Shock­ing toll of the Great War - al­most 20 mil­lion dead, 25 mil­lion maimed

Rochdale Observer - - NOSTALGIA -

HERE in our reg­u­lar fea­ture we take a look back at stories in the Rochdale Ob­server from 100 years ago:

●●THE HOR­ROR OF WARS

SPEAK­ING at Lit­tle­bor­ough on Satur­day, in sup­port of the can­di­da­ture of Mr Crin­ion for the Roy­ton Divi­sion, Mr Ben Til­lett de­liv­ered a fer­vid de­nun­ci­a­tion of the war-mak­ing Germans.

We are now, he said, pass­ing through the penul­ti­mate stage of a terrible war.

Through it, 42 mil­lion men are ei­ther dead or have been maimed - with eight sol­diers walk­ing abreast, three feet apart, they would make a pro­ces­sion 3,000 miles long, reach­ing from Eng­land to New York.

There are nearly 20 mil­lion men dead and at least 25 mil­lion men maimed; that is the cost, in men, of the out­rage of this war upon civil­i­sa­tion, upon its so-called cul­ture, upon its so-called moral­ity and upon its so-called re­li­gion.

As to the rest, imag­ine our coun­try from Lon­don to New­cas­tle dev­as­tated along the whole line of the 300 miles to a depth of from 50 to 100 miles - with all the cities and towns and ham­lets wiped out, with ma­chin­ery de­stroyed, with never a street or road or a place left so that any old in­hab­i­tant could dis­cover where his cot­tage stood.

●●WOMEN’S NEW PO­LIT­I­CAL POWER

SPEAK­ING at a women’s meet­ing in Spot­land, on Wed­nes­day, Mr Phillipps said he had al­ways be­lieved that women were quite as well qual­i­fied to ex­er­cise po­lit­i­cal judge­ment as men, and he thought the ex­pe­ri­ences of the war must have swept away any prej­u­dice that might have ex­isted against ad­mit­ting women to the full rights of cit­i­zen­ship.

Di­rect­ing at­ten­tion to the so­cial prob­lems that would arise af­ter the war, he said that they wanted the votes of the women elec­tors in or­der to in­flu­ence leg­is­la­tion for the build­ing of houses and other mat­ters that af­fected the health and physique of the na­tion.

They wanted women to help them to get a Bill to give the peo­ple the power to say whether they would or would not have a pub­lic house in their district.

Another mat­ter in which the women could ren­der great as­sis­tance was in re­la­tion to the ques­tion of moth­er­hood and the care of chil­dren.

The Lib­eral Party had for­mu­lated their pol­icy on those mat­ters.

They de­manded the set­ting up in the cities and coun­try, ar­eas of ma­ter­nity and child wel­fare cen­tres where ad­vice, med­i­cal treat­ment and sup­plies of pure milk could be ob­tained in cases of need, so as to stop the waste of child life in this coun­try.

●●THE SOL­DIERS AND THE WI­D­OWS

IN an ad­dress on Mon­day evening, Mr Phillipps, the Lib­eral Can­di­date, pleased for gen­er­ous treat­ment to re­turn­ing sailors and sol­diers, es­pe­cially those par­tially dis­abled, and to those whose tragedy it had been to be left wi­d­ows with fa­ther­less chil­dren.

Dis­abled men, if un­fit for their old oc­cu­pa­tions, must be equipped for some other means of em­ploy­ment which would not merely keep them from want - that was not enough - but pro­vide ad­e­quate com­fort and en­joy­ment for them.

These and wi­d­ows and their chil­dren, the na­tion must treat in no mean ●●DRIED FRUITS SCARCE AT the De­cem­ber meet­ing of the Rochdale District Gro­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion on Wed­nes­day, there were strong com­plaints about the short­ness of sup­ply of dried fruits to lo­cal pro­vi­sion deal­ers.

The Pres­i­dent, Mr J. L. Rat­cliffe, said the po­si­tion as to dried fruits and the cir­cu­lars is­sued in re­la­tion to them was “a com­plete puz­zler.”

Peo­ple were told that they were to have ex­tra al­lowances at Christ­mas but the peo­ple of Rochdale were doomed to great dis­ap­point­ment in that re­spect be­cause the lo­cal gro­cers had not the nec­es­sary quan­ti­ties to sell.

For that dis­ap­point­ment, the peo­ple must blame, not the gro­cers, but the rot­ten Gov­ern­ment which had cre­ated that state of af­fairs. (Hear, hear).

●●WAR CA­SU­AL­TIES

GUN­NER Tom Duffy of the Royal Field Ar­tillery, the sec­ond son of Mr James Duffy of 31 Syke Street, Ne­whey, died of wounds in France on Novem­ber 21st. He was 25 years of age and had for­merly played cricket with the Mil­nrow and Ne­whey clubs.

Cor­po­ral Fred Mor­ris (Ma­chine Gun Corps) died in hospi­tal in France on Novem­ber 13th from shell gas poi­son­ing. He was 26 years of age and resided at 15 Hope Street, Rochdale.

●●Ad­ver­tise­ments from 1918 edi­tions of the Rochdale Ob­server

Spirit, for it was their sac­ri­fice that had saved us, and that sac­ri­fice could not be mea­sured in words.

Gun­ner Tom Duffy

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