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Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Great War, South Australian History, The Critic, 3 May 1916
Topic: Gen - St - SA

Great War

South Australian History

The Critic, 3 May 1916


Minnie Love

 [From: The Critic, 19 April 1916, p. 24.]



"The Searchlight" from The Critic, 3 May 1916, p. 9.

 One of the best mirrors of a society is found in the things people find entertaining. Below is one such mirror. It is an extract from The Critic of 3 May 1916 at page 9 where the popular column produced by a person taking the nom de plume "The Searchlight" wrote pithy little entries designed to be informative as well as humorous. The topics tackled are wide ranging. The Easter Uprising in Dublin, The Western Front, The Sportsman's Thousand, The Kaiser's Birthday, Land Agents, Wowsers, Early Closing, Horse Racing and Fashions to name some of the topics. One must realise that this is a theme of the times and part of that is the overt racism that flows through some of the comments. They will not be censored because this was the society at the time and this was a respected newspaper of that time.




May 3, 1916 p. 9

The Searchlight. (By "Adelaide")

The light that sprays a hundred ways
With biting phrase instead of rays.

The Outer Harbor is still popular for anglers. Well, if you travel second-class you don't need to get to your journey's end even before you get a bite.

During the Dublin riots some of the women, tis said, held out their aprons for the jewellery and other loot from the wrecked shops. Is this the conscription of wealth we are hearing such a lot about?

May Day passed off very quietly this year. Red ribbon was not at all prominent, and neither, for that matter, was green in tie white of the eye.

Managers say that the public are developing a taste for long picture-plays. Humph! Judging by the modern drama, we thought they would have preferred them short and broad.

A fashion exchange says briefly: "Long drops are very fashionable for women again." A leading hangman informs us, however, that he reckons the same length is necessary for both men, and woman. “Long drops,” he says emphatically, “are always preferable.”

On the Kaiser’s birthday six women were killed in Berlin, so great was the crush. And William the Awful will no doubt swank that he is quite a lady-killer now.

We hear a lot about Turkish atrocities. Well we've always reckoned their cigarettes were that, and it was by our idea - judged, and not our ears.

His Excellency the Governor says that the dressing up of the gentle nigger by the missionary is always a great mistake. They catch colds, of course. Niggers aren't the only ones, though, who suffer from colds from dressing up.

Skipping is now recommended as the very best exercise. House-agents declare that lots of their trusted tenants seem to exercise their ingenuity in this way everlastingly.

Theodore Roosevelt declares that he is not afraid to talk. No; it is other people who are afraid of Teddy's talking.

Lots of our swaddies expect to go to France. Judging by the farewell speeches they are subjected to, we should unhesitatingly say they should be quite impervious to gas.

There are many things, says a contemporary, to say about the Turk, but being a family paper it doesn't say them.

The "sweetest refrain" we know of is the encore that the brassy-haired serio-comic refuses to give her admirers.

A fire broke out in Melbourne Her Majesty's picture-palace on Saturday afternoon. Well some of the pictures lately have been a bit on the warm side.

German soldiers have to do a fearful lot of gymnasium work when they are first enrolled. Accounts for 'm being such remarkable bounders, perhaps.

The P.L.L. in Sydney has expressed its abhorrence of the system of boarding out the unfortunate little wards of the State to dairy-farmers and others. We can still weep over the wrongs of the negro slaves in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," but we have precious little sympathy for the real little white slaves of Australia.

The news that sackcloth is fashionable will be very irritating to most people.

There is said to be a great shortage in properly dyed serges, etc. So if you want to get a shot effect, dear lady or gentleman, you need only go out in the last smart shower that comes along, and behold! your smart new suit will achieve it free of cost.

Skirts are sometimes in extreme cases eight inches off the ground. All, what you might call, the height of fashion.

President Wilson is said to be fond of singing. We can picture him singing, "Hold your hand out, naughty boy;" to the Kaiser over the latest outrages.

