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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

On this day 6th March 1916 | Derbyshire Territorials in the Great War

6.3.1916 BEAUVAL: Battn moved into billets at IVERGNY.

6.3.1916 IVERGNY: Lt V.T.G. Hore rejoined from Transport Course at HAVRE.

https://derbyshireterritorials.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/on-this-day-6th-march-1916/
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Card from May Fay to James Finn, 6 March 1916 (Finn Family Collection)

http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/diyhistory/items/show/658
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

6 MARCH, 1916: ABLE BAKER

There’s an argument, and I’ve mentioned it before, that says the Great War’s most world-historically significant effect was the USA’s transformation from isolationist on the geopolitical sidelines to world policeman. It’s only an argument – events in the Middle East, Russia and either side of the Rhine would have to come into the debate – but given that the US has been the world’s preeminent military, economic and cultural power ever since, it’s not a bad one.

The full story of why and how Uncle Sam became the Great Satan is a long, complex and fascinating tranche of history that has no business here – but we can try for a snapshot of the environment in which the modern, globally responsible USA was born. That’s my excuse for a look at President Wilson’s surprise appointment, on 6 March 1916, of confirmed pacifist Newton Baker as Secretary of State for War.

Pacifism in high office was hardly new in the USA. Refusal to get involved in foreign wars was one of the nation’s fundamental founding principles, and was still taken very seriously by the American public and political establishment at the start of the twentieth century. But the nation’s rapid economic growth had by then convinced a growing minority, generally but not always allied to businesses with big trade plans, that the principle was outdated, a denial of the USA’s manifest economic destiny and ripe for the breaking.

It had already been broken for self-interested purposes, amid heated and controversial public debate, when the US invaded the Philippines in 1898, and the same desire to protect and expand overseas markets (along with a clear-eyed recognition that war was pretty good for business at home) lay behind an influential lobby for direct involvement once European war erupted in 1914.

At that point the ‘interventionist’ lobby stood no chance. Public opinion was solidly pacifist, as were Wilson and his allies on the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which enjoyed a comfortable majority in Congress – but during the next eighteen months the situation changed.

For one thing the Central Powers lost the propaganda war hands down. German diplomatic clumsiness, the expedient killing of civilians (especially American civilians) by German submarines and a series of economic sabotage attempts by German agents were all manna from Heaven to a largely anti-German US press, much of it in the same hands as those who, if not necessarily in favour of war per se, were doing stupendously well of trading with the Entente powers. Long before the end of 1915 the Central Powers, and Germany in particular, were accepted in the US as to blame for the war and as dangerous representatives of the old, imperialist ways the nation had been founded to oppose.

Alongside business acumen and sentiment, both important elements in the US political psyche, national strategic interest eroded pacifism at the top as the War progressed. Supplying wartime Entente needs, a bias forced by Britain’s naval blockade of trade with the Central Powers, had created a massive economic boom in the US. This helped Americans feel good about the Entente and, crucially, increased the country’s stake in the wider world. With so much more in the way overseas markets and bases to protect in future, the US now needed a say in how the post-War world looked. Wilson and his administration couldn’t fail to see that only participation in the War would guarantee influence at the peace table.

Wilson – a natural pacifist, representing a party that stood for pacifism against the perceived economic imperialism of the Republicans – responded to the changing tide reluctantly and cautiously. In September 1915 he announced his support for ‘limited preparedness’ for the possibility of war, and December’s National Defense Act permitted limited expansion of the US Army, Navy and merchant marine, but these half-measures failed to satisfy either side of a polarising debate.

Republicans, led by the redoubtably interventionist Henry Cabot Lodge, demanded much greater increases in US military spending, while the liberal wing of the Democrats – the main source of Wilson’s personal support – maintained the absolute commitment to peace reflected in the party’s official line. To add spice to the president’s discomfort, some of his own administration wanted much faster military expansion than planned in the legislation, and Secretary of War Lindley Garrison resigned over the issue in February 1916.

