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Friday, 26 April 2013

Incidents of war.

Wednesday, April 26th., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken.

In addition to marking the opening of the water-colour season yesterday had some importance in the war.

About midnight (previous) an orderly came on a motor bike and looked in the front garden. I challenged from the window. He had an order for Lieut. Myers to report at once at the Orderly Office. Myers was up all night. Then in the morning's papers was the news of the capture of Sir Roger Casement in an attempt at gun-running in Ireland. Then came telegram of riots and seizure of the Post Office at Dublin.

Sir Roger David Casement (1864-1916), the British traitor and Irish nationalist hero, was hanged by the British in mid-1916 for his part in working with Germany and Irish nationalists in planning the Dublin Easter Rising of 1916. On the 24th of April, Easter Monday 1916, about 2,000 Irish Volunteers and 200 from the Irish Citizen Army occupied the General Post Office (GPO) as well as other important buildings in Dublin city. One group of rebels took over the Four Courts and another group took over the South Dublin Union, which is now James’s hospital. They proclaimed the Irish Republic, read the Proclamation and raised the Irish flag for the first time.

Then Myers came in with the news (which he had overheard on the telephone) that a German fleet had been within five miles of Lowestoft between 4 and 5 a.m., and also that Zeppelins had been over. Then came telegram with official news of a short naval action off Lowestoft.

German battle cruiser 1916
The official account of the German naval raid on the East Coast states:-'The bombardment of Lowestoft and Yarmouth began at 4 o'clock in the morning and lasted half an hour. Despite the enemy using heavy guns, the damage caused was relatively slight. A convalescent home,  swimming bath, the pier, and 40 dwellings were extensively damaged, and 200 dwellings slightly damaged. Two men, a woman, and child were killed; three men were seriously, and nine slightly wounded. The enemy bombarded Great Yarmouth simultaneously with the Lowestoft action. A large building was set on fire,and seriously damaged, and another was slightly damaged by shellfire. At Lowestoft the enemy ships were not seen, and they must have fired at long,range. They appeared to dash for the coast from the north and south, firing as rapidly as possible in the short time at their disposal. In Yarmouth people flocked into the streets, regardless of danger and even scrambled for souvenirs in the shape of pieces of shells during the bombardment.

 Then came telegram that Betty Sharpe had had a daughter. Then came the daily French telegram. Then came a telegram as to Zeppelins. To continue the tale, this morning I had a letter  from A. G. Gardiner practically putting an end to my connection with the Daily News. See also, "The writing business" - January 4th. <http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-writing-business.html>

By the way, the cyclist who called up Myers, going immediately afterwards to Frinton without any lights (as ordered), ran into a car and broke both his legs and fractured his skull. He is supposed to be recovering.

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