As the Centenary unfolds, a range of newspaper and other records will appear here to give an idea of how the war was revealed at home primarily focused on Kent for our purposes .... fairly random. If you have other snippets to share, please let us know using the dedicated email account:
The situation for German forces was desperate. The battle-lines had stretched to breaking-point. Attempts by the German authorities to negotiate a cease-fire fell on deaf ears.
With more motion along the Front, the transcribed record in the Army and Navy Gazette became much longer. This was reflected in more optimistic national and local newspaper coverage.
Reports from the Front reduced as it became clear that the war was close to its end. All that was left was a debate on the terms - The German leadership argued for an ordered retreat, retaining some military material; the Allies sought absolute capitulation including post-war reparation that was elaborated and tailored over the post-war years.
"The Army and Navy Gazette" summarised events on the British (Western) Front together with joint Allied actions.
English and Canadian troops on November 1 attacked on a front of about six miles south of Valenciennes. Strong opposition was met with, particularly north of Maresches and in the village of Aulnoy. Later in the day, several determined counter-attacks were delivered by the enemy on the high ground west of the Preseau-Valenciennes road. The 17th Corps, under General Fergusson, and 22nd Corps, under General Godly, gained the high ground south-east of Valenciennes, and on the morning of November 2 pressed forward and seized the village of Preseau. To the north the Canadian Corps, under General Currie, after hard fighting on the outskirts of Valenciennes, passed their troops through the town, which was wholly in their possession. The steelworks south-east of Valenciennes, which the enemy had defended during the day with much determination, were taken by the British, whose line was advanced for a distance of one and a half miles east of the town, and the capture of the village of St. Saulve was completed.
As the result of the two days' fighting on this front the British captured 5,000 prisoners, four tanks and a few guns. Following upon the severe defeat inflicted upon his forces on the Valenciennes front in the fighting on November 1 and 2 the enemy on November 3 withdrew from his positions east and south-east of Valenciennes.
On November 4 the Fourth, Third and First British Armies attacked on a 30 mile front between the Sambre Canal and Oisy and the River Scheldt north of Valenciennes and broke deeply into the enemy's positions. On the right of the attack the 1st and 32nd Divisions advanced to the assault in conjunction with the French forces operating the south of them. The two divisions stormed the formidable obstacles presented by the line of the Sambre Canal and, in spite of strong resistance from the enemy, pressed on to a depth of over three miles to the east of it. In these operations the 1st Division, under the command of General Strickland, having captured the town of Catillon, forced passages of the canal opposite that place. Assisted by Royal Engineers, the 1st Cameron Highlanders effected the passage of the canal in six minutes. The 32nd Division crossed the Canal Ors and after severe fighting took Rue d'en Haut. Having cleared the line of the canal to the south and north of this village, it continued its advance and drove the enemy from the villages of Mezieres la Folie and Sambreton. In the centre of the attack the 13th (General Morland), 5th (General Shute) and 4th Corps (General Harper) attacked the western face of the Forêt de Mormal. After heavy fighting the enemy was driven from his positions in the western outskirts of the forest and the villages of Soyeres, Preux-au-Bois, Hecq, Futoy and Louvignies were captured.
Moving through the enclosed country on the southern edge of the forest, the 25th Division forced the crossings of the Sambre Canal opposite Landrecies and captured that town. Farther north the 18th and 50th Divisions penetrated deeply into the forest itself. The 38th Division reached Les Frandes Patures and the 17th Division captured Locquignol, in the centre of the forest. Severe fighting took place in the neighbourhood of Le Quesnoy, where the enemy counter-attacked in force and was repulsed by the New Zealand Division with great loss in killed and prisoners. The British passed to the south and north of this fortified town and several miles to the east of it. On the left the British, having followed up the enemy closely throughout his withdrawal the previous day, attacked and drove him from his new positions on the line of the Aumelle River. East of this river the Guards Division captured Preux-au-Sart and the 24th Division Wargnies-le-Petit and Wargnies-le-Grand. The 19th Division crossed the Aunelle east of Jenlain, and further north held Sebourg and Sebourg-Ulank. On the extreme north-east of Valenciennes Canadian troops made progress along the right bank of the Scheldt and passed beyond Estreux and Onnaing.
The operations begun on October 31 by the Flanders group of Armies were continued throughout November 1 with great success. To the south the Second British Army threw the enemy back on the Scheldt as far as Melden, capturing the strongly-held villages of Anseghem, Tieghem, Caster and Elseghem. The Second British Army had at the end of the first day 900 prisoners and three guns. In the centre the Franco-American Armies, after carrying the stubbornly-defended heights between the Lys and the Scheldt, pushed forward to the river between Melden and Ecke on a front of over 9 miles and realised an advance in two days' fighting of from 5 to 10 miles. Nineteen villages were reconquered by the Franco-Americans, and the important centres of Deynze, Nazareth, Cruyshauten and Audenarde.
