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READY FOR ACTION: n Flying Corps squadron aircraft waiting for their pilots to take them into action.Photo courtesy of The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for July 30-August 5, 1917.
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AUSTRALIAN AVIATORSMr Andrew Fisher, High Commissioner for , who was accompanied by Colonels Griffiths and Reynolds, visited the n Flying Cadets, quartered at Oxford, where 136 are undergoing a practical course of training.The men were chosen from the ranks. All were picked for their physique and youth, and mostly because they possessed considerable mechanical knowledge.Training is very thorough in all departments of aeroplane work. So keen are the students that they are able to complete the course in half the usual time. The majority of the instructors are British, although there are several ns who gained experience on the various battle fronts.The consensus of opinion among the British instructors is that ns are peculiarly fitted for air work, and will make first-class fliers. All speak in high terms of the men’s exemplary conduct during training.After daily study in the workshops the men are compelled to indulge in athletics, the University authorities providing every facility. When the technical course is completed the men will be drafted to various aerodromes in Britain to undergo flying tests. Some hundreds have already passed to the final stage. An interesting feature of the instruction consists of a scale model of a famous war salient, on which, by electrical means, mimic shells burst over the ground, while an embryo aviator views the ground from a high gallery. Thus he is able to accustom himself to the appearance of trench systems, and to acquire a knowledge of aerial photography.Mr. Fisher visited the various colleges and saw the men at work. He was afterwards entertained by the corps in the dinner hall at Queen’s College.In a speech, Mr Fisher said he was glad to meet the ns’ latest arm of war service. It proved that was able to keep in line in every new venture. He was delighted to hear praise concerning their conduct. Upon them rested ‘s reputation in competition with men from all parts of the Empire. He hoped the name of would long be their inspiration. He looked to them to bring to the air service that initiative and boldness which had characterised their part in the war.

FREE PHOTOS FOR SOLDIERSDuring the past six months enthusiasm has been shown by the honorary workers of the Snapshots from Home League, of the YMCA, in providing free photographs of home scenes, relatives, and friends to those on active service. The total membership of the various leagues throughout the Commonwealth now numbers 5090, serving some 700 different centres, as against 2600 members, and 400 centres in February last. Since the Snapshots League was first formed in , thousands of applications have been received from our men abroad, on troopships, in camps in , and from their friends in the Commonwealth. This does not merely represent the amount of work carried out by the army of snapshotters belonging to the leagues, as the largest part of the work is done by the members getting the names of men at the front from rolls of honour, etc., and visiting the homes of the men, and taking photographs of their friends, to be forwarded to them. In a letter recently received, a member of the AIFstated: “The snapshots taken by you of my parents and sisters have reached me, and I cannot express how deeply grateful I am. You are engaged in a noble work, and I can assure you we appreciate the spirit in which it is done. So often the soldier becomes despondent and anxious for those at home, and a glance at their likenesses does one a great deal of good. I have watched soldiers on different occasions gazing for quite a long time into the likenesses of the ones they love.” Amateur photographers in this district, who are not already members of the league, may become enrolled as such, and gain much interesting and pleasurable experience by applying for membership to Miss Scott, care Scott’s, Ltd., Newcastle.

CARRINGTONAt the school of arts hall on Saturday night, the members of tile Carrington Football Club presented Private P. Scully, captain of the 4th grade team, who is leaving for the front, with a wristlet watch and money-belt. After the toast of The Kinghad been duly honoured, the president of the school of arts said he was pleased to see such a large number of the members of the football club present to do honour to their departing comrade. He hoped that in the near future they would have the pleasure of welcoming home Private Scully as safe and sound as he was leaving them. MrH. Hogan, in proposing the toast of The Guest,said they were sorry to lose Private Scully as a member of the club and a comrade, but hoped it was only for a short time. He wished him luck whilst away. The toast was enthusiastically received. Private Scully, in responding, said he would not forget the Carrington boys whilst away. He was sorry that he was severing his connection with the football club, but hoped that it was only for a short time. Mr J.A. Devon, secretary of the Carrington Football Club, in making the presentation, said they were losing one of their best players by the departure of Private Scully. If he fought the enemy as well as he fought his opponents on the football field he would render a good account of himself. It gave him great pleasure, on behalf of his clubmates, to present him with the watch and belt. MrC. Bushy, on behalf of the younger members of the school of arts, then presented Private Scully with a fountain pen, after which Private Scully was presented with a safety razor.

