Project Gutenberg's Best Stories of the 1914 European War, by Various

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Title: Best Stories of the 1914 European War

Author: Various

Release Date: January 19, 2015 [EBook #48029]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Brian Coe, Chuck Greif and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by the Library of Congress)

Best Stories
of the


Photo by International News Service.

Photo by International News Service.

Best Stories
European War

Copyright 1914, by
J. S. Ogilvie Publishing Company.

New York
57 Rose Street

Table of Contents

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The correspondent of the Daily News and Leader of London sends from Ostend this graphic story of the scenes where one of the greatest battles in the world’s history took place:

“Taking advantage of the lull we got out of Namur early this morning, taking crossroads and lanes in front of the Belgian and French lines. The allied forces were pushing the Germans back under great guns placed along the northern line. The fields and low hills were alive with moving troops, columns of cavalry with light guns moving into position and long snakes of infantry.

“An officer warned us in a lane to wait there. He said: ‘We’ve run down some Uhlans in those woods.’ We waited half an hour. No movement in the sunny fields, nothing to be seen. Then suddenly out of a wood we saw four horsemen dash and we heard the snap of rifle shots on the far side of a field.

“The next instant there was a running fire of invisible muskets. Three of the horses fell. The fourth man fell from the saddle and was dragged through the stubble, his foot being caught in the stirrup. One of the others got up, leaving his horse and walking a few steps. He then fell.

“We were accompanied by a squad to Mazy. There we were blocked for two hours. Slowly through the village (no peasants or children showing now) defiled regiment after regiment of French cavalry, glorious fellows with their helmets covered with dust, their colored cuirasses dull with rust, dusty trappings and uneasy horses. It was not the glitter of a parade, but the infinitely more impressive savage, bronzed columns of war.

“A line of Belgian artillery, then light horse and lancers, and finally cyclists and a detachment of the Red Cross ambulances passed up the lanes out to the hills with a sort of rustling, intense silence. There was no drum nor music. This is war. For many of these grave and bronzed men, with here and there a fierce negroid African, we were the last link with the life of the towns. In a few days, perhaps in a few hours, they will be lying in long, nameless trenches in the fields.”


A correspondent of the Dernière Heure sent back to Brussels from the front writes of the fighting he saw as follows:

“The fighting started at Geetbetz at dawn. At 3.30 A. M. a German aeroplane flew low over our front. Several volleys were fired and the aeroplane fell within the German lines. After several feints the attack developed about 6 o’clock. Strong forces of German cavalry and infantry, supported by artillery, including machine guns, poured down on the village and a furious battle was soon raging all along the seven-mile front.

“While the Belgian cavalry were acting as infantry behind the earthworks part of the German cavalry got behind them and shot the horses. Inch by inch the ground was fought. Hundreds of Germans were slain. In the relentless move forward the Belgian defenders suffered rather serious losses.

“At Bubingen the resistance was equally praiseworthy. In a trench where seven cavalrymen were making a great fight, Lieut. Count Wolfgangen Durel was struck by a bullet in the head. His companions pressed around him as he fell. ‘It’s all up with me,’ he said. ‘Leave me and do your duty.’ He breathed his last a few minutes later.

“At this point two Belgian squadrons, about 240 men, showed magnificent bravery. They held 2,000 Germans back. In spite of the superior numbers the enemy had no distinct advantage over this handful of determined fellows. They would have died to a man, but their mission of holding the enemy in check for a few hours terminated when the retreat was sounded.”


War incidents which show how the French present a smiling front in the face of the war are related from Paris:

At the Gare de L’Est, the eastern railway station where troops by the thousand were leaving for the German frontier, wives, mothers, sisters and sweethearts met and wept in multitudes. But a French soldier turned the tragedy into comedy. On a large cardboard he imitated the signs announcing the destinations of trains in time of peace and hung it on the military special. It read:

“Holiday excursion to Berlin.”

Whereupon the women dried their tears and laughed.

A woman, her face very white, came out of one of the municipal offices at which official information is given of the death or injury of French soldiers. Four sons had left her a few days before to join the colors. Another woman came up to her and said:

“Have you good news of your sons? My Jean is safe.”

“Yes,” the first mother replied, “they are all safe. They are safe in the arms of the Father. I am proud to give all to the cause.”


The Petrograd correspondent of the Daily Mail telegraphed:

“At the last interview which Prince Hohenlohe, the Austrian military attaché, had with the Russian military authorities before the war he expressed surprise that the Russians were requisitioning so many automobiles.

“Your roads are so bad,” he said.

“But yours are so good,” was the reply.


Here are some additional details of the sinking of the British cruiser Amphion when she hit a mine laid by the Germans off Harwich:

“It was 6.30 o’clock when the Amphion struck the mine. A sheet of flame instantly engulfed the bridge. The captain was rendered insensible and he fell to the floor. As soon as the captain recovered consciousness he rang to the engineers to stop the engines, which were still going at revolutions for twenty knots. As all the forward part of the Amphion was on fire it was found impossible to reach the bridge or flood the fore magazine.

“The ship’s back appeared to be broken and she was already settling down by the bows. All efforts therefore were directed to placing the wounded in places of safety in case of an explosion and in getting the cruiser in tow by the stern.

“By the time the destroyers had closed in it was clearly time to abandon the ship. The men fell in for this purpose with the same composure that had marked their behavior throughout. All was done without hurry or confusion and twenty minutes after the cruiser struck the mine the men, the officers, and lastly the captain had left the ship.

“Three minutes after the captain had left another explosion occurred. This enveloped and blew up the entire fore part of the vessel. The effect of this showed that the Amphion must have struck the second mine, which exploded the fore magazine. Débris falling from a great height struck the rescue boats and the destroyers and one of the Amphion’s shells burst on the deck of one of the destroyers, killing two Englishmen and one German prisoner.”


The firing at Tirlemont and Louvain is described by the Ostend correspondent of the London Express, who witnessed it from a church tower at Tirlemont first and later proceeded to Louvain. He says:

“About 1 o’clock came the sound of the first German gun. The artillery had opened fire.

“From the church tower it was possible to see distinctly the position of German guns and the bursting of shells. The Belgians replied from east of Louvain. It was a striking sight to the accompaniment of the ceaseless thud, thud of bursting shells with their puffs of cotton-like smoke, tearing up peaceful wheat fields.

“Gradually working near, the shells began to strike the houses in Tirlemont. This was a signal for the populace to flee blindly. The scene was like the rushing of rats from a disturbed nest. The people fled in every direction except one.

“I moved down to Louvain, where everything seemed peaceful. The people sat in the cafés drinking their evening beer and smoking. Meanwhile the Belgian troops were retiring toward Louvain. By midnight the town was in the throes of a panic. Throngs of refugees had begun to arrive, followed later by soldiers. By 11 o’clock the Belgian rear guard was engaging the enemy at the entrance to the town.

“I remember watching a black-clad Belgian woman running straight down the middle of a road from the Germans. Behind her came the retiring Belgian troops, disheartened but valiant. This woman, clad in mourning, was the symbol of the Belgian populace. All about Tirlemont and Louvain the refugees continually interfered with the work of the troops.”


A Central News correspondent who saw the fighting near Louvain writes:

“The roar of cannon is still ringing in my ears. The Belgians had a strong position around Louvain. The Germans advanced by three different roads. The defenders held out until the Germans brought their heavy artillery into play. Then the Belgians evacuated to save the beautiful old place from destruction.

“Louvain to-day presented a wonderful if terrible spectacle. Bleeding, riderless horses galloped into town. With them came the Belgian advance guard who had been in action.

“Thirty Gardes Civiques, shut up behind a wooden barrier without arms, exclaimed passionately at their enforced peacefulness. Homeless crowds surged aimlessly about the streets. Now and then farmers cycled furiously into the town to complain of houses occupied or horses stolen. The Belgian outposts were twenty-seven miles away and the place undefended, so nothing could be done.

“The utter, hopeless agitation of a population unable to do anything for itself, forced to surrender home after home and forbidden to resist, was a very painful sight. It cannot occur often, even in this war.

“Undefended towns when abandoned by the soldiery generally have warning first. But these Uhlans seemed to have dropped out of the sky, and when the Belgian civilians looked about they found their own army gone.”


A Times correspondent says that the laconic reports of the French Minister of War give little idea of the desperate struggle that occurred around the villages along the Lorraine border. Point after point was taken and retaken, he says.

He gives the following story of the fighting at the village of Badonviller in France, west of Schirmeck, as told by the villagers: “The village was occupied by a battalion of chasseurs as a covering force was prepared for defense by numerous trenches. The battle began on August 10. The Germans bombarded the village, compelling the chasseurs to evacuate it. The latter retired on Celles, and afterward took up a position on Donon Ridge.

“After nightfall the Germans increased the bombardment, and the inhabitants sought refuge in cellars, as a continuous rain of shells kept wrecking the houses and setting them afire. It was a terrible sight. Women fell on their knees and prayed, while children cried piteously.

“The chasseurs retired, defending every house, foot by foot, and making the Germans feel their fire. The sun rose on a village in ruins. It had been under bombardment fifteen hours. When the Germans entered, they fired first on all the windows and down loopholes into the cellars. No corner was spared.”


Wiring his experiences in Brussels, the correspondent of the London Daily News said:

“I was stopped by an enormous crowd of refugees flocking along the Brussels road, on foot and in vehicles and by Red Cross cars. The sight was pitiful. Of the people leaving their homes by far the greater number were women. Many of them had young children along whose fathers were at the front.

“Fear and ignorance have seized the mob. As I was going out a peasant fired his double-barreled gun at my motor, mistaking my fishing hat for a German helmet. The shot blew the tail lamp to pieces. To prevent far worse trouble for him, I stopped the car and got the gun from him and broke it across the breech, for undoubtedly a German soldier will retaliate on any civilians who use arms.

“Brussels is now curiously quiet. Big crowds are gathering round the stations to watch the wounded passing through. I do not think the panic will be great. A gendarme told me of one old woman who arrived at the barricades driving six sheep. She did not want the Germans to have them. She was willing the Belgian soldiers should have them if they would keep her safe.

“ ‘Perhaps,’ she added, ‘the Queen and princes might need some mutton.’

“Of the defenses at Antwerp it is not necessary to speak. They are as nearly impregnable as any can be. Details of fighting are of course difficult. One can get no soldier who knows what happens outside his own experience. The field guns seem to have done deadly work on the advancing infantry. The policy of shooting at officers was kept up as at Liége.

“As I went to Antwerp early in the morning a great German monoplane with curved wings and fan-shaped tail followed the railway, keeping exact pace with the express train from Brussels till we were halfway to Antwerp. The movement of vast bodies of troops in secret is now impossible with these military eyes everywhere in the skies.”


Alfred Stead, correspondent of the London Daily Express, sends from Ostend this narrative of two press photographers who saw some of the German advance on Brussels:

“At Louvain, where our automobile arrived at 7 o’clock in the evening, everything was as quiet as usual, with the residents sitting drinking their bocks at a café in the square. Then some German prisoners were brought in and the suffering fellows were jolting and bobbing about in ordinary wagons, enduring agonies. Firing was heard in the distance, and from Tirlemont the troops came in, retiring in good order. The troops were in good spirits.

“All the way to Louvain the photographers’ automobile passed a human stream. In the town, what a change! It was deserted, the only sign of life being the last of the refugees who were leaving for Brussels.

“Toward the Tirlemont road there was some rifle firing which drew nearer,” said the photographers, continuing their narrative. “Shells began to fall among the houses, many of which took fire. The Germans were almost in Louvain at midday. The rear guard of the Belgians defending the railway bridge was engaged in firing heavily on the enemy. Riderless horses came along, both German and Belgian. These were caught and mounted by civilians. A barricade was seen in the dust of the road as in a fog.

“Then there was more heavy rifle firing, some of which seemed to come from houses. Reports that the Germans were not taking prisoners and the knowledge of what had happened in other Belgian towns made it seem probable that house firing was going on.

“At some barricades on the roads German troops and refugees arrived simultaneously, making a defense impossible. On the road to Brussels was an endless procession, fed as they went by inhabitants of the villages and countryside.

“At the cross roads there passed toward Mechlin a procession of artillery, cavalry and infantry, with dog mitrailleuses, fit but tired and dusty. Only the dogs of the mitrailleuses looked fresh now. Along the roadsides were refugees resting.

“Three men of the 9th Regiment had come from Aerschot, where the town was burning. They had lost their regiment and asked to be taken to Brussels. These men, of the famous shooting regiment which so distinguished itself at Liége, gave to us a very different idea of the shooting of Germans. They said the rifle shooting of the Germans was bad. Nearly all killed by the Germans were shot in the head or the upper part of the body. Their own officer was shot through the nose.

“In Brussels at 3 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon there was absolute quiet. A big crowd was before the Gare du Nord awaiting news, but there was no excitement. Belgian aeroplanes passed, flying toward the Mechlin and Louvain line. Firing was soon heard, but it was difficult to say from what direction. But the inhabitants of Brussels could not leave their city.”


Describing the fight at Louvain and Aerschot, where a handful of troops kept the Germans at bay while the main Belgian army reformed, the correspondent of the London Daily News writes:

“Dawn on Wednesday morning saw the Germans hotly attacking the trenches that had been filled up during the night with fresh men. Part of them were of the famous Liége field force that had decimated the Germans who approached the trenches before the Liége forts. They had begged to be sent back to Liége to meet the enemy there. This could not be done, but they had their opportunity now—a desperate one, it was true, for each of these men knew that he was marked down to be sacrificed if necessary in the interest of the general plan of defense.

“Two German aeroplanes flying audaciously low swept over the trenches to see how they were held. Then almost immediately afterward the German artillery got the range of the trenches and commenced bursting shrapnel over them. The infantry machine guns were quickly at work, and the little band of defenders settled down to keep the enemy’s masses of troops at bay as long as possible.

“By 6 o’clock the attack was general along the whole line, but particularly violent in front of Aerschot, a pitiless, determined onslaught in which the German commanders showed the same disregard for the loss of their men as elsewhere.

“Two of the heroic regiments from Liége bore the brunt of the attack in positions north and east of the town. They were outnumbered ten to one, but stuck to their positions with the courage of desperation and inflicted tremendous losses on the Germans. Their own losses were terrible. These trenches were bought and held with blood.”


Details of a terrific battle in Upper Alsace have been received by the London Daily Chronicle in special messages from Basel.

“The battle was attended by great loss of life on both sides. The fortunes of battle varied during two days. At first all seemed to go well with the French, and on the second day the tide turned in favor of the Germans, who had about one hundred guns on the hills, some eight miles from Basel. They wrought havoc among the French infantry, who made brilliant bayonet charges in their efforts to carry the hills.

“The French batteries at Altkirch vainly strove to silence the German guns. The slaughter was very heavy. The French fought desperately to frustrate the Germans’ attempt to cut them off from communication with Belfort and succeeded in their effort to reach a frontier village.

