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THE STORY OF THE YEAR

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THE STORY OF THE YEAR GREAT BRITAIN'S PART IN THE MIGHTY CONFLICT. I NATIONAL LIFE AND THE WAR. J The history of the year 1914 is the history of the Great Upheaval, of Europe in arms, of war—for the first, time within human ken —on land, on sea, in submarine depths, and in the air. Not alone has Europe been its theatre. Asia, Africa, China, and all the great oceans have echoed the mighty struggle against Germany; but the great clash of arms, the awful havoc of modern warfare, have been concentrated in the fair fields of France, of Belgium, of Poland, of Austria, and of Germany itself. The spirit of Prus- sian militarism, the frankly brutal philosophy of world domination, had imagined vain, things. The record of how Civilisation ad- ministered her lesson f:nù inflicted her retri- bution may not yet be completed. It must prove the greatest, the most important, and the most significant chapter in the whole book of international life. In. order to trace the manner in which war came to plunge the whole world into gloom and sorrow we must go back to June 28th. On that fateful Sunday took place the hor- rible crime which, without doubt, first set the nations' teeth on edge. The Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austro- Hungarian throne, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenburg, were assassinated at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. The crime was the outcome of a pan-Serb movement, stated to have had its source in Belgrade, and natur- ally it called forth the bitterest feelings against Serbia in Austria. The Dual Mon- archy was dissatisfied witl^ Serbian replies to her demands arising out oi the affair, and on July 28th Austria-Hungary declared war. At once, of course, the dread possibilities of such a situation upon the delicate threads by which the peace of Europe is kept intact were responsible for the gravest anxiety p n throughout the diplomatic and political world. Great Britain, through Sir Edward Grey, endeavoured to "localise" the con- fliot; but Germany declined to confer with France, Italy, and ourselves. Meanwhile, the rumblings of the coming storm filled all Europe with apprehension of the worst. Russia, whose interests were direct, caused no surprise by her mobilisation immedi- ately Austria moved against Serbia. Next came military "precautious" by all the Great Powers. What would be Germany'* attitude? Events moved swiftly enough. On July 31st the Kaiser declared that the sword was being forced into Germany's hand. Russia was asked for and France was bidden to declare her policy ia 1 the event of a Russo-Gexnian War. On August 1st came general mobilisation of the armies and fleets of Germany, France, and Austria, and Luxemburg was actually in- vaded by the Kaiser's troops. On August 2nd Italy declared her neutrality. WHAT WOULD BRITAIN DO? Up to the very last moment Great Britain strove for peace, but the German ultimatum to Russia, followed by a similar ultimatum to .prance, put an end to diplomacy, and the sending of Prussian troops across the Belgian I frontier brought us immediately face to face with the gravest question which has ever con- fronted a British Government. And yet, so clear was the issue, that Britain's reply could be only in one direction. We were bound by solemn guarantee to support the Belgian Government in resisting any attack upon the neutrality of Belgium. Such an attack had been made by Germany, who had herself been also a trustee for Belgian integrity! The whole of the British nation was behind tlie Premier in denouncing the German proposals to Belgium in this matter as infamous, and the Government, awful as were the prospects of that Armageddon which at last it seemed no longer possible to avoid, had an almost unanimous vox populi in support of its ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of Ger- many from soil she had sworn to protect. Alternate sneers at scraps of paper and pleadings of dire necessity were the ac. companiment of the Kaiser's decision to rush at France via Belgium and to be in Paris within a fortnight. Great Britain's deter. mination to fight was not the basis upon which Germany's plans were laid. Franca was to fall an early victim, and then East- ward Ho! to drub the Russians. Belgian courage to defend the soil of Belgium was another item which found no place in the Kaiser's programme. The defence of Liege, however, has found its place in the history of i heroic things, and the whole conduct of King Albert and his soldiers in challenging every step of the advance of the invading hosts will live for ever in the admiration of posterity. That it had the efiect of altering the whole course of the war there can be little doubt. The British Navy was mobilised