Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Immortal Deed of 500 Australians

Charge to Certain Death.

Mr. W. M. Hughes, the Premier of Australia, at a banquet of the Pilgrims' Club at the Savoy Hotel, London, on Friday, told of Anzac heroism in Gallipoli which will live.

It was a story of the charge to sure death of 500 men of the 8th Light Horse of Australia, not in the heat of fighting, but in cold blood after hours of waiting and suspense. Mr. Hughes, who has called for a decisive Empire policy without delay, in pointing the moral of the deed, said that the only way in which a great democratic Empire could remain free was by every citizen being trained to fight for his liberty.

I feel I stand here to-day, he said, in the reflected glory of the Australian soldier. I never speak – I cannot speak – of their bravery but I choke with emotion. You speak of the charge of Balaclava. These men went out in the broad light of day with all the impetus and stimulus that a knee-to-knee charge on the gallop gives to men. But the story of the 8th Light Horse of Australia is one by which the charge of the Light Brigade must pale its ineffectual fires.

These men – there were some 500 of them – were to attack in three waves. They were given these others six, eight, ten hours before. Every man knew when he got that order that it was certain death. They went. They made their preparations. They handed to those who were to remain in the trench their poor, brief messages of farewell, and they went out wave after wave.

At the whistle the first wave leaped from the trench. Most of them fell back dead upon their fellows who were waiting their turn in the trench. In the face of this awful sight the second line leaped out to meet what they knew was certain death. Of these only five or six remained on their feet after they had gone ten or twelve yards.

All the wounded lay exposed to the pitiless machine-gun fire of the Turks, which poured a veritable hail of death into their poor, bleeding bodies. The man who got farthest was the colonel; he got fifty yards. Out of those who went there were eighteen officers; two officers only got back, and of the men only the merest handful survived. We must look back in the grey dawn of history before we find a parallel with that.

The Spartans at Thermopylae have left a name imperishable, which shall remain when the Pyramids shall crumble to dust; but, surely, what these men did that day – these citizen soldiers of a new nation, the last but one in the family of the great British Empire – will never die.

We have fought and we are fighting this battle as if it were a battle of life and death. It is a battle of life and death. We did not enter it lightly, nor shall we quit it while life remains in us.

Australia has been able to do what she has done because we adopted as the cornerstone of our democratic edifices the system of compulsory military training. We believe that there is but one way by which a nation, being free, can remain so, and that is that every man shall not only be willing to defend his country, but shall be able to do so. We think that the State should train the citizen so that he may be able to defend his country, his home, and his liberties. The defence of one's country is the primary duty of citizenship, the first duty of free men.

Text: The Witness, 23rd March 1916.
Image: 8th Light Horsemen Marching Along Collins Street, Melbourne, 20th January 1915.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Comrade in White

A touching story is passing round
That a figure in white was seen
By our soldiers in the battlefield,
Who assert is was not a dream.

They gave the name of "Comrade in White,"
And told how He bent quite low
Over the suffering and dying men,
Who were wounded by the foe.

We think He tenderly watched them;
He would whisper in their ear
Words of wonderful blessing and comfort
Which then they would gladly hear.

He would tell how He, too, had suffered
Through life to the very end –
"Greater love hath no man than this
That he lay down his life for his friend."

Better than mother or father,
Better than all beside,
Was the presence of the "Comrade in White"
Ere the suffering soldier died.

The soldiers believe that "Comrade in White"
Was our tender, loving Lord,
Who came to minister comfort
And give peace by His precious word.

The dying soldier would rest
On the work that Christ had done,
And would gladly finish the battle of life,
And could say that victory was won.

The mourners for their loved ones
Should believe that all is right
With their dear ones who were ministered to
By the loving "Comrade in White."

This thought should be a solace,
And act like Gilead's balm
To heal the broken-hearted
And bring perfect peace and calm.

Jane Thomson.
Cullycapple, Aghadowey.

From The Witness, 24th March 1916

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Young Citizens in the Trenches

"Mud, Sweet Mud."