“On the third day the French forces, summoning all their energies in incomparable general assaults at the point of the bayonet, drove the Germans from all their advanced positions, and ten minutes after the last Bavarian battalion had beaten a retreat a brigade of French Lancers, with several companies of Colonial Turcos, re-entered Muelhausen singing the ‘Marseillaise.’ The French army, intrenching itself, occupied a strong front, to which it dragged a large number of cannon and stores and ammunition from Belfort.”


William J. Chalmers, of Chicago, describes his trip with his wife and maid and some friends from Carlsbad to Buchs in Switzerland:

At Budweis they were arrested and their passports examined. Five miles further on the road was blockaded by fallen telegraph poles and twenty gendarmes commanded by a boy stepped out and placed cocked pistols and rifles to the Americans’ bodies and ordered them to surrender. The gendarmes had heard that French spies were crossing to Russia with $25,000,000 in motor cars.

At Freistadt Count von Sedlitz ignored the passports and ordered the party searched to the skins, including the women. He examined their clothing, took their baggage away, ransacked it for papers, took off the automobile tires, examined the inner tubes, then brought in the police dogs to get their scent, acting with the utmost insolence.

Mr. Chalmers demanded to be allowed to telegraph to the Mayor of Carlsbad. This was permitted and the party released the next morning.

At Salzburg the party was detained five hours, but treated with kindness and a military pass was given by an archduke and a general.

At Landeck a civil official ignored the military pass, but yielded when the threat was made to appeal to the archduke.

The party was forced to carry a civilian to Feldkirk. On an appeal to the military there the civilian was sharply reprimanded and made to walk back.

Afterward the party arrived safely at Buchs.


That Holland is determined and prepared to defend its neutrality is evidenced by the statement from the pen of a Rotterdam correspondent of the London Standard. “Holland,” he says, “has a trusty friend in the water behind its dikes.

“Holland is well prepared against an invasion of its frontier on the German border, about 200 miles long, and the northern portions could easily be defended by the filling with water of numerous morasses and bogs.

“The coast along the North Sea, owing to the want of harbors, is practically inaccessible and the Zuyder Zee being shallow is capable of being closed by fortified works outside of Heider. Forty miles of the eastern front is now defended by the fortresses Muiden and Naarden in the center of the Utrecht region, and eighteen forts aid the batteries toward the south of Gorkum.

“Then there is a closed canal system arranged in such a manner that the whole region of Muiden and Gorkum may be flooded for miles. This is easy, as the greater portion of the land in the area to be flooded is below the sea level. The Dutch, however, are not satisfied with these precautions, as the water courses might freeze as in the past. Therefore behind the Muiden-Gorkum line seven block forts or fortifications have been erected at intervals of two miles, and there are also fortifications at Niewerhus.

“Behind the water line of defense there are more block forts at intervals of two or three miles strengthened with batteries.

“A block fort is a redoubt intended only for quick-firing guns of light caliber and is not constructed with the idea of resisting heavy projectiles, which, owing to the broad stretches of water, could only with difficulty be used.

“The fighting forts are protected by concrete roofs and iron cupolas from the fire of howitzers and mortars.

“They are also supplied with artillery capable of resisting siege guns.

“In a similar manner the Dutch are protected equally along the southern frontier from Gorkum to Brielle.

“As it is estimated that every kilometer requires for its defense 1,000 men, about 120,000 men are required for this region. This is the precise strength of the present Dutch army, which should be able to defend this portion of Holland against forces double its strength.”


Writing in the Petit Parisien, a correspondent from Dijon tells of the alarm caused recently by a mysterious aeroplane apparently pursuing a group of six other aeroplanes on the way to Dijon from the southern center. Soon after their arrival at Dijon the stranger landed near the military aerodrome. The mysterious pilot, on being interrogated, proved not to be a spy, but a young English girl, who had donned a uniform in the hope that she might aid France. She is now being detained, pending the arrival of her parents.


A paragraph in the Excelsior gives details of a 160-mile raid along the frontier by Pegoud in a standard unarmored eighty-horsepower Bleriot-Gnome monoplane with M. Monternier as a fighting passenger. Starting at dawn last Tuesday, they made many valuable observations and destroyed two important convoys with incendiary bombs and 100-pound shells. They flew low, from 1,300 to 1,500 meters, owing to their heavy load of nearly 800 pounds of explosives, enough oil and gasoline for four hours, two carbines and ammunition. They returned to Paris simply to obtain another machine, their own having ninety-seven bullet holes in the wings and having been struck twice by fragments of shells, once on the stabilizer and once under the steering wheel.


“Gay Ostend is utterly transformed by the shadow of war,” writes the correspondent of the London Standard. “It is crowded from end to end with refugees of all nationalities, who are clamoring for an opportunity to escape seaward. Never have the streets been so thronged, and one might have thought it a fête day but for the strained and anxious faces of the crowds.

“All the large hotels in Ostend are ready on the receipt of instructions to open their doors as hospitals and all necessary arrangements have been made to receive the wounded. Early this morning a number of wounded Belgian soldiers were taken by boat to an unknown destination in order to prevent them from being made prisoners by the Germans.

“Many hundreds of refugees have taken shelter in the bathing machines on the beach, while others are encamped on the race course which adjoins the dike. The King’s summer palace, which looks out over the sea, has also been turned into a hospital. Side by side with all these scenes of war it is a striking contrast to watch the crowds of children paddling and playing war games on the sand.

“At 9 o’clock this morning all the men of the Civil Guard were disarmed, and the Burgomaster issued a proclamation to the inhabitants urging them to be calm and offer no resistance to the invading Germans.

“The Maritime Railway station was held by Belgian soldiers this morning, but they will be removed by boat if the Germans enter the town. The station was full of boxes of coin and banknotes, which were being guarded by the soldiers, pending their transfer to steamers for Folkestone. I am told that all the bankers in Ghent, Bruges and Ostend have sent all their treasure to England for safety.

“In a conversation with a wounded Belgian officer I heard some stirring stories of the bravery of the Belgian troops who were engaged in resisting the advance of the Germans beyond Louvain. He related how, when the order for retreat was given, he and his fellow officers had great difficulty in persuading their men to obey the command. The bugles were sounding the retreat, but the soldiers would not leave the trenches and continued firing on a much larger force of Germans, who were attacking them. This officer ran along the lines shouting to the men that they must obey orders and retreat; but with violent oaths against the detested Germans they continued to fight, with the result that all at this particular spot were killed. The officer himself was wounded just after his last effort to withdraw his men.”


Describing the naval engagement in the Adriatic in which the cruiser Zenta was sunk, a writer in the Corriere d’Italia says:

“A flotilla of Anglo-French torpedo boats was steaming out to sea after recoaling and revictualling on the Piræan coast when it met other warships of the Allies with their decks already cleared for action coming from Malta. The combined fleet proceeded toward the entrance to Cataro Harbor.

“When they were approaching it the British torpedo destroyers which headed the flotilla sighted the Austrian protected cruiser Zenta and three smaller war vessels doing blockade duty. Before they were discovered the allied flotilla opened fire upon the enemy’s cruiser, which, being taken wholly by surprise, was slow in replying. When at last the Zenta began to return the fire it did so at long intervals, with its shots very wide of the mark.

“In the meantime the gunners of the Anglo-French fleet were tearing ugly rents in the Zenta’s flank and within four minutes had flooded her engine rooms. The other three Austro-Hungarian vessels—torpedo boats—then began racing away with many dead aboard.

“Seeing that the Zenta was foundering rapidly while its crew was intent on seeking a way of escape, the largest of the English torpedo boats went alongside and rescued 200 marines who were on the point of drowning.

“Fifty of these men subsequently succumbed to injuries received in the battle. Besides these 200 were wounded by lively rifle fire.”


From the Daily Telegraph’s Dunkirk correspondent: “The Germans seem to be directing their march on three points. In the north they have pushed across to Antwerp, under the shelter of the guns of which the Belgian army which has retreated from Malines has retired. A second body approached the vicinity of Ghent, riding close up to the city. The Uhlans were preceded by two German aeroplanes, which were in quest of the whereabouts of any armed Belgian force. The appearance of the Uhlans practically at the gates of Ghent created something very nearly approaching a panic among those inside the city.

“Those who had no pressing business in the city commandeered every kind of vehicle, from automobiles to carts drawn by dogs. Here were military officers in automobiles, citizens rich and poor, influential and humble, town councillors—everybody bent on making his escape as fast as possible toward Bruges.

“I interviewed several of the officers, and they told me that, while the city was still free, the Uhlans had come in from the south, and a larger force was hourly expected. They believed that the occupation of the city by the Germans was a question of only a few hours.”


The Paris Ministry of War issued the following communique concerning the holding out of the Liége forts:

“The Chaudefontaine fort at Liége was the scene of an act of heroism which brilliantly affirms once more the valor of the Belgian army.

“Major Nameche commanded the fort which controls the railway from Aix-la-Chapelle to Liége via the Verviers and Chaudefontaine tunnel. The fort was bombarded continuously and very violently by the Germans. When it was only a heap of débris and the commander judged that resistance was impossible he blockaded the tunnel by producing collisions between several locomotives which had been sent into it. Then he set fire to the fuses of mines in the tunnel.

“His task thus done, Major Nameche did not wish to see the German flag float ever over the ruins of his fort. He therefore exploded all the remaining powder and blew up everything, including himself. Such an act of heroism is beyond all comment.”


The coolness and nerve of the British soldier on the firing line is the subject of a cable message to the Central News of London:

“The shooting of the British infantrymen on the firing line was wonderful. Every time a German’s head showed above a trench and every time the German infantry attempted to rush a position there came a steady, withering rifle fire from the khaki-clad men lying in extended formation along the wide battle front. Their firing was not the firing of nervous men shooting without aiming; rather it was the calm and careful marksmanship of men one sees on English rifle ranges firing with all the artificial aids permitted to the most expert.

“When quick action was necessary the men showed no nervousness; they showed the cool, methodical efficiency for which the British army is noted.

“If the British lost heavily, the Germans must have lost terribly. One of the German prisoners said: ‘We never expected anything like it; it was staggering.’

“The British troops went to their positions silently but happily. There was no singing, because it was forbidden, but as the men deployed to the trenches there were various sallies of humor in the dialects of the various English, Irish and Scotch counties. The cockney was there with quips about ‘Uncle Bill,’ and every Irishman who went into the firing line wished he had money to buy a little Irish horse, so that he might ‘take a slap at the Uhlans.’

“As for the cavalry, the officers declare, their charges against the Germans were superb. They charged as Berserks might have done. They gave the Uhlans the surprise of their lives.”


This story of a thrilling trip by a party of American tourists in Finland is told by one of them after their safe arrival in Stockholm:

“Our party left Stockholm on July 31 on a steamer for St. Petersburg but was stopped by a Russian warship and compelled to return to Hango, where we were lodged in a hotel. The steamer was taken in charge by a Russian warship and blown up in the harbor channel. At the same time several cranes and other harbor works were dynamited to block the channel to the Finnish harbor. The explosions made a spectacular sight for the Americans.

“Our party was unable to leave until August 3 because the roundhouse and other buildings near the railway station were in flames.

“Starting for Stockholm by train, we traveled in cars already overcrowded with refugees. Arriving at Hyvinge we found at least 3,000 persons waiting for the next train north. The town was already filled and people were sleeping on the staircases of the overflowing hotels and in the parks. We finally found lodging in a sanitarium outside of the town. The next day we continued our trip in a train loaded with Germans who had been expelled from the country.

“We next arrived at Seinajoki, a hamlet near Tammerfors, which boasts of only one hotel but was trying to entertain 5,000 strangers. Every private house was filled to its capacity, and we would have been compelled to spend the night in the streets had it not occurred to the manager of the hotel to suggest that we proceed to Nicolaisadt, a seaport fifty miles to the west.

“We took this good advice and found comfortable lodgings in that place. We also had the good fortune to discover an American freight steamer, on which we were permitted to sail on August 5. The voyage was dangerous, as all the beacon lights had been removed from the passage outward, which is narrow and made hazardous by shoals.

“Two other steamers left port at the same time. The first was commanded by a Russian pilot. It ran aground and was wrecked. The other vessel narrowly escaped the same fate. Our steamer, however, got safely clear and we arrived without accident at Hernosand, Sweden.”


Describing the entry of the French into the unhappy town of Charleroi, whence, after previous fighting, they drove the Germans across the Sambre, a Times correspondent writes:

“Outside an inn was to be seen the dead figure of a German officer with his head bowed over a basin and soap lather dry upon his face, where he had been shot in the act of washing.

“There was another who lay across a table, while a cup of coffee which he had been in the act of raising to his lips at the moment when death found him lay broken on the ground.

“In every part of the city houses were smouldering or in flames. Every cellar was occupied by the terror-stricken inhabitants. This is the account given of the struggle for Charleroi by the French troops which took part in the operations.

“After listening to these accounts the correspondent heard the town was surrounded by German troops. Anxious to ascertain the truth of this report, he started in the direction of Namur. A few miles out of Philippeville he met a Belgian officer and the paymaster-general of Namur, who told him that the town of Namur was occupied by Germans. It had been subjected to a furious bombardment, and the fire of the enemy had been so well regulated that the first few shots had silenced two of the forts.”


Hansi, the Alsatian caricaturist who was arrested by the Germans some months ago because of his pro-French sentiments, escaped and fled to France to avoid imprisonment. He is now in a French regiment acting as an interpreter. The German officer who had caused his arrest was the first prisoner brought before him. The officer complained of the treatment he had received and Hansi replied:

“It was certainly better than you gave me at Colmar.”


Philip Gibbs, the London Daily Chronicle correspondent, describing his railway journey from Paris to Boulogne, says:

“On the way we fell into many surprising and significant scenes. One of these was when we suddenly heard a shout of command in English and saw a body of men in khaki with Red Cross armlets suddenly run along the platform to an incoming train from the north with stretchers and drinking bottles. A party of English wounded had arrived from the scene of action between Mons and Charleroi.

“We were kept back by French soldiers with fixed bayonets, but through the hedges of steel we had the painful experience of seeing a number of British soldiers with bandaged heads and limbs descending from the troop train. They looked spent with fatigue and pain after the journey, but some of them were sufficiently high spirited to laugh at their sufferings and give a hearty cheer to the comrades who came to relieve them with medical care.

“I had a few words with one of them and questioned him about the action, but like all British soldiers he was very vague in his descriptions, and the most arresting sentence in his narrative was the reiterated assertion that ‘we got it in the neck.’

“I understood from him, however, that the British troops had stood their ground well under terrific fire and that the Germans had been given ‘what for.’

“I saw the British soldier on this journey in many unexpected places and adapting himself to his unusual environment with his characteristic phlegm. I saw him at dawn in small camps, surrounded with haystacks and farmyard chickens, drinking the fresh milk offered to him by French peasant women, with whom he seems to have established a perfectly adequate ‘lingua Française.’

“I saw him scrawling up the words ‘hot water’ and ‘cold water’ above the taps in French railway stations, carrying the babies of Belgian refugees, giving cigarettes to German prisoners and rounding up French cattle which in due time will be turned into French beefsteaks.”


