22nd October 1914 (Thursday)

The challenges of modern war…

Managing refugees: On England’s South Coast, a local paper (the Bournemouth Daily Echo) reports on confused accounts of whether requests to take Belgian refugees have been rejected, and by whom. In a typical English fudge, it concludes that while “the Press notices of prohibition on Wednesday did not include Bournemouth among the prohibited towns“, nevertheless the local authority has been informed by central authorities “Much regret the Home Office prohibits your area for refugees.” Under the circumstances, the Local Government Board has instructed that: “while it has no knowledge of any proposal to remove refugees already in Bournemouth, the local committee should not receive more of the refugees.” The paper concludes cryptically: “It may be noted that although the Home Office was communicated with, the reply was received from the Local Government Board”. 


Managing in dark cities: Also in Britain, the “Commercial Motor” magazine comments on “London’s precautionary lowering of lights”:

The accepted descriptive journalistic effort with regard to London’s precautionary lowering of lights is “Cimmerian gloom.” That may describe the condition of affairs satisfactorily, but in our opinion, there is more than gloom as a drawback to this very necessary state of affairs. There is very grave danger to life and limb. Of that, of course, the authorities are well aware. It is a risk that all of us, whether in the combatant forces or civilian life, in these days of culture, have to run. It is not necessary, however, to neglect precautions to minimize the risks arising from the new conditions.”


Waiting:  Soldier William Hayman is in Northern France:

Merville. Thurs.22nd.Oct.1914.Waiting here today. Our railhead is at St.Venant about 8 KM from here. Many French Cavalry here.Reinforcements are arriving. The Indian Corps (From Marseille on Sept.30th.). Nos Coys. Indian Sappers & Miners. Sikhs and Gurkhas – little thin legged dark skinned men. They are very small but carry wicked looking knives. They look cold and out of place”.