On Tuesday, November 12, 1918. The Horsham Times (which would later become the Wimmera Mail-Times) published a full page broadsheet article to mark the end of World War I.
Unequivocally, it was the biggest issue of the time and the newspaper marked the occasion with a full wrap of the war.
The following is a snapshot of the 6000-word article.
THE TRIUMPH of DEMOCRACY
Official messages: From the Governor-General of the Commonwealth, through Mr WB Raynor, Postmaster, to the people of Horsham and District, "Armistice Signed 5 o'clock this morning." (Signed) Ronald Munro-Ferguson.
This message was read from Perring's balcony at 12.15am this morning (Tuesday).
Mr Rodgers, M.H.R and the Mayor (Cr Knight) delivered short addresses and the Rev CW Meredith, at the request of Mr Rodgers, offered up thanksgiving.
The Mayor proclaimed (Tuesday) a Public Holiday, and requested the Citizens to assemble at the Town Hall at 11 o'clock.
Origin of the War
On the 28th day of June, 1911, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austrian throne, and his consort were assassinated at Sarajevo, in Bosnia, and the tragedy, believed by many, including, the Archducal victim, to have been instigated by the German Government, was followed by an Austrian ultimatum to Serbia on 23rd of July and an actual invasion of Serbia four days later, on the day previous to the formal declaration of war by Austria on Serbia.
Russia, apprised by her own ambassadors at Berlin, that Germany was mobilising her army, became alarmed and ordered the mobilisation of her army.
This information had been foisted upon the Russian ambassador with characteristic cunning and duplicity.
The Quentin Canal, and a part of the west bank was lost to us. Two days later, in a furious battle, north of Cypress, the Allies regained ground, and the Canadians in a brilliant counter attack, recaptured the guns they had lost two days before. On the 28th April the German offensive at Cypress was definitely stopped and turned over to the Allies.
She swept across the continent of Europe like a devastating storm, and left the memory of her presence like the miasma of a foul plague-stricken swamp.
The British offensive was Lille and that of the French Lens. On 16th May, the British gained a victory north-west of La Bassee, and on 22nd June the French took that highly-fortified system of trenches known as "The Labyrinth".
Then followed the first of the Verdun episodes, which showed that the German could never at any cost counter the French defensive, and were inferior to him in attack. But, the German high command had many lessons to learn before they were dismissed discredited and disgraced. On July 13 the Crown Prince's army, attacking towards Verdun, was thrown back by the French.
On October 27 the Germans lose heavily in an attempt to capture Rheims. On November 2 the Germans suffer a serious defeat in the Champagne. On November 15 experts say that Sheffield is now the largest arsenal in the world, easily surpassing Krupp's works at Essen.
A Summary of the War
The hideous German-made war that up until the last moment of recorded time haunt the memory of successive iterations of mankind, was prepared for the distinction of the British Empire immediately after the Franco Prussian war in 1871. She swept across the continent of Europe like a devastating storm, and left the memory of her presence like the miasma of a foul plague-stricken swamp.
For a time there were faint hearts which feared that the German would succeed, but horror upon horror and infamy instead of making Germany's victims bow the knee, acted as a spar to which all that was noble and chivalrous responded; and brave men sprang to arms in every corner of the globe to overcome the evil that the devil had let loose upon the world.
For over four years the best and bravest of the world's manhood have been fighting against ... against that greatest of criminals, William the Unclean, the Megalomaniac Kaiser, and his gang of militarist miscreants... in their demoniacal lust for world dominion they have devastated every place that the curse of their shadow has fallen upon.
Their infamies are too fresh in the memory to need repeating.
The millions of voices of widows and orphans, of the dead, the mutilated, the outraged, call to Iight heaven for justice which no vengeance devised...
Separation for the evil they have done and restoration of the property they have destroyed is only a small portion of the sentence that equity demands shall be passed upon them.
Here follow some of the items in the bill against Germany's demanding settlement.
- Complete restoration of the territorial and economic politics of Belgium.
- Freeing French territory and the reconstruction of the invaded provinces and compensation for civilian losses and' injuries.
- Restoration of Alsace-Lorraine, not as a territorial acquisition or indemnity, but as a reparation' for the wrong done in 1871.
- Readjustment of the northern frontiers of Italy along the lines of nationalities.
- The evacuation of Russian territory and the annulment of Russian treaties.
- The formation of an independent Poland with access to the sea.
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