Returning from the front a correspondent of the London Times sends the following under a Paris date:

“Near Charleroi I heard some stories of the bravery of the French soldiers. The Germans were bombarding the city. The French troops made what amounted to a mediæval sortie, but, finding the enemy in much greater force than was expected, were compelled to withdraw. The bombardment continued relentlessly, whereupon the French Turcos—picked troops from Algeria—debouched from the town, and, with a gallantry which surely must live in history, charged the


Photo by International News Service.

Photo by International News Service.

German battery, bayoneting all the German gunners.

“Their losses, it is said, exceeded those of the Light Brigade at Balaklava. Of a whole battalion only 100 men, it is reported, returned unscathed. Their bravery, however, was powerless against the German advance, which crept, foot by foot, through the outskirts of Charleroi to the very heart of the town.

“There in the narrow streets the carnage was indescribable. A French infantryman told me that the roads became so jammed with dead that the killed remained standing upright where they had been shot, supported by their dead comrades.”


This incident occurred during the fighting before Charleroi, cables a war correspondent:

“Yet another band of Uhlans was captured Sunday at the gates of Courtrai by a detachment of French chasseurs. Their chief officer was found to be Lieut. Count von Schwerin, a nephew of the Kaiser. The young commander is only 25 years old and has been married only seven months. The officer commanding the French detachment found that the Count’s sword was a present from the Emperor himself and bore an inscription to that effect on the blade.

“The Count’s saber, belt and helmet were brought to-day to St. Ouen and presented to the wife of the officer who made the capture. The sword was blood-stained and its point twisted.”


The correspondent of the Paris Temps, who had occasion to follow them on the way to the front, is loud in his admiration of the British soldiers’ discipline, equipment and commissariat arrangements. But what he admired most was the summary methods of dealing with spies, every one convicted being shot immediately. A British captain explained his attitude through a French interpreter as follows:

“You French pride yourselves on your humanity in cases where humanity is a mere useless sentimentality. To spare the life of a spy by postponing his trial is a crime against our own troops. A spy may be able by some means to convey a harvest of news to his own side, so as to enable the enemy to surprise us precisely when we hoped to surprise him. In such cases, inopportune indulgence may cost the lives of several hundreds of our own troops.”


Naturalized German shopkeepers in London are taking unusual precautions against possible boycotts. The following notice, posted on a bakery in Soho, is being copied by other dealers:

“Two hundred and fifty dollars reward will be given to any charitable institution upon the discovery by any persons of adulteration in the bread sold in this establishment.

“God bless our King and country. The proprietor of this business wishes to inform the public that he is a naturalized British subject of many years standing and his loyalty is equal to that of any of the most gracious Majesty’s subjects, whom he treats and respects as man to man.”

One German banker in South London, whose name was “Schmidt,” promptly changed it to “Smith.”


A huge concentration camp for the thousands of German suspects who have been rounded up by Scotland Yard in all parts of England is being constructed at Blackdown near Aldershot. The corral, which covers forty acres, is fenced by barbed wire strung on ten-foot posts. Outside is another circle of barbed wire entanglements and between the two sentries will pace with loaded rifles.

The prisoners will be housed in quarters built of galvanized iron and will be fed on ordinary army rations.


Wounded soldiers arriving at Frankfort-on-Main relate that Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse, the Emperor’s brother-in-law, while leading his regiment during a recent battle seized a flag from the hands of the wounded flag bearer and carried it on to victory.


The London Daily Mail correspondent at Rouen obtained a description of the British fighting from a wounded man belonging to the Berkshire regiment, who said:

“We marched into Mons about 10 o’clock, and were just going to be billeted when the order came for us to fall in again and get a move on. We’d been marching since 4 o’clock. It had been blazing hot and still we were wanted. We were to advance under cover of artillery fire; but in the meantime the enemy were doing a bit of artillery practice, too, so we threw up trenches and snuggled down in them.

“They did not keep us waiting long. The German gunners were over a ridge two or three miles in front, and their shells soon came whistling round us. I got what they call my baptism of fire, and at first I did not like it. In the daytime they had aeroplanes to tell them where to drop their shells. They were flying about all the time. One came a bit too near our gunners. He was a long way behind us. They waited and let him come on. He thought he was all right. Two thousand feet he was up, I dare say. We could hear his engine.

“He may have made a lot of notes, but they weren’t any use to him or anybody, for all of a sudden our gunners let fly at him. We could see the thing stagger and then it dropped like a stone, all crumpled up. ‘Good-by, Mr. Flying Man!’ That was the end of him.

“In the dark they turned on searchlights. We could see them hunting about for some one to pot at. Uncanny, that was, to see a blooming big lane of light working round and round until it came to something. Then we heard the shells whistle, and when it came round to us and lit us up so that we could see each other’s faces, it made my blood run cold, just like I used to feel when I was a nipper and woke up and saw the light and thought it was a ghost, and we lay there wondering what would happen next.”


In the crowd of refugees arriving in London from Ostend were a dozen Americans, who made their way out of Antwerp with hand baggage only. Among them was Mrs. George Sparrow of New York, who had left Liége soon before that city was besieged by the Germans. She said:

“In Antwerp I was aroused one night by a loud boom, which I imagined was caused by a cannon firing in the fort, but, looking out of a window, I saw a Zeppelin airship, apparently quite near. I could plainly hear the buzz of its motor. A bomb from it fell only a few blocks away, the explosion of which was followed by an outbreak of fire.

“Many persons ran from the houses panic-stricken. Some of the women were hysterical. It was a fearful night. I got out of the city next morning with several other Americans and went to Ostend, where I spent last night.”


A woman refugee from Framerie, near Mons, told the following story to the relief committee in Paris:

“My husband is with the Belgian army and I was left with my three babies in our cottage. All was quiet until Monday, when the Germans came. They sacked and destroyed everything in the house. There remains of our poor village nothing but ruins. I saw one of the soldiers strike one of my neighbors in the breast with his sword. Then he flourished the bloody blade as though proud of the feat. Some women who had hidden in their cellars were shot.

“A woman from Peronne le Bincher started out with one of her neighbors who carried a young baby at her breast. Suddenly the mother perceived that the little one was dead. She could not bear this new shock and lost her reason. When she was helped out of the train on reaching Paris she still held and was crooning over the body of her child.”


A correspondent of the London Times at Ostend says:

“I have obtained the following details of the siege of Namur from two Belgian soldiers. They informed me that the Germans attacked the town during a dense fog, and for two days the bombardment never ceased. The open town was reduced to ruins and the carnage among the inhabitants was appalling. The forts of Cognelee and Marchovelette were silenced by heavy German siege guns of 11-inch caliber.

“The 148th French Regiment of the line, coming from Givet, proudly marched into the town to the strains of ‘The Marseillaise’—this during a murderous hail of projectiles. Alas, they had arrived too late! Namur had become an inferno, and at midday the order was given to retreat.”


A correspondent describing the fighting before Malines says:

“I could see dark blue masses of Belgian infantry falling back, cool as on a winter’s morning. Through a mistake, two battalions of carbineers did not receive the order to retire and were in imminent danger of destruction. To reach them a messenger would have had to traverse a mile of open road swept by shrieking shrapnel. A Colonel summoned a gendarme and gave him the orders and he set spurs to his horse and tore down the road, an archaic figure in towering bearskin. It was a ride into the jaws of death.

“He saved his troops, but as they fell back the German gunners got the range and dropped shell upon shell into the running column. Road and fields were dotted with corpses in Belgian blue.

“At noon the Belgians and Germans were in places only fifty yards apart, and the rattle of musketry sounded like a boy drawing a stick along the palings of a picket fence. The railway embankment from which I viewed the battle was fairly carpeted with corpses of infantrymen killed yesterday. I saw peasants throw twelve into one grave.”


An old man sitting in a corner of a stack of straw told the following story to a correspondent in Paris:

“People call me Jean Beaujon. I have a little wine shop just across the river from Liège, in the town of Grivegnee. When the mobilization order was announced my two sons, both fine fellows, went off to join their regiments. My daughters—I have two, this one here and another—remained with their old father.”

The girl he motioned to was a bright-faced girl of about 16, but only her eyes were visible, as the rest of her face was swathed in bandages. He continued:

“You see her poor, dear face? Well, a German was the cause of that. When they came they demanded wine, which I gave them, and one man tried to insult her. When she resented this he struck her and broke her jaw.

“My other daughter, becoming very tired after a time,” he went on, “sat down by the roadside while this girl and I went on ahead to try to find some means of conveyance. A little further on we came upon a riderless horse, and after great difficulty we both succeeded in mounting and went back to find my daughter. We had not been gone more than half an hour, but when we returned she was no longer there.”


The wife of Gen. Metzinger, a distinguished French officer, whose son, a captain in the army, was recently wounded, was traveling from Switzerland to Lorraine a short time ago, cables a Sun correspondent. She says she overheard a conversation between two German officers during a rainstorm.

One said: “Oh, I left my umbrella in a hotel in Paris.”

The other replied: “Never fear, you will be able to go and get it next week.”

“Pray, do not trouble yourselves,” interrupted Mme. Metzinger; “my son, who is a captain in the French army, will undertake to bring it himself.”

The two officers alighted hastily at the next station.


The Cologne correspondent of Der Tyd says:

“An endless train rolls into the station at Cologne. In it have arrived 700 French prisoners taken at Muelhausen and Lagarde, Alsace-Lorraine. They were dressed in red trousers and short, dark-blue coats. One could see that they had been in a fight. They were unkempt and badly in need of a wash and a shave.

“I remember having read somewhere that a French Senator had declared there was a great shortage of shoes for the French troops. I have seen 100,000 German soldiers going to the front, every one of them wearing a brand new pair of russet shoes, heavy enough to withstand any campaign. But there were no such shoes among these French prisoners. Their footgear was of a flimsy character and worn so badly that in most cases their toes were protruding. They ate greedily of bread and drank eagerly the tea and coffee that were handed to them.

“The faces of most of them were blank and expressionless. They conversed among themselves in an undertone. I asked one something about Lagarde.

“ ‘I know nothing,’ he answered sullenly.

“But after I told him he was speaking with a Hollander and not with a German he modified his reply to: ‘I will say nothing, sir.’ ”


To the Paris Matin’s correspondent at Chartres, a colonial infantryman, wounded at Charleroi, told his experiences in the battle:

“We marched with our African comrades against the Prussian guard,” he said. “We advanced in bounds amid the humming bullets, using every bit of cover we could. We felt intoxicated with the joy of battle.

“I couldn’t say how long the action lasted. All I remember is that we fired our last shot within fifty yards of the enemy. Then it was the pitiless thrust of cold steel. It would have given us the victory, for however intrepid and steady are the troops we fight against there are no soldiers in the world able to resist the Turcos’ bayonet charge.”


“It is comforting to learn that dozens of the wounded in the great conflict hardly suffer at all. Modern bullets are so small and hot and come with such velocity that they drill a hole even through the bone and disinfect as they pass, on account of the heat,” cables a correspondent.

“One man was shot through the pit of the stomach, the bullet having gone out at the back, just missing the spine. It was two days after the wound was received, and the man was sitting up and asking the doctor when he could go back and if it would be more than a week before he could again be at the enemy.

“Some of the men did not know they were hit until several hours later, believing if they felt anything that it merely had been a knock. All the men are mad for bayonet work. They agree that it is only the German officers who stand up at all, and that the men are almost all bayoneted in the back, while the officers shoot with revolvers.”


The London Chronicle’s Boulogne correspondent sends the personal story of a wounded soldier who has arrived there and who declared he was one of thirty survivors of a British company of 2,000, who were practically wiped out by the German artillery. His story follows:

“We were five solid days in the trenches and moved backward and forward all that time with the varying tide of battle. It was about 2 o’clock in the morning when the end came. Things had got quieter and our officers came along the line and told us to get some sleep. We were preparing to obey when a light or something else gave us away and we found ourselves in an inferno of bullets.

“We could do nothing. Down upon us the shrapnel hailed and we fell by the score. Practically at the same time the enemy’s Maxims opened fire. We were almost without shelter when we were caught and we crawled along in front to find cover. Leave everything and retire was the order, and we did what we could to obey. I don’t know how long it lasted, but when dawn came I could see not more than thirty men at the most were left out of about 2,000.”


The Ghent correspondent of the London Daily News says in a despatch:

“I have just been talking to the latest refugees from Malines. They left there yesterday about 4 o’clock, during a lull in the fighting. Out of 60,000 inhabitants, a business man among them told me, hardly 200 are left in town. Many are dead. The rest have fled.

“ ‘It has been hell,’ he said, ‘since Monday. The town was shelled from both sides. The cathedral, the square and half the houses are in ruins. Old people and young have been killed. Yesterday I found a quiet old gentleman of 83, whom I have known for years, lying in one of the trenches by the roadside, utterly exhausted by his flight. His face was in a pool of water.

“ ‘Of a family of seven who were friends of ours not one is left. A shell struck their house on Tuesday morning, and all were killed.’ ”


“A fugitive from south of Flanders says that eight Uhlans appeared at Alost, telling the inhabitants that 4,000 more were in the immediate neighborhood, and if the townspeople did not keep quiet they would set fire to the place,” writes a correspondent. “They ordered that the town cash box be handed to them and found 131½ francs in it. They took 130 francs, leaving an I. O. U., ‘Received for Emperor William II.’ The one and a half francs were left as a tip for the police.

“The whole situation around Ostend has changed. I must not say how many men have landed, but a belt of country a few miles wide around the town was thoroughly scouted yesterday by men who softly whistled and sang ‘My Little Gray Home in the West’ and similar ditties.”


“The truth about the withdrawing of the French troops from Alsace is that a body of French—probably a whole regiment—fell into an ambush laid by three German regiments,” writes a London Standard correspondent.

“The Germans hid themselves in forest, hedges and ditches until the French had piled up their arms and were lying down to rest on the ground. The Germans then opened a murderous fire. The French rushed to arms, but by the time they got hold of their rifles large numbers had been killed or wounded. None the less the remainder charged the Germans, inflicting severe losses. The confusion caused by the surprise attack nevertheless compelled the French to withdraw all their forces in that region behind the frontier line.

“During the French retreat one regiment lost a rear company, which was blown up by a mine. Their comrades, marching ahead of them in the line of retreat, suddenly heard a terrific report and saw a column of smoke. When the smoke cleared away there was no rear company left. Every member had been exterminated.”


Five Englishwomen of title have addressed to the London press the following letter:

“The undersigned have all near relations serving with the colors. Most of them have near relations who have borne and are bearing their part in the gallant and sanguinary battle which the British army is fighting against heavy odds on the northeast frontier of France.

“We do not know what their fate has been, or yet may be, but if it is their fortune to die for their country we shall not show our sorrow as for those who come to a less glorious end.

“A white band around one arm will mark both our loss and our grief. But it will do more. It will express the pride we feel in knowing that those who are nearest to us and dearest have given their lives to their country’s cause.”

This letter is signed as follows: Evelyn Devonshire, Maude Lansdowne, Beatrice Pembroke, Edith Castlereagh, Elsie Kerry.