on August 3rd, with Admiral Sir John Jellicoe in supreme command of the Home Fleets, and the Army commenced mobilisation with Sir John French as Inspector-General of. fchf Forces. On August 5th Lord Kitchener bEJf came Secretary of State for War. THE HUNS IN BELGIUM. The Germans did not occupy Brussels CiII3 the major part of Eastern Belgium till August 20th, when for the first time they threatened the Franco-Belgian frontier. Already they had made their occupation of Belgium infamous by the cruelties they had perpetrated and the wanton devastation they had caused. Louvaiif, Malines, Termonde, Senlis are names which will ever be associated with German shame. After the occupation of Brussels a great battle followed on August 22nd and subsequent days. Namur fell to the assault of the tremendous eicge guns of the enemy, and the Franco- British forces—the Navy had safely £ noted our Expeditionary Army across the Straits- sustained a heavy reverse, which, mainly owing to the heroic resistance of the British, nevertheless failed to disorganise the allied defence. Then came that wonderful strategic retreat after Mons, bad: almost to the gates of .a movement which will be reckoned among the most remarkable feats of arms ia military history. It was, however, followed in due course by a scarcely less remarkable achievement. The German right wing, under General von Kluck, attempted a flank march across the face of the Allies. Then- came the counter-attack. On September 6th began the battle of the Marne. On the 10th the Ger- mans were forced, after terrific fighting, to retire to the Aisne, where the battle of the rivers" was a long and grim struggle, the Germans having entrenched themselves on the heights in such a strong position that the con- ditions were pretty much those of siege warfare. THE STRUGGLE FOR THE COAST. The Franco-British armies were not to be thus brought. to a standstill. The battle lino was extended. Germany lost her initiative, and in the race to the North-East of France she was driven back and ever back until the Allies had pushed the German right wing, fearful of envelopment, as far fiom Paris as ever. The battle-line thus stretched right across France, but we must—with just a pause to note the German bombardment of Rheims Cathedral on September 19th, a. wanton- of barbarism which horrified the civilised world —turn to the course of affairs is it was developing in Belgium. As the French government had retired to Bordeaux, so did .the Belgian Government repair to Antwerp.; „The overwhelming forces of the Kaiser, how- ever, took Antwerp on October 0th and Ghent and Ostend on the. 14th and 15th re- spectively. The German occupation of Bel- gium was indeed complete, but King Albert's gallant little army,"supported by a small con- tingent of British troops, succeeded in getting awar from Antwerp and along the' coast to Nieuport. As a result of these operations a definite and tmbrokeil line of battle was instituted from a little north of Nieuport to pig Jm&s MfSPS new P.mJ1 Ip"ftll Annantieres, and so southward to the olit Ilfte between Laon and Rheims, north of Verdun to the Vosges. This remained the main line of operations for weeks, the fighting being- most fierce and bloody ill the north-east, where the Kaiser flung vast bodies of men. against the Allies in the second great phase of the western campaign, in which the German cry was To Calais." Belgian, French, and cry was To Calais." Belgian, French, and 5 British stood the shock—whether it came in the form of heavy artillery fire or of grand infantry assaults, and the chill days of November found the enemy baffled and re- pulsed at Ypres, as far from any prospect of taking Calais as of return to the gates of Paris. It was during the earlier part of the fighting among tite sand dunes that we had, t for the first time-in history, the forces of land, of sea, of air, and of the submarine partiei- pating in one engagement. The armies faced each other on terra fir-ma. British warships shelled the German lines, rival aircraft swept aloft, and German submarines harried the British men-of-war. Of the glorious deeds of gallantry of regiments or of individuals we have no space to write in detail, nor of the awful roll of casualties. Are they not all Ni-rittc-ii. iii, those soul-stirring despatches of Sir John French, and in the very innermost tablets of the national memory? THE EASTERN CAMPAIGN. Meanwhile, the Czar's armies were prov- ing to the world in general, and to Austria and Germany in particular, what mighty changes had come over Russia, both poli- tically and1 in military affairs, during the last few years. The total prohibition of the sale of vodka and the promise of political freedom to Poland served, no 1ess than the efficiency of her armies, to manifest -the new inspiration which had come to the Russian Empire. By August 29th