Gassed Australian soldiers awaiting medical attention at the Dressing Station at White Chateau, near Villers-Bretonneux, France. 27 May 1918. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
German forces on the Western Front launch an intense artillery bombardment on Allied positions at Chemin des Dames signalling the beginning of the Third Battle of the Aisne. Some two million shells are fired in just four hours, shattering Allied lines and enabling the enemy to advance almost 21 kilometres – the single biggest advance since the beginning of trench warfare in 1914. Fighting continues to 6 June, by which time French casualties number 98,000, British 29,000; German 130,000.
The Leader reports that 1500 schoolchildren and many residents attended the Empire Day celebrations at Robertson Park in Orange despite the miserably cold weather. Empire Day Local Celebrations
SS Kyarra. Image courtesy John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
German submarine UB-57 torpedoes the hospital ship Kyarra in the English Channel near Swanage. The Kyarra sinks, with the loss of six lives. Today the wreck is a popular diving site. Diving the Wreck of the Kyarra
High privilege—the right to give,
To help the stricken soldier live,
And nurture back to health anew
The men who gave so much for you;
To know that sigh shall yet arise
Within the wan and weary eyes,
And smiles shall once again be met
Where every smile had seemed to set.
Oh, give, for still the wounded fall,
And largest sums soon fade to small;
And give, for yet they need you aid
Where rights are won and heroes made;
To snatch brave lives from blood and murk,
Assist in mercy’s holy work;
To help the stricken soldier live.
Renew your right—the right to give.
View from Villers-Bretonneux towards Monument Wood, 21 May 1918. The view is photographed through the observation hole in a house by the Railway Bridge; the white line above the telegraph posts signals the edge of enemy territory. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Australia’s sons must march away,
Your boy will go with mine,
To fight or die, God grant they may
Return to us some day
Back from the fighting line,
Where skies are torn with shot and shell.
Where death is stalking near,
The Y.M.C.A., noble band,
Will give your boys a helping hand
Will speak a word of cheer.
At hut or tent, where all is free,
Our soldier lads attend.
They know they’re welcome, day or night,
To play their games, to read or write
To mother, wife, or friend.
In distant lands, on foreign shores,
A friend the boys all need,
To right a wrong, a grief to share,
And in the Y.M.C.A. there
They find a friend indeed.
“A bit of home,” one soldier said,
Who played the greater game.
Australia rises then to greet
The noble-hearted band who treat
All men and creeds the same.
The Red Triangle calls to-day
For help to bear the strain
Of big expense on every hand,
And, well we know, in Anzac land,
It will not call in vain.