This was an election year in the US, so Wilson needed the support of liberals for his personal campaign as much as he needed their cooperation in Congress. Expected to appoint a military specialist as Garrison’s replacement, he chose Cleveland mayor Newton Baker, a long-time supporter who had twice turned down the job of Secretary for the Interior since 1912. A pacifist with impeccable liberal credentials, Baker’s pragmatic personality was acceptable to many Republicans and he was completely free of any prior connection to military matters. Usefully, because the US War Department still administered the Philippines, he was also a very capable lawyer.

Baker proved a quick study and an adroit choice. Almost his first duty in office was to order a punitive expedition into troubled Mexico, and he went on to supervise a steady, balanced build-up of US military resources during the next year of peace. Best of all from Wilson’s perspective, he took the blame. While Baker and Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels, another diehard liberal pacifist given military responsibility, bore the brunt of criticism from both sides, Wilson could get on with running his re-election campaign.

Narrowly re-elected in November on the party’s official slogan – ‘He Has Kept Us Out Of The War’ – and with Democrats guaranteed continued control of Congress until elections in early 1917, Wilson pursued the only possible alternative to entering the War – peace. He issued a ‘Peace Note’ to the belligerent nations in December 1916, in a largely ignored attempt to achieve what he called ‘peace without victory’, and was still pushing that line publicly as late as January 1917, by which time Berlin’s all-in gamble on unrestricted submarine warfare and a crescendo of popular hostility to Germany had made US intervention all but inevitable.

We’ll get to that big moment when it arrives, but for now my point is that a hundred years ago, when President Wilson put a pacifist in charge of war, the USA’s future as a major player on the world stage was still a matter of considerable doubt. A year later it wasn’t, and now we all have MTV.

http://poppycockww1.com/united-states/6-march-1916-able-baker/
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

'The Wipers Times', No. 3, Vol 1, Monday 6 March 1916

'The Wipers Times' was a First World War (1914-1918) satirical trench publication. It was established in February 1916 by Captain Fred Roberts and Lieutenant Jack Pearson of 12th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment).

Amidst the ruins of the heavily shelled city of Ypres (called 'Wipers' by the soldiers) they found a damaged but serviceable printing press. A sergeant in the regiment, who was a printer in civilian life, was able to get it working and from it they produced 100 copies of the paper.

As the 12th Sherwood Foresters were moved around at the front, so the title of the newspaper changed too - being at various stages 'The Wipers Times', 'The "New Church" Times', 'The Kemmel Times', 'The Somme Times', 'The BEF Times' and finally 'The Better Times'.

Online te lezen... https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?acc=2007-03-17-1
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

ON THIS DATE IN THEIR OWN WORDS: ANASTASIA ROMANOV AND ALEXEI ROMANOV – 6 MARCH, 1916.

1916 letter from Anastasia Romanov to Nicholas II: 6 March. Well I greet you with a good morning. We already went to church and had breakfast with Isa too. And now Von Nerik, a commander from my regiment was here to [see] me. His face is most simple, not very German as a face. He said that the regiment is stationed in the same spot, and right now he is in reserves only for 12 days, and then they will sit in the trenches for 12 days, but still every day about 10 or more lower ranks are wounded, but very few officers, so all is well. We will now go to the Grand Palace, this is not fun, and they will go riding, and then to Anya’s, and a magician will be there, a very good one I think. Well I must go get dressed. I give you an awfully huge kiss. Regards to all yours. Your loving loyal and faithful Kaspiyitz. May God keep you. Sleep well.

From 1916 diary of Alexei Romanov: 6 March. Got up early. Took a walk. Had breakfast with Mama, O., T., M. and A. Took a walk in the afternoon. Went to obednya. Had dinner at Mama’s. Went to Anya’s infirmary, a magician was there. Had dinner at 6 o’cl. Went to bed early.

http://www.theromanovfamily.com/on-this-date-in-their-own-words-alexei-romanov-6-march-1916/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

6th March 1915 - Worcestershire WW1
Information researched by Sue Redding

1st Batt: Relieved 2nd Northamptons in trenches at 9pm. Very quiet, great number of working parties and officers of 7th Division visiting trenches;