Konigsberg- was in- vested, and on September 2nd came the great rout of the Austrian Army at Lemberg. By other defeats which followed Austria was le- duced almost to a negligible factor, and, with Italy remaining .neutra.lalbeit with popular demonstrations in favour of the Triple En- tente—Germany was left single handed to de- fend her Eastern frontier, and to conduct at the same time the campaign in the West. She inflicted at least one severe reverse on the Russian forces, but the Czar's advance was inexorable. Germany was as unable to take Warsaw as she had been to enter Paris or Calais, and by the middle of November the Russians had inflicted another severe reverse upon General von Hindenburg in Poland, had. advanced towards Silesia, and the battle front fluctuated between Konigsberg in the North, through Thorn, Kalish, Lodz, to Cracow in the South. Early in December the Germans made another mighty effort in offensive tactics, claiming the fall of Lodz as a big triumph. Russia scored heavily in Galicia, and de- clared that Lodz had long lost strategic im- portance. Servia's recapture of Belgrade from the Austrians was hailed with enthusiasm by the Allies. The Allied Forces in the West were in- spired by the presence of the Prince of Wales, who joined Sir John French's staff in November, while the enthusiasm of the Armies over the visit of his Majesty the King knew no bounds. King George's meeting at the front with King Albert of Belgium and President Poincare is one of the most interesting in history. King George visited the various hospitals, and his sympathy and solicitude for the wounded sol- diers brought great encouragement and in- spiration..The spontaneous outburst of loyalty in the Indian soldiers' hospital touched his Maj esty very deeply. BRITAIN HOLDS THE SEAS. The British Navy meanwhile ruled the seas. The effect of the great blockade of the North Sea, and of grim. stern vigil of the Home Fleet since the early days of August, may r never be adequately calculate^ The German Fleet, with the exception of submarines and several cruisers of which mention must pre- sently be made, dared not, up to the moment of writing, to come forth into the German Ocean." And as the Kaiser's warships were kept in. so were Germany's merchant "hins kept out. Her commerce was strangled, and her supplies gravely reduced. British oversea trade, on the ether hand, suffered the mini- mum of interference, and our food supplies came almost as usual from all quarters of the globe. The Expeditionary Force, and its con- stant stream of reinforcements, were able to cross to the Continent without slightest let or hindrance. Such T.Tas the victory, as real as unspectacular, of the British Navy. A vast supremacy of this kind could not, naturally, be accomplished without some lamentable sacrifices, some misfortunes and misadven- tures. The German pdiicy of sowing floating mines in the North Sea, with hideous disregard of neutral shipping, was responsible for the sinking of H.M.S. Amphion on August Gth. The enemy submarines exacted a serious toll, but it wase dearly paid for. On August 9th H.M.S. Birmingham sank the U15, and others paid similar penalty later on. We have 6a.id the naval supremacy was unspectacular. In the main it was; but on August 28th came one of the most daring and brilliant of enter- prises, and one that sent a thrill of enthu- siasm throughout the Empire the engage- ment of the Germans in one of their hiding- places in the Heligoland Bight. Led by the Arethusa, the attack resulted in the destruc- tion of three German cruisers—one of them the Mainz—and two destroyers. The comple- ments of these vsssets aggregated about 1,2)00 officers and men, all of whom, with the excep- tion of some 300 rescued and made prisoners, perished. Our own killed and wounded were well under lOa. and all the ships engaged in this dashing exploit in enemy waters were fit for resumed service in a very short time. The fortunes of this guerilla warfare of the North Sea subsequently set against us. On Septem- ber 3rd If.M.'S. 'SPQE-(Iv was sunk by mines. A couple of days later the Pathfinder red a victim to submarine attack, and the Oceanic was wrecked off the north coast of Scotland. On September 15th the German light cruiser Hela was sunk by a. British submarine. A week later, however, we were mourning the loss of the cruisers Abol-iiiir, Ilogtic, and Cressy, sunk, with the loss of hundreds of lives, by <t German submarine. All the while German- laid mines in the open sea were playing havoc with peaceful shipping, and eventually the Admiralty made the North Sea practically a prohibited area. Deadly as were the unt remitting submarine attacks on the n.emy- H.M.S. Hawke Ml a victim on October 15th" with considerable loss of life-our own sub- marines and light craft were equally alert and persistent, and the E9 actually sank a