keep his grain from the rats, and he must get his stacks threshed as soon as possible. In hilly parts of Eng- land, where small, ill-placed fields are the rule, much corn is wasted by rats because the heavy machinery cannot reach the stack without difficulty, and since what we may call permissive waste became an offence, the police have had to take pro- ceedings in cases where stacks lying remote from the road were literally eaten out by vermin. This year the farmers and the proprietors of threshing tackle are meeting in many of the remote hilly dis- tricts to agree to a plan by which the farmer will cart the harvest of remote fields to some accessible place, and the threshing tackle will handle it early in the season instead of late. All wet corn that must stand for the March winds to dry it should be stacked on staddles where this is possible. Keep the Buildings Clear. I The farmer must remember that the rats, other than those that have set up their winter quarters in his cornstacks, will return to barn and out-buildings when the weather grows severe. If he would keep them out let him set to work, as soon as the harvest is gathered, to stop every rat-hole on his premises and to guard every place by which vermin can effect entrance. The trouble involved in doing this simple work thoroughly is as nothing to the profit gained. It does not pay any man in England to harbour rats, and the time may be near at hand when it will be a legal offence to do so. It is, of course, a moral offence already. Our harvest is in danger this year because farmers are so short of labour that they may not find it easy to give the time necessary to making as many of their stacks as possible and all their out-buildings rat proof. Yet, shrewd men as the great majority must be, they are bound to admit that the crops that go to feed vermin are entirely wasted as far as the farmer himself and the popu- lation of the country are concerned.
WASTE NOT: WANT LESS. In each village in Germany the Chief Magistrate sees that the inhabitants of the village bring all their waste material to the o'ficial collecting centre the time at which this has to be done is announced by placard s every month or half- month. Every head of a family or head of a household is bound, under pain of punishment, to see that nothing is wasted everything that seems useless must be collected. ———————————————————————————-
FRIEND AND FOE. [British Official. A remarkable picture of British, French, and German wounded, walking hand in hand, to the Casualty Clearing Station.
1- PLEASED WITH HIS PRIZE. [British Official. A British soldier shepherding his prize to the prisoners' cage.
WOUNDED, BUT CHEERY! [British Official A group of British, French, and Italian soldiers wounded In the recent fighting in France.
A SHEAF OF WAR STORIES. Thrilling Incidents by Land and Sea. A Terrible Experience At Sea. On the morning of August 4th a Nor- wegian barque was attacked by an enemy submarine: the crew immediately took to their boats—three in all. During the night which followed a gale arose and two of the boats were never seen again it is surmise< bv the rescued crew that their mates Ics- their lives in consequence of the beats hav ing upset. One of the beats, howeve: weathered the storm, although early nex morning it was capsized and provisions ci food and water were lost. For seven days these nine men were in the open boat— six days without food and water. On the morning of August 7th the sufferings of the men through lack of water were in- tense, and they were almost driven mad. The captain ordered that a dog (which had been saved when the barque was sunk) should be killed, and the blood served out to the men to drink none of the crew were at first willing to kill the animal, which looked up pitifully into their eyes, trying meantime to get a little moisture by licking the damp side of the boat. Even- tually, however, it was found necessary to kill the dog, and his blood was drunk. The heart, liver, and kidneys were also divided up between the nine seamen. Next day other parts of the dori's body were cut up in little strips; at first none of the men could bring themselves to eat, though later on each man ate a little. The days and nights went by, bringing untold sufferings to the little party. On the morning of the 11th the boat was spied by a drifter on patrol duties. I Eleven Days on a Seaplane. I Wrecked when flying on a seaplane, two French naval airmen were adrift at sea for eleven days without food, and yet live to tell the story of their adventure. Lieu- tenant Langlet had been despatched on reconnaissance duty, with Boatswain Dien as his observer. They were more than 500 miles from home when the engine of the seaplane developed defects impossible to remedy on the spot. The machine descended on the water's surface, at the mercy of wind and wave, and its occu- pants, with the knowledge that they were well off the track of patrol boats, resigned themselves to awaiting whatever fortune, good or bad, might bring them. Fortun- ately, except for a slight swell, the sea was calm. The first night was one of unre- lieved horror and darkness, and sunrise revealed nothing but the expanse of the water. Both men were so stiff with the night's exposure that they could hardly move