Lowell in World War One: Apr 23 – Apr 27, 1917

Manuel T Martin Square, Central and Charles Streets. Killed in action in France, April 23, 1918.

This is the fourth installment of my Lowell in World War One series which commemorates the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War One. Here are the headlines from one hundred years ago this week:

April 23, 1917 – Monday – Success for British in new attack. French break up German counterattacks. Turks still in retreat up the Tigris.  Four Lowell boys on steamship sunk by U-boat off Irish coast. Richard Flynn tells story of steamer’s sinking. Germans fire four torpedoes without warning. Meeting of new recruits of home guard. Two companies of 60 or more men, all 35 years old or older. One company is made up of Spanish War veterans, another by members of Lowell Military Training School, and a third is from the Franco-American Volunteer Brigade.

April 24, 1917 – Tuesday – French commission in US. Minister Viviani, Marshal Joffre and other high officials landed this morning. British forces gain ground along a wide front. General Bridges, a member of British War Commission, told reporters in Washington that the reliance on a volunteer army and the delay of conscription “cost the lives of the most valuable citizens, crippled industrial mobilization, and immeasurably set back England’s efforts in the war.”

April 25, 1917 – Wednesday – Third day of bitterly contested battle on British front. Spain expected to soon enter the war. Germans plan attack on Petrograd. Another movement to overthrow German Chancellor. $200 million loan to Great Britain by US. Boy excluded from high school sues city.

April 26, 1917 – Thursday – Fourth day of terrific struggle on the British front. British advance halted at a staggering toll of human life. French Commission formally received by President Wilson. Lowell man and wife on torpedoed schooner. C. E. Petersen of Lowell was captain of vessel sunk by German submarine off Bordeaux. Soldier of the war zone trenches arraigned in Police Court. Paul Chambers, aged 37 years, “who has traveled all over the world, speaks 20 languages, soldier of fortune in the Boer War and a participant of many of the biggest battles in Central Europe, appeared before Judge Enright in police court this morning on a complaint charging him with drunkenness.” Chambers is a US citizen who was working in South African diamond mines when the war broke out. He traveled to England, enlisted in a regiment there, and was sent to France. He recently returned to the United States and was seeking employment here when he was arrested.

April 27, 1917 – Friday – Victory near, says Lloyd George. Settlement of the Irish question essential to speedy victory. British Premier in important speech discussed military situation, Irish question, and other major problems. Loans by the US to France and Italy. France’s war council and US officials in conferences. City Public Safety Committee to investigate high price of coal which recently rose from $10 to $12 per ton. Mill Girl Injured. Mary Gagas had a narrow escape from being seriously hurt this morning while at work in the Hamilton mills when her clothing got caught in the gears of a machine. Her clothing was torn and she sustained abrasions about the body.

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