German torpedo-boat destroyer off the Ems River. On October 17tli, the light -cruiser Undaunted, aided by four destroyers, sank four German destroyers off the Dutch coast. The success of the submarine was not unnaturally claimed as a justification of those 'who had been urging that the day of the big battleship is over, just as the failure of the Belgian forts to w ithstand the heavy guns of Germany was claimed as proof of the conten- tion that faith in fortresses is misplaced under modern' conditions. THE CHASE OF THE EMDEN. I While such was the order of the contest in the North Se i, the German cruisers which had contrived to get away ia order to harry British commerce on the great ocean high- ways provided oilier unit-? of our I1 leet with a* difficult task. The -outstanding feature, of course, was the chase of the during and elusive Emden, whose predatory career, in- flicting heavy losses (well over £ 2,200,000) to British shipping on Eastern routes, wag not brought to a conclusion until—some consider- able time after her audacious bombardment of Madras—rshe was driven ashore on Cocos Island- by the Australian cruiser Sydney, an accomplishment of which the Commonwealth .), tiitry with which was justly proud. The gallantry with which Captain von Midler of the Emden had con- ducted her amazing career was thoroughly ap- preciated in this country, and there was general approval of the Admiralty order that the Captain and his officers and crew who ■survived should be accorded alL the honours of war. Oa October :;I,t H.M.S. Chatham discovered the Konigsberg hiding in shoal water off German Ea-,t Africa, and placed her hors de combat. The career of the Goebea ana the Bre.-lnu lias been a little less spec- tacular than that of the Emden. but these ships, whicfh managed to give us the. slip fret the Straits of Messina in AugnH, and -were "purchased" by Turkey—subsequently tar become the ally of Germany—are Etil-1 capable of doing harm* in the Black '!i although the middle of November the powerful Goeben was persistently reported as having been very severely damaged. Among the earlier ex- ploits of our foreign units mention must be made of the brilliant work of the little High- flyer in sinking the German armed liner Kaiser Wil-helm der G-rosse off the West Afri- can coast on August. 27th, and among the reverses the disablement of the Pegasus by the Konigsberg in Zanzibar harbour on Sep- tember 20th, with the loss of thirty-three lives. Later events of importance were the destruction of the Good Hope and Monmouth off the Chilian coast on November 1st by a very superior force of German sli ps, and the fall of Tsingtau before the combined forces of our Japanese Allies and our own soldiers and sailors. This was the last of several German colonies, including Togoland and Pacific stations, to be taken from t!:e Kaiser's dominions. An interesting incident was the resignation on October 30th of Prince Louis of Battenberg, who v. as succeeded by Lord Fisher. On November 26th came the awful disaster at Sheerness. where H.M.S. Bulwark was blown up in the Medway with the loss of some 800 lives. Retribution for the destruction of the Good Hope and the Monmouth was as dramatic as it was severe, the powerful German cruiser Scharnhorst, together with the Gneise- nau and the Leipzig, being sunk on De- cember 8th near the Falkland Islands by a British squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Sturdee. Our casualties were only seven killed and four wounded. Stung by the sharpness of such a blow as this, Germany contrived on December 16th to carry out a, raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby, which were shelled, unfortunately, with serious loss of life. The enemy battleships succeeded in making good their escape in the mist. The country, while execrating German violation of the international law forbidding bombardment of unfortified towns such as Scarborough and Whitby, refused to be frightened, and the only result was to send up the recruiting figures. Although it is perfectly true that military aviation, as a. branch of the science of war, is still in its infancy, and that, in a sense, the war has come five years too soon for aviation, the accomplishments of the airmen of the Allied Forces have been amazing indeed in their main occupation of scouting, in the dar- ing duels they have not hesitated to wage, and to wage successfully, with the enemy craft, and in the brilliant raids which have been made from time to time upon the Zep- pelin sheds at Dusseldorf and elsewhere. The Zeppelin cannot be said to have improved its military claims as the result of the war to dattf. It has certainly accomplished a good deal in the way of bomb-dropping on civil populations, and has been responsible for several imaginary destructions of London." We have lowered our lights o' nights, and taken other