their limbs, but thirst was their worst torment. It was then that one of them hit upon the idea to which eventually they owed their lives. Dismounting the case of the motor revolution register, he transformed it into a water-container. Then, with the petrol feed-pipe, he con- trived a spiral condenser, and having, luckily, a plentiful supply of motor-spirit, the pair were able by means of this crude but practical still to convert sea-water into a potable liquid. But they had been thirtv-six hours without a rop of moisture inside their lips before they had the apparatus in working order. The second day passed like the first, and, incredible as it sounds, day after day succeeded it with- out so much as a sail or a trail of smoke breaking the skv line. Then a storm arose. It. broke on their eighth day out, aid continued for four days without a lull. 'he castaways were utterly helpless and ithout hope. It seemed that the sca- lane must g( 1c pieces every minute, but held together as if by a miracle. And at daybreak on the twelfth dav a steamer sighted the battered machine, til uffering a splendid resistance to the heavv seas, and succeeded in rescuing both men. Four Australian V.C.s. Corporal P. Davey, of the Australian Imperial Forces, moved forward in the face of a. fierce point-blank tire from a machine-gun, and attacked the gun with hand grenades, putting half the crew cut of action. Having used all available grenades he returned to the original jumping-off trench, secured a further supply, and again attacked the gun, the crew of which had in the meantime been reinforced. He killed the crew, eight in all. and captured the gun. J Corporal W. E. Brown, also of the Australian Forces, on his own initiative,. crept out along a shallow trench and made a dash towards a post, from which the German snipers were busy. An enemy machine-gun opened fire from another trench and forced him to take cover. Later he again dashed forward and reached his objective. With a Mills grenade in his hand he stood at the door of a dug-out and called on the occupants to surrender. One of the enemy rushed out, a scuffle ensued, and Corporal Brown knocked him down with his fist. Loud cries of Kamerad were then heard, and from the dug-out an officer and eleven other ranks appeared. This party Cor- poral Brown brought back as prisoners to our line. Lance-Coi pui al T. L. Axfoici, engaged with his platoon in attacking enemy machine-guns, threw his bombs amongst the rnaelilde-zun crews, jumped into the trench, and charged with his bayonet. Unaided he killed ten of the enemy and took six prisoners: he threw the machine- guns over the parapet, and called out to the delayed platoon to come on. Driver H. Dalziel dashed at an enemy machine-gun and with his revolver killed or captured the entire crew and gun, and allowed our advance to continue. He was severely wounded in the hand, but carried on, and took part in the capture of the final objective. He twice went over open ground under hEavy enemy artillery and machine-gun fire to se-cure ammunition, and though suffering from considerable loss of blood. he filled magazines and served his gun until severely wounded through the head. Every man who risks his life to destroy enemy machine-guns risks his life to save the lives of many comrades—a very real act of valour. | A Plucky Picket-Boat. Details have just come to hand of an ex- ploit which was carried out by a British picket-boat, the sole representative on the Danube of the Royal Navy at a time when the Allies were defending the Serbian capital. The enemy's naval force then on the Danube comprised six monitors and seven patrol boats, which used an anchor- age under the north bank of the river, and the British decided to send their picket boat up bv night with the object of destroying one or more of the monitors. The undertaking was difficult and danger- I cus a fortified position at Zemhn would have to be passed; then the enemy craft would have to be located while at any moment the picket-boat might be picked up bv a searchlight or sighted by a patrol and sunk. However, long cclds do not intimidate members of the R.N., and the picket-boat was put into readiness for her enterprise. Armed with two torpedoes, a Maxim gun, and hand bombs, she shoved off at 11.45 one night and proceeded up the Danube. It had been observed tliat, four monitors and a steamer had returned to their normal position off the right bank. The British craft elud-ed the defences at Zemlin, and at about 1.30 a.m. the four monitors were sighted, the nearest being about 300 yards on the starboaid bow. When this monitor was nearly abeam, but while still 100 yards away, a sentry challenged her. 'The picket-boat's reply came in the shape of a torpedo, while a brisk fire was opened by the enemv. The discharge of the torpedo was. followed bv a heavy muffled explosion lld much shouting on board the monitor. Meanwhile, the picket-boat approached the next monitor in line and discharged her second torpedo, which, unfortunately, however, dived clean under the monitoi and exploded against the opposite bank, about 400 yards away. The picket-boat then turned about, and proceeded down river at full speed. Next morning only three monitors lay at anchor where four had been the previous night.