KILLINGWORTHA memorial service was held in St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Sunday in memory of the late Private Joseph Pritchard, who was recently killed in action in France.MrsJames Cherry, senior of Killingworth, received a letter from her son, Private Oliver James Cherry, from a Canadian hospital in England, where he is convalescing from a severe attack of trench fever after serving 11months in France. Private O. J. Cherry enlisted in July, 1915, and served in Gallipoli and Egypt before going to France. His friends will be glad to learn that he is well on the way to recovered health. Another son, James, is now a warrant officer on the headquarters’staff in France; while a third son, Robert, is also at the front “somewhere in France”.

NEWCASTLE’S WATTLE DAYIn Newcastle on Wednesday there was no mistaking the character of the day, for wattle was seen in every direction. The members of the Newcastle Wattle Day League had organised their forces with excellent effect, and there was an ample supply of the popular flower and also many buyers. This was evident from the fact that nearly every person wore a sprig of the n national flower. The weather was perfect. The blooms had been gathered in every direction, and quantities came from distant places. The league had established their headquarters at the Central Methodist Mission Hall and early in the morning there were ample supplies for a start, and these were replenished as the day wore on.A short ceremony was held under the auspices of the league at the Anzac Memorial in front of the Newcastle Post Office at noon, in the presence of a large crowd. Three wreaths of wattle were placed on the monument.

HEXHAMNews has been received that Corporal D. Julien Weinberg has been wounded in France. The young soldier was a Russian, from Lodz, Poland, where his parents reside. Joining the British forces in Egypt he fought at Gallipoli, where he was wounded. After his discharge he came to , where he again enlisted in the 34th Battalion.

PRIVATE W. EAGLESMr and MrsEnoch Eagles, of Victoria-street, Adamstown, received word Tuesday that their son, Private W. Eagles, who was wounded on June 7th, is progressing favourably. He received a wound in the right leg and right arm and shoulder. Private Eagles has been awarded the Military Medal for gallant action on May 17th and 18th. Private Eagles volunteered to carry despatches under heavy fire, and for his gallant action he was awarded the Military Medal. Private Eagles previous to enlisting was a miner at Burwood Colliery.

PRIVATE H. SHEARSMiss Shears of Minmi, has received the following letter: “You will have heard the sad news of the death of your brother, Harry, who was killed in action on the 9/6/’17. I wish to convey to you the sympathy of the men of his company. He was one of the original members of the battalion, and was of particular value among the men, because he had gone through so much and done so well, consequently we all feel his loss very keenly. He proved himself to be a splendid soldier, cool in danger, and fearless in action. It will be some comfort to you to know that he was not called upon to suffer pain. He passed quietly to his rest, and was buried in a grave, with some of his friends behind our lines. We thought of you and all your family, and ask, in prayer, that God would give you comfort in your sorrow, and that you might be proud of the way that your brother had been faithful in duty until his death. Yours (Signed), Private A. Bamback and Jock Fullocks.”

PRIVATE J. BARKERMrs Annie Barker, of the Selections, Abermain, has been notified officially that her husband, Private James Barker, was killed in action in France on July 20th, 1917. He left with a local battalion, and had three sons at the front. One was killed and another invalided home, leaving one still in action.

ENLISTMENTSWilliam Read Beeston, Hamilton; Oliver Carlow Capararo, Carrabolla; Frederick Clarke, Karuah; Henry Gunn, Scone; William Haddow, Gateshead; Ralph Peel Scott, Stanford Merthyr; William Henry Smith, Linwood; Thomas Clifton Storey, Mayfield; George Frederick White, Islington; Andrew James Wilson, Carrington; John Herbert Young, Lambton.

DEATHSGnr Arthur William Black, Lochinvar; Pte George Arthur Blanch, Karuah; Pte Aaron Herbert Hayes, Islington; Pte Ernest Reign Urwin, Plattsburg.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. Follow his research at facebook苏州夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

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