To the north the Belgian Army carried out minor operations on the Derivation Canal, French tanks rendering invaluable assistance to the infantry. The attacks delivered on October 31 and November 1 by the Second British Army and the Franco-American Army bore fruit on November 2. Pressed by the Belgian Army and by the left of the French Army, the enemy was forced to beat a hasty retreat in the direction of Ghent and the Terneuzen Canal. By the end of the day the Belgian and French troops had reached the line Ecloo, Waershchoot, La Lieve Canal, while farther south, as far as Seevergem, they had advanced to within 2½ miles of the outskirts of Ghent. The left bank of the Scheldt was held as far north as Seevergem. During November 4 the Belgians drove beyond the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal the enemy, who only held a few machine-gun nests on the west bank. On its northern wing the Belgian front was further advanced to the outskirts of the northern, western and southern suburbs of the town of Ghent.
On November 10 the Scheldt was crossed by Americans east of Henvel and by Belgians in the Sommerzaeke bend.
The total number of prisoners taken by the Flanders group of Armies between October 14 and 27 amounts to 18,493, including 331 officers, of which 7,962 were taken by the Belgian Army, 5,354 by the Second British Army and 5,177 by the French Army. Including the 12,000 captured from September 28 to October 14, the total prisoners taken in one month by the Flanders Armies exceeds 30,000. The total guns captured for the period between October 14 and 27 amounts to 509 pieces, of which 351 are field guns, 110 heavy guns and 48 coastal guns of large calibre. Of this total 247 pieces fell to the Belgian Army and 211 to the British Army.
Ships are lost right up to the Armistice. The competing navies did not let up in their tasks to disrupt and strangle supplies to fighting forces. Submarines had become devastatingly effective instruments of war.
The following announcements have been made by the Admiralty:-
"The Allied Fleets passed through the Dardanelles Novemer 12, in fine weather. British and Indian troops occupying the forts were paraded as the ships passed. The Fleet arrived off Constantinople at 8 a.m. today (November 13).
H.M.S. Britannia, Capt. F.W. Caulfeild, R.N., was torpedoed on the morning of November 9 in the western entrance to Gibraltar Straits, and sank three and a half hours later. Thirty-nine officers and 673 men were saved.
One of H.M. patrol vessels was sunk on November 4 after being in collision. One man is missing, presumed drowned.
One of the H.M. auxiliaries was sunk as the result of a collision on November 5. There were no casualties.
H.M.S. Audacious sank after striking a mine off the North Irish coast on October 27, 1914. This was kept secret at the urgent request of the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet, and the Press loyally refrained from giving it any publicity."
Reported in the Army and Navy Gazette of 30th November 1918. The casualties, including wounded, missing, interned, and prisoners of war, as well as the dead, for the two Services have now been issued and the total amounts approximately to just over three millions. In addition, 17,956 officers and men of the mercantile marine lost their lives or were captured while pursuing their ordinary vocation. There is yet to be added to this total the Royal Air Force casualties and those among the civil population due to air raids and the bombardment of sea coast towns, &c. The official figures show that of those who were killed, drowned, died from wounds, or other causes, the proportion of officers to other ranks in the Army was about 1 to 17, and in the Navy about 1 to 13. This is something like 5.5 per cent. in the former case to 7.5 per cent in the latter. Out of every 24 casualties in the Army 5 come under the heading "Dead," and in the Navy out of every 24 casualties 20 come under the same heading. These figures, however, are approximate, because in the Army there is a large list of missing, which includes a considerable number whose deaths have been excepted for official purposes. The much larger proportion of dead in the Navy is due to the wholesale losses when ships are sunk in battle.
The Admiralty, on November 26, issued the following statement of the total number of casualties, from the outbreak of the war to November 11, to officers and men of the Royal Navy (including the Royal Naval Air Service to March 31, 1918) and Royal Marines, but excluding the Royal Naval Division, already included in the figures published by the War Office:-
|Dead (including died from wounds and other causes)||2,466||30,895||33,361|
|Interned and Prisoners Of War||222||953||1,175|
The above figures include a number of officers and men of British merchant ships and fishing vessels serving on board his Majesty's ships and auxiliaries and other commissioned vessels. In addition, whilst pursuing their ordinary vocations, 14,661 officers and men of these classes have lost their lives through enemy action and 3,295 have been captured and detained in enemy countries as prisoners of war.
Aeroplanes had truly come of age - able to carry large payloads, travel further, increased robustness, carrying more potent firepower.
