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Harrisburg telegraph. [volume] (Harrisburg, Pa.) 1879-1948, December 19, 1919, Image 18

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038411/1919-12-19/ed-1/seq-18/

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Admiral Bacon, in Book, Re
veals Thrilling Tale of
"Dover Patrol'
London. Dec. 19.—1f you suddenly
learned that at most vulnerable point,
In some of the most critical mo
ments of the late war. Great Britain
•was being guarded by two men and
a boy, armed with two popguns.
one of which was away
you would experience something ot
the thrill given by Admiral Bacon's
book, 'The Dover Patrol. 191-li.
•writes a London reviewer.
For the one fact t hat ®tands out
most clearly In these fascinatllng
volumes is that for the veiy gate
of England, from which we had to
send every man and every cartridge,
and every mouthful of food 101 the
fighting line in France, the ad
miralty could only spare a few 0( ?^ 8
and ends of obsolete vessels, be
cause, for a chance that never came,
we hid away at Scapa all our boast
ed naval strength. And yet the Do
ver Patrol was the one unit of the
fleet that was always in touch with
th AimiraV Bacon is i * nd
ready to carry on chcerfull} and im
provise good-humoredly with two
men and a boy. if my lords of the
admiralty could spare him noth In*
more. But his facts are startling.
How splendidly he was wined y
his men he is eager to te l.
"The men were mostly plain fish
erfolk; the vessels ordinary fishing
craft The little drifter —with the
armament of a single rifle an <* a
few rounds of ammunition—who
used to accompany us on our bom
bardments and be shelled with ap
parent enjoyment, had crews of
hardv fellows who were seamen in
the truest sense. Often they stood
unarmed as outposts in the Straita
of Dover, with neither gun to fight
nor speed to avoid the German de
stroyers ... ...
"The trawlers, with their brother
fisher-folk, swept for mines at the
rate of 250 miles a day. and during
the first three years of the war
swept a total distance equivalent to
twelve times round the earth! These
pie i saw their comrades blown up.
and vet wept on stendilv and unfal
teringly with their duties.
Eccentric. Monitors
Of regular navy boats —except for
monitors, of whose navigating ec
centiioitlca Admiral Bacon tells
some amusing stories —there were
"The Interesting feature is the
phenomenally small force of de
strovers with the four-inch guns in
the patrol. For two years four was
the greatest number available find
once we were reduced to a single
four-inch gun destroyer to hold the
straits, with a dozen or more Ger
man boats barely sixty miles away,
each superior in armament to our
■ingle boat."
Little wonder that, with all their
cheery confidence, the men of the
Dover Patrol, up against the war as
no other part of the navy was,
sometimes coveted, at least, one of
the countless boats hoarded and
cherished In other harbors far away
from the work.
But Admiral Bacon made tha best
of things—and what a Jolly good
best it was we can realize now,
•when we know how much he did for
our national safety with such Inade
quate arms—and the cheery spirit in
which he writes is well illustrated
by his description of the monitors
that were entrusted to him. The
Marshal Ney was a special pet:
"Her engines not infrequently ex
ploded when asked to start, her
engine room was scarred as if by
shrapnel from the fragments of
burst cylinder heads, and the es
capes of the engine room staff were
miraculous. * * • • When they did
not burst they usually would not
start, and when once started no one
liked to stop them for fear of not
being able to start them again."
It was when a new captain had
her in a gale in m'dchannel, and
she was doing everything hut steer,
that the ndmiral wirelessed him to
chepr him up. "The Marshal Nov
usually navigates the waters of the
patrol sideways."
Unahle with the forces at his dis
posal to fight the enemy, as his
sailor's heart urged him to db. Ad
miral Bacon was reduced to bluffing
them, and he has some amusing
stories to tell of this:
"To give the enemy a fright and
to give a wakeful night to several
thousand men, I sent Commander
Evans with two small torpedo hoats
off Ostend to fire two bouquets of
100 rockets each to give the mili-
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Most every household has a Gas Iron, which
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There are many other very useful appliances
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Harrisburg Gas Company
Middletown Harrisburg Stcelton
tary command something to think
How plans were made for the
landing of the First division on the
Belgian cost in 1917, with tanks and
guns, forms one of Admiral Bacon's
mist interesting chapters. Huge
pontoons, which were in reality 2,-
500 ton ships, were constructed, and
the scheme contemplated the land
ing of 16,000 men in twenty min
utes. A replica of the Middlekerke
sea wall that would have to be
tackled was set up In France, and
tanks were taught to climb it.
Plans For a Landing
Admiral Bacon gives a vivid ac
count ot the landing as it was to
have been, but our troubles on the
Passchendaele Ridge made the pro
posed combined attack impossible,
and the scheme was never brought
.After assuming that plans for run
ning the huge pontoons (laden with
troops, guns and tanks) end on to
the shore had been safely accom
