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Centenary of The Great War

Extracts from The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate for February 14-20,1916.
Nanjing Night Net

FOR EMPIRE: Soldiers at Wagga Wagga Showground as part of the “Win the War League Day” – one of the many patriotic days designed to support the Australian war effort. Photo: The Digger’s View. WW1 in Colour by Juan Mahony. Visit thediggersview南京夜网419论坛.

INSPECTION OFCAMPSColonel Ramaciotti, State Commandant, is greatly pleased with the result of his inspection of the camps at Newcastle, Armidale, and West Maitland. He said yesterday that he was particularly gratified with the great interest in the welfare and training of the men taken not only by the local authorities, but also by the citizens generally. If some timber was wanted in one of the camps someone would make a present of it. If a lot of bricks were wanted they were sent in free. If it was a question of water supply the local authority made it available without charging for it. Right through a fine public spirit was shown. The discipline too was really excellent. Illustrative of that fact he mentioned particularly an incident that occurred during his visit to the Armidale camp. Just across the road from the camp a race meeting for charitable purposes was being held. When the men had completed their afternoon drill the Commandant permitted them to march over into the race course. The men were allowed to break off and enjoy themselves freely watching the last two races. At the conclusion of the racing the bugle sounded the fall-in, and a remarkable sight was then witnessed. From all quarters of the course men in khaki sprang forward, and ignoring obstacles made a straight line for the place at which they were expected to fall in. The Commandant and the president of the club were in the grandstand, and the latter, seeing the men clambering over the barbed-wire fences separating different portions of the course, exclaimed, “That’s fine! But what about my barbed wire?” “H’m,” said the Colonel, “but what about my khaki uniforms?” In seven minutes the whole battalion had fallen in and was marching off the ground, headed by the local band. Not one man was missing. Commenting upon the incident Colonel Ramaciotti said “It was a very severe test of discipline, and the men deserve every credit for going through it successfully, and it may be mentioned that no portion of the course was put out of bounds.”

APPEAL FOR FIELD GLASSESSenator Pearce, the Minister for Defence, has expressed appreciation of the response made to the recent appeal in the various States for held glasses for the use of the troops.In the case of New South Wales this was particularly gratifying, over 1000 field glasses, valued by an expert at more than £5000, being received. It has been decided to close the appeal in that State.

NEWCASTLE STEEL TOOLSAn interesting feature of the development of Australian industries, particularly arising out of the war, is seen in a recent contract placed by the Defence Department.A well-known local manufacturer received an order for a large quantity of entrenching tools, and in lieu of the usual imported steel he obtained steel produced at the Broken Hill Proprietary Company’s works at Newcastle, and is now making what is probably the first article of military equipment, apart from shell bodies, manufactured entirely from Australian raw material.

THE SOLDIERS’ RIOTAll throughout ‘the Commonwealth today a feeling of shame will have been created by the disgraceful rioting in Liverpool and Sydney by men who wear a uniform of which Australia has grown to be highly proud. It stands for the highest form of courage. The world over Australian soldiers have won a reputation for their bravery. And that those now in training to support or relieve their comrades at the front should resort to insubordination, should pillage and rob in mobs, and place the chief city of Australia almost in a state of siege, would seem to be incredible. The shame lies in the fact that at such a time as this soldiers should so far forget the necessities of the Empire as to commit outrages of this kind. The German newspapers will no doubt make joyful reading of it. It is probably already being circulated with glee, and perhaps being added to slightly for the sake of effect. In Britain, however, while the news will be read with pain, it will not be believed that the misdemeanours of Australian soldiers will be attributed to any sinister cause. It is probable that today hundreds of the soldiers who raided Liverpool and Sydney streets are repentant and ashamed. Many of them were no doubt led away. The death of the young soldier should be felt as a crime committed by those who fostered and incited the lawlessness. The authorities will know how to deal with those of the ringleaders whom they may be able to single out. Australia does not want nor need in her armies men of this type. They will be cast out of the camps, and allowed to return to their homes with the feeling that all well-meaning Australians hold them in abhorrence. To the rest, those who regret their share in the riots and who are willing to make amends, a spirit of forgiveness will be extended. But it is apparent that the discipline of the camps must be made more rigid. This may prove a hardship to the better class of young men, but they will be prepared to accept it as necessary in the interest of the service.

MUNITION PRODUCTIONSir Gerald Strickland, the State Governor, yesterday visited the Broken Hill Proprietary Company’s steel works at Port Waratah, and the State Government works at Walsh Island, chiefly to view the operations in munition making. The visit was essentially of a private character, though an official aspect was imparted by the party that accompanied his Excellency. They were escorted through the steel works by Mr. D. Baker, manager, and Mr. J. M’Meekin, constructional engineer, and for upwards of an hour were shown the many processes in operation there. Particular interest centred in the production of steel rails and munition steel, though the former was the only one of the two in operation, and the ease with which huge masses of steel were handled, and in a few minutes turned into rails, was a liberal education. From each ingot of steel, six rails, 30ft long, are produced with wonderful rapidity.