Reported in the Army and Navy Gazette of 9th November: Co-operating with the troops, British low-flying machines caused great havoc in the ranks of the retreating enemy with bombs and machine-gun fire, scattering his infantry, stampeding his horses, and ditching his guns and transport. In addition, the headquarters concerned were kept informed of the movements of troops and the dispositions of the enemy. Much important work was achieved by aeroplanes and balloons in the way of reconnaissance and photographic work and the accurate observation of artillery fire. Meanwhile, British bombing machines attacked important railway junctions and aerodromes. Many direct hits were observed on railways, and at one aerodrome, which was attacked from a very low altitude, three hangars were set on fire and destroyed. On November 4, the enemy showed great activity in the air. As a result, 40 of his machines were shot down and 15 were driven down out of control. Five German balloons were destroyed. Thirty-five British machines were reported missing. Operations were continued at night, bombs being dropped on important railway junctions and stations. Direct hits were seen to cause considerable damage. Four British machines failed to return.
War Casualties, early reporting of the cost in life and limb issued after Armistice declared. Reported in the Army and Navy Gazette 23rd November 1918
The following official statement gives the total casualties during the war so far as they have been ascertained and tabulated. The military casualties in the Expeditionary Forces in the different theatres of war are incomplete, and some time will elapse before the exact figures can be given. Up to November 10, 1918, the figures, including the Dominions and the Indian troops, in the various theatres of operations, were as follows:-
(including died of wounds and other causes.)
(including the cases of men disabled by illness on account of the war, and also the cases of men wounded more than once.)
(Including prisoners of war (including 6,741 officers and 164,767 other ranks known to be prisoners of war and also over 80,000 officers and other ranks whose deaths had been accepted for official purposes.)
|Total of Killed, Wounded, and Missing.|
|British Isles §||
(a) British §§
|Dominion of Canada||
|Commonwealth of Australia||
|Dominion of New Zealand||
|Union of South Africa||
§: Regular and Territorial Forces and Royal Naval Division.
§§: Units and drafts serving with the Indian Army
Reported on 2nd November in the Army and Navy Gazette: A statement has been issued by the Ministry of Pensions regarding the methods adopted to secure a prompt supply of artificial limbs to disabled Service men. It is explained that no limb is supplied that is not of a pattern approved by the Advisory Council on Artificial Limbs, consisting of 17 surgeons specially skilled in the subject (including representatives of the Overseas Dominions and of the United States of America), four engineers, and two limb-makers, with Sir Charles Kenderdine as chairman. Each individual limb must be approved by a skilled surgeon before the patient is discharged. It is generally admitted that the artificial legs supplied in this country are satisfactory, but an experimental laboratory has been set up where every invention brought to the notice of the Ministry of Pensions or the Ministry of Munitions is carefully investigated.
As regards artificial arms, experts agree that, in spite of great improvements, the results so far have been disappointing. Apart from the difficulty of producing an artificial arm as effective for its purpose as an artificial leg is for simpler movement, men have shown a disinclination to persevere in the use of their artificial arms, and to meet this difficulty it has been agreed that those who have been supplied should be retained at Military Orthopaedic Centres for one month after the arm is fitted, so that they may receive adequate instruction in tis use in the workshops attached to the centres. The majority of the men with arm amputations rely upon their sound limb, and apparently do not desire to wear an artificial arm, even to fill out the coat sleeve.
The question of standardisation has received the close attention of experts during the last two years, but no limb yet produced has been considered to have such advantages over others as to warrant its adoption as a standard limb and its compulsory manufacture by all limb makers. With a view to facilitating repairs, however, the Advisory Council during the past year have considered the standardisation of component parts of the limb, and after much research ankle joints, knee parts, and controls are being selected by a sub-committee, and those parts, it is expected, will be issued shortly as standard patterns.
[Curiously, a revamp of artifical limbs was demanded almost exactly four years earlier, October 1914]
Reported in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 09 November 1918: THE CHARGES AGAINST A CANTERBURY FARMER. FORGERY AND FALSE PRETENCES NOW ALLEGED.
At the Faversham County Police Court on Tuesday [2nd November], before Captain C.E. Cheetham, Edward Edwin Fenner, of Iffin Farm, Thanington, near Canterbury, was charged on remand with stealing eight horses, a waggon, a large quantity of farm implements, etc., of the value of £550, the property of Edward Henry Jenkinson, his employer.
Mr. C.C. Sharman of Stratford, again appeared for the prosecution and prisoner was represented by Mr. G. Clements, of London. Mr. A.K. Mowll watched the case on behalf of Mr. W. Kensington, who took Parsonage Farm, Newnham, from the prisoner, and Mr. Arthur Smith represented the trustee in the prisoner's bankruptcy.
Margaret Kathleen Croucher, a typist in the employ of Messrs. F. Moore and Son, Sittingbourne, deposed that about three months ago she typed the letter produced and two envelopes for prisoner. She identified the letter by a mistake in the address. She could not remember to whom the letters were addressed.