Travellers on the Parkside and Glen Osmond tram lines are recommended to carry tin-openers with them, in order to cut their way through the other sardines when they desire to alight at any of the streets along Hutt Street.

There are now broad chalk lines on the roadway in King William Street to indicate where people should stand to wait for the trams. Evidently Mr Goodman didn't deem us capable of walking a chalk-line before six o'clock closing.

Dr. Seitz, ex-Governor of German West Africa, has a British guard-of honor, which turns out daily before him and presents arms. International usage, of course, but it's such silly footle that we shall expect to hear of the British presenting alms to their fallen foes presently.

At a recent Durban race meeting a horse named Wedding Chimes came first and Poverty romped in second. Anyone could have tipped it.

That bright musical comedy, "The Dairy Maids," is being revived. A can-can would be an appropriate feature, eh, what?

What's all this yowl about football, races, etc? All the good sports went to the front long ago.

Mr. Hardy Brown landed a 247-Ib. shark at Umkomas. Didn't know that even land agents went that weight very often.

In view of the legs now on view, we have come to the conclusion that Fashion was, after all, charitable enough in that she covered a multitude of shins.

The Temperance Bars are not the success they might have been. Like life, there is too much froth and bobble about their wares. In fact, the hotel-keepers are finding these soft drinks hard cheese, and no mistake.

[Editor's Note: The "the brassy-haired serio-comic" was none other than Minnie Love who made her appearance at the Royal Theatre as Jeannie McTavish in "The Dancing Mistress". She was a brilliant young London comedienne brought out to Australia by JC Williamson for the Royal Comic Opera Company.]



Further Reading:

Great War, South Australian History

Great War, August 1914

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Great War, South Australian History, The Critic, 3 May 1916

Posted by Project Leader at 7:00 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 26 July 2010 4:54 PM EADT
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Great War, South Australian History, The Critic, 5 May 1915
Topic: Gen - St - SA

Great War

South Australian History

The Critic, 5 May 1915


The May Day Parade at Adelaide Children's Hospital


After the landings at Gallipoli, The Critic, 5 May 1915, wanted to be seen to be patriotic but complained that everyone was being kept in the dark. The commentary in the newpaper indicates the common sentiment being expressed at the time.


The Critic, 5 May 1915

Town Topics


Within the last few' days the people of South Australia have been brought to a tragical realisation of the dark days of the war. Up till then, somehow, while there had really been no sunny hours, the clouds of sorrow had not yet gathered. Our boys were away on active service, but were not in the firing line. There had come from Egypt, indeed, lamentations because of the idleness and the postponed day of action. Many of the soldiers had, with humorous protest, declared that they had become known as "Kitchener's six-bob-a-day tourists." Every gallant heart was throbbing in anticipation of the day when the real thing would happen, and the Australiap would be given an opportunity to show the stuff they were made of. It was no empty boasting of patriotism that had taken them away from home to foreign fields. But hope deferred was making the heart sick.


Then, suddenly, there came from Egypt the intimation that the Australians and the New Zealanders had gone, to the Dardanelles to push back the Germanised Turk, and to help the Allies to force their way to Constantinople. It was then that relatives and friends in the Commonwealth began to realise that it was becoming a serious business, and that any day the grim news of casualties of fallen heroes would flash through. The remarkable feature was the manner in which the sad, but inevitable, tidings came to the anxiously-waiting public. A veil of absurd and perplexing secrecy was drawn by the censors over the casualty lists. Australia found herself in the extraordinary position of receiving from the homeland messages congratulatory of the deeds performed by her sons on the field of battle and of being entirely ignorant of what had been accomplished. There were expressions of sympathy with those who had heroes in the fight-but nobody knew whether they had fought, or where, or when. In South Australia the newspapers published telegrams from the Governor- General complimenting the people on the magnificent part their soldiers had played in the tragic theatre of war, and nobody knew why. The Defence Department may have had good reasons for adopting this strange policy of secrecy, but up to the present they have not been revealed, and certainly cannot be understood. Red tape is surely the last thing that ought to be tied around the eagerly-sought advices of war casualties. However, that was the position, and in these days of military discipline there is apparently nothing to do but submit to it. It is most unfortunate, but it seems inevitable.