precautions. THE GREAT EMPIRE RALLY. The story of the rally of the Empire to the call of the Motherland is one of the most im- pressive and significant things in history. The pages of romance contain nothing more fasci- nating, nothing richer in splendour, than the message which came from the Viceroy of India conveying offers of assistance from the ruling chiefs. Read on September 9th by Mr. Charles Roberts in the House of Commons, and by Lord Crewe in the House of Lords, it sent a deep thrill not only through Parlia- ment but, throughout the country. Here was loyalty in her mcst ornate yet at the same time most serviceable garments. The princes of India. vied with one another in lavish offers of men, cf money, of precious jewels, of personal service. From even the very roof of the world camt assurances of the sympathy and the prayers of the strange dwellers of Thibet. It was on September 9th, too, that the despatch of 70,000 Indian troops to the front was announced, including the far- famed Gurkhas and Sikhs regiments. Right valiantly have the Indians borne themselves in the fray. Not only from India, however, came the response. Strong contingents were prepared and offered by the Dominions. Canada provided a force of 40,000 men; Aus- tralia a force of 20,000 New Zealand a divi- sion of 10,000. The South African Government undertook to guard the security of the Union and to drive the Germans from South-West Africa, for which purpose it mobilised 70,000 men. Later General Botha had to deal, too, with the rebel movement of Boers under De Wet, whose capture marked the collapse of the rebellion. THE GOVERNMENT AND THE WAR. Immediately upon the development of the international crisis a truce was called in the ar2na, of domestic polities, where serious struggles, threatening civil war, were in pro- gress. In the face of the common danger, however, all parties uniied in support of the Government. It was on Monday, August 3rd, that Si.r Edward Grey statetl British policy in a masterly speech, and that the Prime Minister, having informed the House of Com- mons of Belgium's appeal, and stated that an ultimatum had been sent to Germany, went on to deliver his historic utterance concerning Germany's "infamous proposal" to violate Belgian neutrality. A curt refusal on the part of Germany to respect her guarantees led to a formal declaration of war, and the de- parture of the British Ambassador from Ber- lin. The Government acted with the utmost promptitude. On August 6th the House of Commons voted S;,100,000,000 for the purposes of the war, and sanctioned an increase of the Army by 500,000 meu and of the Navy by 67,000. There was a great rush to the colours. Kitchener's Army," as it was called, proved' too tremendously sudden a strain upon a War Office which had, of course, no time in which to make ad-equate preparations for dealing with such an amaz- ing emergency. Gradually, however, the re- cruiting arrangements were rendered suffi- cient to cope with the crisis, and on Septem- ber 101ii there was an additional vote for the provision of another 500,COO men for the Army. The recruiting campaign, in which members of all parties combined, was com- menced by a memorable meeting in the Guild- hall, London, where the Prime Minister de- livered a great' speec-h. Not only did the Government zealously and thoroughly take up the military tasks of the war, but provi- sion for dealing with the problems of social, industrial, and financial affairs was made on a scale without parallel in history. Emergency legislation was passed, with the co-operation of the Opposition, immediately. A mora- torium was proclaimed, banknotes for £1 and 10s. were issued, the Board of Trade fixed the retail prices at which certain articles of food should be sold, a committee was appointed to advise on measures necessary to deal with any distress that might arise—happily, so far, with the exception of the cotton trade, industrial distress has been much less than was antici- pated1—the Government insured British ship- ping against war risks, assumed control of the railways, and interned alien enemies. A new and much increased scale of separation allowances to the wives of soldiers and sailors was cheerfully approved by Parliament. On November 17th the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer introduced the War Budget, imposing additional duties on tea and beer, and raising the Income-Tax. A war loan of £ 350,000,000 was very quickly over-subscribed—the largest loan in history—a fact which spoke volumes for the resou-rees of British credit. THE WORKS OF CHARITY. j Immediately on the outbreak of war the nation and the Empire witnessed the com- men cement of the greatest outpouring of charitable offerings for the prevention and re- lief of distress that has ever been witnessed. The King and Queen, the Prince of Wales, Princess Mary, and