Mr. Clements said that before the witness signed her deposition he would like to hear what were the charges against prisoner. As there was at present only one charge against prisoner he submitted that this evidence was not admissible.
Mr. Sharman said that under the indictable offences Act he could prefer any number of charges at the close of the case, and leave it to the Magistrates to say upon which the prisoner should be committed for trial.
The Clerk (Mr. Guy Tassell) said he thought it would be more satisfactory to all parties to state the charges now.
Mr. Sharman then tabulated the charges as follows:- (1) stealing the goods identified by prosecutor at Iffin Farm, (2) stealing the goods sold to Mr. Kensington (3) stealing the horses sold by Mr. Waterman and Mr. Marchant (4) forgery of the reference sent to Mr. Tanner (5) forgery of the endorsement on a cheque, (6) uttering both these documents and obtaining the cheques from Mr. Kensington by false pretences.
Louisa Craycroft, also a clerk in the employ of Messrs. Moor and Son, Sittingbourne, stated that two or three months ago she typed a letter for prisoner, but she could not remember what it contained.
Walter Petley, auctioneer, of St. Dunstan's Canterbury, stated that he had known prisoner for six or seven years. At the end of May or beginning of June last prisoner wrote asking him to meet him. Witness gave him an appointment and went to the farm at Newnham, but did not see him. On June 7th prisoner asked him to make a valuation of the growing crops and various other things. Witness believed prisoner was tenant of the farm as he said he was selling for someone to take over the farm "all at." On July 24th witness met prisoner re the price of the growing crops. The probable purchaser was Mr. Kensington. On July 27 witness met prisoner and Mr. Kensington at Faversham, and an agreement was come to between them. Witness had prepared an agreement beforehand. They both approved of it and signed it in his presence. Witness saw Mr. Kensington hand prisoner a cheque for £785, but he did not know whether a receipt was given. A further agreement was afterwards made for the sale of six cops and a heifer for £300. Prisoner also sold a number of other things to Mr. Kensington, the total coming to £384 7s 6d. A cheque for that amount was given by Mr. Kensington to prisoner. Witness subsequently received two letters from prisoner asking him not to do anything further till he got the cheques cashed, and that they must see about another farm at an early date. Witness received a letter dated August 4th from Mr. Kensington asking him to send a receipt for the money for the crops as he had nothing to show, but it was nothing to do with witness. Subsequently witness valued things amounting to £451 9s 6d which prisoner sold to Mr. Kensington. On August 19th he visited Iffin Farm with prisoner with respect to hiring, and on the same day he went to Bourne Park to see Mr. Tanner, the agent. On September 7th he met prisoner at Canterbury and made out a labour bill which came to about £120. When he received the agreement from Mr. Tanner for Iffin Farm he sent it on to prisoner for his approval. He believed Mr Tanner first called his attention to the fact that the agreement was signed Robert David Fenner.
Cross examined – He heard Mr. Kensington ask prisoner to look out some horses for him. Prisoner said he was going to Wales and would see what he could do. Afterwards he told witness that he had bought some horses, including the three he sold to Mr. Kensington.
Arthur Marchant, auctioneer Guilton, Ash, said that on February 23rd he sold a black cart mare for prisoner for 120 guineas, and a bay cart mare in foal for 100 guineas. He sent prisoner a cheque for £220. On March 10th he offered two horses for sale for prisoner and sold one for 100 guineas. On March 23rd he offered two more and sold one for 35 guineas.
Cross examined – He remembered now that on March 23rd he sold a van mare for prisoner for 40 guineas and a chestnut mare for 45 guineas.
Percy Walter Cox, assistant secretary to the Kent War Agricultural Committee, said that altogether he issued eight licenses to prisoner for the sale of horses.
Prosecutor, under further examination, said that neither of the signatures on the cheque produced were in his handwriting. He thought one of them was prisoner's handwriting. He had never seen the letter produced before. The signature was not his, nor was it signed with his consent. Witness then deposed to purchasing a number of cows for the farm at Newnham, and said he told prisoner to fill up the cheque for the auctioneers and he signed it. He never authorised prisoner to sell any of the cows. He arranged with prisoner to go to the West of England to buy some horses for the farm, and gave him three blank cheques to use. Prisoner bought four horses which were sent to the farm. Witness never authorised him to sell any of them.
At this point the case was adjourned until Tuesday next. Mr. Sharman intimated that he hoped to finish the case on that occasion.
Mr. Clements said that after he had cross-examined prosecutor Mr. Sharman might find it necessary to call Mrs. Jenkinson.
..... the following week the newspaper carried this short account - Armistice took most of the column inches!
MAGISTRATE REFUSES TO REDUCE BAIL.
