Aerial war­fare and di­a­bol­i­cal mur­der at sea

Strathearn Herald - - MEMORY LANE -

In one of their bom­bard­ing ex­pe­di­tions, Bri­tish naval avi­a­tors wrought havoc among ship­ping be­tween Os­tend and Blanken­berghe.

One large de­stroyer was hit amid­ships, and trawlers were sunk. Our aero­planes dropped 143 bombs on mil­i­tary ob­jec­tives, while hos­tile ma­chines dropped 50 be­hind our lines.

Con­tin­u­ing the work of ha­rass­ing the en­emy, English and Scot­tish reg­i­ments car­ried out suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions. In­tense can­nonad­ing in the re­gion east of Ypres was a pre­lude to a Bri­tish of­fen­sive on a wide front. The pro­longed spell of wet weather, which turned the bat­tle­field into a wilder­ness of mud, pre­vented the Bri­tish from fol­low­ing up on their suc­cesses.

De­tails of a cow­ardly at­tack made by a Ger­man sub­ma­rine on a small trad­ing schooner were forth­com­ing at an in­quest on three of the vic­tims. Ev­i­dence of the two sole sur­vivors showed that the sub­ma­rine opened fire from 150 yards, the first shot smash­ing the boat and the sec­ond killing one of the crew. The five sur­vivors got into the sec­ond boat, which, when in the wa­ter was struck by a shell, one man be­ing killed out­right and the skip­per and an­other man mor­tally in­jured.

The Ger­mans beck­oned to the sur­vivors to ap­proach, and then laughed at them with­out of­fer­ing the slight­est as­sis­tance to the dy­ing men. The skip­per died in hospi­tal. The coroner de­scribed the con­duct of the sub­ma­rine crew as di­a­bol­i­cal and the jury unan­i­mously re­turned the ver­dict of ”wil­ful and di­a­bol­i­cal mur­der.”

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