Down the years: Expectation grows over a German armistice

100 years ago 

Allied troops in the trenches on the Western Front in the final weeks of World War I.

Allied troops in the trenches on the Western Front in the final weeks of World War I.

LOCAL NEWS: The first agricultural show at Ouyen was held last Wednesday – unfortunately one of the windiest and dustiest days of the year. The whole event was enlivened by music from the uniformed Walpeup Band. From the remarks of the judges themselves, it will be seen that the first show at Ouyen was a success in point of entries and the gate receipts were also satisfactory. Tenders will be received for the exclusive right to collect salt from the undermentioned areas: Lot 1 – the North Spectacle Lake, area about 38 acres. Lot 2 – South Spectacle Lake, area about 43 acres and Lot 3, Salt Lake about half a mile east of the Spectacle Lakes, area about 30 acres. Situated about 3½ miles north-west from the Hattah railway station, Hattah is 51 miles south of Mildura. A Garden Fete was held at The Nest on Wednesday. The people enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The Baby Show was a central topic of interest. The prize-winners were: Girls Under one year, Helen Jean Campbell; under two years, Nellie Lay; under six months, Lesley Eleanor Tweeddale. Boys under one year, Laurie George Alexander; under 10 years Ivan Watmuff; prettiest baby, Lesley Eleanor Tweeddale; heaviest baby, Ronald Shugg (eight months). The return to Mildura of Sergeant E. Lawler (Military Medal, with an honour bar), has somehow gone unnoticed. Sgt. Lawler arrived in Australia a month ago, came to Mildura for a fortnight and then returned to the city, where he obtained his discharge. He is now in Mildura again. Leaving Mildura in April 1916, Sgt. Lawler saw considerable service in France and conducted himself most gallantly. The Returned Soldiers’ Association has decided to do him special honour on Saturday next, November 9. They will parade at the Drill Hall, Langtree Avenue, at 3.30pm and will afterwards march through the town. The march will have a dual significance, being a public recognition of recent Allied victories as well as a welcoming tribute to Sgt E. Lawler, the first Mildura soldier to return with full honours. A private message received from Melbourne by an Irymple resident states: “Armistice Germany not yet confirmed; hourly expected. Great excitement; immense crowds. Hotels closed until Monday.” It is anticipated that peace news will soon be coming through and arrangements are being made accordingly. The first act is to be one of public thanksgiving and it is probable that a holiday will be declared. The Cultivator will issue the news promptly on its arrival, whether in the daytime or nighttime. (6/9.11.1918)

WAR NEWS: Since the Australians checked the German rush outside Amiens last April, things have gone ill with the enemy. His attack on the French “broke on the shore” and he has been retreating (not advancing) ever since. Instead of crowing over an imminent victory, the Huns are now moaning over impending defeat. And their Allies  – long steeped in the belief that all was going well – have now been disillusioned and have practically surrendered. Bulgaria went first, then Turkey, and Austria has now accepted a binding armistice. It appears to be only “a matter of time” before Germany also will make an unconditional surrender. How long it will be cannot be prophesied yet, for Germany is not humiliated and still has sufficient audacity to attempt a big bluff. But the Allies are not going to be bluffed. They have made it plain that Germany cannot be received on terms of equality, but must, before hostilities are suspended, give guarantees that will prevent her from doing further damage. Not only are the wings of the German eagle to be clipped, but his claws also. The Allies have signed armistice terms which are to be offered to Germany. If accepted it means surrender and an immediate end of the war, with peace terms at the dictation of the victors. The strongest impression prevails in Paris and London that the last phase of the war is ending. Authoritative quarters undisguisedly expect Germany to accept the Allied terms – if not immediately, then after a brief, disastrous attempt at resistance in the west. The London Standard states that Marshal Foch and Admiral Wemyss met the German parlimentaires at noon. (6/9.11.1918)

 75 years ago 

AUSTRALIAN AIRMEN AWARDS: Sixty-six Australian airmen in all theatres of war during October won decorations for gallantry in action, including one Victoria Cross, three DSOs and 46 DFCs. Australian airmen, since the outbreak of war, have won 829 awards, of which members of the RAF have won 715, including two Victoria Crosses, 18 DSOs, 26 MBEs, one MC and 374 DFCs, and Australians in the RAF won 114, including one Victoria Cross, 11 DSOs, one MG and 81 DFCs. (4.11.1943)

