Topic: Gen - Query Club
The Query Club
21 July 1915
The large scale of the Great War often gave people a sense of alienation from the activities of the government and the army. To overcome this, newspapers of the day commenced columns called Query Club or similar names, where ordinary people could clarify their understanding of the complex processes. They also provide us, the historians, an insight into witnessing first hand, the responses of the various bodies to public concerns. The end product is a window into a society now almost out of living memory.
This is the Query Club from the Sydney Mail, 21 July 1915, p. 46.
It is not known with what guns the latest British warships are armed. The biggest guns reported officially are 15-inch, but it is believed that 16.5-inch weapons have been tested, if not actually mounted. Previous to the introduction of the 13.5-inch, the 12-inch was the biggest British naval gun.
Whether a man is married a day or ten years before he embarks for the front, in the event of his being killed, the widow is entitled to a pension - varying from £52 a year for a private to £156 a year for an officer in receipt of 50s a day or over. A sergeant's widow would receive at least £70 a year. Applicants for pensions should fill in their claims on special application forms, to be had from the Pensions Office, 17 Blight Street, Sydney.
NAVAL ENGINEER OFFICERS
The universities of Australia are co-operating with the Minister for Defence in regard to the provision of engineer officers for our navy from the ranks of university graduates. The principle conditions approved by the Minister and the universities are:
- All candidates to be nominated by the university, and to have completed a university course of not less than four years in mechanical engineering, exceptional cases to be considered on their merits.
- Candidates to have not less than 12 months' workshop experience.
- Age not to exceed 24.
- Six candidates to be entered each year.
- Candidates, on entry, to be given the rank (on probation) of engineer sub-lieutenant, with pay and allowances.
For further information write to the Registrar of the university in your State, or to the Navy Department, Melbourne.
Although many of the earlier stories circulated about the German atrocities in Belgium were subsequently found to be greatly exaggerated, the main charges of murder, brutality, rape and other actions of "frightfulness" were proved up to the hilt by the independent commission over which Lord Bryce presided. In reviewing the evidence Lord Bryce declared that there were in many parts of Belgium deliberate and sytematically organised massacres of the civil population, accompanied by many isolated murders and other outrages. Innocent men, women and children were murdered in large numbers, and many women were violated. Looting, house-burning, and the wanton destruction of property were ordered and countenanced by the officers of the German army as part of a system of general terrorisation. Women and children were used as a shield for advancing forces exposed to fire, wounded prisoners killed, and the Red Cross and white flags frequently abused. The conclusions of the independent commission of inquiry have been published in pamphlet form. You can get a copy from your bookseller for a few pence.
Every child born in Australia, even if his parents are foreigners, is regarded as a British subject.
A FATHER'S RIGHTS
"Motherless" is a girl, 16. On her mother's death her father broke in the home, all the children being taken charge of the relations. Now that "Motherless" is in service the father demands the money she is earning. She asks: Can he take my money? Can he prevent my living with an aunt who is pleased to have me? Can he compel me to go with him?
If your father failed in the past to provide for you as a father should, he is not entitled now to step in and claim your money or impose his will on you. Take no notice of his demands, and if he pesters you, inform the police.
Citation: Query Club, 21 July 1915