May 28, 1915

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

From the pages of The Daily Capital Journal:

FRENCH TAKE TRENCHES AFTER FIERCE CHARGE
Artillery Fire Drives Germans From Heavily Fortified Positions

By a brilliant charge which swept all resistance aside the French stormed and occupied a series of German earthworks near Souchez, it was officially announced today. A number of prisoners were taken.

Fighting everywhere north of Arras continues with uninterrupted violence. Around Ablain the French artillery drove the Germans from heavily fortifies farmhouses. Near Angres, a German attack was met by a steady fire from the allied artillery which completely broke down the assault and caused the enemy to withdraw, leaving several hundred dead and wounded on the field.

Fighting in LaPretre woods has been renewed, it was stated today, with the French making a slight advance on the edge of the forest.

The Bois-Le-Prêtre, named the “Forest of Death” by the Germans was the scene of intense fighting. The Field Service of the American Ambulance was active in the area and there is some rare film footage of the aftermath of the battle that can be found at the French website “Mission Centenaire

Submarine warfare plagued the British:

BRITISH VESSELS PAY HEAVY TOLL IN 24 HOURS TO SUBMARINES
Losses to Navy and Shipping by Submarine Torpedoes Stagger English Officials
No Further Details Given Out As to Number of Lives Lost On Majestic and Triumph
Berlin Jubilant Over Recent Under Sea Raids

Speaking from the perspective of a Civil War veteran, R. C. Halley delivered an address to students at Willamette, saying that militarism should tend to constructive arts:

Eric P. Bolt read before the student body of Willamette this morning a message from Sedgewick Post No. 10 of the G. A. R. The message was one containing he thought that certain inherent liberties had been given to all Americans and that these should be maintained. The Post expressed itself as opposed to militarism and its methods of securing results. The terrible effects of the Civil war were enumerated and a contrast was drawn with what could be expected in Europe at the close of the present war. The memorable Gettysburg address of Abraham Lincoln was revised slightly and given as the Americans’ creed of international ethics.

A great tribute was paid to woman suffrage. The speaker stated that in a few years women would control the public offices, and that the office positions now held by men would revert to women. Men must turn to constructive works for national development.

An article on page five quotes from the Medford Mail Tribune, “Incubating Degeneracy” by Charles Edward Russell. “As a result of consideration of and legislation for the fortunate,” the article states, “an inferior race has been bred, dwarfed intellectually and stunted physically.” In an observation as germane today as it was in 1915, the article states:

In the United States, as in England (until recent years) legislation has been for the dollar rather than for the man. Such legislation, creating great wealth for the few and pauperism for the many, for the protection of sufficiency at the expense of insufficiency, has as its inevitable result in the evolution of a degenerate race.

In humanitarian legislation, England is far ahead of the United States. Compensation for accidents or disability exists in only a few states. Insurance against unemployment is still unknown, old age pensions are a dream of the future. Some progress has been made toward pure food, toward sanitary dwellings, and in the large eastern cities for physical training of school children – but efforts are still in their infancy and child labor still countenanced in many sections.

The article concludes with a telling observation:

The prosperity of a nation does not rest upon the fortunes of the few, but upon the progress of the many – upon their physical comfort and well being and their intellectual development. The civilization that has this for its purpose is an enduring one. . .

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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