Edward Edwin Fenner of Iffin Farm, Thanington, near Canterbury, made another appearance at the Faversham County Police Court on Tuesday [9th November], to answer a series of charges (14 in all) of forgery, feloniously uttering a cheque, unlawfully uttering a letter, stealing mares, cows and other livestock and agricultural machinery, carts, and farming implements, and obtaining orders by false pretences for payment of various sums of money. The prosecutor is Mr. Edward Henry Jenkinson.
After further evidence by the prosecutor and a long cross-examination the Magistrate (Capt. Cheetham) decided to commit the accused for trial on all the charges at the next Assizes.
Mr. G. Clements, prisoners solicitor, who maintained that it was a dispute between two persons and a case for a civil court, applied for the bail to be reduced, but the magistrate declined to alter the amount, and the prisoner was removed in custody.
.........then postponed at the Assizes through ill health of witnesses!
Reported in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 07 December 1918. THE CHARGES AGAINST A CANTERBURY FARMER.
TRIAL POSTPONED TO NEXT ASSIZES
At the Kent Assizes yesterday week the trial of Edward Edwin Fenner, tenant of Iffin Farm, Thanington, Canterbury, on a series of charges of forgery, theft, etc., was postponed to the next Assizes owing to the illness of witnesses. Prisoner was released on a much reduced bail.
.......and conclusion in 1919!
Reported by the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 01 March 1919:
FARMER WHO "SET OUT TO SWINDLE PEOPLE." FORMER TENANT OF A CANTERBURY FARM SENTENCED AT KENT ASSIZES.
Edward Fenner, 50, farmer and horse dealer, formerly of Parsonage Farm, Newnham, near Sittingbourne, and afterwards tenant of Iffin Farm, Thanington, Canterbury, was put on his trial at the Kent Assizes on Friday on the charge of forging a reference in the name of E. A. Jenkinson in an attempt to secure the tenancy of a farm on the Bourne Estate of Lieutenant Colonel Bell, near Canterbury. There were several serious counts in the indictment when the case was first called, but after consultation with the Judge these were not proceeded with.
Mr. C.E. Jones and Mr. Percy Hancock appeared for the prosecution and Mr. Thorn Drury and Mr. Doughty for the defence.
The trial lasted the whole of Friday and the greater part of Saturday. Mr. Thorn Drury's address to the jury on behalf of the prisoner lasted nearly two hours.
The jury, after an hour's deliberation, returned a verdict of guilty.
His Lordship, addressing the prisoner, said his conduct was that of a man who had set out to swindle people by concealing from them his true position. He would have to undergo six months' imprisonment with hard labour.
Reported briefly in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald of 2nd November: "A memorial service for officers and men of the Kent Yeomanry Battalion of The Buffs who have fallen in action will be held on Saturday, November 2nd, at 2.30pm, at All Saints Church, Margate."
Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 02 November 1918 reported: "In every town and district in Kent the influenza epidemic is raging and taking heavy toll of lives. Wherever military are quartered it is spreading alarmingly, and the number of fatal cases is very large. Many have occurred at Canterbury and Dover; in both of which towns there have also been a number of deaths among civilians.
There have been several deaths from influenza at Sittingbourne and Milton, and the doctors have a large number of cases on their hands. The railway staff at Newington is down and an emergency staff from Sittingbourne is running the traffic.
Influenza in the Faversham district has claimed several victims among them Mr. Henry Minter, works manager of Messrs Curtis and Harvey's explosive factory, who passed away on Friday night after a week's illness. He was quite a young man, about 35 years of age, and leaves a widow and two children. Another victim is Miss Marie Jones, a young woman belonging to Wales, who had been an assistant teacher in the Faversham Wesleyan Day School for about a year.
A curious feature about the epidemic – and the same thing has been noted in previous visitations is that it will attack numbers of people in one district and will leave untouched nearly everybody in an adjoining place. For example, in the hamlet of Maypole, near Herne, a tradesman of Canterbury who was doing business there last week, learnt that practically no cases of the disease had occurred up to the date of his visit, but at Broomfield, and adjoining village, it was raging and among the victims were many strong, robust men who had never before had a day's illness in their lives."
Second Lieutenant (TP), Leslie Jack FIELD, Reg. No. not known, att. 8th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment (of Newnham)
Mate, Ernest BLACK, L/8161, Mercantile Marine, H.M.T. "Afternoon" (of Teynham)
Private, Frederick George BOORMAN, 4386B, Ketch "Janet" - Royal Naval Reserve, (of Oare)
During the attack by the British on a thirty mile front between the Sambre and Scheldt on November 4 they defeated no less than 25 German divisions. Le Quesnoy with its entire garrison of over 1,000 men was captured by the British.