These names stand for the Duchess of Devonshire, the Marchioness of Lansdowne, the Countess of Pembroke, the Countess of Castlereagh and the Countess of Kerry.


“At times,” a French soldier declared in a letter to his home, “we could hardly hold our rifles—they were so hot. Often we had in the trenches no cover of any sort. We had just to dig up a heap of earth a foot high or so, and, lying behind it, pelt away for all we were worth.

“Our shooting, I can assure you, was as steady as though our men were at the rifle ranges, and ever so often in front of our positions we could see the dead accumulating in great heaps. Far away on my right I saw at one time British cavalry charging. We took the risk and looked up to see it. Upon my word, it was a magnificent sight. I was too far off to see what happened when they got home, which they did with magnificent dash. I don’t think they lost heavily, at least, not very heavily, for we saw them get back again.”

“And the Germans? What do you think of them?” I asked.

“Not a great deal as shots, but the way they came on again and again throughout the day was great. They are a brave lot, and it took us all our time to hold them back; they had such enormous numbers.”


A German officer sends the following account of the fall of Liége, says a Rotterdam dispatch to the London Daily Telegraph:

“Gen. Leman’s defense of Liége was noble, but tragic. During the early attack Gen. Leman’s legs were crushed by the fall of a piece of concrete. Undaunted, he continued to direct his campaign, visiting the forts in an automobile ambulance.

“The commander of one of the forts, at the moment when the bombardment was heaviest, went mad and began shooting his own men. He was disarmed and bound. The cupola of one of the forts was destroyed by a bomb from a Zeppelin. Fort Chaudfontaine was blown into oblivion by a German shell which dropped into the magazine.

“Finally, Gen. Leman decided to make his last stand in Fort Loncin. When the end became inevitable he destroyed the last gun and burned up the plans, maps, papers and food supplies. He was about to order all the men to the trenches when a shell buried him beneath a pile of débris. He was unconscious when the fort surrendered.”


A correspondent at St. Petersburg got the following incident through the censor:

“A Cossack hero, Kuzma Kriachkoff, who received eleven wounds in an outpost affair against the Germans and attracted the special attention of the Emperor while in the hospital at Moscow and petitioned to be allowed to return to his regiment, has arrived at Vilna, on his way to the front.

“A Russian who has just returned from the wilds of Novgorod Province, far from the railways, gives an interesting account of the attitude of the peasantry toward the war and the action of the Government in prohibiting the sale of alcoholic drinks. He says:

“ ‘I stopped at a little inn on the high road and ordered tea and something to eat. Some mujiks were there discussing their own affairs over the teapots. “The Lord be thanked, all Russia is happy now,” said one. I was interested to know why, and was told in a surprised tone, “Why, they’ve shut the drink shops, and all our men are as rosy-cheeked as lassies now.” ’ ”


There is an amusing story traversing London of a daily paper editor being summoned to the War Office in connection with an untrue “scare” story that had been published, cables a correspondent.

He would get another chance, said Lord Kitchener, but on the next occasion he would be arrested.

“On what charge will you arrest me?” asked the editor.

“I’ll arrest you first,” answered Kitchener of Khartum, “and think about the charge afterward.”

Is this the mailed fist?


The Berlin Neue Zeit says that since the mobilization the Doberritz road has been strongly guarded by a Grenadier Guards regiment from Spandau. Last week the Kaiser motored along the road, his chauffeur continually sounding the Emperor’s special horn. Nevertheless, two sentries stopped the car, asking for the permit.

The Kaiser said from the window of the car, “I should think my motor car might have been known as imperial property.”

“Well, your Majesty,” replied one of the sentries, “we are commanded to bring to a standstill and investigate all cars without exception.”


This graphic incident of the fall of Liége was told a reporter for a Dutch paper by a German officer:

“When the first dust and fumes passed away we stormed the fort across ground literally strewn with bodies of the defenders. All the men in the forts were wounded. Most were unconscious. A corporal with one arm shattered valiantly tried to drive us back by firing his rifle.

“Buried in débris and pinned beneath a massive beam was Gen. Leman. ‘Le Général il est mort,’ said an aide-de-camp with gentleness. With care which showed our respect for the man who had resisted us so valiantly and stubbornly, our infantry released the General’s wounded form and carried him away. He recovered consciousness and said:

“ ‘It is as it is. The men fought valiantly.’ He added:

“ ‘Put it in your despatches that I was unconscious.’

“We brought him to our commander, General Von Emmich, and the two generals saluted. We tried to speak words of comfort, but he was silent. He is known as the ‘Silent General.’ Extending his hand, our commander said:

“ ‘General, you have gallantly and nobly held your forts.’ General Leman replied:

“ ‘I thank you. Our troops have lived up to their reputations.’ With a smile he added, ‘War is not like maneuvers.’

“This was a reference to the fact that General Von Emmich was recently with General Leman during the Belgian maneuvers.

“Then, unbuckling his sword, General Leman tendered it to General Von Emmich.

“ ‘No,’ replied the German commander with a bow, ‘keep your sword. To have crossed swords with you has been an honor.’

“And the fire in Gen. Leman’s eye was dimmed by a tear.”


In the British hospital camp at Rouen many are lying very severely wounded, but all are cheerful and vowing vengeance. Women are sending up cart loads of fruit and flowers to the camp every day, and trainloads are also arriving, being taken by the Red Cross on trains and stretchers to the hospital camp.

“A detachment of British arrived from the front this morning,” says a despatch. “A major, badly wounded, was exchanging jokes with wounded soldiers and was smiling. He said all he wanted was coffee. Everybody immediately rushed off and returned with coffee and cider.

“Members of the Fusilliers said that on Wednesday the regiment lined up for breakfast, when the German artillery started shelling them. Perfect order was maintained by the men, who began building earthworks, which, however, were knocked down as soon as finished. They were finally forced to retire owing to the Germans’ superior numbers and suffered the loss of three companies during the retreat.

“British soldiers who fought at Mons said that while digging trenches they were forced to lie still under fire and do nothing but deliver a few bayonet charges. One man said:

“ ‘A bayonet dash was a glorious relief after the galling inaction. Our fellows dashed at them as if doing a 100-yard sprint. The Germans looked sick at the sight of cold steel, as they always do, then turned and ran, some throwing away their straps and rifles. We would have liked to chase them forever, but were called back. I got in a stab at a German and told him to pass it on to the Kaiser.’

“The order to retire was a bitter disappointment. Another soldier said:

“ ‘It was bad enough to lie still with German shells doing the nasty all around us, but to fall back and let the infantry pot us was the limit. I consoled myself with the thought that perhaps I would be in a procession when the Kaiser was taken in chains from the Mansion House to the Chelsea pensioners’ home.’ ”


Miss Diana Leverick of New York, who arrived in Boston yesterday from England on the Cunard liner Franconia, told how she became acquainted with a German “woman” while on board a Mediterranean boat bound for London who proved to be a German male spy in disguise and who later was shot.

“Among the passengers was a refined, middle-aged German woman who gave the name of Niederhaus,” she said. “She bore every evidence of good breeding and made herself very agreeable to all of us. I became very much attached to her. She was so pleasant and affable that certain peculiarities of her gait and face were unnoticed. Her hands and feet seemed a trifle large, but I liked her so well that I could see nothing strange about her, although some of the other passengers began to comment upon her.

“On the morning of our arrival in London a messenger boy came aboard crying out, ‘Telegram for Mrs. Niederhaus.’ The woman did not answer. Finally came an official and a squad of soldiers and she was led away to her cabin. We were amazed when soldiers locked themselves in with her until we learned that she was really a male spy. I read about her in the London Times next day, the paper describing how ‘she’ was shot by the soldiers.”


Stringent measures have been taken in Antwerp to insure perfect darkness. No light of any kind which can be seen from the outside is allowed in the houses. Blinds and curtains, both in front and at back, are closely drawn. Printing offices have to work by candle light. Pitch darkness reigns in the streets at night and those forced to be out stumble against one another as they grope their way along.

To prevent a prohibitive rise in the cost of food all shopkeepers have been ordered to display a list of prices charged in such a position that all who pass can see it from the outside. Communication with Malines has been restored and all the fugitives from that town have been ordered to return.


As an evidence of the indomitable spirit which is actuating the Belgians in their war against the Germans, here is a letter from a daring young man with a young wife and child who formerly was notorious as a poacher on game preserves. It was written in the siege of Namur while he was resting a moment:

“A few weeks ago,” the letter says in part, “I was in France working in the beet fields. But because the proud Prussians attacked our country I had to leave and could not bring home a few gold coins for my family. I am feeling as well as possible, am whole and sound, and hope, with God’s help, to see my home once more.

“The Prussians are poor shots. They don’t know by a yard where they shoot, and when they see a bayonet they are so scared they just run. I have lost but very few bullets. When I aim for their noses, you can bet that they don’t hear the bullets whiz by their ears. They get it right in the mouth. I never missed a bird on the wing, so how could I miss those square-head Uhlans? I settled more than fifty of them, and if God lets me live I’ll cool off a few more. When they come we kill ’em like rats, meanwhile singing ‘The Lion of Flanders.’

“Reverend Dear Father, while we send the Uhlans to the other country, please take care of my family and see that they may not suffer from hunger. Now I finish my letter to grab my gun and shoot Uhlans.

“Formerly poacher, now Uhlan killer.”


The following letter from a German military aviator to his parents is printed in a recent issue of the Brandenburger Zeitung:

“Last Saturday night, while our company still lay in garrison, I received orders to start on a flight into the enemy’s country at daybreak the following morning. The assignment was as follows: From the garrison over a French fortress into France, thence westward to Maas to spy out land for French lines of communication and to fly back the entire distance of 300 kilometers (about 186 miles).

“By way of preparation maps of the whole region were minutely studied till midnight. Next morning at cock-crow our Gotha-Taube rolled across the city square, then rose and headed westerly. In half an hour we had reached an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) above the town. Then we headed for the French border, and immediately my observer, First Lieut. A., called my attention to little black puffs of smoke, and I knew at once we were being fired at by hostile artillery, so climbed to 2,000 meters (7,874 feet).

“Next we noticed that three of the enemy’s aeroplanes were pursuing us, but we soon outdistanced and lost sight of them. Later we heard that two of the enemy’s aeroplanes had been brought down by our artillery. Both hands of one of the pilots were said to have been blown away by a shot.

“With a threefold ‘Hurrah!’ we now flew over the border toward a battlefield of the war of 1870-71, which we reached without any further untoward incidents. Here we noticed long columns of troops marching from the south toward the northeast. We circled around the place and then started toward Maas.

“We were now continuously fired upon. I saw, among other things, how a battalion of infantry stopped in the street and aimed at us. Silently and quietly we sat in our Taube and wondered what would happen next. Suddenly I noticed a faint quivering throughout the whole aeroplane; that was all. As I saw later, one of the planes had four holes made by rifle bullets, but without changing our course on we flew.”


The London Daily Telegraph’s Harwich correspondent gives further narratives of the Heligoland fight gleaned from British sailors. They say that many of the German shells which made hits did not burst, and to that fact they attribute the comparative lightness of the British casualty list.

“There were five shells in the boiler of the ——,” said one of them, mentioning the name of a destroyer. “If one of them had burst—well it would have been all up with the ship.”

“What did you do with them?” he was asked.

“Oh, we just shied them overboard. We’ve no room for such rubbish aboard our yacht.”

In another instance it is related that a shell fell on the deck of a British ship. There was no immediate explosion. The sailors rushed at it and pushed it into the sea.

One incident has been described which shows the grit of the German sailors.

“We were hard at it with a German cruiser,” he said, “and she was in a bad way, on the point of sinking. We could see her decks were in an awful mess and her stern was in flames. It had been shot away. We could see only one man on the forecastle, but he was a plucky one. He hoisted a flag, and it was still there when the ship went down. I suppose he went down with her.”


An eye witness of the loss of the German cruiser Ariadne and the German torpedo boat destroyer V-157 in the fighting between British and German warships off Heligoland, relates the following story of the fight:

“The destroyer was surprised in a fog by a large number of British destroyers and submarines. When the speed of the German destroyer became affected by the English shells, it turned and confronted the enemy with the intention of fighting to the end. Her engines, however, soon completely failed her, and she was blown up to prevent capture. Her crew continued firing until the boat disappeared beneath the waves.

“The Ariadne attacked gamely, but a shell plumped her boilers, putting half of them out of commission. Despite this the fight continued. The quarterdeck of the Ariadne took fire, but those of her guns that were still capable of being worked continued shooting.

“The forecastle of the Ariadne was soon ablaze. Her magazine was flooded, but the gallant vessel was doomed. Her crew was mustered and gave three cheers for the Emperor and sang the hymn, ‘The Flag and Germany Above All.’

“The sinking of the ship probably was due to the explosion of her magazine.”


This little grim comedy is told by a correspondent of the London Evening News:

“I heard of an incident which is said to have occurred when the British boats were busy picking up German survivors of the fight in the Bight of Heligoland. A German officer was seen swimming, a line was thrown to him and he was helped on board, but his first action was to spit in the face of the British officer in charge.

“A British sailor immediately flung the German overboard and another drowning German among the many within the boat’s reach was helped into the vacant place.”


The American Embassy in Paris is in daily receipt of letters written by dying German soldiers, forwarded to it by the French Government for transmission to Germany. One is from a German aviator who had fallen into the hands of the French. This man wrote:

“Good-by, dear father and mother; my leg has been crushed. The French officers are very kind.”

A postscript to this letter added by a French officer read:

“At this point the brave fellow died; please forward this to his parents.”


A story is told to-day of the bravery of French women and men which is vouched for as true. Gen. de Castelnau and his three sons went to the front at the outbreak of the war and Mme. de Castelnau retired to the south. One of the sons was killed in the early fighting.

When the news of his son’s death was conveyed to Gen. de Castelnau, he read the statement and then said quietly: “Gentlemen, let us continue.”

When the news reached the country house of the family in the south the parish priest undertook the delicate task of conveying the news of the death of her son to Mme. de Castelnau. The priest tried to break the news to her but was so overcome with emotion that she guessed something serious had happened. Mme. de Castelnau simply asked, “Which one?” meaning whether it was her husband or one of her three sons who had been killed.

When the 35th Regiment entered Muelhausen an aged Alsatian offered the soldiers everything he possessed, pressing them to accept wine and food. After they had finished their meal he bade them farewell, saying:

“I am now going to fight to kill my son, who is in the 40th Regiment of German infantry.”


A correspondent tells of a strange little war picture. He got mixed with a French regiment on the right. In returning to his own regiment he says he crossed a field and passed up a big avenue of trees. Halfway up the avenue was a German officer of lancers lying dead at the side of the road.

“How he got there was a mystery,” the soldier said. “We had seen no cavalry, but there he lay. Some one had crossed his hands over his breast and had put a little celluloid crucifix in them. Over his face lay a beautiful little handkerchief—a lady’s handkerchief with lace edging. The handkerchief, too, was a bit of a mystery, for there wasn’t a woman within miles of the place.”