other members of the Royal Family set a noble example which was nobly followed by all sections of the com. munity. The great National Relief Fund (the Prince of Wales's) reached last month a. total of over £ 4,000,000. Special appeals for funds to meet special needs met with worthy re- sponse, and the comforts of the soldiers' and sailors in the fray were not forgotten. Great Britain, however, was deepln- conscious of the debt to Belgium, and both the Government and the people held out succouring hands to the hundreds of thousands of ruined and destitute refugees who sought the shelter and th hospitality of our hearths and homea throughout the kingdom. POLITICS-BEFORE THE WAR. The war brought a truce to the political Skuggl&f of ope of mwfc memorable dramatic sessions in Parliamentary history. It was around the Home Rule Bill that the greatest battles were waged. The opposition of the Ulster Unionists threatened nothing less serious than civil war, and a grave crisis in the Army led to intensely heated debates and thrilling scenes in the House of Com- mons. The first- session of the year was opened by the King on February 10th, and the Home Rule Bill was introduced—together with the Welsh Church Bill and the Plural Voting Bill—on March 5th for the third time under the provisions of the Parliament Act. On March 9th the Premier indicated the nature of the Government proposals regard- ing Ulster. Sir Edward Carson refused the time-limit concession, and plainly hinted that Ulster was ready for any emergency that j might ensue, Angry debates followed upon the Premier's refusal to state precisely the terms of the promised Amending Bill and the announcement of the Government's intention to pass the original bill before the introduc- tion of the amending measure. On the third reading debate on May 21st, when Mr. Asquith j announced that the Amending Bill would be introduced in the House of Lords, but declined to explain its provisions, after an amazing 1 scene of disorder during which the Unionists for five minutes maintained a monotonous chant of Adjourn, adjourn," the .speaker suspended the sitting. On May 25th the Home Rule Bill passed third reading by 351 I to 274. Meanwhile, events in Ireland were giving rise to deep anxiety. The Ulster Volunteers were not now the only armed force; the Nationalist Volunteers were also in being. The order to Sir Arthur Paget to protect Government arms and stores in Ireland was construed as part of a military plot to coerce Ulster, and fnen came the inci- dents at tlis Curr-agli, the questions concern- ing the assurance to General Gough that troops would not be ordered to fight Ulster, the resignations of Sir John French and Sir J. Evvart, the resignation of Colonel Seely, and his succession as War Minister by. Mr. Asquith. Bitter and violent debate raged' in. the Commons, the Opposition stoutly denying the charge of intrigue to undermine Parlia- mentary authority over the Aruiv. Gun- running incidents and the tragic interven- tion of the military near Dublin added fuel to the fire. Then, at the end of July, came the Buckingham Palace Conference and its failure to arrive at a settlement. On August 3rd came the great shadow of the European crisis. There was no more talk of civil war. The Amending Bill was dropped. The Government proceeded with the Home Rule Bill, which, thrice rejected by the Lords, be- came law on September 18th. Simultaneously, however, the Royal Assent was given to a Suspensory Bill, by which it is ordered that no steps shall be taken to put. the Home Rule Act into operation for twelve months in any event, and. if the war is not then .terminated, j until such further date, hot later than the date of the termination of the war. as may be fixed by Order in Council. The same prin- ciple of delay was applied to the Welsh Church Act. The main feature of the Budget of May 4th was the provision for increased re- lief to local taxation, but the war has, of course, rendered this impossible now. Minis- terial changes during the year, in addition to Lord Kitchener's assuming control at the War Office, were those following the resignations of Lord Morley, Mi\ John Burns, and Mr. C. P. Trevelyan. Lord Beauchamp became i Lord President of the Council, Mr. Ruiiciman went to the Board of Trade, Lord Lucas be- J came President of the Board of Agriculture. WRECK OF THE EMPRESS OF IRELAND [ Of events before the war, which dwarfed into comparative insignificance all other human interests, the awful disaster to the Canadian Pacific liner the Empress of Ireland, with the ( loss of 959 lives, remains most vividly in the memory. It was during the early hours of May 30th that the great ship was rammed in the St. Lawrence, during a fog, "by the Stor. st&d, a Norwegian collier. The Empress of Ireland sank in seventeen minutes, and of the 1,367 souls on board only 408 