After luncheon Walsh Island was visited. There munition production was seen in reality. The steel works produce the steel, but Walsh Island converts it into munitions. The making of shell bodies is the chief industry in this connection. At present 36 machines are engaged on the work. It was at the start strange to the workmen, but they have now “got into stride,” as it were, and with increasing proficiency the output is becoming greater. Upwards of fourteen thousand shells are at present going through various processes – and without visual demonstration it is difficult to realise the number of processes, manty of them of a delicate nature, these instruments of destruction have to go through. Over two thousand have been completed ready for the final copper band, and their completion is hung up because the hands are not yet available. Twenty four more machines are on the water, and, Mr. Holman stated yesterday, that when these were in operation, and working three shifts they hoped to turn out at shell a minute – or 1440 every 24 hours.

Apropos of munitions, two working models of quick-firing machine guns, one the invention of Mr. Lounder, and the other the joint invention of Mr. Cutler and of Mr. Goldsmith, chief draughtsman, and of a torpedo invented by Mr. F. Jones, of the Military Instructional Staff, were inspected. They all possess special features, though as yet, whilst well advanced, none of the models has reached the satisfactory operating stage. Mr. Lounder’s gun has been designed to carry 600 rounds of ammunition; that of Messrs. Cutler and Goldsmith to carry 300 rounds.

Enlistments for the weekAlbert George Armstrong, Farley; William Albert (Herbert) Baldwin, Dungog; Keith Mansfield Bangle, Singleton; Henry Barrett, Cessnock; Charles James Berry, Tuncurry; William Alexander Bisson, East Newcastle; Carl Bjorkdahl, Murrurundi; William Bourke, Elderslie; Thomas William Brown, Sparkes Creek; William Henry Burt, Martins Creek; Percy Cyril Bush, Denman; Barry Brookwell Butler, Paterson; Phillip Esmond Calley, Stockton; Albert Corkett, Cessnock; Benjamin Cotton, Branxton; Jim Crabtree, Bellbird; Adrian Croese, Mayfield; Adolphus Harrington Crouch, Lower Belford; Arthur William Dodd, Cooks Hill; Gwilyn Evans, Stanford Merthyr; Frederick Everitt, Pelaw Main; Paul Finn, West Maitland; Arthur Wren Flanders, Muswellbrook; Leslie Gordon Gallimore, Denman; William John Gamble, Muscle Creek; Patrick Gillan, Cessnock; Sydney Francis Gilmore, Kurri Kurri; Reginald James Hackett, Horseshoe Bend; George Edwin Handsaker, Heaton; Edward Harold Harris, Singleton; William Leslie Harris, Singleton; Aubyn Sydney Harrison, Cessnock; William Charles Hatcher, Branxton; Hugh John Hillen, Merriwa; Arthur Cecil Holstein, Wards River; Robert Russell Holt, Broadmeadow; Thomas Stanley Hooker, Singleton; John James Hooper, Kurri Kurri; Samuel Hoyle, Newcastle; Albert Ernest Hunt, Aberdeen; Charles Herbert Hunt, Merriwa; Joseph Thomas Jenkins, Adamstown; John Thomas Johnson, Abermain; William King, Holmesville; Frank Lawther, Telarah; William James Layton, New Lambton; Wilfred James Leake, Gresford; Herbert William Leggett, Kurri Kurri; Samuel Leggett, Kurri Kurri; James Loos, Upper Rouchel; Albert George Madden, Singleton; Neils William Magnusson, Singleton; William Marshall, Newcastle; James Mason, Newcastle; Karl Maynard Matthews, Cessnock; John Thomas McDermott, Cessnock; Allan John McElroy, Muswellbrook; John McVicars, Wallsend; Herbert Mellors, Greta; Arthur Merrilees, Morpeth;Robert Munro, Bulga; Charles Arnold Murray, Newcastle; John William Myers, Brookstown; Claude Leslie Neasbey, Aberdeen; Charles Walter Nicholls, Newcastle; William Poore, Newcastle; Rex Reynolds, Gresford; Joseph Richardson, Pitt Town; John Robertson, Telegherry; Joseph Robinson, Anna Bay; William Percival Ross, Pelaw Main; John Rutherford, Awaba; Charles Coleman Schrader, Cooks Hill; John Giles Selway, Wallsend; John Patrick Sheerin, Newcastle; Albert Skillicorn, Greta;Hugh Spence, Bulahdelah; Kenneth McKenzie Spinney, Bishops Bridge; Stanley Armstrong Staton, Newcastle; William Stevenson, Greta; Ross Hill Terras, West Maitland; Charles John Thompson, Campbells Hill; Robert William Waddingham, Catherine Hill Bay; Oswald Victor Walker, Rutherford; McDonald Wallace Wilkins, Waratah; Septimus Walter Woodland, Cessnock; Arthur David Yardy, Gloucester.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter Valley-based military historian. Follow David’s research at facebook南京夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

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