On November 5 the enemy was in retreat on the whole battle front. In the haste of his enforced withdrawal the enemy abandoned complete batteries and large quantities of material of every description. The British passed through the Forest of Mormal and reached the general line Barzy-Grand Fayt-Berlaimont-west of Bavai-Rosin-Fresnes. On their right the British captured Cartignies and Marbaix on November 6. In the centre, driving the enemy from his hastily-constructed defences on the east bank of the Sambre, the British crossed the river about Berlaimont and captured leval and Aulnoye, including the important railway junction at Aulnoye. Farther north they crossed the Avesnes-Bavai road east of the Forêt de Mormal, and reached the railway south and west of Bavai, where sharp fighting took place within a short distance of the town. The British cleared the west bank on the Honelle as far north as Angre, where there was stiff fighting throughout the day. In this locality the enemy made a determined resistance and delivered two counter-attacks, which were repulsed. On the left Canadian troops continued their progress east of the Scheldt and captured Baisieux and Quiévrechain.
On November 7 the advance was continued steadily on the whole front south of the Mons-Condé Canal. South of the Sambre the British reached the la Capelle-Maubeuge road and gained the western outskirts of the town of Avesnes. North of the Sambre Bavai was in British possession, and progress was made to the east of the town. On their left the British took Elouges and Hensies, and reached the Condé-Mons Canal, north of the latter village. There was stiff fighting in the evening in the neighbourhood of Eclaires and Limont-Fontaine, south of Hautmont, these villages being finally captured with a number of prisoners.
The British made substantial progress on the front south of the Mons-Condé Canal. On the right they capture Avesnes, and passed the line of the Avesnes-Maubeuge road both north and south of that town. In the centre the British cleared Hautmont, and were approaching the railway west of Maubeuge. On the left they took Malplaquet, Fayt-le-Franc, Dour and Thulin, and were advancing along the Mons-Condé Canal. Farther north, his flank threatened by the British advance on the battle front, the enemy commenced to withdraw south of Tournai. The British captured Condé, and, crossing the Scheldt Canal south of the town of Antoing, took the villages of Laplaigne and Belloy. Since November 1 the British had captured about 18,000 prisoners and several hundred guns.
The fortress of Maubeuge was captured by the Guards and 62nd Divisions. The British made good progress south of that town, and were well east of the Avesnes-Maubeuge road. Between Maubeuge and the Mons-Condé Canal the advance continue, while between the Scheldt and the Antoing Canal the British were pushing forwards towards Peruwelz. North of Tournai they were established on the east bank of the Scheldt about Herinnes and Berchem. On the right the Fourth and Third Armies were advancing on both sides of the Sambre towards the Belgian frontier, meeting with little organised resistance. In the centre the First Army made rapid progress astride the Mons-Conde Canal. South of the Canal the British crossed the Maubeuge-mons railway and were approaching Mons. North of the Mons-Conde Canal the left of the First Army, in conjunction with the right divisions of the Fifth Army, cleared the area between the Scheldt and the Antoing Canal, capturing Peruwelz, and had crossed the Antoing Canal south of that town. On the left, the Fifth and Second Armies gained the east bank of the Scheldt on the whole front. Troops of the Fifth Army took Antoing and Tournai, and made progress to the east of these towns. Farther north the Second Army was approaching Renaix. Faubourg de Bertaimont, on the southern outskirts of Mons, was occupied by the British, who farther north were approaching Leuze and had taken Renaix. South of the Sambre on November 10 the British reached the Franco-Belgian frontier. North of the Sambre their progress was continued against somewhat increased resistance from the enemy's rear-guards. British advanced detachments were pushing forward south-east of Mons, and had reached the line of the Canal west and north-west of that town. On the railways east of Maubeuge great quantities of rolling stock were captured. North of the Mons-Conde Canal the British took Leuze, and their cavalry was approaching the town of Ath. Shortly before dawn on November 11 Canadian troops of the First Army (Gen. Horne) captured Mons. Hostilities were suspended at eleven o'clock. At that hour the British had reached the general line Franco-Belgian frontier east of Avesnes Jeumont-Givry four miles east of Mons-Chievres-Lessines-Grammont.
In the month of October, 1918, the British Forces in France captured over 49,000 German prisoners, including about 1,200 officers. They also took in the same period 925 guns, including many heavy guns, 7,000 machine guns, and some 670 trench mortars. In the area of the enemy's retreat, enormous stocks of ammunition, material, and stores of all kinds fell into their hands, including several locomotives and quantities of rolling stock, many wagons, and a few tanks.