Already the soldiers of South Australia have shone resplendently on the field of honor. At the time of writing, five heroes have answered to the "Last Post," and half a dozen others have been wounded-a small total, comparatively, but these are early clays to estimate the length of the gallant roll call. Of this we are sure: there will be none who will shrink from meeting the foe with his heart full of courage and a proper sense of what is expected from a British soldier - the patriotism which knows no bar to duty in a game characterised by awful odds. Here Death is to be met in glorious fashion, for the sword is unsheathed in a nation's honor and for the defence of an Empire's liberty. The young sons of Greater Britain have shown that they have in them the fibre which has made the great traditions of the Empire, and that they can hold a trench and storm a hill with all the clashing gallantry of the troops of England herself. It is a magnificent thing to have this demonstrated. Australia proved in the Boer War that she was not wanting in the stuff that makes the best war material, but this great conflict in Europe is on a scale that almost relegates the South African campaign to the category of a prolonged skirmish. Kitchener, however, was satisfied with what he saw there, and when a much more serious call came and the Commonwealth mark a noble response in men, the Secretary for War knew that wherever he sent these soldiers from the six States of the Commonwealth and New Zealand - they, would do their duty with unflinching courage and unconquerable determination. In selecting the men for the campaign against the Turks, Kitchener paid to Australia a singularly high compliment. The enemy is formidable. The Turks have already had considerable experience in the firing line. It has been disastrous, certainly, but none can cavil at the strength of the Ottoman forces. With elaborately-trained German officers at their head, the Turks will be a powerful enemy to dislodge, and it is to be feared that the Australian casualty lists will carry a much larger burden of sorrow, and that tears will be shed in many homes before victory is complete. Meanwhile the fight continues, and as each hero falls and pays the most heroic price of his patriotism, there will come to the Australians who were waiting at home for the sad and triumphant tidings from the front, a growing exultation of pride at the deeds which are being performed in the precious name of liberty and right in far-away battlefields.


The Y.M.C.A: has always been an institution worthy of the most generous support of the public for its many manly activities and its fine example in practical Christianity. The long history of the Association has been studded with achievement, and its expansion has represented an asset to the community of growing value. Now the Y.M.C.A, has, so to speak, gone into the firing line. It is doing a triumphant work among the soldiers at the front, and is an established - and really necessary - feature of the routine of the training camps. With great opportunities it is accomplishing great results. The public ought to recognise, in the only fitting manner that recognition can be made, the services that are being rendered. That is by cash appreciation. The demands on the financial resources of the Association necessarily have been extraordinarily heavy during these times, but with this larger sphere for expenditure has come shrinking revenues. It is the duty of the people to alter that unfortunate position. The community is the better for the Y.M.C.A. that stands and works in its midst.

Of course this was all before the real tragedy revealed itself at Gellipoli and the anger set in. Same with the Y.M.C.A. for very shortly it would be mired in some of the worst scandal reaching all the way to the top tiers of goverrnment. These are the last headlines of optimism and the notion of being willing servants of the British Empire. By the next month, things changed.



Further Reading:

Great War, South Australian History

Great War, August 1914

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Great War, South Australian History, The Critic, 5 May 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 6:58 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 26 July 2010 4:55 PM EADT
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Great War, South Australian History, The Critic, 23 September 1914
Topic: Gen - St - SA

Great War

South Australian History

The Critic, 23 September 1914



[Left to right: Lieut.-Col. F. Rowell, Lieut.-Col. A. Miell, Major D. Fulton, and Lieut. Lewis.]


One thing that is noticeable when undertaking research is that many things sound the same regardless of the time-line. To illustrate this situation, below are a couple pages from the Adelaide Critic. The pages are from September 1914 but the subjects are completely contemporary.

