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The Daily Colonist, December 17, 1914

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#dailycolonist1914 - News out of Victoria, British Columbia, 100 years ago today.

BIG deal today: "For the first time in centuries, England has been stuck by a foe." German ships shelled the English ports of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool yesterday. The entire front page is devoted to it, with pictures of the three towns, including the famous Whitby Abbey that was the inspiration for Carfax Abbery in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.

Casualty estimates at press-time are 119 killed and 130 injured, with most of the casualties being civilians and most of the civilians being women and children. The shelling destroyed many homes, three active churches hit, the gas-works and a lumber yard at Hartleford set on fire, and the ancient abbey at Whitby struck.

[I've reproduced several different articles covering the story, thus dispensing with my usual one-bullet-per-clipping format.]

In other news:

  • French accuse Liberia of breaching neutrality and aiding Germans, refers to the country as "this phantasmagoria of a nationality wedged into our African colony." [Liberia is in the news lately because an Ebola epidemic, was in 1914 one of only two countries in Africa not under a European government. The coastal countries of Liberia and the neighbouring British colony of Sierra Leone are surrounded on the landward sides entirely by French colonial territories. Liberia is unique in being founded as a colony of the United States that became an independent republic in 1847. The American colonists that made up the ruling class in Liberia at the time were predominantly made up of freed American slaves. Somewhat ironically, indigenous Africans of the area were not given Liberian citizenship until 1904.] 
  • News from the Continental fronts, normally on the front page, is relegated to the third page by the news from England. This includes ["O.K. for us to do, but damn those filthy Huns for doing it to us"] news of British ships shelling villages on the Belgian coast.
  • Residents of the Ottoman province of Palestine are being required to supply a sack of grain and tin of food to the army and shoemakers forced to supply 100 pairs of boots at no cost.
  • An editorial covering the history, beauty and significance of Whitby Abbey
  • Much like the sustained propaganda of short articles of German atrocities, short articles of "Turkish Outrages" are now appearing, including the Palestinian levy already mentioned and this article on the mistreatment of Christians and British subjects in Greece.
  • "Made in Canada" promotions continue, this one pointing out that there is absolutely no reason for Christmas presents to be anything but Canadian-made goods.
  • ¾-page "Buy in Victoria" ad, shared by several Victoria business and featuring a neat little list "by a Victorian" of reasons to buy locally. 

 



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