Reported in the News Letter during this week in 1916

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Here are some of the stories reported in the News Letter 100 years ago

Floods in Irish Midlands

“Greatest in Living Memory”

January 17, 1916

Following the recent heavy weather, the great Irish rivers Shannon and Barrow have overflowed their banks and wrought great havoc in the Irish Midlands, the inundations being the greatest within living memory. For miles along their reaches there is one vast expanse of water.

In the Athlone and Banagher districts floods are periodic, resulting in great devastation. The people in the flooded areas are at present in a hopeless condition, their flocks and other belongings having been destroyed. An effort was made some years ago to obtain Government assistance for drainage works, but the scheme fell through.

Steel & Sons Final

Glentoran 2nd v Linfield Swifts

January 17, 1916

The final tie between these teams took place on Saturday [January 15] at Celtic Park before a very good attendance of spectators. The ground was on the soft side but an exceedingly well-contested game resulted in the Swifts attaching the cup for the season 1915 and 1916.

Having won the toss, the Swifts elected to play with a fairly stiff wind behind them. Despite the breeze, the Glens were the more dangerous. Eventually the Swifts forwards assumed the offensive. Following a melee in front of goal Milligan drew first blood for the Swifts. This was followed by Robinson adding a second, and the interval arrived with the Swifts two goals to the good. With the wind in their favour Glentoran forwards kept up a strong attack on Adams’ charge. Do what they would, the Glens distinctly failed to reduce the lead, and retired beaten by two clear goals.

Linfield Swifts ........ 2 goals

Glentoran 2nd ....... Nil

Scene in a London Church

“Stop the War” Meeting Broken Up

January 17, 1916

Extraordinary scenes were witnessed last night in the Brotherhood Church, Southgate Road, Kingsland, London North, on the occasion of a “stop the war” demonstration to which the public had been freely invited, no tickets being required. The police, foreseeing trouble, were in strength near the church. The advertised speakers mounted the dais, and the first hymn was sung. Then the trouble began. Pastor Rev F R Swan read a passage from the New Testament bearing on peace, and was understood to say that he thought the time had come for us to withdraw from the war. He got no further.

Soldiers and civilians rose in a body and denounced the chairman and his companions as traitors. Supporters of Mr Swan attempted to drown opposition by singing “The Old Flag”, and the opposition replied with “Keep the Home Fires Burning”. Then from the gallery were thrown Chinese crackers, which exploded below, and hand-to-hand struggles took place all over the floor of the church.

American Submarine Sunk

As Result of Explosion

January 17, 1916

The American submarine E2 has been sunk as the result of an explosion in Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York.

Four persons were killed and twelve injured, some of them probably fatally. The electric batteries with which the submarine was recently equipped were being charged at the time of the explosion.

One theory holds that the disaster was the result of a hydrogen explosion.

A German Reservist’s Sentiment

“Let the Kaiser Fight for Himself”

January 18, 1916

At Newcastle-on-Tyne Police Court yesterday Godfrey Edward Oscar Stegmann, aged 31, a German, was charged with having resided in a prohibited area of Newcastle without permission of the Aliens’ Registration Office, and further, with having made a false statement to a boarding-house keeper. The accused at first said he was a Scandinavian, but at the detective office stated: “I am a German reservist. I am German born, but not a German at heart. If I had been I would have been fighting. There is no liberty there, and I want to enjoy the liberty of this country as long as I can. Let the Kaiser fight for himself.”

The accused was sent to prison for six months on each charge, the sentence to run concurrently.

Grand Opera House

“Humpty Dumpty”

January 18, 1916

The pantomime continues to attract large and enthusiastic audiences to the Grand Opera House.

The scenery provides a veritable feast of colour and there can be no doubt that it has been a great factor in the triumph which has been achieved.

Miss Clara Black, a comely and dashing principal boy, makes new friends at every performance by her captivating personality and the charm with which she imbues her acting and singing.

Rank and File Casualties

Ulster Division Men Wounded

January 19, 1916

Private Thomas Beggs, 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (East Belfast Volunteers), has been wounded in France, and is now in hospital at Birmingham. Prior to enlisting he was employed at Baine’s Bakery, Montrose Street. His injury consists of a gunshot wound in the right arm, and is not serious.

Private Thomas Quail, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, who was reported missing after the first battle of Neuve Chapelle on October, 1914, is now returned by the War Office as having been killed on that date or since. He served through the South African campaign, and rejoined at the outbreak of war, prior to which he was employed in the boilermaker’s shop at the Queen’s Island. Deceased leaves a wife and five children, who reside at 22, Hemsworth Street.

Mr Redmond’s Position

Retirement Rumour Again

January 18, 1916

Our Cork correspondent says – It was very strongly rumoured in Cork yesterday in political circles that Mr John Redmond had asked his colleagues to accept his resignation of the leadership of the Nationalist party.

It is understood that at the urgent request of his followers Mr Redmond will, however, retain his present position until a successor can be chosen, and every effort is being made to keep the matter private for the present.

Serious Fire in Ballymena

A Pork Store Gutted

January 19, 1916

One of the most serious fires that has taken place in Ballymena for a number of years broke out yesterday morning in the large and very extensive pork-curing establishment of Mr Wm McConnell, Hill Street. At the time of the outbreak the retail shop and the adjoining stores were all heavily stocked, and the damage caused by the fire is estimated to be between £12,000 and £15,000.

Many Air Conflicts

Raid on German Trenches

January 20, 1916

The British report states that on Monday [January 17] 10 of our aeroplanes attacked an enemy supply depot at Le Sars, North-East of Albert, causing considerable damage. There were 19 air encounters during the day, in five of which enemy machines were driven down. Two of our aeroplanes were lost.

Yesterday a party of our troops raided enemy trenches north of the River Lys, and brought back several prisoners.

Farmer’s Wife Murdered

Husband Committed to Asylum

January 21, 1916

A tragic affair took place yesterday morning at Ballynahaye, a mountainous district in the County Tyrone, situated a few miles from the town of Ballygawley, when a farmer named Samuel Kerr killed his wife, while suffering from a fit of insanity.

The husband and wife were much devoted to each other, and the tragedy has caused a profound sensation in the district. The inquest will be held today.

Motor Notes

By C R

January 22, 1916

There has been another rise in the price of petrol since Christmas, and it now stands at 2s 3d or 2s 2d for first grade and 2s for taxibus. This is a very stiff price. At two shillings a gallon a car giving 24 miles to the gallon (a very fair average) costs a penny per mile for fuel alone.

The chief reason alleged for the rise in price is the very high freights ruling at present. The enormous consumption of petrol and benzole for war purposes is also another powerful factor.

Compulsion Bill

The Exclusion of Ireland

January 22, 1916

Lord Ashtown, in a letter to the “Outlook” which is published today, says – Now that it seems certain that Ireland will be excluded from the Compulsory Service Bill, may I as an Irish Unionist state my views.

Mr Bonar Law stated that on “principle” there was no justification for excluding Ireland from the Bill, but that exclusion was “expedient” because the Government feared strong opposition to the Bill in Ireland. I am with him there. There would be opposition in Ireland, but if the Government acted strongly and at once it would all die out.

Exclusion is an awful “slap in the face” to the loyal portion of the population and to those who would like to be loyal if they dare. All people in Ireland are now branded as refusing to do their best to bring the war to an end as soon as possible.