“Go back to your Pomeranian grenadiers,” writes Henri Berenger, the Frenchman, to the German aviator who flew over Paris yesterday. “Mimi Pinson is not for you. We don’t want your Kaiser, nor your Kultur, nor your Kolossal, nor your capital. You are not even original. Wretched Prussian cuckoo, where did you get your wings? Who invented aviation, Germany or France? Who first crossed the Channel or the Alps, a German or a Frenchman? What did you bring under your wings that we should surrender to you intelligence, or liberty, or justice, or truth, or love? Nothing of the kind. You brought death—a bomb—that is all. That is why you will never have Paris. Paris is civilization in its beauty. You are barbarism in your ugliness. Possibly you may bombard us and burn our city, but we shall never surrender. Paris will be wherever the French flag floats, and in the end chantecler will crow over the bloody nests of your crushed tyrants.”


Georges Terpen, an 18-year-old Boy Scout of Liége, has just been decorated by the King of the Belgians and has received a commission in the army for the brilliant work which he has accomplished since the beginning of hostilities. Young Terpen captured eleven spies, all of whom have been shot. Near Malines he killed one Uhlan and captured another, although he was suffering from a broken arm.

Two fellow Boy Scouts, 16 and 17 years old, were executed by the Germans on the same day. Terpen declares that the only weapon he used against the German soldiers was a long knife.


A corporal in a convoy of wounded at Champigny is quoted as saying that in the fighting at Guise a regiment firing on the line heard the signal to cease shooting. Immediately in front of them the men of the regiment saw soldiers wearing caps like the English.

They advanced, cheering the English, and were met by a deadly discharge of rifle fire. The Germans, he asserted, had used this subterfuge to draw the French on.


The correspondent in Antwerp of an Amsterdam newspaper says that a French biplane appeared over Brussels Saturday and in a hail of German bullets twice circled the town, dropping hundreds of pamphlets containing the message:

“Take courage; deliverance soon.”

The aviator then made off, after giving the spectators a daring performance of loop the loop.


Wounded men in the hospitals of Boulogne related to the London Express correspondent these incidents of the fighting between the British and Germans. One of the men, he says, told of a trick which the British learned in the Boer war which was carried out with deadly effect against the Germans. The story of the incident follows:

“The enemy before sending their infantry against our positions opened a hot artillery fire. Our artillery replied at first warmly, and then gun after gun of the British batteries went silent.

“What’s up now?” I asked a comrade. There were a few minutes more of artillery firing from the Germans, and then their infantry came on in solid formation. We received them with rifle fire. Still they came on and still we mowed them down. They were getting closer and we could plainly see the dense masses moving. Then suddenly the whole of our artillery opened fire.

“You see, the cannon had not been silenced at all, and it was a trick to draw the Germans on. They went down in whole fields, for our guns got them in open ground and, of course, they soon had enough. It was impossible for those behind to come on past the dead.”


The Hanover Courier prints this account by an eyewitness of the death of Prince Wilhelm of Lippe, who fell in the assault on Liége on Aug. 6:

“After fierce fighting at close quarters we proceeded successfully toward Liége. On the morning of the 6th we succeeded in getting on the northern walls of Liége, where, however, we were completely surrounded by Belgian troops, who drew ever closer around us and pressed us hard amid a hail of bullets. By order of his Highness our detachment formed a circle and we defended ourselves stoutly for some time, till at length we saw strong reinforcements coming to our aid.

“In order to enable them to locate the exact spot where we were the Prince rose to a kneeling position, pointed with his sword to the approaching column and gave me, who lay a hand’s breadth away from him, on top of our flag, the order to raise the flag so that we might be recognized.

“I raised the flag and waved it in a circle, which at once drew an extra hail of bullets from the enemy. The flag was shot out of my hands, while the same volley wounded the Prince fatally in the breast and throat. His last words were, ‘Remember me!’ ”


Arriving home from France Mrs. Webster J. Scofield of Holmes told of riding 120 miles imprisoned in a freight car, from Chatillon to Paris, when the railroads suspended passenger service to move troops.

When she reached Chatillon, homeward bound, with two friends from Jacksonville, Fla., there were no trains to take civilians to Paris. They were told by a trainman that a freight car that stood on a side track filled with gun carriages was going to Paris, and that if they hid in it they could get through.

Mrs. Scofield, with three other women and two men, took the trainman’s advice. They had hidden five hours in the darkness when a brakeman locked the door and they were practically prisoners for six hours more, until a soldier heard their cries in the Paris freight yards and let them out.


When the British expeditionary army landed on French soil the natives went wild with joy and women overwhelmed “Tommy Atkins” with kisses. A letter received at London to-day by the wife of one of the soldiers at the front declares:

“You would have been jealous if you had seen the women, old and young, kiss us. I was kissed scores of times. The natives went frantic with joy when they saw us. The women screamed with joy as they hugged us. Many wept bitterly and then wiped away the tears and offered us small presents.”


An eye witness to the entry of the victorious Germans into Brussels describes the advance as a wonderful sight. He writes as follows:

“The German entry into Brussels was a wonderful and impressive sight. I have seen many military parades in time of peace, but never a parade on so vast a scale, which went on without a hitch. It was impossible to imagine that these men had been fighting continuously for ten days, or that they had even been on active service. First of all came six cyclists, then a detachment of cavalry, then a great mass of infantry, then guns and field guns and more infantry, then huge howitzers, then a pontoon train and then more infantry from 1.30 o’clock Thursday until Sunday morning without a break.

“The pontoon trains were especially impressive. They were carried upside down on trolleys, drawn by six horses. All cavalry horses as well as the horses of the artillery and commissary were in wonderful condition. The men also were very fresh and keen. Each company had a stove, the fire of which was never out. There was always some hot drink ready for the troops and the German soldiers told me that it is only this hot coffee and soup which kept them going on long forward marches.

“The inhabitants of Brussels turned out by thousands to watch this endless procession of Germans as they marched by singing all sorts of songs and national airs. They sang in excellent tune, one company taking up the refrain as soon as another stopped. Like everything else their singing is perfectly organized.

“An aeroplane kept its station ahead of this advancing horde and it signalled both day and night by dropping various colored stars. What these signals meant I do not know, but all movements of the troops were regulated by them.

“I became overwhelmed after watching this immense mass of men marching by without a hitch for three days. I never believed such a perfect machine could exist.”


Mme. Gilbert, wife of the French aviator, was recently arrested near Clermont-Ferrand at the village of Paray-le-Monial, where she was informed her husband was being fêted on his return from a successful raid. On her arrival she found her alleged husband an impostor—a warrant has been issued for his arrest, since the real Gilbert is at Dole—and she was challenged by a gendarme when trying to return home. Finding her without papers and carrying German uniform buttons, which she bought from prisoners as souvenirs, he promptly arrested her. Release was obtained with difficulty on the arrival of her father-in-law with the necessary information.


Stories of the cool nerve of Belgian soldiers under fire are being told everywhere by refugees and correspondents arriving from the battlefield in lower Belgium. The story is told of one volunteer who returned after a skirmish with Uhlans and calmly announced: “Well, I killed two.” Then as he filled his pipe, he added:

“I hit one right there,” putting his finger to his forehead. “His helmet went spinning and I picked it up later and saw the hole my bullet made.”

Clerks, brokers, and business men have been turned into fighting devils. The Belgians were not out of their uniforms for days at a time. Sleeping and eating in the trenches when they could, they became veritable vagabonds. Even when catching a few winks of sleep the men lay with their rifles on their arms ready for action.


The London Daily Chronicle’s correspondent telegraphs the following from Havre:

“ ‘I don’t know what has come over the German riflemen,’ an officer said to me to-day, ‘but our men have become almost totally indifferent to the German rifle fire. While it is going on they do their work singing, whistling and joking in the trenches.’

“An army doctor who heard this statement was able to confirm it in a remarkable way. Of 500 wounded who had come under his notice, or whom he had treated, only one was suffering from a rifle bullet wound. All the others had been hit by shrapnel bullets or bits of shells.

“I met to-day a gunner who is in charge of a Maxim gun, and who at one time found himself right in the center and facing an oncoming German frontal attack.

“ ‘But how we did mow them down,’ he said. ‘The section in front of me must have consisted of 800 men, and every one of them got something. We cleared the whole lot out, but from the flanks others closed up, and at last we had to run for it. We were forced to leave the gun behind, but, luckily, a well-planted German shell knocked it to bits before the Germans reached it.’ ”


Some striking stories told by wounded soldiers returning from France are given by the London Standard, among them the following:

“The blue-gray uniforms of the Germans are hard to see at a distance,” said a Yorkshire light infantryman, “and for concealing movements are more effective than our khaki, but it is surprising how quickly you learn to pick out such things as buttons, badges, armlets, and even peaks of caps or spikes of helmets in the sun and tell by them of the moving men you cannot see otherwise.

“Aim at a button a mile off and you hit a German in the stomach, is what we say, and it’s near enough to the truth. The Germans are such sticklers for rules that I have seen their artillery keep firing away at a position of ours after it had been occupied by their own men, and at the hospitals they find quite a number of Germans hit by their own rifle fire.”


The London Daily News prints a despatch from a staff correspondent describing the recent fighting around St. Quentin. The despatch written at St. Quentin and forwarded to London via Boulogne, reads:

“A battle is raging, with heavy fighting. It began here Saturday, was continued yesterday, and was recommenced at dawn this morning. In a dense wood between St. Quentin and La Fere a number of people had taken refuge, peaceful peasantry for the most part. The wood was raided by a band of German cavalry and, although the white flag was hoisted on the outskirts, not the slightest notice was taken of it. The undergrowth was as dry as tinder. The way to clear the screen was obvious, and the order was given to fire it. This was done and in a few moments the wood was a huge, raging fury of flames, roaring madly.

“A priest engaged in Red Cross work who had struggled through from this desperate neighborhood told me this tale in the gray hours of this morning.

“ ‘What happened to the people there?’ I asked.

“ ‘What happened? The good God alone knows,’ he replied as tears rolled down his face.”


A never-ending source of wonder and delight to the French country folk are the kilted Highland regiments with the British expeditionary force. The Highlander in full gala rig, scarlet tunic, tartan phillibeg, with the gay “sporan” or pouch, white gaiters and big bearskin headdress, is a thing of beauty and joy forever at home, and even now when clad in khaki he is a remarkable sight for foreigners.

The French could hardly believe their eyes when they saw the husky regiments wearing what appeared to be short petticoats. True, the garment of khaki was like the jacket, but it was undoubtedly a petticoat. The inhabitants of the country through which they are passing generally put them down as some wild troop of Amazons which the English keep for serious fighting. When told that the kilted warriors are really men, and Scotchmen, they remember the famous Scotch guards of the old French kings and shout “Vivent les écossais!”

The bagpipes are another attraction and when the Gordons are stepping out to “The Cock of the North,” or the Argyle and Sutherlands are announcing their presence with “The Campbells Are Comin’,” whole villages follow them for miles. There are four Highland regiments with the British army, the two above mentioned, and the Black Watch and Camerons.


When Lieut. St. Aubyn, killed in the Heligoland naval battle, was buried the other day in London, his mother sent a wreath bearing the inscription:

“To my darling boy. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”

The following authentic incident of the Heligoland fight is perhaps the most dramatic of the war. A British destroyer, having sunk an enemy, lowered a lifeboat to pick up German survivors. Before the lifeboat returned a German cruiser came out and attacked her, forcing her to abandon the lifeboat.

The British crew was left alone in an open boat without food twenty-five miles from the nearest land, and that land the enemy’s fortress, with nothing but fog and foes surrounding. Suddenly up popped a British submarine close by, opened the conning tower and took the British on board, leaving the German survivors alone in the lifeboat.


Prince Frederick William of Lippe took his own life following a mistake of his regiment, according to Lady Randolph Churchill, formerly Miss Jennie Jerome of New York, who has arrived in London from Germany by way of Holland.

“The true story of the death of Prince Frederick William of Lippe,” she said, “is that he committed suicide. He was commanding a German cavalry regiment before Liége on August 4 when his regiment, in the darkness of evening, nearly annihilated a German infantry regiment which it had mistaken for Belgians. The Prince shot himself, fearing to face the anger of Emperor William. His widow, with whom I am acquainted, was informed of his death on Aug. 14.”


“A gallant deed was performed by Capt. F. O. Grenfell of the 9th Lancers,” cables a correspondent of the London Daily Mail. “He was hit in both legs and had two fingers shot off at the same time. Almost as he received these wounds a couple of guns posted near by were deprived of their servers, all of whom save one were struck by the bursting of shrapnel. The horses for the guns had been placed under cover.

“ ‘We’ll get the guns back!’ cried Grenfell, and at that, with several of his men, in spite of his wounds, he did manage to harness the guns up and get them away. He was then taken to a hospital.”


A correspondent sends the following by way of Antwerp:

“Yesterday morning a little man wearing an American army shirt, a pair of British officer’s breeches, French puttees and a Seaforth Highlander’s helmet, and carrying a camera the size of a parlor phonograph, blew into the American Consulate in Ostend while I was paying a flying visit there. He announced that his name was Donald C. Thompson, a photographer from Topeka, Kan. Thompson made nine attempts to get from Paris to the front. He was arrested nine times and spent nine nights in prison. Each time he was taken before a military tribunal. Utterly ignoring the subordinate officers, he would demand to see the commanding officer. He would grasp that astonished official by the hand and nearly wring it off, meanwhile inquiring solicitously after the General’s health and that of his family.

“ ‘How many languages do you speak?’ I asked.

“ ‘Three,’ said he—‘English, American, and Yankee.’

“On one occasion he explained to the French officer who had arrested him that he was in search of his wife and daughter, who were dying somewhere on the Belgian frontier. The officer was so affected by the pathos of the story that he wept on Thompson’s neck and sent him forward in a Red Cross automobile.”


William Parker of St. Louis, who arrived in London from Rumania last night, told of interesting things he had witnessed and passed through on his journey. He said:

“When we got to Breslau the mining of the town’s approaches was in operation and I had a good look at it. They were digging trenches about three miles outside of Breslau and burying horrible looking bombs eleven inches in diameter, row after row, as far as I could see. They seemed to fear a Russian attack.

“I was allowed the privilege of looking over their Zeppelins at Breslau, for use against the Russians.

“There seemed to be fifty of them, in tents with doors wide open. Operators, officers, men and equipment were all aboard, ready to start at a moment’s notice. They have sure got a system. I also saw some forty aeroplanes there.

“From Breslau we had a slow but not uncomfortable trip to Berlin. German officers who spoke enough ‘American’ to make themselves understood saw to it that we got coffee and food at stations along the way.

“You must know that ‘American’ is now officially recognized as a language. Signs up everywhere say ‘American spoken here.’ The bill of fare no longer reads ‘English roast beef,’ but ‘Amerikanischer roast beef.’ So all along the line. It’s all American now, not English.”


A corporal and two privates of the Black Watch, all wounded, have just arrived in London from the front. They were surrounded by a crowd and cheered in the West End this morning. The corporal, telling how his regiment fought, said:

“In the thick of it we were singing Harry Lauder’s latest. Aye, ’twas grand. All around us were the dead and dying. Every now and then the German shells burst and as we peppered away at ’em we sang ‘Roamin’ in the Gloamin’’ and the ‘Lass o’ Killikrankie.’ ”

Somebody in the crowd asked: “What were the Jews doing?”