In a letter home a private in the 14th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles gives the following graphic description of life in the trenches:—

It is a long time since I started to write a letter under such extraordinary conditions, and I don't know when it will reach you, or how it will look when it arrives. I am writing it from a dug-out in the reserve line, with a sandbag full of mud for a writing desk, with mud as my inspiration, and mud-caked hands directing a muddy pencil. We came up here a couple of days ago, and I have not had a moment for writing; indeed, in the last seventy-two hours I have I only managed to get about nine hours' sleep, but what men have done men can do. The trenches are in a desperate state of mud slime and water in consequence of the recent snows, thaws, and rain, in many places reaching up to the waist. And so we have to wear trench boots, which cover the whole leg, though, unfortunately, a great number of them are not watertight. The front line trench is much worse still, and our progress thither on a working party at night was most exciting.

We walked in single file, the leading man passing back word as regards boards, sump holes, stones, and other obstacles and so a running fire of conversation was kept up which must have been, and, indeed, often was, very amusing. A sample — "Keep to centre of board," "Hole in centre," "Mind rocks," "Sump hole on right," "Up a little," "Two steps down," "Very slippery here," "Mind the mud," "Keep out of the water," &c. I myself found it a much safer way to sample the information passed down, and so when I received word of a sump hole, I generally succeeded in falling into it, to the edification of those behind. Once so deep was the river of muddy water it reached right above the boot, and washed the contents of my trouser pocket. However, the best part, from a spectacular point of view, was the thick sticky mud, about two and a half to three feet deep. You put one leg in, then heaved and shoved, and got the other one out, and so progressed. If there was a slight halt assistance in the shape of a spade had to be called upon. One poor fellow stuck altogether, and so stopped all those behind him, a circumstance which brought quite a number of suggestions, such as ropes, more spades, fatigue parties, &c. Another fellow had to leave his boots stuck in the mud, and mount the parapet in stocking soles while we dug out his boots for him.

Into the Wilderness.

Our journey that night took us over three hours, and as we hod only five hours altogether for working, and going there and back, the work done was the minimum. The further we went the deeper the mud become, and really the sight of it inspired me with a great longing to make mud pies. There was thick stuff suitable for cakes, slightly thinner resembling soda bread dough; then, of course the beautiful "batter" mud, and the more universal pancake species; and then, lastly, the liquid mud, mainly water. But, really, I believe I could write a book on the subject of mud, its advantages and disadvantages, its effect on warfare, its effects on foods; or we could advertise it as mud the great substitute for butter, dripping, jam, cheese, and soup. I am sure you will think this lengthy dissertation on mud very inconsistent with my principles; but, after all, "local colour" is the thing in description. Our dug-out rather baffles description, as it resembles a tunnel, a sewer pipe, and a large flue. The roof is convex, and is made of castiron, like the inside of the funnel of a large steamship. The floor is of mud, to which every entrant contributes something. It is reached by a narrow trench of the first species of mud, with a kind of watershoot at the end, with three steps down to the dug-out level. Here we eat, drink, sleep, reed, write, and talk.

The trenches about here are all called by well-known names, and there are Pompadour, Essex Street, Broadway, The White City, The Crater, and numerous others, intended, I suppose, to make the trenches a home from home. Oh, the irony! Home, sweet home, and mud, sweet mud! However, we manage to enjoy ourselves fairly well, though at times certainly the language is by no means patriotic and parliamentary. When one is sent on four separate occasions for a two-hour walk through mud to clear two feet of water from a trench by means of shovels, one thinks and says volumes about the intelligence of one's superiors, but generally humour takes over the situation and we enjoy it.

During the day we see and hear several shells bursting, and the rattle of the machine guns in now like music in our ears. On sentry go this morning at stand-to, when the rival forces were venting their spite in shells and bullets, a couple of larks began to sing their beautiful morning song as they rose higher and higher towards the heaven, seemingly oblivious of the deafening clashes on all sides. To them it mattered not that men were set on one another's destruction, and that they were wasting money and material in their diabolical instruments, and their very indifference did not pay a high compliment to the super-intelligence of man.

A Dinner — And a Good One Too.

I have just had dinner, and a really good one too, with plenty of vegetables in it, one of the best I have had since I joined. There's nothing bucks you up like your grub. After a very restless night usually we make use of our privilege of grousing, and you bet we are some grousers once we start, but the arrival of breakfast always brightens everybody up, and we think how much worse we might be if had no dug-out to go to, no brazier to warm our feet, and a hot part of the line. The real danger here is the state of the trench, for when one stands for hours up to the knees in water, without being able to move either way, "nuff said." One fellow in the firing line in another company had to do twenty-one hours duty on end, and collapsed completely, while another fellow fell into the mud, rifle and all, and had to be carried away suffering from sleeping sickness. Perhaps the "Chocolate Soldiers," as we are called, have shown themselves now to be more than mere parade swanks, and to be able to do their bit as well as any other battalion in the division.

