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The Daily Colonist

News from a century ago as presented in the Victoria Daily Colonist newspaper.

The Daily Colonist, December 5, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• Photo and biographical essay on the new Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Mr. Frank S. Barnard, long-time resident of Victoria.
• Price of Wales [future King Edward VIII, famous for abdicating the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson] lauded for active service near the front.
• After failing to instigate popular revolt against the British administration in Egypt, Germany is now said to be trying to organize a Turkish invasion of Egypt.
• King George V extends his visit to the front lines.
• The federal government, prompted by letters from B.C. Premier, agrees that it is the responisibility of the federal government to provide for enemy aliens unable to work or leave the country.
• And indignant editorial in the "Women's Realm" section on the lack of enthusiasm in Victoria for cleaning up and cultivating vacant lots...

The Daily Colonist, December 4, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today.

• King George V visits the front, walks in trenches with front-line soldiers.
Italy has announced that they are definitely, for-sure, not doing anything until they decide otherwise, if they feel like it.
• Men in funny hats have called for January 3rd to be a national day of asking for humbly asking their Imaginary Friend to help us and not the other guy. King takes issue with antiquated use of the word "humiliation".
• Dutch soldiers shoot Belgian refugees, killing six and wounding nine, when Belgians riot over concentration camp conditions.
• 42 "undesirables" returned to Canada from camp on Salisbury Plain. "Undesirables" include the physically unfit and unnaturalised immigrants.
• Ad for CCM "Automobile Skates"...
• Ad for "Important Sale of Ladies' Ostrich Feather Boas and Ruffles"...

The Daily Colonist, December 3, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• On the eastern front, the Austrian army takes Belgrade, capital of Servia [Serbia] (remember how this war started...)
• Dispatches from Russia have the Germans in retreat again, although a Russian General that failed to make his objective was been relieved of duty.
• Italy might soon, maybe, announce what they think they might do later, if everyone agrees.
• Germans are expected to stubbornly keep doing the same thing they've been trying to do for months...
• General de Wet, leader of the Boer rebellion in South Africa, is captured, probably ending the rebellion that has been previously announced as probably over several times in the past few months.
• Germans in Antwerp refuse to not steal food and supplies until the government of Antwerp pays a £2,000,000 war levy that the government of Antwerp refuses to pay unless the Germans stop stealing food and supplies.
• Contract awarded for new grain elevator in Vancouver to handle the larger volume of exports to Europe now expected with the completion of the Panama Canal
• Editorial on the dangers of automobile headlights
• Puff-piece on the good spirits of Canadian troops housed on Salisbury Plain [containing this gem illustrating how language can change in 100 years, "And of all the gay young soldiers from Canada, those of the mechanical transport corps are among the gayest."]

The Daily Colonist, December 2, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• First, a retraction. The American Belgian Relief Commission says that rumours that Germans are taxing flour brought in to Belgium are false.
• An officer being belittled by the Kaiser for a tactical error gets pissed off enough to draw his sword and attack the Kaiser.
• From the "must be a slow news day" file: rank and file Canadian soldiers don't know when or where they will be deployed. This is on the front page.
• Canadian government to raise another 31,700 men to be deployed domestically until need overseas.
• and a few other weird articles underscoring that it is, in fact, a slow news day...

The Daily Colonist, December 1, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• King George braves a stormy crossing of the Channel to visit the general headquarters of the British expeditionary force
• German troops being massed near Ypres [this is the beginning of the build-up to the Second Battle of Ypres, which will happen at the end of April 1915, where the Germans will first deploy chlorine gas and the Canadians will hold their position and become the first colonial force to beat a European power on European soil.]
• 38 men born in Germany and Austria who signed up and went overseas to fight for Canada and the British Empire are sent back to be interned for not having Canadian citizenship.
• Meanwhile, in the ancestral home of my paternal ancestors, Russian forces have penetrated the Carpathian Mountains in Galacia.
• A Canadian aviation corps is formed with 12 aeroplanes. 469 men have applied to be trained.