COSSACKS: Don and Kuban Cossacks, sabreing and tommy-gunning the fleeing Germans, made the greatest advance in a single day throughout the war in pursuit of the shattered enemy forces between the lower Dnieper and the Black Sea, says the British United Press correspondent in Moscow. “Pushing their horses hard they brought the pursuit to a climax, having advanced 25 miles during the last 24 hours along 27 miles from the Black Sea to the great sandy waste lands south of the Dnieper delta. They have reached points 12 miles south of the Kherson crossing and 14 miles south-east of the estuary. The ride to the mouth of the Dnieper will rank as one of the finest exploits in Cossack history.” (5.11.1943) 

SHORTS: Short legs, long legs, bowed legs, fat legs, skinny legs and knock knees can be seen in Mildura streets in increasing numbers, said a local trader yesterday. He was referring to the habit of women tourists wearing shorts almost as brief as bathing trunks when parading in Mildura streets. He added that it was understandable when young school girls wore shorts on the way to the river for a swim, or when women adopted shorts as a means of saving clothes when engaged in war work, but it was beyond the limit when middle-aged married women exhibited themselves in clothing only fit for children. (10.11.1943)

 50 years ago

POLYGAMY: The Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea may relax its rules on polygamy. At present the church will not baptise any man with more than one wife. The Bishop of New Guinea, the Rt Rev David Hand, said yesterday the Queensland Province, of which the territory is part, would discuss the matter and possibly change its policy. Bishop Hand was speaking on his return here from a world tour, during which he attended the Lambeth Conference. He said African and Pacific area delegates had discussed polygamy at the conference. (5.11.1968)

RAIN LOVER: Adelaide-owned and trained Rain Lover scored one of the easiest wins in recent times in a Melbourne Cup when he defeated Fileur by eight lengths with a further length and a half to the New Zealander Fans. The daring tactics of Jimmy Johnson gave the race to Rain Lover. Johnson said that he had a tremendous run all the way and when they got to the half-mile he was going so well he reckoned he could win it even then. (6.11.1968)

DEMON VICKI: Demon Vicki kept up the record of locally trained horses winning the Wentworth Cup when she took the 1968 event in good style on a soft track at Wentworth yesterday. Ridden a treat by K. Smith, Demon Vicki won by two lengths from Shock (P. Laity) with True Title (R. O’Day) a length away third. Rain spoiled what would have been a big day for the club. The gate of $550 was $80 down on last year. The club missed collecting rain insurance by two points. It had insured against 10 points falling between 9am and noon. (6.11.1968)

25 years ago

MILLEWA LANDCARE AWARD: The Millewa Carwarp Landcare Group has won the prestigious 1993 Landcare Australia Award, which was announced in Melbourne yesterday. They will now represent Victoria in the national awards in Canberra next month. The group, covering more than 5000 sq km, was formed in 1989 to achieve sustainable use of agricultural land and promote an improved image of dryland farming to the wider community. The group has developed an environmental plan for the area that 

includes tree planting and seeding, rabbit and kangaroo control, farm planning and water supply, sand dune reclamation and control of cereal root diseases. Landcare started in Victoria eight years ago and there are now more than 400 groups in Victoria. (4.11.1993)

SCIENCE AWARD: A journalist who began his career with Sunraysia Daily was last week awarded a national science award. ABC Television’s Quantum program last week screened the Eureka Prizes ceremony, which included the presentation of the Peter Hunt Eureka Prize to Graeme O’Neill, who now writes for Time magazine. Mr O’Neill, 45, was selected for the award after writing a series of environment-related articles, in particular a report on Victoria’s ash forests. (5.11.1993)

FUNERAL HONOUR: A former Mildura man will participate in tomorrow’s “emotion-charged” funeral ceremony for the unknown soldier in Canberra. The Australian Army’s Sgt. Paul Royal, 33, has been chosen to drive the gun carriage, bearing the body of the Unknown Soldier, in a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of Armistice Day. Tomorrow the gun carriage will pick up the body from King Hall in Canberra and the carriage will be taken to Anzac Parade and then carried to the memorial in a funeral procession. Paul has grown up in Mildura and attended Chaffey Secondary College. He has been in the army for nine years. (5.11.1993)

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