The Highlander replied:

“Their duty. We had three with us, and bonnier and braver lads I don’t wish to see. They fought just splendidly.”

A private in the Berkshire regiment added:

“We had ten in our company. They were all good fighters, but six won’t be seen again.”


All of Servia is enthusiastic in regard to the campaign for the conquest of territory from the Austrians.

One of the most remarkable features is the ardent enthusiasm displayed by the Servian women. Many of them have taken a pledge not to love a man who has not killed at least one of the enemy.


The correspondent of the London Chronicle says:

“In —— the stationmaster, a brave old type, and one or two porters had determined to stay on to the last. ‘We are here,’ he said, as though the Germans would have to reckon with him, but he was emphatic in his request for me to leave at once if another train could be got away, which was very uncertain. As a matter of fact, after a bad quarter of an hour, I was put on the last train to escape from this threatened town, and left it with the sound of German guns in my ears, followed by a dull explosion when the bridge behind me was blown up.

“My train, in which there were only four other men, skirted the German army, and by a twist in the line almost ran into the enemy’s country, but we rushed through the night and the engine driver laughed and put his oily hand up to salute when I stepped out to the platform of an unknown station. ‘The Germans won’t get us after all,’ he said. It was a little risky all the same.

“The station was crowded with French soldiers and they were soon telling me their experience of the hard fighting in which they had been engaged. They were dirty, unshaven, dusty from head to foot, scorched by the August sun, in tattered uniforms and broken boots, but they were beautiful men for all their dirt, and the laughing courage, quiet confidence and unbragging simplicity with which they assured me that the Germans would soon be caught in a death trap and sent to their destruction filled me with admiration which I cannot express in words.”


A correspondent of the London Daily News cables his paper:

“From all I hear of the progress of the German advance the Germans were in Amiens on Sunday. The city was evacuated and the railway tunnel blown up. I judged it would be useful to visit the little town of Beauvais, twenty miles almost due south of Amiens on the road from Dieppe to Gournay.

“Crossing the bridge by the railway station, a French dragoon laughed when he saw our startled look at what rested below against the bridge supports. They are waiting for the Germans.

“The streets were strewn with broken glass bottles and barbed wire entanglements were coiled everywhere. The little place is in a hollow. One wanted but slight imagination to the flaming hell it could become at any moment.

“It was growing dusk, and I suppose I have never before felt such an urgent desire to leave a town.”


In a statement issued by the British War Office the following incidents have been mentioned:

“During the action at Le Cateau all the officers and men of one of the British batteries had been killed or wounded with the exception of one subaltern and two gunners. These continued to serve one gun and kept up a sound, raking fire and came out unhurt from the battlefield.

“On another occasion a portion of a supply column was cut off by a detachment of German cavalry. The officer in charge was summoned to surrender. He refused and, starting the motor off at full speed, dashed safely through, only losing two lorries.”


The Paris correspondent of the London Chronicle telegraphs:

“In the fighting at Compiègne, when the British captured several German guns, the Dragoon Guards did wonderful work. There was one tremendous cavalry charge, in which these dragoons were accompanied by their farrier, armed only with his hammer, which he wielded with deadly effect, according to the men.”


An amusing instance of the thoroughness of the German censor was shown by a letter received the other day by a woman whose husband, an American business man, is temporarily detained in Berlin.

The envelope was addressed in her husband’s handwriting and was stamped with the censor’s official seal. Inside the envelope was a slip of paper on which was scrawled in a queer-looking foreign script:

“Your husband, madam, is well, but too communicative.”


A correspondent of Le Petit Journal relates a characteristic interview with Jules Vedrines, the well-known airman, who already has done distinguished service, but finds the service monotonous because he is not allowed more activity. His work is confined to reconnoitering for the troops and artillery. He says:

“If only they would let me go and leave my visiting card with Emperor William!”


“It was a unique sight,” says the Paris correspondent of the London Daily Chronicle, “when the members of the foreign embassies and legations quit Paris for Bordeaux. They left in the dead of night and their only illumination was moonlight.

“There was Sir Francis Bertie, in a black suit and bowler hat, talking to the Italian Ambassador, who, with Signor Tittoni, were distinguishable figures in gray and with soft felt hats. Myron T. Herrick, the American Ambassador, had come down with his wife to say good-by to his confrères, and M. Isvolsky, the Czar’s envoy, was chatting with the Spanish Ambassador, who, like Mr. Herrick, is remaining in Paris to perform the duties of courtesy that fall upon neutrals at such a time.

“The windows of each carriage of the special train were labeled with the names of the countries whose representatives it was carrying off. There was even an inscription for the more or less imaginary republic of San Marino, but no one appeared to answer to this honorific name. There were the Persian Minister and M. Romonos, a black-bearded Greek, and the Russian military attaché, in uniform, and les braves Belges, and all sorts of servants, including a Chinese nurse, who was feeding a yellow baby that had coal black eyes.

“At last a horn was blown and the train rolled away.

“Say what you like, it is no pleasant thing to see the world’s delegates pack up their traps and leave the splendid city of Paris to its fate.”


A priest of Termonde describing the destitution of that town to a correspondent, said:

“When the Germans attacked the town we had no guns. Our gendarmes and soldiers fought at two or three places and drove the Germans back for the moment, but with their numbers and equipment they could not help but win. Our men retired in good order and blew up the bridges as they retired. Nearly all the inhabitants left ahead of the troops. Some, including myself, stayed and crossed the river in boats yesterday.

“The Germans had entered in the night and set the town afire. The German soldiers seemed to go mad. They ran about setting the houses alight and shouting, ‘This is how we will burn Antwerp in three days!’ Nobody seemed to be in command, but I suppose that the burning was ordered.”


“Among a party of nurses who left Folkestone for the front,” says the London Daily Mail correspondent, “were a number of women wearing riding breeches and spurs and long coats and helmets similar to those worn in the tropics.

“Their duties will be to ride over the battlefield and look for the wounded and render first aid, after which other nurses will convey the stricken soldiers to the base hospital in motor cars. It is pointed out that many wounded have died owing to not having received immediate attention.”


“Wealthy young Belgians have done great work,” writes a correspondent from Antwerp, “by dashing at the German lines in armored automobiles, each of which carried a single machine gun. In one instance one of these cars stopped for lack of gasolene just as it reached a German patrol. A daring young Belgian jumped out and filled the tank, and although bullets fell about him, he reëntered the car uninjured and the machine started forward again, while the mitrailleuse was working constantly.”


Police dogs are being used in this war in Red Cross work for the first time, says a Paris correspondent. They are reported to be giving excellent results. They have been trained to discover the wounded man and to bring his cap or another piece of his wearing apparel back to the headquarters of the Red Cross, and then to lead a nurse to the place.


Describing the flight from Paris, when the people feared the Germans were about to attack the capital, a correspondent says:

“This great army in retreat was made up of every type familiar in Paris.

“Here were women of the gay world, poor creatures whose painted faces had been washed with tears, and whose tight skirts and white stockings were never made for a long march down the highways of France.

“Here, also, were thousands of those poor old ladies who live on a few francs a week in the attics of the Paris streets, which Balzac knew; they had fled from their poor sanctuaries and some of them were still carrying cats and canaries, as dear to them as their own lives.

“There was one young woman who walked with a pet monkey on her shoulder while she carried a bird in a golden cage. Old men, who remembered 1870, gave their arms to old ladies to whom they had made love when the Prussians were at the gates of Paris then.

“It was pitiful to see these old people now hobbling along together. Pitiful, but beautiful, also, because of their lasting love.

“Young boy students, with ties as black as their hats and rat tail hair, marched in small companies of comrades, singing brave songs, as though they had no fear in their hearts, and very little food, I think, in their stomachs.

“Shopgirls and concierges, city clerks, old aristocrats, young boys and girls, who supported grandfathers and grandmothers, and carried newborn babies and gave pick-a-pack rides to little brothers and sisters, came along the way of retreat.

“Each human being in the vast torrent of life will have an unforgettable story of adventure to tell if life remains.”


The French troops are brave and fearless but too impetuous, says a correspondent of the London Daily Chronicle. He adds:

“Careless of quick-firers, which experience should have taught them were masked behind the enemy’s advance posts, they charged with the bayonet and suffered needlessly heavy losses during the fighting at Creil and Compiègne. One can only admire the gallantry of men who dare to charge on foot against the enemy’s mounted men and who actually put a squadron of them to flight, but one must say again: ‘C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre.

“There have been many incidents of heroism in these last days of fighting. It is, for instance, immensely characteristic of the French spirit that an infantry battalion, having put to flight a detachment of German outposts in the forest of Compiègne, calmly sat down to have a picnic in the woods until, as they sat over their hot soup, laughing at their exploit, they were attacked by a new force and cut to pieces.”


“The Russian Cossacks have painted all their white and gray horses green, making them harmonize with the foliage, so that their movements cannot be seen by scouting aeroplanes,” says a London correspondent. This plan was first adopted by the British in the struggle with the Boers.


The correspondent of the London Standard tells how destroyers and submarines of the British fleet by close surveillance discovered the passage between the mines which the German destroyers used in coming out to the North Sea. With that information a flotilla of submarines and destroyers proceeded to round up the German ships. When the operation was finished the British vessels returned to their base with the exception of one submarine.

There was much anxiety as to the fate of this vessel, and as nearly a day passed without any news of her the fleet began to conclude she had been lost. Just as this fear began to be viewed as a certainty the submarine came calmly into the midst of the fleet and asked to be replenished.

The excitement among the bluejackets at the return of the wanderer spread to every ship. The questions on every lip were, “Where has she been and what has she been doing?” The explanation was soon forthcoming, and all who heard it were thrilled at the daring feat accomplished by the commander and crew.

The submarine actually had penetrated into the harbor of Bremerhaven, where she fired two torpedoes. The Germans were panic-stricken, in the midst of which the submarine went to sleep on the bottom of the harbor. For hours the ship and crew remained there while the harbor was being trawled, but the nets fortunately passed over her. As soon as he considered it was safe the commander gave orders to proceed out of the German harbor, the submarine returning across the North Sea without mishap.


A newspaper correspondent made a motor trip to Brussels and tells of being ambushed by Germans. He says:

“We first sighted Germans when approaching a railway grade crossing outside of Aerschot. There were a hundred of them waiting for us behind a hedge, with rifles leveled. When a hundred yards away an officer in the trailing gray cloak stepped into the middle of the road and held up his hand and called out:

“ ‘Halt!’

“I jammed on the brakes.

“ ‘Are you English?’ the officer demanded none too pleasantly.

“ ‘No, American,’ I said.

“ ‘I know America well,’ he said. ‘Atlantic City and Niagara Falls and Coney Island. I have seen all your famous places.’

“Imagine standing in the middle of a Belgian road, surrounded by German soldiers who looked as though they would rather shoot you than not, and discussing the relative merits of hotels at Atlantic City with an officer of an invading army.”


“Why, it’s Kitchener!” gasped the wounded soldiers in St. Thomas’s Hospital, London, as the Secretary of State for War stepped in for a visit of inspection, says a correspondent. Here’s his chat with a trooper of the Royal Irish Dragoons:

“How are you getting on?” asked Lord Kitchener.

“All right, sir,” answered Trooper Craig.

“What’s your regiment?”

“The Irish Dragoons.”

“How did you get that hand?”

“My horse threw me and stamped on it, sir, just before it got killed by a shell in a charge in Belgium.”

“Ah, but you got into them, didn’t you?” Lord Kitchener continued, with a knowing air.

“Oh, yes, sir, we did,” answered the trooper, with a laugh, in which Lord Kitchener joined.

“There are some more waiting for you, you know,” was Lord Kitchener’s parting shot, and again the trooper laughed.


A curious story in connection with the sacking of Louvain is told by a correspondent of a London paper. M. Pousette, a Swedish diplomat, was there, watching the soldiers looting shops. He talked with a German lieutenant.

M. Pousette had a camera in his pocket. He asked the lieutenant if he could take a picture. The lieutenant, not knowing that M. Pousette had the camera, misunderstood the question, and, waving his hand toward a particularly fine mansion, generously said: “Yes; go in that house. There are a number of good ones there.”


A Swedish actress narrates how she was taken for a German spy in Paris, and, not knowing how to proclaim her identity and being surrounded by a shouting mob, she felt quite alarmed. Suddenly a lucky idea occurred to her.

She slightly raised her skirt, and, showing dainty little feet, exclaimed: “You look at this! Do you call these German?”

She was saved and carried in triumph to her hotel.


The sinking of the Wilson line steamship Runo by a mine in the North Sea is described as follows:

“It was extremely fortunate that the little fleet of four trawlers, homeward bound with their holds full of fish, chanced to be passing almost within hailing distance of the Runo at that moment. The trawlers, regardless of the consequences to themselves, in view of the possibility that there were other mines in the neighborhood, pushed through the wreckage and picked up sailors and passengers who were clinging to timbers and rafts. These were persons who, in the first panic, had jumped overboard or had been blown into the sea. Others were gathered from the decks of the fast sinking ship.

“The Runo, when she struck the mine, tilted at an angle which made it difficult to launch the lifeboats. Only two were launched, survivors said, and these after reaching the water were both overturned by frightened passengers trying to get into them.

“The Runo, after settling by the head, remained in that position for nearly two hours, her bulkheads holding her afloat until 6 o’clock when the bulkheads suddenly gave way, elevating her stern high in the air for a moment, after which she dipped quietly into the depths.

“The work of the trawlers is declared by the Runo’s crew to have been one of the finest episodes of its kind in the history of the sea.”


A London Chronicle correspondent thus describes the irresistible advance of the German troops:

“When I wrote my last despatch it seemed as inevitable as the rising of the next day’s sun that the Germans should enter Paris on that very day.

“They were fighting the British troops at Creil when I came to that town. Upon the following day they were holding the British in the forest of Compiègne. They have been as near to Paris as Senlis, almost within gunshot of the outer forts.

“ ‘Nothing seems to stop them,’ said many soldiers with whom I spoke. ‘We kill them and kill them, but they still come on.’ ”


Cabling from Paris a correspondent says:

“In the fighting at Dieure the Germans signaled for a masked battery to open fire on the French by having a military band play Chopin’s ‘Funeral March.’ ”


A correspondent in Ostend says that among the French wounded in recent fighting was a dragoon with six bullet and three bayonet wounds in the upper part of his body. He was expected to recover.


A London correspondent says: “A half-sheet typewritten French dictionary of the most necessary words is carried by all soldiers of the British expeditionary force.”


A London correspondent says:

“According to the September Navy List just issued the Kaiser is still an honorary admiral of the British fleet, so it would seem that his resignation has not yet reached Whitehall.”