From The Witness, 24th March 1916.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Daily Life in Camp – Somewhere in France

Three or four weeks ago I furnished in this column a few notes on camp life from the pen of Rev. J. N. M. Legate, B.A., minister of Grooms port, who is at present on service as chaplain somewhere in France. So many people have expressed their appreciation of these notes that I am tempted to-day to give the following most interesting picture from the same pen. I am stare your readers will peruse it with as much interest as I have done:–

"I am still in the same camp; but I think there is a likelihood of my soon being removed to another place to take charge of a convalescent camp, where I would come into touch more with wounded soldiers. I have come to like this place very much, in spite of the hard work, and I like my colleagues, too; but, of course, I am a man under authority, and if 'the head' says 'Go,' I cannot say 'Nay.' The same address, however will still find me.

"I am still enjoying life here very much. The interest has been growing every day, due to events of which, I expect, the papers have already made you aware. Big business is being done somewhere in France.

"I have not much to tell you in the way of news, or rather, I have, but I dare not. But last night during a sleepless hour I thought it might interest you to learn what a typical evening here in camp is like. We have two huts here named Y.M.C.A., one of which contains our little sleeping apartments, each a little larger than a ship's berth, and our messroom; while the other part of the hut is used as a canteen. Then attached to that there is a fine big concert hut, which has a piano, a little the worse of the wear! And at the other end of the hut is a little 'quiet room' for reading or writing in.

"Now, supposing you were here about 6 o'clock p.m. you would see (possibly) lined up outside a long row of motor waggons, some bearing the Red Cross, and some filled high with troop supplies; or it might be a long line of motor bicycles, or (whisper it) an equally long row of machine-guns, or field guns, or air-craft guns! Through the door of the hut come trooping in all sizes and descriptions of men – some with clothes white as snow (these are the field bakers), some in green corduroy (the Army Labour Corps), some with big fur coats and full kit on their backs, and mud from the trenches on their whole outfit, and the joy of home-going lighting up their whole countenance, and others again fresh from the old country, singing and laughing and joking with joy at being at last allowed 'to really do their bit' (but see these men later on, on their way from the fighting line, and I venture to say their singing will not be so loud, nor their jests so hearty! At least that is our experience of the men we have met coming down from the line).

"As the men come into the hut they make a bee-line for the canteen, where the steaming mugs of tea or cocoa, or 'Horlicks' and the whiff of 'Woodbines' or 'Nosegay' make the atmosphere warm, and hearts more contented with a lot that is not easy. Then, according to what night of the week it is, so is the entertainment provided. About 6-30 o'clock – e.g., I take my Bible-class into the quiet room. And till 7-15 o'clock we have a talk upon one of the Parables; or a sergeant-major holds a first-aid class; or the Welsh minister takes a short prayer-meeting; or an informal debate is carried on on some subject, such as (on last night) 'Is Man Descended from Monkeys?' Then about 7-30 o'clock a sing-song is started in the big hut, and it is most astonishing to hear the talent which voluntarily offers its help. We find some brilliant pianist and instrumentalists of other kinds, reciters, singers with magnificent voices, and artistes of indescribable variety, or sometimes we have a concert party giving the whole programme, and occasionally a cinema is sent for a night. Then at 8-30 o'clock one of us gets up in the middle of the hall (standing on a form or table) and after reading a few verses of Scripture, ask all the men to join in the Lord's Prayer, which, as a rule, they do most reverently; and soon after that the building begins to empty itself, and at nine o'clock sharp comes 'Lights out.' But we have wonderful opportunities during the evening of coming into close contact with the men individually, and very interesting are many of our interviews. A man, e.g., happened to see me looking at a photograph, and, taking a look at it, he inquired in real Cockney twang, ‘Wife and kid?' And then proudly be produced a photo from his pocket – his wife and family – and he took delight in telling me all about himself, and how has family were doing, and so forth, and in that way I made a good friend in that man. Then, a lad one day confided in me that he had just had news of the death of his mother, and, as a chum told me later on, the boy had sobbed all through the night before as he lay in his bed; and as I gave him my sympathy I was able to find out how anxious he was to 'play the man' out here and to be a good soldier of the Great Captain. Then on two occasions I got into intimate relations with two men through their asking me for a Testament each, requests which, through the kindness of some anonymous friend, I was able to grant, giving them a little khaki Testament with Lord Roberts' message in front. And to-day a man told me he was sending home money to his wife. 'That,' he said, 'is what a man cannot do unless he keeps steady, and I,' he went on, 'have been T.T. for over six months, and I intend to keep that way.' That was an opportunity which I did not fail to grasp.

