15 March 1917.

15 March 1917.


According to Havana messages, the members of Gerrard’s party declare that the people of Germany are not only starving but have reached that stage of stoicism in face of the inevitable that they care little whether victory or defeat awaits them if they can only get food. They say that the last straw that will break the camel’s back must come for the German people before another year is past and that once they come to learn that the harvest has failed and that the supply of men is short the people will realize the failure which has hitherto been so carefully hidden from them.

15 March 1917.

DEATH OF COUNT ZEPPELIN.  The special correspondent of the National Tidente at Berlin telegraphs—Count Zeppelin who died at noon on Thursday in his 79th year in a sanatorium at Charlottenburg, Berlin, had been staying until a few days ago at the Hotel Kaiserhof, Berlin, When he became ill with inflamation of the lungs he was taken to the sanatorium.

It was in 1892 that the Count first conceived the idea of a dirigible. The German Government treated his representation for a subsidy without sympathy and though the inventor succeeded in flying over take Constance in 1900 his second Zeppelin was shattered on its first landing. The King of Wurtenberg and afterwards the German War Office were ultimately induced to take an interest in the invention which turned out to be of use for scouting purposes at sea but a failure for raiding purposes. The Count’s aerial ships are a national mania with the Huns, despite the disaster that has so often overtaken them. A warrior as well as a scientist, Count Zeppelin took part in the American War of Secession, and saw service in the Franco-German War of 1870.

15 March 1917.


Sergeant Joseph H. Crawford, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, appeared in the dock at the Belfast Police Court on Friday charged with the alleged murder of his wife, Ellen Jane Crawford, at their residence, 107 Fortwilliam Parade, on 17th January last. The accused was formerly dock sergeant in the same court and, as he was assisted into the dock, where, for two and a half years, he had discharged his public duties, the presiding magistrate and the officer s of the court were visibly affected. Throughout the proceedings he sat with a handkerchief to his eyes, as if he could not trust himself to look upon the familiar faces of the officers and professional gentlemen in court. On the 17th January, when the three young children of Mr. and Mrs. Crawford returned home from a pantomime they found their father and mother lying on the floor of the kitchen with their throats cut and a bloodstained razor between the bodies. Mrs, Crawford was dead and the sergeant has since been, under treatment in hospital. District-Inspector Gerty was the only witness examined on Friday. He arrested the accused that morning and after giving him the usual caution he said, “I never done it. Is she dead? I was sitting in the kitchen when she put her arm round my neck and gave me a jag. ’ ’ The accused also spoke some other words, which he the (the District-Inspector) could not catch, as he broke down and was sobbing. The accused was remanded for a week, Mr. Graham, who defended, stating that owing to the condition of the accused he was unable yet to get instructions.“ “It is one of the saddest cases I have ever known,” he added.

15 March 1917.

THE NEWTOWNHAMILTON MURDER. ACCUSED GETS FIFTEEN YEARS. George Berry, a young man of humble rank, who was placed on trial for his life at Armagh Assizes, before Mr. Justice Ross and a common jury, charged with the murder of Charles Warnock, a pedlar, in Newtownhamilton, on 24th January last was found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment.

15 March 1917.

LORD CROMER’S COMMISSION; The Part Played by Mr Asquith, Mr, Churchill & Lord Kitchener. The eagerly-awaited report of Cromer’s Commission of Inquiry into the Dardanelles Expedition was published on Thursday. A voluminous document of nearly 60 closely-printed pages, it covers the origin and inception of the campaign and the events up to March 23 of 1915 to, when, the naval effort having failed, it was decided to postpone further operations until adequate forces could be assembled. It is clear that the men mainly responsible for the campaign were Mr. Asquith, Lord Kitchener, Mr. Churchill, and Lord Fisher.

Mr, Churchill, in the first place, and Kitchener, subsequently, urged the need and practicability of the forcing of the Dardanelles, while Lord Fisher and the other naval experts, when they were consulted first dissented, and afterwards gave half-hearted approval. The report confirms the impression that by mismanagement, misunderstanding, and delay, an opportunity of reaching Constantinople by sea was thrown away, and rendered inevitable the ultimate failure of the Gallipoli operations which followed the naval failure.

The main points brought out by the report are: — Attack on Dardanelles first mooted November, 1914, but no intention then of making a purely naval attack.

On January 2, 1915, the Russians, hard pressed in the Caucasus, appealed to London to make a demonstration against the Turks elsewhere.

On January 13, the Admiralty were instructed to “prepare” for a naval attack on the Dardanelles, but there was some doubt as to whether the War Council had on that date committed themselves to the expedition.