The Daily Colonist, November 29, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• Big map of the Russian front centred around Warsaw on the first page.
• Germans are taxing flour sent from the United States as relief for Belgians, and
• in the same article, concern that starving Belgian civilians may attack German garrisons for food...
• A ship load of wheat will be sent to Belgium from Halifax, via Rotterdam.
• Two spies caught with British troops in Codford, England.
• Germans cut telegraph cables in the Baltic...
• Editorial speculating on the duration of the war. "The war will last until 1917."
• Belgians living abroad are asked to return to serve in the military. Travel costs will be paid by the Belgian military.
• Not actually news, but an ad. The Bank of Montreal prints their annual statement for 1914...
• The magazine section war technology page this week is on horse-drawn artillery [!!]
• Essay on "The Origin of Life" on the "Hour with the Editor" page...
• And finally, the usual excellent summary of the week's events in the children's section.

The Daily Colonist, November 28, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• German prisoners of war held on the Isle of Man riot, serveral are shot. Coroner's jury finds that shooting was justified.
• An article with a headline about was loans talks about the cost of the war, the wealth of British citizens but then goes on to talk about several other political developments...
• Rudyard Kipling praises Canadian troops.
• Austrian leaders fear dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the war. Article makes a pretty good prediction of how the empire will be divided.
• Cowichan Indian women donate knitted wool socks, praised by Imperial Order of Daughters of Empire.
• Article in the "Women's Realm" section on the Christian morality of spying...
• And in a tidy little 1-2 punch of propaganda, there is an article on the next page about a German spy disguised as a priest.

The Daily Colonist, November 27, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today.

Today it is not the battles in Europe and elsewhere that make the most interesting news. Today is about propaganda, technology, accidents and speculation...

The Daily Colonist, November 26, 1914

The news out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• Germans are reported to be using some kind of "silent cannon" that makes no noise when fired, that in areas where trenches are very close troops are talking back and forth and agreeing to ad hoc cease-fire agreements [this is another lead up to the famous informal Christmas cease-fire, and will later be "solved" by old men in charge by introducing troop rotation so the cannon-fodder won't have time to get friendly enough to agree not shoot each other], but life in the trenches is generally cold and miserable.
• It seems a story from yesterday about disappointing recruitment drives at football [soccer] matches that I took as unimportant is a more serious problem to some. The British Prime Minister is expected to be asked to introduce legislation banning football matches for the duration of the war.
• A large shipment of tobacco products is being sent to Canadian troops.
• Strange political machinations in the hard-to-comprehend politics of Egypt.
• Commendations for British and French pilots for Zeppelin-shed raids.
• Canada's first expeditionary force expected to be on the front lines before Christmas. The article goes on to detail the physical training the men are getting.
• In an extension of the programme of internment of "enemy aliens" all Canadian soldiers with German-sounding names in the Salisbury Plain camp, many of which are decorated Boer War veterans, are arrested, removed, questions and likely to be interned.
An editorial describing Basra and its strategic significance.
• A senator from Saskatchewan defends the loyalty of Galacians and Hungarians on the prairies
• Questions in London Parliament about annuities being paid to members of the British royal family living in Germany

The Daily Colonist, November 25, 1914

News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today:

• Italian ministers confer on Italy's position in the war, still no official stance.
• Portugal declares it will stand with France and Britain, if need be.
• Story in German newspaper taken by Swiss to be a warning not to interfere with German troops should they enter Switzerland, and Switzerland vows to to defend itself, if need be.
• A Vancouver man, originally from Wales, died of pneumonia in Canadian camp of Salisbury Plain and was buried in Wales.
• About 80 interned "prisoners of war" relocated from Fort Garry, MB to Brandon, MB.
• Prior reports of Germans helping with food relief for Belgium are refuted by American relief workers.
• Report compares current desperate plight of Belgians to conditions during religious wars of the 16th century.
• Amusing editorial on British slang terms
• [And a reminder that there were still blank spots on the map in 1914] ...


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