plished. and that the monitors were
keeping the German shore batteries
amused, he continues:
"One yell, and the first 400 troops
burst ashore. The tanks began to
move, nnd almost at once reached
the wall. Then a tense excitement;
the tanks gripped, up the tanks
climbed. • • • A fi#od of troops
swarmed over the wall, and the ac
tion began. As soon as the troops
were clear, carts, gun lumber nad
sledges began to move off the pon
toons. • * • Such is the descrip
tion of what it was hoped would
happen, but, alas, it never came
Of the plans for the famous at
tack on Zeebrugge and Ostend Ad
miral Bacon has much to say, since
these were all worked out while he
held the Dover command, though
the actual operations were carried
out by his successor. On these af
fairs his comment is:
"It is impossible to have a better
example of how want of experience I
wrecked a # scheme. • • • instead
of this operation, the last naval ,
| operation of the war, being a model,
i a classical model, the Mole landing j
' was a disaster and Ostend. after our i
1 having patrolled close to it for near- j
lv a year and a half, was not found
; sum. u uatfM uoisaooo Xjuo uo
j really necessary."
To Probp Methods
of Shipping Aniirals
in Zero Weather
. Pliiladelphla, Dee. 19. —The So-1
'eiety for the Prevention of Cruelty
ito Animals will make an investiga
j t'on of the method of shipping ani
mals in zero weather.
I The action was taken after 15
| horses, shipped from Delaware to
i Philadelphia )in open-lattice stock
| cars, were frozen to death yesterday
on their way here.
They were consigned to a fertlliz
j ing plant at Greenwich Point, and
! were diverted to the Pennsylvania
Railroad freight yards at Thirtieth
and Race streets by mistake.
Huddled together In an effort to
shield themselves from the biting
cold, the horses, which were on their
; way to slaughter, perished slowly as
I the train raced north.
Convict Ends Life
by Hanging in Cell
j Philadelphia, Deo. 18.—William
\ Stehlik, 27 years old, hanged htm
; self in a cell in the Eastern Peni
-1 tentiary Wednesday night, where he
was serving a term of from two to
■ three years for highway robbery and
| assault.
I His body was found hanging from
! a rope he had made by tying to-
Paraphernalia Used by Moonshiners
in Making "Gasoline Whisky"
Many a downtrodden drinking man has muttered after gulping down
what is now surreptitiously sold as whisky: "That stuff must have been
made out of gasoline." As a matter of fact, some of the more errt'-rprising
moonshiners have been using the Btuff that makes autos and airplanes go
in producing a brand of "hooch" that puts a kick into a human's every
cylinder. This was discovered recently by Federal agents who made a
raid on New York moonshiners. This photograph shows the agents exam
ining paraphernalia seized in the raid.
gether pieces of his shirt. He had
also slashed both of his wrists with
a piece of tin he had torn from his
mess pan.
The prisoner had taken part in a
demonstration last week made by
the convicts as a protest against the
quality of food they wree receiving.
Il: =®. You Pay Less far Quality at Miller and Kades lF-J
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| 7 North Market Square .p]
Now Cumberland, pa., Dec. 19.
Mr. and Mrs. Kufus Sherman, of
. Fifth street, announce the birth of
a daughter on Thursday, December
lt>. Mrs. Sherman was Miss Ida
Dates, of New Market, prior to her
Jury at Coroner's Inquest Be
lieves Woman's Mind
Was Deranged
Atlantic City, N. J.. Dec. 19.—Five
year old James (Buddy) Blake,
whose body was washed aahore nt
Ventnor last Sunday, came to his
death at the hands of h's mother
I while she was laboring: under a state
j of mental aberration, according to
I the verdict of the Jury at the oor
| oner's inquest last night into the
i boy's death.
j Coroner Stoddard announced that
he would hold Mrs. Blake to await
the action of the grand jury,
j More than lu witnesses were
i heard by the jury, many of them
I testifying as to the mental condition
lof Mrs. Esther Miller Blake, the
• boy's mother, who is charged with
. his murder. Mrs. Blake, who is
I under police guard at the City Hos
| pital, was unable to appear at the
J inquest. Several physicians, includ
ing Dr. L. It. Souder, county physi- i
eian, testified that Mrs. Blake was I
| mentally irresponsible.
James M. Blake, Buddy's father, j
testified he had been separated from i
his wife about five years and that
prior to the separation he was
forced to send her tu a sanitarium
for the insane near Baltimore.
"She improved and come here
after a lapse of six months," Blake
said. "In 1914 I transferred by bust- :
ness to Philadelphia and not long
afterward she became a patient in a
I hospital there. Later we came to
Yilantie City and decided to live
apart. It was Impossible for us to
live together owing to her unman
ageable condition. When the boy
v/as born she refused to return home,
but finally did come against her
wishes. She threatened my life on
several occasions and I saw there was
nothing to do but to separate finally."
Blake said his wife made numer
ous attempts to affect a reconcilia
Doctors Clarence Carrabrant and
J. T. Berkwith, alienists appointed
by the court, testified that Mrs. Blake
was nervous and Excitable.
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DECEMBER 19, 1919.

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