"Our work is not done by any means after the hut is closed; but it would take too long to tell the ways in which our time is taken up till bedtime. I will only say we are not idle nor pleasuring. But I must tell you about a night not long ago. A great many troops had come in during the day, and were leaving that night again. If we had closed the hut at nine, the men would have been practically homeless till twelve, with only cold bell-tents to sit in. It was a wild night, so we got leave to keep the concert hut open for the men going off; and you would have been glad and sorry if you had come in amongst them. At one end of the hut they were holding a sing-song, and it was grand to hear the glorious 'chorusing' of 'When Irish eyes are smiling,' 'The Dear Little Shamrock' 'Loch Lomond,' and such old favourites. Then all over the floor were lying men, some smoking, some asleep, but all ready for the road, with full kit, rifle, &c ready to buckle on at the word of command. Poor fellows! We could not help wondering how many of them would come back to the Homeland again. When a quarter to twelve came the 'Fall in' rings out, and forth the men go, and it is not very long till we see them, with steady tramp, a mass of brave big boys, of whom any Britisher could be proud, marching away into the darkness, eager to do their best for God and King and Fatherland. It was a sight one could never forget, and it made me envy them; but I thanked God that I was allowed to do even my little to help them on their way.

"The Y.M.C.A. has done, and is doing, magnificent work for the men out here, and time and again men have spoken to me thankfully of the part it plays in this great struggle. The temptations out in France are something fearful, and, I am sorry to say, I have heard confessions of heart-breaking falls; but when we get hold of such a man, we speak to him as a man to a man, and I trust our work in that way has not been all in vain.

"I have wandered on in this letter, just putting down what has come into my head. I would love to be talking to you, for I could describe to you all my work and life, as I cannot write it. I hear very interesting stories of life in the trenches, of bayonet charges, and such awful experiences, and probably if I go to the other camp I shall hear more interesting tales still."

This article by "Southern Presbyterian" appeared in The Witness, 17th March 1916.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Young Citizens at the Front

Writing home to his mother, a private of the 14th (Service) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Y.C.V.) says –

"I am afraid I must have given you a desperate picture of our march and of my condition, but I must have been in rotten form when I wrote it, so that will account for it. I am by no means a 'poor old son,' I am rather a fortunate one, as I am neither dead, wounded, gassed, sick, bereaved, or indeed in any unfortunate circumstances. 'Tis true, today was one of the roughest days we have yet had. To begin with, we changed billets again, and shifted some kilometres further up the line. We found ourselves in a clean, large barn, very cold and draughty, but with plenty of room. When the lights had been put out we heard the other occupants of the barn, and judging from the sounds they far outnumbered our platoon. I had left a couple of biscuits on the ledge above our bed and I heard these crackling, and so I flung my cap at them, but only I succeeded in crumbling some biscuit over my bed. Then at another corner the fellows were having quite a dispute with some rats as to the right of possession, and by the light of a flash-lamp we saw several huge brown rats darting for their holes. When they had sought temporary refuge in their holes they ostrich-like, thought they, unseeing, were unseen, with the result that one of the animals lost his tail. After this casualty they paid another visit to our bed, and in their struggles for eatables one of them dropped on my partner's head. With a yell he jumped up and looked for a light to see if the intruder was still there, but in the words of the psalm, "He passed, yea, was not, him I sought, but found he could not be." This rather unnerved my bed-mate, who said he would face a German a dozen times rather than a rat, and his slumbers were very disturbed that night. Fortunately, I seem to be of a rather indifferent disposition, and so I simply put a blanket well up over my head, and the region of activity and consciousness knew me no more.

