The Mayor of Orange, Ald William Ernest Bouffler announces that £4000 has been raised for Orange Red Cross Day
Australian Prime Minister, William (Billy) Hughes attends the second session of the Imperial War Conference in London. The conference consists of a series of meetings held concurrent with the Imperial War Cabinet to co-ordinate governance of the British Empire during the war and prepare for the post-war situation. The conference continues to 26 July.
Soldiers of the 37th Company, 10th Battalion, 359e Regiment d’Infanterie taking cover in an embankment during the Battle of Matz. Image in public domain.
French forces at Compiègne launch a counter-attack against German troops in the Battle of the Matz. Four divisions and 150 tanks catch the Germans by surprise and halt their advance. Operation Gneisenau, the last of four attacks in the German Spring Offensive is abandoned.
William Bell, a compositor with the Advocate, sends news from France. Soldier’s Letter
The weather is lovely, like an Australian spring, and a change to the long drib-drab winter we have gone through. Still, that was a “king” to the previous winter. I shiver now when l think of it. It is just two years since I left Orange, and I am now in the third winter here. I have been a year and ten months in France, and nearly all that time within reach of the enemy’s guns. People in Orange, I suppose, could hardly credit the existence of guns that can fire a shell from Orange and drop it on Blayney. I feel as confident as ever of getting home safely.
Germany launches Operation Gneisenau, the last of four attacks in the Spring Offensive aiming to break the deadlock on the Western Front. The operation begins with the Battle of Matz, with German forces attacking over a 37 km front along the Matz River and advancing 14 km despite fierce French and American resistance. The objective is to draw Allied reserves south, widen the German salient and link up with the German salient at Amiens. Fighting continues for three days and results in 35,000 Allied and 30,000 German casualties.
US Navy vessels in European waters now number 150. The vessels commence laying mines in the North Sea, with the aim of creating a barrier against German vessels. By the end of the war the barrage would extend from Scotland to Norway, a distance of almost 500 kms, and contain 56,570 mines.
French and American troops near Chateau-Thierry capture Veuilly-la-Poterie, Vinly, Bouresches and Hill 204
Veterinary officer Keith McClymont expresses relief that his new assignment in England is so much more comfortable that his previous one in France. Soldier’s Letter
This is a pretty country centre, and will be a nice place during the summer weather. The change will be most beneficial to me, as my jaw is scarcely strong enough yet to chew hard biscuits. The food here is exceptionally good considering every-everything. Of course sugar, butter and other things are scarce, but we get a good supply of vegetables.
American Marines in Belleau Wood, 1918, Georges Scott. Image courtesy Illustrations.
The US Marine Corps launch an attack against German storm troopers at Belleau Wood near Aisne in northern France. Intense fighting continues until 26 June, by which time the Marines sustain about 4,000 casualties, including 1,000 killed. This was about 55 percent of the brigade’s original strength and constitutes the largest number of casualties suffered by a single American brigade during World War One. The Battle of Belleau Wood. US Marines at Belleau Wood in WWI
If we have the misfortune to loss the war it will not be long before there will be cause for weeping and gnashing of teeth amongst the crowd who stayed at home. Truly, “Twere better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all.” I don’t like the war, but if I had my time over again I would enlist … it is the only path open to any self-respecting follow who is in a position to enlist.
American men who turned 21 after 5 June 1917 are required to present for military conscription today, the second day of registration under the Selective Service Act of 1917