2nd Batt: In billets at Annequin. Whole of ‘D’ Coy in Cuinchy supporting point. Battalion relieved the 2nd HLI in the trenches at Cuinchy at 6pm. Bursts of Artillery and rifle fire at 4pm, 11pm and 1am to assist the trench on our right in an attack. ‘A’ and ‘B’ Coys in front line, ‘C’ and ‘D’ supporting. Very heavy sniping;

3rd Batt: In billets at Locre ;

13th Gloucesters at Malvern: Men billeted in Malvern Link district are to be transferred to quarters nearer the College Football Ground:

City Police Court: John Moses Jones, Licensed victualler, of the Lamp Tavern, Tybridge Street, was fined 2s 6d for being the owner of a sow and nine pigs found straying in the Bull Ring. P.C. Mason proved the case;

Ill-Treatment of Horse: John Higgs (61), coal dealer of 6, Little Fish Street, was charged with ill-treating a horse by working it in an unfit state. P.C. Corbett gave evidence. Prisoner said the horse suddenly became lame, but was all right when he took it out. The magistrates went outside and examined the horse. Prisoner was fined 5s. and costs, 4s 6d;

Alleged theft of stamps: Mrs Eliza Richards (53), Blockhouse Street, Foundry Street, was charged with stealing from a table at the office at 16, Silver Street, six penny stamps. Prisoner had been engaged for some little time as charwoman at the Territorial HQ at Silver Street. Recently stamps had been missing, and some were marked. Six of these were missed, and ultimately found in Mrs. Richards’ purse. There had been no time to make full enquiries respecting the purse. The case was adjourned until Saturday

http://www.ww1worcestershire.co.uk/key-dates/1915/03/attacks-renewed-at-cuinchy/
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Postcard from Margaret Ripley to her mother, sent 6 March 1915

Sent by a nurse, Margaret Ripley, to her mother back in England. As far as I can tell (corrections and additions welcome) this reads: "Safelt arrived. Very comfortable house. Sitting room, 3 bed rooms & kitchen & soldier to do cooking & waiting, women does rooms. So nice to have a sitting room & quiet meals all here. Hospital just teh same dirt. 1 working with French women the other 2[?] in building separate. Letters very delayed here. Sister White has been in & had supper with us hope she got back safe in dark. We are some way out of [??] address Hospital Temporairedes Echoles[?] Malo Dunkerque"

Bekijk de kaart op https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Postcard_from_Margaret_Ripley_to_her_mother,_sent_6_March_1915_(6267150157).jpg
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

LUSITANIA, 1907-1914, New York City: view of bow with tugs, 6 March 1914

Mooie foto! https://www.loc.gov/item/2002721377/
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 14:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Letter from Vanessa Bell to Duncan Grant [6 March 1914]

Letter from Vanessa Bell, 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London, to Duncan Grant, Paris, who is recovering from flu while working for Jacques Copeau at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier. She describes her current work - a pavement mosaic for Lady Jean Hamilton, reworking a stained glass design for the same patron that was rejected in favour of Roger Fry's; and a screen. Fry is pessimistic about the Omega Workshops' lack of success and the possible bankruptcy of its backer Hagop Kevorkian. She describes a visit with Clive to Annie and Leonard Raven-Hill, which concluded with their hostess using the chamber pot in Vanessa's presence, a scene she illustrates using her children's coloured chalks. She tells of an exchange of gifts with Simon Bussy, and Ottoline Morrel's attempt to heal their three-year rift, and proposes a picture-buying subscription club. Also mentions Paul Cézanne, Henry Lamb, Margery Snowden, and Lytton Strachey.

Te lezen op http://www.tate.org.uk/art/archive/items/tga-20078-1-44-21/letter-from-vanessa-bell-to-duncan-grant
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Mrt 2018 15:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

THE LIMITS OF PRESS POWER. » 6 Mar 1920 » The Spectator Archive

THE LIMITS OF PRESS POWER.