Here are the issues discussed:

  • The soldiers are doing a wonderful job;
  • The water shortage due to the prolonged drought;
  • How the opposition can support the government;
  • The union monster that is destroying Australia and the ALP; and,
  • Train mismanagement.

Think this is all new? Think again. 



September 23, 1914.

Head Office:
Commercial Department,
'Phone 687.
Melbourne Office: Mr. T. A. Rogers,
'Phone 4960 Central
The Editor is prepared to consider contributions in the form of short stories and sketches, verse, paragraphs, &c. Artists in black and white are invited to submit pictures. All matter submitted (except pars.) will be acknowledged in correspondence column. Unsuitable matter returned when stamps are sent, but the Editor will not guarantee preservation or safe carriage of same.
"The Critic" will be posted to any address in the Commonwealth or New Zealand at following rates:
Yearly (in advance) .. .. £1 0 0
Half-yearly (in advance) .. 0 12 6
Quarterly (in advance) .. 0 6 6
Extra postage to other countries, 6/6 per annum, and pro rata for shorter periods.
Advertisements must reach this office by Tuesday morning of each week to ensure inclusion in that week's issue. Alteration in advertisements must be made on Saturday preceding issue in which such alteration is to appear.

Town Topics


In a most dramatic and impressive manner the people of Adelaide were brought into intimate touch with the great European situation on Monday afternoon. The march of the Expeditionary Force through the streets, a demonstration, however, with which Kitchener might not have wholly agreed, stirred the grim side of the people's imagination as well as the depths of their patriotism. Here were their own "boys" going forth to do battle for the Empire's honor. Here was Australia's answer to a self-imposed call that she should shoulder some of the burden of a great responsibility. There was a thrill in a study of that long line of khaki, and a lump came to the throats of the onlookers as they thought ahead a few months and saw them taking their places in the far-flung fighting line with the British, the French, and the Belgian soldiers. Intermingled with the enthusiasm for the gallant South Australians who are going to risk all for their country's prestige, were many serious moments. That was why the large crowd of spectators did not give way to hilarious cheering, although there were, of course, expressions of the heartiest appreciation. It was not an occasion, after all, for hysterical rejoicing, but for sober contemplation and a robust, thoughtful sentiment. These soldiers were not going to Europe for a picnic or for comedy, but for a perilous duty. Some, we knew, would not come back, but with untold thousands would have to pay tragic toll to the God of Battles. It seemed terrible to think-and yet the awful possibilities were there-of any of those manly Australian hearts sleeping and their bodies rotting in the trenches because a single European monarch had run amok and had caused his men to turn almost the entire Continent into a vast ocean of blood.
There was one cause for rejoicing as that brave line of khaki swept through the streets. It was that the advance of the Allies and the retreat of the German Army were proceeding steadily towards a happy and decisive conclusion. The news from the front continues to be eminently encouraging, and while we may still expect reverses and checks, it seems that an all-enveloping victory is assured for the Allies and for honor.

After sympathising with themselves, the public of the metropolitan area will, to some extent, sympathise with the Government in connection with the water difficulty. It is a serious, almost an alarming one. The position has to be looked squarely in its menacing face. A water famine is imminent and everybody will agree with the action of Sir Richard Butler in instituting prosecutions against those who have persistently neglected the warning given by the department that none of the precious fluid was to be used for the gardens. This intimation was prominently notified and should have been instantly respected. No doubt, many people have imagined that this was a cry of "Wolf! Wolf!" on the part of the authorities, but, unfortunately, it is no such thing.
The regulation is perfectly clear and there must be no monkeying with it. The watering of gardens is absolutely prohibited.
That means, as the Commissioner of Public Works has pointed out, that no moisture is to be applied to them by any method or by subterfuge. There has been a silly and criminal attempt by certain householders to make the regulation a solemn farce by throwing water on to the gardens by means of a bucket instead of a hose because Sir Richard had stated the objection in that popular way. The gardens are not to be watered at all. Now, is that plain enough: The Minister in future does not intend to limit the prosecutions to those who are caught squandering the golden contents of the reservoirs through a hose. And, of course, it is not necessary for the consumers to be actually caught in the act. The meter tells a sufficient tale. Every day the trouble is becoming more acute. September is passing-there are only six more days to go and there has been practically no rain to speak of. The most that we can hope for is a replenishing supply from the effect of the equinoxial gales which occur towards the end of the present month or early in October. If that should fail, the residents of the metropolitan area will be faced with a water famine on a scale never before approached. The only advantageous feature about the problem is that it is forcing private people to do what they should have done before-getting water independently of the reservoirs.



