- British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith resigns following a political crisis about the British War effort. After lengthy cabinet discussions Asquith agrees to delegate decision-making to a small, three-man committee chaired by the secretary of state for war, David Lloyd George, but changes his mind after The Times portrays the proposed change as a defeat for him. Asquith is succeeded by David Lloyd George who forms a small war cabinet.
- The German Parliament (Reichstag) passes the Patriotic Auxiliary Service Bill by 235 to 19 votes. Men between the ages of 17 and 60 years of age are now liable to be called up for labour.
- The Battle of the Arges ends in Transylvania after four days’ fighting. Romania sustains 400,000 casualties; Romanian civilians flee to Russia.
This entry was posted on December 5th, 2016.
- The Ancient Order of Foresters Orange organises a benefit concert to be held on Boxing Day to support the 18 members of their organisation who are on active service overseas. Soldiers’ Comforts
- Prime Minister Hughes states that the government may look into the issue of daylight savings. The question of marriage by proxy for soldiers serving overseas is also under consideration. Daylight Saving Bill
- Russian troops continue their progress in the Carpathians; they capture the peak commanding Jablonitsa Pass
- French and Serbian troops on the Southern Front advance to the east of Monastir
- German submarine SM U-65 torpedoes the British passenger ship Caledonia in the Mediterranean Sea 125 nautical miles south east of Malta. The Caledonia sinks, with the loss of one crew member; her captain is taken prisoner of war.
- Admiral Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe is appointed First Lord of the Sea, replacing Admiral Sir Henry Jackson
Admiral Sir John Rushmore Jellicoe. Image courtesy George Grantham Bain Collection/Library of Congress, Washington, DC. (Digital File Number: LC-DIG-ggbain-38732).
This entry was posted on December 4th, 2016.
Charles Alfred Gage. Image courtesy Forbes Advocate, 26 January 1917.
- Charles Alfred Gage is killed in action in France
- 1,300 Anglo-French troops land at Piraeus in Greece in an attempt to dethrone King Constantine I and reinstate former Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos. Chaos erupts, with the hunting down, torture and massacre of Venizelos’ supporters. The Allied troops are forced to retreat.
- German submarines bombard Funchal Port at Madeira, sinking three ships
- British and French Governments agree on a co-ordinated approach to shipping – the Runciman-Clementel Agreement
- to unite British ships in French service to those already employed
- to co-ordinate Allied tonnage
- to create inter-allied bureau to centralise charter of neutral shipping
This entry was posted on December 3rd, 2016.
- Charles Henri Condell is killed in action in France
- The Greek Government consents to Admiral du Fournet’s request to surrender artillery batteries. They agree to surrender six, but relinquish eight.
- Allied forces impose an embargo on Greek vessels in Allied ports
- New Prime Minister of Russia, Alexander Fyodorovitch Trepov, announces that the Allies have acknowledged Russia’s right to Constantinople and the Dardenelles
This entry was posted on December 2nd, 2016.
Charles Henri Condell was born in Ireland in 1890, the youngest of six children born to Thomas Condell and his wife Sarah (nee Macartney). In August 1906, 16 year old Charles joined the British Navy. He was a sailor for five years, until migrating to Australia with his older brother, Thomas, in 1911.
The brothers settled initially in Orange, where Thomas worked as chief clerk for solicitor Donald Pilcher at Russell Chambers in Lords Place. In 1914 they moved to Canowindra, where Thomas established his own solicitor’s practice.
In December 1915 Charles travelled to Cootamundra to enlist in WWI. He was 23 years of age and working as a farm labourer at the time. Charles trained at Cootamundra and Goulburn camps, and, in June 1916, embarked from Sydney for overseas service, a private in the 56th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement.
Private Condell disembarked in Plymouth on 25 August 1916, and was appointed Acting Corporal the same day. He proceeded to the Western Front in mid October and was taken on strength with the 56th Battalion at the Somme on 2 November 1916.
One month later, on 2 December 1916, Charles was killed in action at Cow Trench, Bapaume, the victim of a bullet wound to the head. He was buried at the nearby Bancourt British Cemetery.
Charles Henri Condell is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll and on panel number 162 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Capt CH Condell”; it was donated by Charles’ brother Thomas McCartney (Mac) Condell, Orange Municipal Councillor and solicitor, who also served in WWI.
This entry was posted on December 2nd, 2016.