"This morning it was bitterly cold, and we had to get up at 6 a.m. to proceed to our navvying again. It was ugh-h-h-h when we got up, and the ground outside was like glass. We had a march of about four kilos, to our job, and the snow began before we got there. We started work, but in the increasing storm of snow very little work was done, more especially as the breakfast we had before leaving was a misnomer. The tea had evidently been made from the drippings of a sewer, and its taste amply justified this opinion formed from its smell. A piece of bread and marmalade completed the regal repast, which was to last us till 2 p.m. However, a visit to the canteen made up in some degree for this breakfast, and three cups of tea, two pieces of cake, three packets of biscuits, and some chocolate filled up a few of the gaps in my anatomy. By this time the snow had turned into a regular blizzard, and all work was suspended, so we had to march back again. The march back in the teeth of the blizzard was desperate, and several fellows were bleeding in various parts of their face ere we sighted our village. The snow froze on our eyebrows and hair, and our very breath froze on the capes, so it was quite a unique crowd which landed in the village. We carried between us several bags of coal collected where we had been working, the whole way back. When we reached our billets we found that blankets, rucksacks, and all our belongings were covered with some inches of snow, which had come in through the various holes in the roof and walls.

"It was a crude homecoming, but flitting being simplicity itself in the Army we simply moved our billets, and are now in canvas huts, which are at least rain and snow proof, and which are at any rate no colder than the barn billets. We expect to be in the trenches early next week, so I hope the weather will change and be a little more reasonable, or there will be cases galore of trench foot and frost-bitten feet. However, what man hath done man can do, so we hope to do our best to keep up the reputation of the division and of the battalion to which we belong."

From The Witness, 10th March 1916.
Image: A self portrait of Lance Corporal George Hackney colourised by John McCormick.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Women and the War

(c) IWM-(Art.IWM-PST-7816)
The copious records of women's work in connection with the war with which the newspapers teem daily are of the highest significance. They indicate that the women of the United Kingdom are all alive to the gravity of the situation and to the supreme call of public duty. Everywhere women are asking themselves what they can do to help the Empire in its supreme struggle; what they can do to inspire our troops with courage; to arouse men to rally to the standard; to provide needful comforts for soldiers in the trenches; to nurse the wounded; to do work of every sort for the production of munitions and for the maintenance of all branches of industry; to initiate methods of saving so as to economise our resources; to make personal sacrifices commensurate with the necessities of the times; in a word, to do what they can to win a speedy and decisive victory over our enemies. But the public reports in the newspapers give us only a very small account of the work in which women are actually engaged in this terrible conflict. From countless homes women are sending to sons, and husbands, and brothers and lovers in the camp, the fruits of their hard work and affection. They are denying themselves many a coveted indulgence, and foregoing many a legitimate luxury, that they may minister to the men who have gone forth to fight for their defence and to lay down their lives for their country. Not only so, they are suffering bravely in private the sorrows of the war; the sorrows of bereavement for the brave men who have fallen in battle; the agony of suspense for lives dearer than their own who are in daily peril on land or sea or air. The war has aroused the womanhood of the United Kingdom as it never was aroused before. It is said that at the present moment there are not fewer than 200,000 women engaged in war contracts! These women belong to no trades union and threaten no strikes. They work at severe manual labour week in week out full hours, and get through their full tale of work. In addition to this noble army of women workers in our great centres of munition factories, we have on many of our railways women ticket-collectors, and booking-clerks; we have in the public service women letter-carriers, policemen, tram and bus conductors and commissionaires; we have an increase of lift-attendants, of scavengers, of grocer-assistants, gardeners, chauffeurs, and van-drivers. All these and far more have pressed into the fields of industry to take the place of men who have gone into the ranks of the fighters. Surely these women are doing their duty in the present distress. My chief fear of them is that they may be over-worked, and our politicians would be doing a great public service if they would cease debating in Parliament and take effective measures for their protection.

