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The Daily Colonist, May 11–17, 1915

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

[This is the largest post in this series to date, with 85 "clippings". There are huge Canadian casualty lists from Ypres, anti-German rioting throughout the British Empire, lots of news about the sinking of the Lusitania, fighting continues at Gallipoli, and local news about transit and "ride-sharing" that has a striking relevancy today.]

  • Tuesday, May 11, 1915
    • On the front page there are nearly three full columns of Canadian casualties again today and pictures of locals wounded and killed.
    • Coroner's inquest into the sinking of the Lusitania legally establishes a charge of murder against the officers of the submarine, the German Emperor and the Government of Germany. The article includes the testimony of the captain of the Lusitania. 
    • Anti-German riots in Liverpool
    • Following the riot on Saturday, there are more anti-German rioting in Victoria on Sunday. Military and police forces are patrolling the the city to prevent more riots. All liquor sales banned for the next three days.
    • An enlightening [and still relevant] editorial on what it means when the Riot Act is evoked (i.e. "Reading the riot act"), including the text of what is read.
    • Approximately half a page devoted to reporting on the repercussions of the riots in Victoria [that doesn't really say much so I haven't reproduced it in detail.]
    • Seven people from Victoria among the survivors of the Lusitania. Several other locals are dead.
    • B.C. Electric Railway's [precursor to Translink and B.C. Transit] experiment in increasing revenues by encouraging ridership with reduced fares, that they are calling "Tango Tickets" [the first fare-savers] is to far a great success. 
  • Wednesday, May 12, 1915
    • Two columns of new Canadian casualties on the front page.
    • President Wilson is drafting a stern letter to the German Government about the sinking of the Lusitania, demanding assurances that attacks on unarmed ships carrying noncombatants cease and seeking reparations for the American citizens killed in the sinking.
    • Anti-German sentiment is running high in Britain due to Lusitantia. Riots in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Salford and Birkenhead.
    • Mayor of Victoria is threatened if the municipal government makes reparations to Germans who lost property in the riots. The mayor dismisses the threatening letter, "if the common sense of the writer…was in proportion to the correctness of the spelling he saw little reason for taking the communication seriously."
    • An article in the "Women's Realm" section encourages women to demand equal pay for equal work, and explains that it is the best interest of men not to have their wages undermined by the cheap labour of women.
    • News of the fighting in Gallipoli is relegated the 9th page. An Australian submarine has been sunk and heavy fighting continues on the land.
  • Thursday, May 13, 1915
    • Three columns of new casualties on the front page today.
    • Former U.S. president, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt denounces German sinking of the Lusitania in a letter to the Metropolitan, comparing German actions to those of Barbary Coast pirates and current president Wilson's neutrality to Pontius Pilate.
    • Vancouver enacts jitney [what we would now call "ride-sharing"] safety regulations, including insurace requirements.
    • Several cases regarding the posession of stolen goods from looting during the anti-German riots Saturday and Sunday are heard in court.
    • Other people are returning stolen goods rather than be caught with them.
    • Meanwhile in England, rioting and vandalism are being directed not just at Germans, but foreigners in general.
    • Fishermen spot as many as 100 bodies from the Lusitania floating off the coast of Ireland. 
  • Friday, May 14, 1915
    • Another two columns of Canadian dead, wounded and missing on the front page, along with pictures of downtown Johannesburg, South Africa [complete with capricious hand-drawn clouds] where there have also been anti-German riots.
    • Expected, but as yet not official, response from German government to U.S. President Wilson's stern letter is negative.
    • Anti-German rioting spreads throughout the Empire with new riots in South Africa and Australia.
    • British battleship Goliath sunk by Turks in the Dardanelles, 500 dead. 
    • Ground fighting continues in Gallipoli. Turk casualties are reported to be "enormous", but no mention of the number of casualties among the Australian and New Zealand troops.
    • British admiralty will order 10 million board-feet of lumber from British Columbia, with the order overseen by Mr. H. R. MacMillan [a name Vancouverites will recognise: this is the man the planetarium is named after], chief of the Forest Branch of the Provincial Government and "acting in special capacity for the Federal Government". A lack of available freighters has up to this point been a problem for shipping wood to Britain, but in this case the British Admiralty will be providing their own transportation for the lumber.
    • South African troops take the capital of German Southwest Africa [Nambia], effectively securing the entire territory for the British Empire.
    • An article reproducing the U.S. Governments letter to the German Imperial Government.
    • Nine more bodies are recovered from the Lusitania. The Cunard Line is now offering $5 (1£) for every body recovered. The wealthy Vanderbilt family is offering $1,000 USD for the recovery of the body of Alfred G. Vanderbilt. 
  • Saturday, May 15, 1915
    • Rather horrifically, more than half of the front page, five columns, are devoted to today's casualty list.
    • Germans vow to continue submarine warfare despite American protests and vow that "The Mauretania [The Lusitania's idential sister ship] or any other British liner will be torpedoed, sunk and meet the same fate as the Lusitania if our submarines can read them".
    • 28 more bodies from the Lusitania recovered, incuding the body of a baby less than 3 months old. 
  • Sunday, May 16, 1915
    • A somewhat shorter casualtiy list today, not even two columns, plus pictures of five brothers from Victora in active service, one dead, one wounded. 
    • The war is even effecting the great houses of England. Winston Churchill's mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, has takled the important problem of how to dress female servants taking on the traditionally male roles such as footman. All this while a scarcity of ships is impacting the tea trade and causing a shortage and higher prices.
    • The Victora Provician Normal School [Now the main building of Camosun College] celebrated the completion of their first full term. (Normal Schools are where standardised teaching practices are taught.) The article praises the modernity and comprehensive facilities of the building.
    • A full page devoted to the 250th anniversary of the Hudson's Bay Company, with pictures of store on Douglas Street in Victoria under construction and the store in Vancouver on the corner of Granville and Georgia. 
    • An article summarising the nearly 5,000 Canadian casualties to date.
    • Siver Spring Brewery runs a ½-page ad to put to rest rumours that one of its largest shareholder is a German and that some of its employees are Germans. Announcing "that every person connected with it in any capacity whatever, whether as share-holder, employe [sic] or otherwise, is a British subject."
  • Monday, May 17, 1915
    • [no paper on Mondays]

[ source: http://www.britishcolonist.ca/dateList.php?year=1915 ]



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