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The Daily Colonist, May 4–10, 1915

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#dailycolonist1915 - The news out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago:

[News from Ypres continues to dominate the news this week, with Gallipoli taking second seat until another huge milestone of the war, the sinking of the R.M.S. Lusitania, takes place on the 7th, with the news reaching Victoria on the 8th. It seems the endless grim lists of casualties punctuated by the sinking of the Lusitania is too much for some, and anti-German riots break out in Victoria.] 

  • Tuesday, May 4, 1915
    • The casualty list from the German gas attack at Ypres continues to grow. Four whole columns on the front page to list names added today, and the list includes many British Columbians.
    • Germans make new gas attacks near Ypres.
    • It appears that the battle in Gallipoli is going well for British forces
    • Interesting local news from Victoria. Burglars use nitro-glycerine to blow open the safe at Finch & Finch [a clothing store whose beautiful ads I have featured several times] and make off with the cash within.
    • In order to compete with a decline in ridership due to unlicensed private taxis and buses, the B.C. Electric Railway Company [precursor to B.C. Transit & Translink] decides to lower fares to attract more riders rather than reduce staff and services. An article explains the experiment [seemingly completely forgotten by Translink today] and a large half-page ad announces the new fares.
    • Unemployed enemy aliens in Victoria are to be sent off the concentration camp in Vernon.
  • Wednesday, May 5, 1915
    • More than half of the front page is devoted to new names on the growing list of casualties from Ypres.
    • British budget release. Expenses for a full year of war in 1915 are expected to reach the equivalent of $5 billion Canadian dollars (£1,000,000,000 pounds) [that's approximately $10-trillion in today's dollars.]
    • While fighting is fierce, Australian and New Zealand troops are reported to be making "steady headway" in Gallipoli. 
    • Public schools in Victoria are making preparations for the celebration of Empire Day [Victoria Day].
  • Thursday, May 6, 1915
    • Another three columns of the front page go to listing additional casualties from Ypres.
    • Fighting continues in Gallipoli.
    • King George V requests that there be no special celebration of his birthday this year other than the flying of flags.
    • Germans continue to use gas attacks, but they are now less effective.
    • Allied forces consider using gas attacks in retaliation. French are reported to already have effective delivery methods for gas attacks. (Earlier in the war it was reported that the French had a gas called "Turpinite" that killed so quickly that the dead were left standing, still holding their rifles.)
    • Another ½-page ad for the new reduced tram fares. This will run again on Friday as well.
  • Friday, May 7, 1915
    • Still another three columns of the front page for addional Ypres casualties. 
    • An article praising the "Gallant Troops From Antipodes" as Australian and New Zealand troops continue fighting in Gallipoli. This article has some detailed accounts of the battle.
  • Saturday, May 8, 1915
    • The front page is completely about a German submarine sinking the R.M.S. Lusitania. "Pirates Take Lives of 1,500", "Submarine Gets Over 1,400 Victims". There is a large picture of the Lusitania. 
    • Three columns of new casualties from Ypres are pushed to the second page by the news of the Lusitania.
  • Sunday, May 9, 1915
    • The front page is completely about the sinking of the Lusitania again. There are pictures of local people who were on board. The death toll is tallied at 1,256 total. 
    • An anti-German riot breaks out in Victoria. The Blanchard Hotel, until recently anmed Kaiserhof Hotel, owned by a man born in Germany but now a naturalized British citizen, is heavily damaged. Rioters demand a Union Jack be hung in the hotel bar, and soldiers climb to the roof and hand Union Jacks from the building's flag staffs. A German social club (closed since the beginning of the war) and the former home of the German consul (who was recalled just before the war) are also targetted. Soldiers are called out from Willows camp to help the police quell the riot.
    • Germans claim the sinking of the Lusitania is justified by the ship being armed and carrying munitions. Britain tersely denied the accusation.
    • Another column and a half of casualties from Ypres, relegated to the third page by the Lusitania and the riots. 
  • Monday, May 10, 1915
    • [no paper on Mondays]

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