WE have noticed elsewhere an able and interesting book by Mr. Kennedy Jones entitled Fleet Street and Downing Street. There is much sound sense in it, comp- 481 of experience and mother-wit. It is good read- ing, bLt it is never flashy. Mr. Kennedy Jones describes the relations between Downing Street and Fleet Street as a struggle for supremacy. The incidental co,-operation between Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe during the war collapsed, and the old struggle came more to the surface than ever before. Although Mr. Kennedy Jones inscribes his book to the. Prime Minister and Lord North- cliffe, he speaks of them both with impartial candour. Thus he says that when the feud between Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe had become an open one, the Northcliffe papers " subjected day by day the Coalition Government to criticism, often unfair, always detailed and meticulous, and at times even ill-natured.. Those who watch this duel between Fleet Street and Downing Street—seeing stunt after stunt arise in the one street only to be demolished in the other—ask the questions that stand at the head of this prologue." The questions to which Mr. Kennedy Jones refers are : " To what degree is the Press a political power ? Is it a political power at all ? " As Mr. Kennedy Jones was Lord Northcliffe's faithful collaborator for eighteen years, and Lord Northcliffe has assumed more confidently than any one ever did before that the Press is a political power which can make and unmake Govern- ments, Mr. Kennedy Jones's comments are enlightening. In considering the struggle for power between Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe we cannot help calling to mind an article which we published on May 31st, 1919. Our light-hearted contributor described a dream in which he saw Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe meeting at a banquet held in their honour. Though Lord Northcliffe proposed the health of the Prime Minister, he refrained with great ability from making any further reference to Mr. Lloyd George and though Mr. Lloyd George proposed the health of Lord Northcliffe, he managed with an almost equal ability to refrain from mentioning Lord Northcliffe till the closing words of his speech. But the point in the article which is most appropriate now is that Mr. Kennedy Jones, who took the chair at the banquet, called attention to the unlimited opportunities for co-operation between Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe. Let us quote : " As the illustrious inventor of ' Puffing Billy ' had said, ' Wherever there was room for competition there was room for combination.' " The dream figure of Mr. Kennedy Jones then gave one example of possible co-operation. Suppose that a supply of exciting ' copy ' should ever fall short—which he for one hoped and believed it never would —Mr. Lloyd George could provide it in practically inex- haustible quantities. Such a partnership as he had just described should go far." Tiffs there might be, but he pledged himself to that distinguished assembly that tiffs " would always be followed by reconciliations." We wonder. Perhaps in this candid book Mr. Kennedy Jones is clearing the ground for a new reconciliation between Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe, by telling both indifferently the truth about themselves. Our contributor of last year might almost have foreseen the publication of this book. Mr. Kennedy Jones, describing in his book the relations of Downing Street and Fleet Street, points out how the one can put the other under an obligation. The Minister can try to make the journalist compliant by feeding him with information. But the journalist who respects himself and his occupation will be very wary of entering into any such contract. He feels very much as Delane felt when somebody offered him some important information in confidence. Delane held up his hand deprecatingly, mid exclaimed : " For goodness' sake don't tell me any secrets. If you do I shall be in honour bound not to make any use of them. But if you don't I shall probably hear of them in any case." On the whole, Mr. Kennedy Jones is of opinion that the power attributed to the Press is greatly exaggerated, and he certainly ought to know the truth as regards the group of papers which have made an un- precedentedly high bid for power. In the House of Com- mons he has been astonished at " the curious miscon- ceptions that prevail " about the position of newspapers in relation to public affairs. A leading article, he remarks, appears in a daily paper ; the facts have -been carefully chosen, the argument is convincingly worked out, and on the morrow there is " consternation in Downing Street " and considerable speculation at Westminster. As the appearance of this article was unexpected, it is hailed as " a presage of a new policy which is to he strenuously exploited." But as a matter of fact all that has happened is that a busy editor, perplexed, owing to the dullness of the day's news, about what to choose for the subject of a leading article, allowed his " leader "-writer to write upon some subsidiary question about which the writer happened to plume himself on his special knowledge ! Both editor and " leader "-writer have laughed over and over again that a chance article put in for want of a more pressing subject should have been taken as the first unfolding of a Machiavellian conspiracy.