But what is the Government water department doing? Is it to be presumed that the experts are not sitting idly by during this crisis and waiting, like some criminal Micawber, for rain to turn up? Surely not. The public are entitled to have enough confidence in those officials to believe that they have in their minds some practical scheme to alleviate the terrible difficulty if the worst should come to the worst: It is an easy matter to blame somebody over this unhappy development, but it certainly does seem that the Hydraulic Engineer's Department has not looked far enough ahead, inn its calculations. There appears to have been a bungle somewhere in having allowed such enormous quantities of water to be wasted, when, with a drought, which is always possible in Australia, it must have been inevitable on the estimates of quantities stored in the reservoirs that a perilous position lurked near. The development of the suburbs, the accompanying extension of the sewage system, and the tremendous increase in the number of gardens, were facts_ quite visible to the untrained eye of the layman, and they should have been far more significant lessons to the officers charged with the responsibility of reckoning up the available supplies of the reservoirs as against these new and opposing factors. It is not hard to imagine what an immense saving could have been effected if the order to stop street watering by public bodies had been given long ago, and if similar action had been taken in respect of the quantities used by such institutions as the Botanic Gardens and the Zoo. From whatever view the trouble is examined there hardly seems to be any escape from the assertion that the-Hydraulic Engineer's Department has, all this time, been lulling itself into a false security. The capacity of the reservoirs has been unfairly and unwisely attacked.


But all that belongs to the unfortunate past. Regrets or mistakes cannot help us now. The position in which the residents of Adelaide and its environs are face to face with a water shortage probably more serious than any in their history has to be met. "The Critic" repeats that it is to be presumed that the danger is not being allowed to take care of itself. There ought to be some provisioning against the worst coming to pass-as it might very easily do. No expense which would lead to relief of a famine would be too great. Suggestions from those not cognisant with the technical considerations of the Hydraulic Engineer's office might be very absurd, but it does occur that provision could be made to direct some of the water from comparatively close reservoirs to metropolitan centres. That may not be feasible from an engineering standpoint. Neither may the proposal that the Murray should be drawn upon for supplies. But, in heaven's name, something ought to be feasible. It is obvious now that the Millbrook scheme should have been inaugurated long ago. No blame in that direction, however, can be laid. at the door of the present Government, and most certainly not on Sir Richard Butler's unfortunate head. Practically everything that has been 1 possible in the time has been done. Whether or not the scheme should have been recommended by the officers of the Hydraulic Engineer's Department much earlier is quite another matter.



When the war drums were first sounded and the battle flag was unfurled, there was a patriotic scene in the House of Assembly. The members, so the newspapers reported, sang lustily "God Save the King," gave several cheers for the King and Australia, and at a later stage some of them indulged in highly patriotic speeches. Among .them was the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Crawford Vaughan, who then promised, presumably on behalf of his party, to give the Government all the assistance possible during-the crisis. That promise appears to have died away with the cheers. The patriotism of the Labor Party in South Australia has grown stale. Instead of assisting Mr. Peake and his colleagues of the Ministry in these delicate circumstances, the Socialists - or most of them - have, for petty party purposes, deliberately baulked and embarrassed them. It would have been a low down game at any time. There is no term fitted for publication that can be used to describe what this action amounts to at present.