On January 28 the decision to do so was confirmed. Lord Fisher decided to resign, but yielded to persuasion by Lord Kitchener.

There was still no intention of using troops; except in minor operations, but on February 16 it was decided to mass a large army ready to assist once the Fleet had forced the passage. Three days later the first bombardment took place, with “fairly satisfactory results.’ On the following day, February 20, the decision to send troops from England was suspended principally owing to the anxiety of Lord Kitchener regarding the position in other theatres. Mr. Churchill strongly dissented from this decision, and “disclaimed all responsibility if disaster occurred in Turkey as a result of the insufficiency of troops.”

On March 10 Lord Kitchener sanctioned the departure of the troops held back on February 20. Eight days later the second bombardment took place. Heavy losses were sustained, but Admiral de Robeck, commanding, and officials at the Admiralty wished to persist.

As a result, however, of representations made by Admiral de Robeck and Sir Ian Hamilton, who had been sent out to command the troops, it was decided, on March 23, to await the arrival of adequate troops before renewing the attack. By the time the troops were ready the Turks were prepared to meet the attempt.

15 March 1917.

CAMPAIGN OF MURDER. THE CALIFORNIA SUNK. 43 PASSENGERS AND CREW MISSING. THE SECOND OFFICER’S STORY. The Anchor Line steamer California from New York, with passengers and mails, has been torpedoed and sunk. Survivors state that 90 of the crew and 13 passengers are missing, and it is feared they are drowned. Four persons were killed by the explosion, and about 20 were injured. The big vessel, it is stated, was attacked by two submarines.

When the rescuing vessels arrived sympathetic crowds gathered near the deep-water quay and Custom House and cheered the survivors as they descended or were carried down the gangway. Motor cars, ambulances, and other vehicles were in readiness to convey the victims of the latest German sea outrage to the hospitals and the hotels and a strong feeling of indignation was evinced when the wounded were being carried on stretchers to the Red Cross ambulances hard by.

Second-Officer McCallum, of the ill-fated liner, who was one of the survivors, was in his shirt sleeves and wearing water-soaked clothes, he having been in the water for some time before being rescued. Mr. McCallum stated that the California left New York on last Monday week for Glasgow with about 205 passengers and crew. The voyage was a comparatively fair one for a winter passage. The weather was clear, with a heavy swell but calm sea. At 9-10 am. on Wednesday the steamer was quite suddenly struck by a torpedo close by No. 4 hatch. The shock was absolutely terrific, and the vessel shook from end to end. He was standing on the poop at the tune, and was knocked down, and a huge column of water was blown upon the dock, deluging those in the immediate vicinity. The captain, who was on the bridge, ordered the crew to the boat stations, and then promptly directed the boats to be lowered away.

There was no panic, and the passengers behaved splendidly. The women were first got into the boats, and he added that the number of boats ready was in excess of the requirements. He did not see either the submarine or the torpedo which sent their ship to her doom. But some of the crew assert that there were two submarines, one on each side of the liner, and that escape for them was impossible.

One boat got swamped unfortunately, but he could not say what happened to those who were in it. The captain, with splendid coolness and deliberation, gave his orders from the bridge, and did not leave his post until the California foundered under him. A number of the officers stood by the sinking vessel, even after the boats had filled, and then they had to plunge overboard to save themselves being carried down by the suction of the huge hull. She went down stern foremost. He {Mr. McCallum) got in the boat which had been swamped, and was subsequently taken into a boat, which also picked up the captain.

No warning of any kind was given by the Germans, who must have known there were helpless women passengers on board. The California only remained afloat about seven minutes after being struck. He was confident it was not ten. They were in the boats scarcely an hour when assistance came in response to the wireless messages sent out. The crew and passengers lost everything they had. “And,” added Mr. McCallum, “as you must have observed when they landed, some of the crew had only pants and shirts on, and were without boots or hats.” He believed that of the 32 passengers on board 19 were saved, and about 13 are missing.

March 1916.

March 16th, 1916.  Promotion of Admiral Lowry.  British Command Orders intimates that the Admiralty have notified that in future the Admiral whose flag flies at Rosyth Naval Base will have the status of Commander-in-Chief.  Admiral Sir Robert Lowry, the present occupant of the post, accordingly becomes Commander-in-Chief at that base.  Admiral Lowry is a distinguished Ulsterman, being the eldest son of the late Lieutenant General Robert W. Lowry, C. B., of Aghnablaney, County Fermanagh. (Ed. Near Pettigo.) I.R.

March 16th, 1916.  NOTES.  A potato famine exists in German towns.  In the country districts there is no meat to be had.