Private Whitaker of the Coldstream Guards, writing to his fiancée, describes the fighting at Compiègne in the following words, cables a London correspondent:

“You could not miss the Germans. Our bullets plowed into them, but still they came for us. I was well intrenched and my rifle got so hot I could hardly hold it. I was wondering if I should have enough cartridges, when a pal shouted, ‘Up, Guards, and at ’em!’ The next second he was rolled over with a nasty knock on the shoulder. He jumped up and roared, ‘Let me get at ’em!’

“They still came on and when we really did get the order to get at them we made no mistakes. They cringed at the bayonet, but those on our left tried to get around us.

“We yelled like demons, and after racing as hard as we could for quite 500 yards we cut up nearly every German who had not run away. Then we took up a new position.

“Here our cover was not so good. At our left were the cavalry. The enemy’s guns were blazing away and they got to us nicely, but not for long. You have read of the charge of the Light Brigade. It was nothing to our charge.”


“A report from Basel confirms earlier statements that the Kaiser watched the Germans bombarding Nancy,” says a correspondent of the London Standard. “Attended at first by a small staff, he took up a position on a hill overlooking the town, just outside the range of the French artillery.

“For several hours the Kaiser stood alone in an isolated spot in the full glare of the sun, his eyes glued to a field glass through which he was following the operations of his army. Finally he walked back to a waiting automobile and was driven away unattended.”


From Paris comes the story of the arrival of twenty-eight Prussian prisoners, the first to be seen in the French capital in the present war. It seems they had become separated from their regiment and lost their way. They asked a peasant near Meaux if the Germans had taken Paris and how to get there. The peasant replied that he thought Paris had fallen and would conduct them to the right road. When it was too late the Prussians found he was leading them into the British lines.


Telegraphing from Sydney, N. S. W., the Reuter correspondent says:

“An attempt was made at Nauru Island, a German possession in the Pacific just south of the equator and near the Gilbert Islands, to seize the British steamship Messina. A German magistrate with a party in a small boat approached the Messina and demanded to go on board her.

“ ‘By whose orders?’ the mate of the Messina asked.

“ ‘By orders of his Majesty, the Emperor of Germany,’ the magistrate replied.

“The mate laughed at the magistrate and ordered full speed ahead, and the Messina soon reached the open sea.”


“A magnificent Gordon Highlander recently attracted attention at the Gare du Nord,” telegraphs a correspondent from Paris. “He was in fine humor, although he had been wounded in the side in the fighting on the Marne. He had a sword in his hand which, he explained, he had captured from a Uhlan directly after the German had struck him with it, and he had shot his assailant dead.

“Some women of the French Red Cross on their way to the front caught sight of the Scotsman and hurried up to see if he was badly hurt. An animated conversation followed. The Highlander, anxious to express his gratitude to the French Florence Nightingales, hesitated a moment; then he kissed all of them on the cheeks. The crowd cheered delightedly and the nurses were not in the least abashed.”


A London correspondent telegraphs the following incident:

“The master of the Grimsby steam trawler Agatha reports that while fishing in the North Sea he sighted a ship’s boat afloat, and supposing that some disaster had occurred went toward it, put out a boat and found the derelict to be a lifeboat supplied with sails, mast and oars. The Agatha tried to tow the prize home, but immediately an explosion occurred, luckily too far distant to harm the trawler.

“A careful examination revealed that a mine had been attached to the lifeboat by ropes and wires in such a manner as to explode and blow up any ship which steamed alongside the lifeboat to pick it up.”


“There is much talk here,” says a Malta correspondent, “of a new German siege gun which kills as much by poisonous gases liberated from the shell as by the solid contents. The gun has a relatively small bore and is easily mounted on wheels.

“The shell is loaded at the mouth of the gun, but a metallic shaft, making a piece with the shell, is rammed tightly into the gun. Shell and shaft are shot together.”


A Bourges correspondent says: “Among the spectators acclaiming the French artillery passing through here were four lads, the eldest about 13. Several marches later the boys were found in a circle of the troops partaking of the mess.

“They swore to follow until they came in contact with the enemy and to lay down their lives for their country. A collection was immediately raised among the soldiers. The boys were terribly depressed at being compelled to return home afoot, charged with vagabondage under the military law. The magistrate, with tears in his eyes, acquitted them.”


Telegraphing from Rotterdam a correspondent of the New York Sun says:

“An American who arrived here from Berlin said to me:

“ ‘As the Berliners have been treated to a long, unbroken series of bulletins announcing German victories and have an invincible belief in the irresistibility of the German army, I asked why there were so few English prisoners.

“ ‘The reply was: “We are not troubling ourselves to take many. The hatred of our men for the British is uncontrollable.” This was accompanied by a gesture which indicated that the wounded fare badly.’ ”


A Petrograd correspondent telegraphs the following: “An engagement at Krinitz, between Lublin and Kholm, where the Austrians lost about 6,000 prisoners and several guns, was decided by a bayonet charge. The Austrians got entangled in a bog, from which, after their surrender, they had to be extricated with the assistance of ropes.”


Quoting from a letter received from a French officer a Bordeaux correspondent tells how a French cavalry division held in check two German corps for twenty-four hours:

“When the Germans were advancing from the north we were ordered to hold a certain village at all costs with a few quick-firing guns and cavalry. It was a heroic enterprise, but we succeeded.

“The German attack began in the morning. A terrific bombardment was maintained all day; shells destroyed every building and the noise was infernal. We had to scream and shout all orders. The church tower was struck by a shell at the stroke of midnight and collapsed.

“Early in the morning we retreated under a hail of shells, after mowing down masses of German infantry. We gave our army in the rear a whole day’s rest and our exploit is mentioned in many orders as a historic rearguard defensive action.”


A young reserve officer who has returned to Paris, relating how he captured the sword of a Bavarian colonel, said:

“When charging the Bavarians I noticed that their colonel was striking his own men with his sword to prevent them from running away. He was so occupied in this that he forgot the approach of the French and was shot dead.”


A Rouen correspondent has obtained possession of the diary of a German officer, who surrendered to a party of stragglers, and quotes the following from it:

“Aug. 5.—Our losses to-day before Liége have been frightful. Never mind; it is all allowed for. Besides the fallen are only Polish beginners, the spilling of whose blood will spread the war lust at home—a necessary factor. Wait till we put our experts on these deluded people.

“Aug. 11.—And now for the English, who are used to fighting farmers. Vorwärts, immer vorwärts. To-night William the Greater has given us beautiful advice: ‘You think each day of your Emperor; do not forget God.’ His Majesty should remember that thinking of him we think of God, for is he not the Almighty’s representative in this glorious fight for the right?

“Aug. 12.—This is clearly to be an artillery war. As we foresaw, the infantry counts for nothing.

“Aug. 15.—We are on the frontier; why do we wait? Has Russia really dared to invade us? Two hussars were shot to-day for killing a child. This may be war, but it is the imperial wish that we carry it on in a manner befitting the most highly cultivated people.

“Aug. 14.—Every night now a chapter of the war of 1870 is read to us. What a great notion! But is it necessary?”


The Daily Chronicle’s correspondent at Amsterdam telegraphs as follows:

“The Cologne Gazette says: ‘A thousand English soldiers are now prisoners of war at the Döberitz military exercise ground near Berlin.

“ ‘It is proposed to give English officers facilities for tennis and golf, but this plan is opposed by the Gazette, which says that men of the nation which plunged Germany into the war will be better occupied sitting down thinking of their country’s sins.’ ”


“Official couriers arriving here from the American Legation at Brussels witnessed a fresh sample of German atrocity toward the conquered Belgians,” says a correspondent in Antwerp. “Passing slowly through Louvain in an automobile, they saw sitting outside a partly burned house a boy 8 years old whose hands and feet had been cut off at the wrists and ankles. The Americans stopped and asked the child’s mother what had happened.

“ ‘The Germans did it,’ she said with spiritless apathy.

“Evidently in terror lest she had said too much, she refused to answer further questions. The child’s wrists and ankles were bandaged as if the frightful injuries were inflicted recently. Details of the shooting down of one Jesuit priest of Louvain were told to the American couriers by another priest who witnessed the affair.

“It appears that the Jesuit kept a diary in which he had written the following commentary on the sacking of the Louvain library: ‘Vandalism worthy of Attila himself.’

“German officers forced him to read the words aloud, then marked a cross in chalk on the back of his cassock as a target and sent a dozen bullets into his back in the presence of twenty other Louvain priests.”


A wounded sergeant brought from the front told a Paris correspondent that he owes his life to a bust of the Kaiser. The sergeant took it from a village school and stuck it in his haversack. Soon afterward a German bullet struck him, knocking him down. He found the bullet had glanced off the head of the bust, chipping off one of the ends of the Kaiser’s mustache.


A Jesuit priest who escaped from Louvain before the destruction of that city has written to his father, Philip Cooley, as follows:

“All our people escaped except eleven scholastics. One of these was shot at once, as he had a war diary on his person. The others were taken to Brussels where they were to have been shot, but the American Minister stepped in and stopped it.

“He told the Germans that his Government would declare war if any of those persons were shot.”


In one little town near Clearmont we came in for a strange echo of war. A woman in a high cart drove past quickly. I was talking with a woman of the inn.

There was silence, then an outburst from the handsome Sibyl-faced hostess who had two sons at war. “Think of it,” she said; “three of our soldiers were chased from the fight at Creil. They took refuge with her. She is rich and has a garden. She hid them in a hayloft and threw their uniforms in the garden. The Germans came. They slept in her house.

“They said: ‘We are forced to fight; it is not of our seeking. The French attacked us.’

“They found the uniforms. They put a pistol to her breast.

“ ‘We will shoot you if you do not say where these soldiers are.’

“She cried: ‘In the loft.’

“They shot them all—three traitors—and it would have been so easy to lie.”


The London Daily Express’s Paris correspondent says that the British captured seventeen howitzers and a number of smaller guns. The German cavalry losses were appalling. A captured German cavalry officer estimates the wastage of horses, especially in the Belgian campaign, at about two-thirds of the total allotted to the army operating in the direction of Paris.

The army was hampered by a shortage of cavalry scouts, and since it entered France many battery horses have been transferred to the cavalry. As a result guns have been abandoned and have fallen into the hands of the British in large numbers. The horseless cavalrymen are now marching with the infantry.

The officer is despondent over the future, but thinks that the German right intends to stand in the positions prepared during the advance and await reënforcements.


The London Daily Mail’s Petrograd correspondent sends a description of M. Poiret, a French aviator who is serving with the Russian army, of a flight over the German position, accompanied by a staff captain:

“I rose to a height of 5,000 feet,” said Poiret. “Fighting was in full swing. The Captain with me already had made some valuable observations when the Germans, noticing my French machine, opened fire on it.

“A number of their bullets pierced the wings of the aeroplane and others struck the stays. We still flew on, however, as it was necessary to obtain the exact position of the enemy. Then the German artillery began. Their shells burst near the aeroplane and each explosion caused it to rock. It was difficult to retain control as pieces of shells had seriously damaged two of the stays. The fantastic dance in the air lasted twenty minutes.

“The Captain was wounded in the heel but continued to make observations. Finally I turned the machine and landed home safely. I found ten bullet marks and two fragments of shells in the machine.”


“The German attempts at spying are amazingly daring near Toulon. Attempt follows attempt with an incredible indifference to the sudden death which follows capture,” writes a correspondent.

“One of the patrol thought he saw a movement down among the vines on the side of a deserted road and knew that something was wrong. He immediately gave a hail. As there was no reply he fired two shots among the vines. Some one gave a scream, and the soldier ran up with his bayonet at the ready.

“Three men jumped out from among the vines and one of them fired twice at him with a revolver or automatic pistol. He was not hit and went right at them with his bayonet, firing again as he ran. He killed one man. More soldiers ran up and they chased the two men that were left down the deserted road to the little bay. There was a small petrol launch lying close in shore. Immediately afterward the launch put her bow around and went out to sea.

“But that’s not the most dramatic part of this evening’s business. It was suspected that more men had come ashore from the launch. A general alarm was sent out immediately. This precaution was well justified, for two men were caught trying to blow up one of the railway bridges.

“These two men were given exactly one minute to prepare themselves. They were shoved against the pier of the bridge and the firing party shot them from so close a distance that one man’s clothes caught fire. He didn’t seem to know that he was hit at first, for he started trying to put out the places where his coat and vest were burning. Then he went down plump on the ground. The other man died instantly.

“When the German was trying to put out his burning clothes just before he slipped down he kept saying in broken English (not German, mind you), ‘I vill burn! I vill burn!’ He seemed quite unable to realize he was shot.”


“The French bluejacket is a fine fellow but in every way presents a big contrast alongside his present war mates of the British navy,” says a correspondent.

“To begin with, he must dramatize all his emotions. I saw a ship from foreign parts coming to Boulogne. One man, evidently expected, for there was a large crowd, stepped ashore. There was tremendous earnestness in his face. Courage, patriotism, duty—all these shone out, transfiguring a somewhat slovenly figure. Several women embraced him as he stepped ashore. This he accepted as a tribute due to him. When he had taken enough he waved the rest aside and pointed in the direction of the Marine Department Office.

“I go!” he called out. He made a brief speech, fiery, religious, earnest. Then he kissed his mother, said good-by to everyone, and crossed the quay to the Marine Department of War. His shipmates looked on admiringly. The customs authorities did not search him for contraband. He was the brave patriot going to serve his country afloat.


Here is a delightful story from a correspondent in France:

“A party of British bluejackets were being entertained by their future allies ashore. A middy came off with the leave boat at 10 o’clock. He noticed some of the men were half seas over and all were jolly.

“One of the bluejackets he saw had a bottle concealed beneath his jumper. He directed a petty officer to take it from him and throw it overboard. This was done—and the owner of it promptly jumped in after it. The next moment half the boat’s company had dived overboard; the other half were restrained by the officers. Fortunately every man was saved. Next morning there was a parade on the quarter deck. The captain complimented the men on their exploit of the night before, thanked God they were safe and expressed pleasure that he had such a body of men under him. The men received his praise stolidly. Then one spoke out:

“ ‘Sorry we were unsuccessful, sir,’ he said, saluting.

“ ‘But—but!’ said the captain, ‘I understood Seaman Robert Hodge was saved.’

“ ‘Yes, sir, but we dived after the whiskey, sir. We knew Bob could look after himself.’ ”


Details of how his son was wounded have just reached the French Foreign Minister, Delcassé.

Lieutenant Jacques Delcassé, his sword in one hand and a revolver in the other, was charging at the head of his company when a German bullet struck him down. Gallantly struggling to his feet, Delcassé again dashed at the enemy, but a second ball placed him out of action.

To his wife, who arrived at Bordeaux to-day, the Foreign Minister said: “I’m proud of Jacques; he did his duty.”


In the hospital at Bordeaux a soldier of the Second French Colonial Regiment was operated upon for a horrible wound in the thigh, caused by an explosive bullet. The orifice made by the bullet on entry was clean and narrow, whereas at the exit it was several centimeters wide, while the intermediate flesh was a mass of bruised and torn tissues, which were entirely destroyed. As the surgeon cut away the flesh the wounded man remarked:

“The blackguards! To think that I served two years in Morocco without a scratch, and now these German scoundrels have served me like this.”