- The Leader publishes letters from four Orange soldiers serving overseas:
- William Davidson writes from hospital in England and says how impressed he is by the multitude of French women and children engaged in farming. Australians Help French Women
- Bert Braybrook reports that mail deliveries to France are much more reliable than they were in Egypt and that “postal arrangements in the army are splendid”. The French language, however, is not without its challenges. A Soldier Who’s Travelled
- Roy White writes from “Somewhere at Sea, Some Time” to say that his contingent has been at sea for seven weeks now and hopes to arrive soon at their destination. He describes how well he was received in Durban, where he rode in “strange conveyances” called rickshaws. On The Way To Battle
- John Robert Stevenson describes the training undertaken for dealing with toxic gasses and the joys of sharing a leaking tent with twelve other soldiers. In Leaky Tents In France
- Sergeant McDonald, commanding officer of Joseph Victor Bennett, informs Joseph’s father that his son was “the finest soldier in his platoon [who] risked his life to do him a service when he was wounded himself in France.” Soldier’s Letter
- German and Romanian forces in Transylvania clash in the Battle of the Arges. The four-day long battle ends in disaster for Romania, with 400,000 casualties. Romanian civilians are forced to flee to Russia.
- The British War Committee meets in London for the last time. The committee would later be replaced by the War Cabinet.
This entry was posted on December 1st, 2016.
Prussian General der Infanterie, Ewald von Lochow, 1914. Image courtesy Wartenberg Trust.
- German Crown Prince Wilhelm relinquishes command of the 5th German army at Verdun. He is succeeded by Prussian General der Infanterie, Ewald von Lochow.
- French aircraft bomb Thionville in north eastern France
- German troops on the Eastern Front cross the Neajlovu River, 25 kms south-west of Bucharest
- Allied forces land at Piraeus in Greece
- The Greek Government refuses Admiral du Fournet’s demand for surrender of guns
This entry was posted on November 30th, 2016.
This entry was posted on November 29th, 2016.
- Day 855 of the war
- A single German aircraft conducts the first daylight raid on London. Six 10kg bombs are dropped over south-west London, the intended target is the Admiralty Building in Whitehall. The bombs miss their target; ten people are injured and £1,585 worth of property is damaged. The aircraft later experiences engine trouble and crash lands in France, where the crew of two is taken prisoner.
- Russian troops on the Eastern Front succeed in the Carpathian Mountains, capturing the heights to the east of Jablonitsa Pass and Kirlibaba
- Bulgarian soldiers on the Southern Front occupy Giurgevo (Giurgiu), on the Danube
- British troops conduct a successful raid near Macukovo in Macedonia
- The Romanian Armed Forces is engaged in a daring cavalry charge into enemy lines – the Prunaru Charge, a phase of the Battle of Bucharest. Although 4,866 of the 5,000-strong 2nd Roşiori cavalry regiment are killed, the action is considered a tactical victory, allowing the 18th Romanian infantry division to regroup and help defend Bucharest.
This entry was posted on November 28th, 2016.
- John Thomas Fearish enlists. John is commemorated on the Centenary of WWI in Orange Honour Roll; he would die of wounds in Belgium on 20 October 1917.
- Mr and Mrs Charles Curran present a sanctuary lamp to St Josephs’ Church in memory of Bernard Augustine (‘Bun’) Kelaher, who was accidently killed by a sentry on 26 September 1916. Personal
- Stanley Josiah Parish sends news from France. He described the Battle of Pozieres, and how his battalion was the first to cross the parapet, the “bullets whistling round our ears, playing all manner of tunes.” In The Somme Valley – Orangeites At Pozieres
- Ten German airships raid the north-east coast and north Midlands region of England, killing four people and injuring 37. Two of the zeppelins – L-34 and L-21 are shot down and ditch in the sea with the loss of all crewmembers. Zeppelin Raids
- German troops in Romania advance on Bucharest, capture Curtea de Arges and Giurgevo (Giurgiu), and occupy Alexandria in the country’s south
- Russian troops force Turkish soldiers back into Persia, capturing many of their armaments
- German submarine SM U-32 torpedoes and sinks the British cargo liner City of Birmingham in the Mediterranean Sea 90 nautical miles south east of Malta. Four sailors die, the remaining crew are rescued by HMHS Letitia.
This entry was posted on November 27th, 2016.