The Don’t-want-to-Fight Men of England are being formed into a non-combat corps with the ordinary infantry pay but none of the working or proficiency pay.  The corps will perhaps generally be known as The Cowards Corps.

Women are appeal to by the Committee for War Savings to avoid elaboration and variety in dress, new clothes, and all forms of luxury, and not to motor for pleasure, to have less elaborate meals, cut down the number of servants and give up hothouses.

Liverpool dockers have refused to work with women.  The old-world prejudice of men was be broken down.  Women have as much right to live as men. I.R.

March 16th, 1916.  ENNISKILLEN AND DISTRICT.  A FERMANAGH WOMAN KILLED GOING TO THE WELL.  An inquest was held in the Railway Hotel, Enniskillen on Monday concerning the death of an old woman named Ann Maguire of Drumclay about ½ mile from the town, who was knocked down and killed by the 6.37 train from Enniskillen to Derry on Saturday evening.  The woman was about 75 years old, and was somewhat deaf.  She went to a well situated quite close to the railway line at Drumclay level crossing to get water.  She did not hear the train approach until it was upon her and she was struck by one of the carriages and knocked into the water channel at the side of the line.  Her right arm and practically all the ribs on the right side were broken.  Dr. Betty was immediately summoned but the woman died within 10 minutes.  The jury returned a verdict that the occurrence was purely accidental and that no blame was attached to any person. I.R.


March 16th 1916.  THE EXCEPTION TRIBUNALS AND HOW THEY WORK IN SCOTLAND.  OF 93 APPEALS; 90 ARE GRANTED.  A correspondent sends to The Times a newspaper a report of the sittings of Aberdeenshire tribunals to show how things are being run there.  The tribunal for Huntley District met on Saturday and heard appeals with the above results – only three refused.  A farmer asked exemption for his brother a ploughman.  The applicant said there were 320 acres.  There were six on the place and himself.  This was the only man of military age. The Chairman asked how is your father and was told he is very well. The Chairman said he is a wonderful man and I propose total exemption I know the family and their history.  Total exemption was granted.

Another farmer asked exemption for a son, a cattle man.  The applicant stated that there were 100 acres of arable and 14 of pasture.  He had two sons at home.  Major Gray said the Advisory Committee had refused his application, because the other son had been granted exemption.  The Chairman asked how are you to work the farm with girls?  Major Gray said you cannot believe all these details.  The Chairman said I know the family root and branch.  There is not a straighter man in Aberdeenshire than this.  A Member said I cannot vote against him I know him so well.  Exemption was granted. F.T.


March 16th 1916.  AND THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT SERVE ANY COUNTRY.  A young man of 21 who applied for total exemption at the Whitehaven tribunal said he was born in England but emigrated to the United States when he was 12.  Coming home to recruit his health in 1914, he was not allowed to return to America.  The chairman said that as a British subject you ought to be proud to have an opportunity of serving your country.  The applicant said I happen not to be proud to serve my country.  I would not serve any country.  The world is my country and if I do not like the laws of one country I go to another.  Application refused.

A conscientious objector said he was a Wesleyan and would not join the Army on any consideration. Replying to a question with regard to David being an instrument in God’s hands when slew Goliath in the war with the Philistines the applicant said God commanded that war but he did not command the present war.  The Mayor said how dare you sit there and say that?  He applicant said I am as certain as I sit here that the war is not a righteous war.  War of any kind as against a word of God.  I suppose you accept the protection of the British Crown?  Certainly not.  I take my protection from God above.  Well?  You’re not fit to live that’s all.  I’m certain I am but there are a lot of people not fit to live.  Exemption from combat service only granted.  F.T.


Fermanagh Herald March 18th 1916.  JOTTINGS.  A committee has been formed in Clones and £300 has already been subscribed to promote a memorial to the late Right Rev Monsignor O’Neill, P.P., V. F., Dean of Clogher.  The list is to be kept open for one month.


Private Thomas Kelly, Townhall St., Enniskillen, who joined the 8th Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, some five or six months ago, has, we regret to say been killed in action.  The notification was recently received by his sisters.  Private Kelly was previously employed by ex-County Inspector Maguire, and subsequently by the Scottish Corporative Wholesale Society, Enniskillen.  His death will cause profound regret among his relatives and friends.


March 23rd 1916.  POLICE OFFICERS SHOT.  WILD SCENES IN TULLAMORE IN THE FIGHT IN A SINN FEIN  HALL.  An affray in Tullamore on Monday night arising out of a hostile demonstration against the local Sinn Fein Volunteers by a section of the townspeople has had a sensational sequel.  The windows of the Sinn Fein hall were stoned and some of those in the hall replied to the attacks with revolver shots.  The police forced entrance to take away the arms from those using them.  The Sinn Feiners refused to be searched and fired on the police.  County Inspector Crane and Sergeant Ahearn were wounded by revolver bullets.  The former was hit on the cheek near the eye; the latter was so seriously wounded that he was removed to the local infirmary where he lies in a precarious condition.  The Sinn Fein premises have been wrecked.  Several arrests have been made including four prominent members of the Sinn Fein Volunteers.  Extra police have been drafted into the town. F.T.