were saved. A commission presided over by Lord Mersey J found that the officer in charge of the Stor- I etad erred, but that Captain Kendall was in < no way to blame. There were numerous in- J stances of splendid courage and self-sacrifice. Sir Henry Seton-Karr and Mr. and Mrs. Laurence Irving were amongst the dead. I When last seen husband and wife were locked I in each other's arms smiling at death. There was something pathetic in the large number of the members of the Salvation Army, who, as one of the survivors said, died like Salva- tionists. Their loss is deeply mourned in Canada, where the Army is much beloved. The Army contingent was coming to London to attend the great international congress, which brought to the capital men and women of every clime, and was one of the most im- pressive and picturesque of the assemblies of the year. The most dramatic and thrilling crimes of the year—apart from that which hastened the coming of war-were the murder of M. Calmette by Mme. Caillaux, wife of the French Minister of Finance, on March 16th, and the assassination of Jean Jaures, the great Socialist leader, on July 31st. SOCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL LIFE. We have already indicated how all the ranks were closed up both in social and indus- trial affairs when the war broke out. The most important features in industrial life dur- ing the earlier months of the year were the visit to this country of the deported labour leaders from South Africa, and the adoption of a great scheme for a working alliance be- tween the Miners' Federation, the National Union of Railwaymen, and the Transport Workers' Federation. The year will be memorable in history as marking the con- eummation of one of the greatest engineering enterprises in the world—the Panama Canal, through which, on August 15th, vessels carry- ing the flags of all nations passed from Atlan- tic to Pacific. Their Majesties the King and Queen were tireless in the service of the social and industrial life of the country. Their visit to Paris was the occasion of a tremendous and brilliant welcome. At home their Majesties made another of those tours of the industrial districts which have so endeared them to the working communities, Lanarkshire being working communities, Lanarkshire being visited in July, and the great new dock at Hull beings opened by the King, on June 26th. OBITUARY LORD ROBERTS AN JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN. ea¡h has laid a very heavy hand upon the nations during the past year. The passing of Lord Roberta on November 14th touched very deeply the emotions of the whole Em- pire. The gallant veteran, denied on account of advancing years the command of our forces on the Continent, had been so active in his interest in the --ivelfare, of the soldiers that his death came as a severe shock. The end, however, was just such as the soldiers' hero and friend would have chosen. Lord Roberta went to the front in order to see once more the Indian regiments. Great was his recep- I tion. Unfortunately, however, his Lordship contracted a severe chill, which rapidly de- veloped into pneumonia, and he died almost within hearing of the guns. There was a. memorable demonstration of public mourn- ing, in which the King himself joined, at the burial of Lord Roberts in St. Paul's Cathe- dral on November 19th. In the world of politics many distinguished figures have de. parted. On July 2nd Mr. Joseph Chamber- lain died in London, and, after eloquent tributes had been paid to his memory by the Prime Minister, Mr. Bonar Law, and Mr. Balfour, the House of Commons marked in a signal and exceptional manner'its sense of the loss it had suffered. Party conflict was I suspended for a day, and the House ad. journed the important controversies it had met to discuss until the following day. Among other losses which politics sustained mention must be made of Lord Minto, Lord Wemyss, Lord Cross, Lord Clarendon, and Sir William Anson. The death of Lord Strathcona in January was deeply mourned both in Canada and in this country. The Duke of Argyll died in May, during which month Nonconformity and advanced Liberal. ism mourned the death of. the Rev. C. Silvester Home. Pope Pius X. died on August 20th, being succeeded -by Cardinal della Chiesa, who takes the title of Benedict XV. The King of Roumania died in October. Mr. Gustav Hamel, one of the most brilliant and popular aviators, disappeared after com" I naencing a cross-Channel flight, there being no doubt tfeat ha met s&fe S A&dffAl sk .4

CORRESPONDENCE I

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Cymro Dewp.

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CHRISTMAS HOSP1TALI1Y TO OUR…

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Christmas Boxes to St. Asaph…

St Assph's Roll of Honour.…

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