LYNSTED, ALL ABOUT A GUN. At the Faversham County Petty Sessions on Thursday in last week, before Mr. W.W. Berry (in the chair), Brigadier-General P.D. Jeffreys, Captain C.E. Cheetham, Messrs F. Neame, W.R Dixon, E. Chambers, and J. French, John Pilcher, of Lynsted, was summoned for assaulting Herbert Richard Webb, on the 23rd ultimo. Defendant pleaded not guilty. Mr. Arthur Smith, who appeared for complainant, said that the assault really arose over a financial transaction, the amount in dispute being the trifling sum of threepence. Complainant, who lives at Fir Cottage, Lynsted, stated that about 12.30 on October 23rd, he was going to work with a lad named Herbert James, and was carrying a fork and two baskets. On the way he met defendant, who said, "When are you going to pay for that gun!" He had purchased an old gun from defendant for one shilling, but had not paid him. He told defendant he would pay him when he had paid for the wurtzel he had from him. Defendant then said, "I will pay you now," and punched him on the nose causing it to bleed for an hour. He acted in his own defence, and in doing so slipped and sprained his side. As soon as he got up defendant picked up his (witness') fork and took it away with him. In reply to defendant witness denied using a bad expression to him. The lad James corroborated. Picher said complainant hit him first. The Bench fined defendant 10/0 and £1/1/0 costs, and the Chairman told him that he would save more trouble if he gave complainant his fork. Defendant promised to do so. East Kent Gazette of 10th November 1918.
Published in the Army and Navy Gazette of 16th November but widely reported elsewhere. The King received with the utmost gratification the loyal greetings of the vast concourse of people assembled in the Mall on November 11 to celebrate the signing of the armistice. In the course of the day his Majesty received the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the members of the Army Council and the members of the Air Council. On November 12 the King and Queen attended a service of thanksgiving for victory and peace at St. Paul's Cathedral, and on November 13 their Majesties drove through the East End. The King on November 7, at Buckingham Palace, presented the "King George Vth Banner" (to be carried by the Champion Company of the Royal Military College) to a Guard of Honour of Gentlemen Cadets from the Royal Military College. On November 8 his Majesty presided at a Council, and on November 9 the King held an Investiture, when his Majesty decorated some 300 officers and men of the Services.
The following messages were sent on November 11 by the King to the Navy, Army, and Air Force:-
Toe the Right hon. Sir ERIC GEDDES, G.B.E., K.C.B., M.P., First Lord of the Admiralty.
Now that the last and most formidable of our enemies has acknowledged the triumph of the Allied arms on behalf of Right and Justice, I wish to express by praise and thankfulness to the officers, men and women of the Royal Navy and Marines, with their comrades of the Fleet Auxiliaries and Mercantile Marine, who for more than four years have kept open the seas, protected our shores, and given us safety.
Ever since that fateful Fourth of August, 1914, I have remained steadfast in my confidence that, whether fortune frowned or smiled, the Royal Navy would once more prove the sure shield of the British Empire in the hour of trial.
Never in its history has the Royal Navy, with God's help, done greater things for us, nor better sustained its old glorious traditions and the chivalry of the seas.
With full and grateful hearts the peoples of the British Empire salute the White, the Red, and the Blue Ensigns, and those who have given their lives for the Flag.
I am proud to have served in the Navy. I am prouder still to be its head on this memorable day.
(Signed) GEORGE R.I.
THE EMPIRE'S ARMIES.
To the Right Hon. The Viscount MILNER, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., Secretary of State for War.
I desire to express at once through you to all ranks of the Army of the British Empire, Home, Dominion, Colonial, and Indian Troops, my heartfelt pride and gratitude at the brilliant success which has crowned more than four years of effort and endurance.
Germany, our most formidable enemy, who planned the war to gain the supremacy of the world, full of pride in her armed strength and of contempt for the small British Army of that day, has now been forced to acknowledge defeat.
I rejoice that in this achievement the British Forces, now grown from small beginnings to the finest Army in our history, have borne so gallant and distinguished a part.
Soldiers of the British Empire! In France and Belgium the prowess of your arms, as great in retreat as in victory, has won the admiration alike of friend and foe, and has now, by a happy historic fate, enabled you to conclude the campaign by capturing Mon, where your predecessors of 1914 shedd the first British blood. Between that date and this you have traversed a long and weary road; defeat has more than once stared you in the face; your ranks have been thinned again and again by wounds, sickness, and death; but your faith has never known defeat.
With your Allied comrades you have won the day.
Others of you have fought in more distant fields; in the mountains and plains of Italy; in the rugged Balkan ranges; under the burning sun of Palestine, Mesopotamia and Africa; amid the snows of Russia and Siberia; and by the shores of the Dardanelles.
Men of the British race who have share these successes felt in their veins the call of the blood and joined eagerly with the Mother Country in the fight against tyranny and wrong. Equally those of the ancient historic peoples of India and Africa, who have learned to trust the flag of England, hastened to discharge their debt of loyalty to the Crown.
