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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 20, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-10-20/ed-1/seq-10/

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Staff War Correspondence (By Mes
senger to London).
Ostend, Belgium, Oct. 7. I have
just conducted a masterly retreat to
I was practically on Antwerp's five
yard line when the Germans were
within striking distance of the goaL
And, being unlike most warcorre
spondents whom, I understand, write
home about the delirious pastiming
they find in dodging bullets, I retreat
ed. I can't dodge them very well
I have walked home at midnight in
Chicago but 17-inch shells and
bombs from the sky, well, that's
something else again.
I know all about the, bombs from
the sky the 17-inch shells I don't
want to know about.
But of the two I would prefer the
shells. From the stories I heard
among the refugees, with whom I
traveled to Ostend, there is nothing
more terrifying, nothing more hor
rible, than a Zeppelin attack upon a
sleeping city.
Babies blown to atoms while they
slept at their mother's side, little chil
dren's faces torn off and they live in
awful agony, blasted roofs falling and
crushing or smothering whole fami
lies those are only a few of the re
volting results 'that follow night at
tacks from above.
That's what Antwerp suffered
while besieged. And from what I can
learn not a soldier was killed by the
air fleets. Non-combatants alone fell.
Half-starved and terrorized men, wo
men and children were the victims.
The nearest approach to the military
who were killed were two civil guards
acknowledged non-combatants
who were buried under a falling
I was perhaps 25 or 30 miles from
Antwerp when I came upon the flee
ing bands of refugees from that city.
Always in this country refugees are
the same. Merchant or peasant, they
come slowly along the road in quaint,
dilapidated carts drawn by horses one
would swear were resurrected from
the soap factories for the occasion.
With the two boy scouts, separated
from family and friends, I had "met
along the road all of us on bicycles
we came upon this odd paarde.
We turned about and kept abreast
of the leader of the procession, a sim
ple thing as the carts ambled along
at only two or three miles an hour.
I Alongside the horse drawing the first
cart trudged a thin, stoop-shouldered
and middle-aged schoolmaster, not
unlike the kind we caricature in the
United States. In the vehicle were
his wife and aged mother. One of
the family was missing.
Their little daughter who had come
to them late in life was killed by a
bomb as she slept on the second floor
of their little cottage. The school
master and his wife in another room
escaped with merely splinter bruises.
They buried her as best they could,
wrapped in blankets and rugs, in
their own flower garden!
From this calm and silent scholar
I learned, not without difficulty, as
he spoke reluctantly, of the horrors
the people of Antwerp went through.
The Black Hole of Calcutta may still
produce a gasp whenever mentioned,
but for pure ferocity the siege of
Antwerp rivals anything the Hindoos
or Mongolians ever exhibited.
I cannot repeat all I have heard.
It is too terrible. Peculiarly every one
in our caravan had suffered a be
reavement. Half of my money I di
vided among the poor wretches.
Before even a fortified town can
be bombarded, the rules of war pro
vide for twenty-four hours' notice be
fore the commencement of actual
bombardment. But they aren't car-

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