March 23rd 1916.  ENNISKILLEN PROSECUTIONS.  The practice of depositing ashes and refuse on public thoroughfares in Enniskillen has recently been so greatly on the increase that the Urban Council have been compelled to take legal steps to put an end to it and on Monday they prosecuted three defendants, Mrs. Ann Somers, John Goodwin and James Morrison for having been guilty of this offence. The prosecution said there had been complaints that the roadway at the rear of Ann Street was being obstructed by parties throwing rubbish, ashes and old tin cans on it.  Somers was fined 2s 6d and costs, Goodwin five shillings and costs and Morrison two and six and costs.

At Enniskillen Petty Sessions under the Weights and Measures Act Andrew Parker, of Ann St., merchant was charged with having a weighing machine in his shop to one side of which a piece of lead had been attached making in register 1 ½ ounces against the customer.  Frederick Carson, a young assistant, in the defendant’s shop stated that he had attached the lead without Mr. Parker’s knowledge.  The chairman said that the Bench had taken a very lenient view of the case and decided to impose a fine of 10 shillings with three and six costs.


Fermanagh Herald March 25th 1916.  AIR RAID ON KENT.  Nine people were killed and 31 injured as four German seaplanes flew over East Kent today.  As far as we can ascertain 48 bombs were dropped altogether.  Three men, one woman and five children were killed and 17 men, five women, and nine children were injured.


Fermanagh Herald March 25th 1916.  ARMY ACCOUNTS.  NO OFFICIAL RECORDS OF SOME SOLDIERS EXIST.  CLOTHING DEALS: UNIFORMS WHICH COST £2,650 WERE RESOLD FOR £400.  A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, which reveals the unsatisfactory condition of certain Army accounts, was issued on Saturday.  In all dealings with the Army and supplies, there is a considerable amount of muddle, as these vouchers are not infrequently missing or incomplete.  Forage, animal, fuel and light accounts for the period immediately preceding embarkation were not filled up. Up to February 12th 1916, no store accounts of transport vehicles had been furnished.  This is put down to extreme pressure in the earlier months of the war.  Horses arrived by rail at night with no voucher to show who sent them or the station from which they came, or with no identification labels.  Units transferred horses to other troops without vouchers, and one unit apparently had failed to keep accounts as no record could be found of receipt or disposal of animals.


The Comptroller refers to large quantities of clothing that had been written off as destroyed on the authority of Courts of Inquiry.  The papers showed that in September 1914, a firm offered a supply of part worn clothing for the use of the troops.  Purchase was effected, but shortly afterwards complaints were received as to the unsatisfactory condition of jackets and trousers, some being verminous and others threadbare.  Large quantities were ultimately condemned as unserviceable and returned to the ordnance officer, and together with the balance unissued from store were resold to the firm for £400 having cost £2,650.  Further quantities of the clothing, for which about £4,700 had been paid, were destroyed by units as unserviceable.


A contract was placed “without competition” with a firm for the supply of one million great coats at 30 shillings and 1,000,000 suits at 23 shillings.  Arrangements were subsequently made with the Wholesale Clothing Manufacturers’ Federation, under which its members supplied great coats at 28 shillings and suits at 21 shillings and nine pence.


Several officers and men, the Auditor-General continues, were paid rewards for inventions, and a Mr. S. W. Hiscocks received £25 for an improved method of constructing dirigibles.  A sum of £5 was allowed to Mrs. Angus Shureys, the widow of a storeholder, for an idea for the strengthening of mallet heads by riveting.  Captain C. A. Crawley–Boevey, A.S.C. was rewarded with £250 for a non-skid device for motor lorries.


Many men were taken on pay for whom none of the usual attestation documents were forthcoming.  This was more particularly noticed in the case of the Army Service Corps, especially the mechanical transport section, many of the men apparently having been clothed and sent abroad without any record of their existence or identity. The total expenditure on billeting included in the accounts to March 31, 1915 was almost £6,250,000.


Although instructions indicated that the price payable on impressment for an officer’s charger should be £70 it was noticed in the accounts of one command that in three cases £200 per horse was paid in addition to about 20 cases varying from £110 to £160.

Although these purchased cannot be said to be contrary to regulations, they seemed to be of an extravagant character says the report.