Here are two instances of individual French heroism:

“In a village on the point of occupation by German cavalry, a French soldier, the last of his regiment there, heard a woman’s cries. He turned back. At that moment a Uhlan patrol entered the village. The soldier hid behind a door and then shot down the first officer and then one of the soldiers.

“While the rest of the patrol hesitated, the soldier rushed out, seized the officer’s riderless horse, swung himself into the saddle and, hoisting the woman behind him, rode off amid a hail of bullets. Both reached the French lines unscathed.

“The second act of bravery cost the hero his life. On the banks of the Oise a captain of engineers had been ordered to blow up a bridge in order to cover the French retreat.

“When a detachment of the enemy appeared on the other side of the bridge the officer ordered his men back and then himself running forward fired the mine with his own hand, meeting a death which he must have known to be certain.”


A remarkable story of a soldier caught in a trap amid a rain of bullets, who dug his way to safety with his bayonet, was told in a hospital at Petrograd.

“A body of Russian troops was lured into the open through the flying of a white flag,” the soldier said, “when the bullets began to rain upon us. There was no cover in sight and I began to dig a hole with my bayonet. Either it would be my grave or my protection from the rifle fire.

“One bullet hit me, but I continued to dig. A second bullet hit me and this went clear through my lungs.

“The hole was half finished when a third bullet struck me in the leg. Finally I finished the hole and tumbled into it just as a fourth shot hit my other leg. I became unconscious and remembered nothing more until I woke up here.”


A Reuter despatch from Paris says that a British soldier of the 6th Dragoons, suffering from bullet wounds in the hip, told of a grim incident at Compiègne.

The night before the battle the dragoon’s squadron was on outpost duty. Some firing had been heard, and he rode ahead of his squadron to find out what was happening, in the belief that French cavalry were engaged with the Germans close at hand.

The dragoon cantered along the moonlit road, until suddenly, in the shadow of the trees, he found himself in the midst of a group of horsemen—Germans. He had a carbine across the neck of his horse and fired point blank into the breast of a German trooper, with whose horse his own collided. The German was as quick with his weapon and both men fell to the ground, the German dead, the British soldier with a bullet through his hip.

An instant later the British squadron came clattering up and cut the German detachment—about thirty strong—to pieces.


In the orders of the day made public at Bordeaux numerous cases of bravery are cited. Two of them follow:

“Private Phillips of the Second Battalion of riflemen, during the battle ran out under fire to his captain, who was mortally wounded, and brought him in. Private Phillips went eight times to the firing line under violent shelling to give water to the wounded and he also assisted his commandant to rally riflemen dispersed by the enemy’s fire.

“Bugler Martin of the 14th Hussars, a member of a patrol commanded by Lieutenant de Champigny, in a fierce skirmish with a German patrol, seeing his commander wounded and captured, charged the German officer who had made a prisoner of De Champigny, killed him with his own hand and rescued De Champigny.”


“Vienna Bakeries” all over France have now changed their title to “Parisian Bakeries,” says a Paris correspondent.


When fighting was general about Brussels smart women of the Belgian capital motored out to watch battles in the cool of the afternoon as gaily as though going to the races, says an Ostend correspondent.


Here is part of the description of scenes on the battlefields on the banks of the Marne as told to a Paris correspondent by an eyewitness:

“The greatest optimism reigns. I saw the remains of blown-up bridges and hundreds of lifeless horses and mules in the deserted trenches. Dead soldiers had been buried and the wounded cared for, and some priests were throwing burning brushwood on carcasses.

“In the blazing sunshine not far away I saw a little boy, son of a Turco—for the Turcos often bring their wives and children on or near the battlefield.

“He had a rifle of some wounded soldier which he was hugging in his little arms as if it were a toy. He was perfectly happy surrounded by evidences of death, destruction, suffering and blood. His father was lying wounded in a village close by. The child had strayed away.”


A Petrograd correspondent says:

“Wounded officers who have returned from East Prussia charge that the Germans are poisoning the water. A woman brought water to soldiers and they immediately became ill. Their officer tendered the water to a German, who refused to drink it, and when analyzed it was found to have contained arsenic.”


Four gunners of the Royal Field Artillery at Folkestone had an experience which has set all the Channel town to laughing, says a London correspondent. The gunners recently hired a small boat and rowed out into the Channel.

The following morning a boat from Calais, the French city just across the Channel, swung the missing rowboat down to the dock at Folkestone and the four gunners sheepishly followed.

Nervous because of the delay in getting to the scene of war, the four men had decided they would row to Calais. They had failed to provide food and water and found the thirty-mile pull under a hot sun a task they had not expected. Finally they hailed a French fishing vessel.


A correspondent in Limoges cables:

“On a train loaded with wounded which passed through here was a young French officer, Albert Palaphy, whose unusual bravery on the field of battle won for him the Legion of Honor.

“As a corporal of the 10th Dragoons at the beginning of the war Palaphy took part in the recent violent combat with the Germans. In the thick of the battle the brigadier, finding his colonel wounded and helpless, rushed to his aid. Palaphy hoisted the injured man upon his shoulders, and under a rain of machine gun bullets carried the colonel safely to the French lines. That same day Palaphy was promoted to be a sergeant.

“Shortly afterward, although wounded, he distinguished himself in another affair, leading a charge of his squad against the Baden Guard, whose standard he himself captured. Wounded by a bullet which had plowed through the lower part of his stomach and covered with lance thrusts, he was removed from the battlefield in the night. Then he learned that he had been promoted to be a sub-lieutenant and nominated chevalier in the Legion of Honor.

“This incident of decorating a soldier on the battlefield recalls Napoleonic times.”


The following incident is told by a Paris correspondent:

“Near a little village in Lorraine a German lieutenant was effectively using his artillery on the French. A Hussar had been taken a prisoner to the village, which was defended by 300 Germans. Under cover of their own artillery fire the French infantry advanced irresistibly.

“The German officer, who saw that he could not hold out, asked the Hussar’s advice. Of course the French soldier answered, ‘If you resist you’re all dead.’ ‘Yes,’ says the German, ‘but if we surrender, still we will all be shot.’ The Hussar assured him that France respects the laws of war, that prisoners are well treated and every one of them would be safe. The German officer quickly resolved to stop his resistance.

“Then the brave little French Hussar, with the German officer beside him and followed by 300 pointed helmets, marched to the first French officer and handed over his prisoners.”


A Paris correspondent cables: “Ten members attended the French Academy’s regular meeting this week and discussed the word ‘exode’ for the dictionary. ‘Exode’ means exodus.

“Marcel Prévost, the writer, who is an artillery captain, gave his confrères a description of the Paris defenses.”


“The scene is a village on the outskirts of Muelhausen,” says a correspondent in Bordeaux. “A lieutenant of German scouts dashes up to the door of the only inn in the village, posts men at the doorway and entering, seats himself at a deal table.

“He draws his saber and places it on the table at his side and orders food in menacing tones.

“The village waiter is equal to the occasion. He goes to an outhouse and fetches a hayfork and places it at the other side of the visitor.

“ ‘Stop, what does this mean?’ roars the lieutenant furiously.

“ ‘Why,’ says the waiter innocently, pointing to the saber, ‘I thought that was your knife, so I brought you a fork to match.’ ”


Says a Paris correspondent:

“One Parisian, seeing his supply of absinthe was reduced, with no chance for obtaining more, drank his last bottle almost at one drink and died.”


The plight of a Swiss woman is told by a Bordeaux correspondent:

Living at Basel she married a German. Two sons were born to them. Afterward she married a Frenchman and had two more sons. All four of her sons were called to arms, two on each side.

The mother has just received news that all four have fallen in battle.


Kaiser Wilhelm wept when he signed Germany’s declaration of war against Russia, according to Liston Lewis, a lawyer of New York. Mr. Lewis said his information came from one of the highest officials in Germany.

“We reached Berlin on July 29,” he said. “There were stirring scenes there then. The enthusiasm of the people was deep. They were firm in the conviction that England, France and Russia were determined to make an aggressive war on Germany.

“An intimate friend of the Kaiser told me that Wilhelm did not believe such a thing as a general European war possible. He had been told by the German Ambassador in Petrograd that the Russian army was not mobilizing in the West, and had no intention of mobilizing.

“Not until the members of the General Staff put proof of the aggressive movements of the Russian army before him and insisted that he would be responsible for what might follow unless he declared war would the Kaiser believe Russia’s perfidy. Then he asked to be left alone for an hour.

“At the expiration of that time he was found in tears. ‘I can’t do otherwise,’ he remarked as he signed the declaration of war.”


Representatives of the German Government have arrived in Copenhagen with a series of film war pictures taken under the Kaiser’s immediate and personal supervision. These pictures, which already have been exhibited to a private gathering of press representatives, show the bright side of the German army, its appearance when marching and the magnificence of its equipment and organization.

The heroism of the Kaiser himself is shown in a number of heroic attitudes. One picture is headed, “The Kaiser Under Fire,” but it shows his Imperial Majesty as merely looking through field glasses and gives no indication of danger to him. Another shows the Kaiser’s luxurious headquarters, erected at a safe distance behind the firing line, consisting of a number of magnificently furnished asbestos huts, in which his Majesty can live as comfortably and luxuriously as in his palace at Potsdam.


A French private soldier of the name of Baba Couli-Baly of the 45th Infantry has been mentioned for his coolness and accurate rifle fire. While guarding a train of automobiles he put fifteen German cavalrymen to flight.

Second Lieutenant Boquet and Sergeant Major Mercoer of the same regiment have been mentioned in orders for their daring in effecting the capture of a German officer attached to the General Staff who was found making a reconnoissance in an automobile.


Two Americans arrived at Ostend yesterday battered and haggard, but wherever they met Germans the waving of the big American passport secured them politeness.

At Sottegehem they came upon some German officers in a wayside tavern. A lieutenant called for a song in English. One of the Americans obliged with “You Made Me Love You, I Didn’t Want to Do It.”

The lieutenant then said: “If you come from Brussels you must be hungry.”

The officer disappeared and returned with arms laden with ten pounds of butter and a hundred eggs. He then kindly offered to steal two bicycles to relieve them from walking.


Two German aviation officers had to land near a Belgian village and were attacked by the local residents, who armed themselves with shotguns. One of the Germans succeeded in seizing the village magistrate as a hostage, and while he kept his pistol at that official’s head his companion repaired the motor. They then made the magistrate mount the aeroplane, which luckily was able to ascend with three passengers, and sped away.

Two other German airmen whose aeroplane was wrecked when it came down were dazed and stunned from their fall. Immediately they were attacked by a group of French peasants armed with pitchforks and scythes. The Germans held these men at bay with their revolvers until they reached the dense woods, in which they hid.

Peasants and soldiers hunted them systematically for days. They spent anxious hours crouching in holes like rabbits, while their pursuers fired shotguns and rifles into every suspicious thicket. They lived on beets and the only water they had was dew, which they sucked from leaves. Their minds almost gave way under the strain and they were burning with fever when a German patrol found them.


From an officer who was with Prince Joachim when he was wounded the following description of the incident has been obtained:

“It was during the hottest part of the battle, just before the Russian resistance was broken, that the Prince, who was with the staff as information officer, was despatched to the firing line to learn how the situation stood. He rode off with Adjutant-Captain von Tahlzahn and had to traverse the distance, almost a mile, under a heavy hail of shell and occasional volleys.

“As the Russian artillery was well served and knew all the ranges from previous measurements, the ride was not a particularly pleasant one, but he came through safely and stood talking with the officers when a shrapnel burst in their vicinity. The Prince and the Adjutant were both hit, the latter receiving contusions on the leg, but the shot not penetrating.

“To stop and whip out an emergency bandage, which the Prince, like every officer and private, carries sewed inside the blouse, and bind it around the thigh to check the bleeding was the work of only a moment. It was a long and dangerous task, however, to get him back to the first bandaging station, about a mile to the rear, under fire, and from there he was transported to the advanced hospital at Allenstein, where he remained until he was able to travel.”


Under date of Antwerp, Sunday, September 20, 1914, the London Standard published the following story from a correspondent:

“When the German troops under General von Boehn entered Aerschot the burgomaster awaited the Germans at the entrance to the town, and to General von Boehn made offers of hospitality.

“The General was gracious enough, and said that so long as everybody in the place showed the quietest demeanor the town and the lives of those in it were safe; if not, the reprisals would be pitiless. The burgomaster offered the hospitality of his own house to the General and his officers, and this was also accepted.

“General von Boehn, with his chief of staff and another officer, took up their quarters under the roof of the mayor. At night the General and his officers dined with the family, consisting of the burgomaster and his wife and their son and daughter.

“The meal progressed with every sign of geniality, and the conduct of the officers was perfectly respectful and normal, but toward the end of the dinner they drank very freely. By the time everybody had retired the three Germans were all very much the worse for drink.

“In the early hours of the morning the members of the household were roused by a shriek from the room occupied by the daughter. The son rushed in and found his sister struggling in the arms of the chief of staff.

“The young man, aroused to a frenzy, attacked the scoundrel. There was a fierce struggle, which ended in the son shooting the chief of staff.

“The tragedy was witnessed by most of the household, but the shot did not arouse the General and the other officer, drunkenly asleep in their beds. The terrified household had to wait until morning for the dénouement of the tragedy.

“The next morning the body of the chief of staff was discovered by the officer. The General was terribly cold in his wrath.

“ ‘The price must be paid,’ he said.

“The burgomaster, his son and two men-servants were put against the wall and shot.

“The carnage in the streets, with burning, hacking and stabbing, followed.”


A correspondent in France describes an incident at Havre when the United States cruiser Tennessee lay in the harbor and a British transport, the decks of which were thronged with soldiers, passed her. The American cruiser dipped the Stars and Stripes, and suddenly the British Tommies broke into “Rule, Britannia.”

“Then,” says the correspondent, “an amazing thing happened. I heard and was thrilled by it. The gallant American sailors took up the rolling chorus—‘Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves. Britons, never, never, never shall be slaves!’ It was the most perfect act of brotherliness which I have ever witnessed.”


The Berlin correspondent of the New Rotterdam Courant writes:

“The most gloomy sight to be seen in these days is the advertisements of deaths in the dignified Kreuz Zeitung. The families of officers there make known the blows that have fallen upon them.

“In the last few days this newspaper has published fifty death announcements of officers. Every evening powerful families are extinguished.

“It is endless misery, which is borne with the greatest resignation. An old lady appeared yesterday at the information bureau and had then to learn that her three sons, officers, were all dead, and yet she found strength to bear the blow in her feeling of patriotism.”


An Exchange Telegraph special from Berlin says after the French surrender of Longwy the Crown Prince had an interview with the French commander, who handed over his sword.

Contrary to all military customs, the Prince took the sword and broke it, saying: “I must take your sword, for you fought us dishonorably. Your soldiers used dumdums.”

The French commander replied: “This is the first I ever heard of dumdums being used in the French army.”




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Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:
Dalcassé again dashed=> Delcassé again dashed {pg 106}
intermediate flash was=> intermediate flash was {pg 106}

End of Project Gutenberg's Best Stories of the 1914 European War, by Various


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