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18 October 1916

By October 18, 2016No Comments
  • Private Ray Sharp of the 1st Pioneer Battalion writes home from England. He confides: “believe me, mum, there is not one of us here who would not willingly die over this business.” Walked All Over France
  • The Battle of Le Transloy ends on the Somme; despite a three week struggle British soldiers gain precious little ground; 57,000 casualties are sustained
  • Romanian troops conduct a successful attack enemy in Aluta in southern Transylvania
  • British submarine HMS E38 torpedoes the German cruiser Munchen off the Dogger Bank in the North Sea
  • The Leader publishes Mabel AM Hardie’s poem To Women On Anti-Conscription:

Is it possible women can take such a stand?
Bring nothing but shame, and disgrace on their land?
Do they think the word “Coward” an enviable brand
To stamp on their sons, when they’re men?

Where is the honor that mothers should show?
And teach all their sons that the whole world may know
Australia is willing her sons shall all go
And fight for their country like men?

Sisters and sweethearts, will you have no say?
Can you not endeavour to show the right way,
And see that our boys at the front get fair play,
And be proud of Australian men?

Do they think of their countrymen playing the game?
Have they seen returned soldiers, blind, halting, and lame?
Can they, after such awful sights, still feel the same,
And think to themselves they are men?

You realise surely—as all women must—
That men without honor no longer we trust?
Appeal to the good in them, let them be just,
And I’m sure we’ll be proud of our men.

It largely depends on the women today—
To always keep smiling, and show them the way,
They hide breaking hearts, and are able to say—
“Go; fight for your King, and be men.”