(c) IWM-(Art.IWM-PST-13171)
Higher in the scale of social service is the great company of woman who have dedicated themselves to nursing. Multitudes have abandoned ease and luxury and devoted themselves to the severe drudgeries of the hospital. Ladies of wealth and fashion have enlisted themselves in the ranks of those who scrub the floors of hospital wards, who make poultices for the wounded, or moisten the fevered lips of the dying. The discipline they undergo, the dangers they incur, the sacrifices they voluntarily make, the stern sense of duty which they manifest, the skill with which they organise the British Red Cross Society, the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and the voluntary aid detachments, the private hospitals which were sent to Serbia, where they grappled with the insoluble problem of an army ill-supplied with medical comforts and attacked by various deadly epidemics, the ambulances which were sent to the French, Russian, and Belgian fronts, required courage of the very highest order. Who shall say that such a nurse as Miss Cavell did not stand in the very foremost rank of heroism? And hundreds of nurses just as brave as she are at this moment giving their lives for the alleviation of suffering in the face of deadly epidemics or the constant peril of the emissaries of the Kaiser. The women of the United Kingdom surely never showed to greater advantage than in the present crisis. The Empire needs them, and they have left home and kindred, ease and culture, positions of affluence and refinement to put down their hands, to spend their days and nights, to devote their brains and spirit in the Divine work of ministry. It was fortunate for us that for a generation we had been diligently pursuing a new and better ideal of womanhood than ever before. The education of women had departed from the old school of artistic accomplishments, and had entered upon the much saner pursuit of genuine mental development and bodily culture which were necessary for the creation of a race of strong and gentle women. In the open air, in active pursuits, in the bracing atmosphere of public and private duty, a new generation of women had unconsciously prepared themselves for the crisis which the war had suddenly brought upon us, and hence it has come to pass that the women of the Empire were just as well prepared as the men for the rough tasks of the emergency. Womanhood is playing a noble part in the whole campaign, and marks a miraculous advance in the whole standard of our civilisation. There is a beautiful passage in the Divina Comedia of Dante, in which the great poet describes his ascent towards Paradise in company with his young heroine Beatrice, and he rightly measures the degrees of his ascent by the growing beauty and brightness of Beatrice's face. There is no test of civilisation so good as this. It is the splendour of woman's face that is the measure of our progress, and surely it is the face of British womanhood at the present time that marks our position in the present and projects our destiny in the near future. Whilst this war lasts nothing will so fire the men of the Empire as the thought that their women must be protected from the brutality of the savages who outraged Belgium; and nothing will so hearten the Empire for the future as the knowledge that in the new order which victory will secure there will be a kingdom for the enthronement of the noblest type of womanhood which this world has ever seen.

(c) IWM-(Art.IWM-PST-5479)
The British Empire is going to be saved by its women. It is British women who are saving our industries now and are nursing our wounded. It is British women who are to plan our economies in the future, and to teach the coming generation to bear bravely the burdens of the entail of the war. I will go further, and say that it is British women who are to save our politics from degradation and ruin. They will purify our public life from selfish venality. They will shame out of existence the self-seeking political parasites who have fastened upon the Empire, and who bleed it of its very life-blood. All this they will do in the woman's way, by taking their full share of duty and responsibility in public life, and by building up for us pure homes on the foundations of religion and liberty. There is an Italian proverb to the effect that man builds the house, but woman builds the home. Let men do their part and women will do theirs. It is the house now that is in danger. If we fail to protect it, then there is nothing left. But if we secure the house and drove the German Boeche back to his own land, then the home will come all right, and the wife and mother will rule it with a sceptre strong in its integrity and gentle in its love.

Mr. Buchan, in his history of the war, says of the women of Britain -- "From the beginning they realised the gravity of the struggle. The women's movement in recent years had given to a large class a special organisation and discipline, which was turned to admirable purpose. The leaders of that movement in the Press and on the platform did a great work in rousing the nation, and none dealt more trenchantly with counsels of supineness and peace." This is true; and it furnishes the best answer that has yet been given of the capacity of women to deal with the subject of war. For years we have refused to give women the vote because it was believed that they would embarrass the Empire in dealing with the question of war. It now turns out that the women of the nation have far clearer ideas and for more capacity for forming a policy for its prosecution than the male politicians who refused them the franchise. A Cabinet of women could hardly have been guilty of the blunders which have been practised by the Asquith Cabinet. They would not have gambled with 200,000 men, the very flower of the British race, in the Dardanelles fiasco; and they would have drowned in the depths of the sea that prolific parent of all our misfortunes, "wait and see," unless, indeed, they had been a Cabinet of very "old women." The war will bring about new adjustments in reference to the political status of women. It will become abhorrent to all patriotic men to refuse a vote to such women as Miss Cavell, and give it to every slacker and shirker whose only known qualification is the boast that he belongs to "the superior sex.” The Empire owes already far too much to its noble women to refuse any lawful demand they may make in the future. Other adjustments will also necessarily follow, in the field of industry, in the field of commerce, in the field of scholarship, in the manifold fields of public and private life.

This article by "Southern Presbyterian" appeared in The Witness, 3rd March 1916.