I desire to thank every officer, soldieu, and woman of our Army for service nobly rendered, for sacrifices cheerfully given; and I pray that god, who has been pleased to grant a victorious end t this great crusade for justice and Right, will prosper and bless our efforts in the immediate future to secure for generations to come the hard-won blessings of Freedom and Peace.
(Signed) GEORGE R.I.
To the Right Hon. Lord WEIR, Secretary of State and President of the Air Council:
In this supreme hour of victory I send greetings and heartfelt congratulations to all ranks of the Royal Air Force. Our aircraft have been ever in the fore-front of the battle; pilots and observers have consistently maintained the offensive throughout the ever-changing fortunes of the day, and in the war zones our gallant dead have lain always beyond the enemies' lines or far out to sea. Our far-flung squadrons have flown over home waters and foreign seas, the Western and Italian battle lines, Rhineland, the mountains of Macedonia, Gallipoli, Palestine, the plains of Mesopotamia, the forests and swamps of East Africa and the North-West frontier of Inia and the deserts of Arabia, Sinai and Darfur.
The birth of the Royal Air Force, with its wonderful expansion and development, will ever remain one of the most remarkable achievements of the great war.
Everywhere, by God's help. Officers, men and women of the Royal Air Force have splendidly maintained our just cause, and the value of their assistance to the Navy, the Army and to home defence has been incalculable. For all their magnificent work, self-sacrifice and devotion to duty I ask you on behalf of the Empire to thank them.
(Signed) GEORGE R.I.
A PLEDGE REDEEMED
The King has issued the following message to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Newfoundland:
At the moment when the armistice is signed, bringing, I trust, a final end to the hostilities which have convulsed the whole world for more than four year, I desire to send a message of greeting and heartfelt gratitude to my Overseas peoples, whose wonderful efforts and sacrifices have contributed so greatly to secure the victory which now is won.
Together we have born this tremendous burden in the fight for justice and liberty. Together we can now rejoice at the realisation of those great aims for which we entered the struggle. The whole Empire pledged its word not to sheathe the sword until our end was achieved. That pledge is now redeemed.
The outbreak of war found the whole Empire one. I rejoice to think that the end of the struggle finds the Empire still more closely united by the common resolve held firm through all vicissitudes, by the community of suffering and sacrifice, by the dangers and triumphs shared together.
The hour is one of solemn thanksgiving and of gratitude to God whose Divine Providence has preserved us through all perils and crowned our arms with victory. Let us bear our triumph in the same spirit of fortitude and self-control with which we have borne our dangers.
[Other Notes went out to INDIA, ALLIES, UNITED STATES, BELGIUM, JAPAN, etc]
Private, Charles Robert COLE, 82241, 26th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (of Oare)
Alfred David Jubilee Bodkin was not formally recognised (by Commonwealth War Graves Commission) as a WW1 casualty as he didn't serve in one of the WW1 theatres of war. Nevertheless, his military service was marked locally with full military honours at the discretion of Colonel Shaw, commanding the 3rd Queens (Royal West SSurrey), Gore Court, Sittingbourne.
Reported in the East Kent Gazette of 8th December 1918:
TEYNHAM: MILITARY FUNERAL
An imposing military funeral took place at Teynham on Tuesday afternoon when Alfred David Jubilee Bodkin, aged 31, late of the 1st Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, was buried with full honours. The deceased young man was a son of Mrs H. Haines, of Cellar Hill, Greenstreet, and he had served in the Army for many years, for 14 years he had been abroad, and out of that time 11 years had been spent in India. Unfortunately he contracted tuberculosis, and last April he came home from Peshawar, and in May was discharged from the Army. For four months he was under treatment at the Sanatorium, Keycol Hill, and for the last two months he was nursed at home. Ultimately he died on November 28th. Upon having the facts of the case put before him. Colonel Shaw, commanding the 3rd Queens (Royal West Surrey), Gore Court, Sittingbourne, gave instructions for every respect to be paid to the dead soldier. The band and rums were in attendance, the coffin was conveyed to the churchyard on a gun carriage with a Union Jack for a pall, and a firing party and escort were also in attendance. The passing of the cortege through the village, to the strains of a funeral march, drew everybody out of doors. The Vicar (the Ref. W.A. Purton) conducted the Burial Service, and the churchyard was thronged with people. After the coffin had been lowered to its last resting place the customary three volleys were fired over the grave, the Queen's buglers sounded the "Last Post" thus brining to an end an imposing ceremonial, the like of which had not been seen at Teynham for many years. The beautiful floral tributes came from the Mother, Mr. and Mrs. F. Berry (sister and brother-in-law) (Norwich), Mrs. Marion John (sister), Mr and Mrs A Bodkin (brother and sister-in-law), Mr. A Barling (Lynsted), Mr. O. Twine, Mr and Mrs. P. Dalton (spray), Mr and Mrs Seager (spray), and Mrs Back.