As a matter of fact, when the popular Press does unmask its guns to attack Government or Minister, the onslaught is generally unmistakable. In this case, writes Mr. Kennedy Jones, " there will be a skilled presentation of selected facts, strengthened by an appeal to popular prejudice. Parliament men will be fluttered like a lot of hens by a hawk, but. if the arguments be fairly and instantly met, the bottom falls out of them, and the newspaper conspiracy is scotched at the beginning." All that is perfectly true. Consider the case of Mr. Asquith when he fell from power in 1918. His downfall was attributed to the Times. Mr. Kennedy Jones remarks that the Times might have done Its worst, and every daily paper in the land might have thundered its loudest against Mr. Asquith, and Mr. Asquith would yet have remained secure, had there not been other causes for his downfall. Mr. Kennedy Jones finds these causes in the " multitudinous letters from the front," and the stories of inefficiency and unpreparedness told daily in thousands of war hospitals and so on. Whether we agree with Mr. Kennedy Jones about that or not, Mr. Asquith made the extraordinary mistake, as we think, of declaring that it would be impossible for him to carry on if the kind of thing that was being said about him in the Times was to continue. No doubt he meant to indicate not so much the fulminations of the Times as the fact that the combustible materials were made up of Cabinet secrets which had been improperly circulated. Nevertheless Mr. Asquith did make a mistake, and a bad one, in even appearing to be afraid of a newspaper. If a Minister has a defence against a newspaper attack, he should state it plainly at the earliest possible moment. If he is in the right, the nation will stand by him. It is quite impossible for a newspaper to disparage the character of a consistent and high-minded man. It is just as impossible for a news- paper to make a popular hero in the long run out of a states- man who is of easy political virtue, irresponsible, or, worse still, corrupt.
A striking example which Mr. Kenndy Jones cites of the inability of the Press to overawe the public. even though to all appearances it may have " got the public cold," was the failure of the majority of the Press to force Tariff Reform. As he says, eighty per cent, of the London news- papers and the majority of country papers were in favour of Tariff Reform. Yet Mr. Chamberlain's proposals were overwhelmingly rejected by the nation in January, 1908. There was indeed a landslide. The Unioniit Party, which notoriously stood largely for Tariff Reform, went to the polls 370 strong and returned with only 158 Members. We should be sorry to seem to underrate the power of the Press. We think that it has very great power indeed, and we could not take very much interest in our work if we did not believe that. But it is significant and really important to hear from a man with the experience of Mr. Kennedy Jones that this power has been falsely analysed. " At the time at which I am writing," he says, " it had been proved beyond question that the Press had lost its political power by allowing its opinions to be openly inspired, guided,• or biassed by Downing Street. With a wide franchise and popular education the value of the daily paper as a political platform had ceased, and it became more and more evident that such power as the daily Press aspired to could only be derived from an accurate reflection of the public mind." The last few words please us less than the rest. Perhaps Mr. Kennedy Jones says more than he means. It is no business of a newspaper to keep its ear to the ground. It is a poor ambition to try to reflect public opinion, though of course public opinion is often enough extremely discriminating, and the wise editor may be wisest when he shares it. But mere reflection of public opinion because it is popular opinion is not a right ambition. The true function of the journalist is to act as a watchdog and to warn. He must also of course inspire and try to lead public opinion up the slopes and away from the level plain on which it is too often content to stagnate. What he must never do is to try to govern. The real explanation of the miscarriage of many of Lord Northcliffe's political schemes during the war, a miscarriage so faithfully recorded by Mr. Kennedy Jones, was that he exceeded his office. Perhaps the most common temptation to which the jour- nalist is subjected is to present facts in such a way as to observe the letter but kill the spirit. Facts presented with prejudice or wrongly emphasized by passion are no better than figments. Another common defect of the Press, minor perhaps but still often lamentable in its effects, is the irre- sponsibility of some of the most popular papers. Triviality is almost a worse fault than sensationalism, for sensa- tionalism will cure itself as the public understanding improves, but triviality is much more difficult to cure. Even fairly well-educated people frequently fail in discrimi- nation and taste, and the journalist who honours his pro- fession should not in this matter wait upon the tardy correcting influence of State education.

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/6th-march-1920/5/the-limits-of-press-power
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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