The militant section of the Labor Party has been whipping up the unemployed and suffering proposition with great energy. There is no virtue in the clamor, or sincerity of pathos, no genuine indignation. Instead of assisting the Ministry to dispense practical sympathy on the unfortunate people, the Labor members are out to win political kudos. That and nothing more. They are harassing the Government right and left and making a difficult position infinitely more difficult by fanning, a sentimental flame. 'The Premier was perfectly justified in telling the Socialists in the House of Assembly the other day that that was the kind of assistance the Ministers would far sooner be without. The patriotism of the Labor Party is a treacherous alliance, and is not wanted. Let Mr. Vaughan and his associates keep it. This "loyal assistance" of theirs is mere humbug and sham and party deception. And they know it.



What point, it may be asked, could the Government have in deliberately aggravating the unemployed problem-, What right has the Labor Party got to arrogate to itself the supreme virtue of being the only one to be able to do the right thing in any given set of circumstances, Why should it claim a monopoly of this trumpeted virtue of sentiment' The Premier has repeatedly told the people that the Government is doing its best in connection with this difficulty, and the people may rely upon that best being all that is reasonably possible against -very heavy odds. In any case, as Mr. Peaks has emphasised, the South Australian Liberal. Ministry is doing, on the whole, much more than the New South Wales Labor Ministry. Mr. Peaks and his colleagues are at least keeping on deck while the storm is on, and that much cannot he said for the others. From the noise and froth that are issuing from the mouths of certain local Socialists it would seem that the Government is doing absolutely nothing to alleviate the distress. The Labor members are always able to cultivate convenient memories. They appear to have forgotten the prompt and splendid action on the part of the Government which has been responsible for keeping 2,000 men in work on the Peninsula Mines. Does that amount to nothing? Does the substantial assistance to the distressed farmers in the Far North and the West Coast amount to nothing? Is the determination of the Government to avoid, until the absolute limit of impossibility, the necessity for putting more Government employees on reduced time amount to nothing. The Commissioner of Public Works, who is at least an industrious and conscientious administrator, has thrown out the challenge that the party politicians who are protesting against the supposed inactivity of the Ministry cannot place a finger on a single instance of neglect to push on with public works. No, they cannot do that. But, if the occasion should be necessary, the Socialist imagination is a vile thing. Its party prejudice is even viler. Why, the Government is spending money on public works at the rate of quite £3,000,000 during the present financial year_ What the Labor agitators are after is what has been capitally described by Sir William Irvine as "soup kitchen" financing. They will not get it from Mr. Peaks or Sir Richard Butler.


The remark of the Attorney-General in reference to the unions using some of their funds to alleviate distress is by no means extravagant. It may be pertinently enquired how the wealth of the labor organisations is being distributed. The reason why the criticism has been so hotly resented is that Mr. Homburg has put his finger on a sore spot. The fact is that the money which is extracted from the workers for the unions is not intended for their relief at all, valuable as it would be in a time like this. It is intended for the maintenance of labor newspapers which don't pay, and to enable the political agitators to draw their rather handsome salaries. That is where the money goes, and it is because the labor members cannot deny the truth that they are losing their heads and their tongues at the same time.


It was publicly known that thousands would throng the streets of Adelaide on "Monday to farewell the troops, and see the procession. From all parts of the suburbs the crowds came-and what did the railway authorities do? Did they put on more trains? No. Did they add more carriages' No. Did they study the convenience of the public at all? No. It is a fact that at many stations crowds could not be accommodated, and where second-class passengers travelled first, excess fare was demanded. Where was the justice or common-sense of it?


The largest crowd ever seen in Adelaide, Monday, 21 September 1914

 [Editorial Note: This is the crowd that arrived in Adelaide about which the last article on Railway Mismanagement was written. Since this was the era without Port-a-loos, fast food outlets and rapid transit, the management of basic human necessities at this event requires some imagination.]


Further Reading:

Great War, South Australian History

Great War, August 1914

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Great War, South Australian History, The Critic, 23 September 1914

Posted by Project Leader at 5:21 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 26 July 2010 10:00 PM EADT

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