Lowell in World War One: May 6, 1918 to May 10, 1918
This is the 54th 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 for the past two weeks:
May 6, 1918 – Monday – Lowell’s Liberty bond total will reach $4,500,000 mark. Total number of subscribers about 15,000. Final night of drive one to be remembered. Streets thronged with people. Great work by Boy Scouts. Lowell patriotic to the core. Another Lowell soldier answers final call. Sgt Albert Stefanik of the 2nd company, provisional battalion, 10 US Infantry was killed in France on April 27. A telegram was received by his sister, Mrs. Nellie Reinowicz at 188 Church street last night. Sgt Stefanik has been a member of the regular army for nine years. He was a native of Austria, coming to this country in 1905 with his parents and two sisters. He joined the army in 1909. Before that he worked in mills in New Bedford and Chicopee Falls, but he always called Lowell his home. First Congregational Church gets $5000 from the estate of Abby F. Holt. Local iron molders are out on strike. About 200 iron molders went out on strike this morning after being refused a wage increase from $4.50 to $5.25 per day. This has caused all the iron foundries in the city to close.
May 7, 1918 – Tuesday – Airplane production program under fire from all sides. Attorney General Gregory today outlined plans for the investigation of the airplane industry that has been demanded by President Wilson. The Senate Military committee has also launched an investigation. The purpose of both inquiries is to determine why it is that not a single American made aircraft has yet been shipped to France. American Red Cross mission fired upon. The train carrying the American Red Cross mission fleeing Rumania was fired upon by German artillery in the Ukraine. The train eventually made it to Moscow safely and then on to Murmansk where a ship took everyone back to London. Spuds on lawn where flowers used to be. A letter received today from the US Public Service reserve ordered that every available bit of ground be used to produce food this year. It is likely that instead of sitting on the front porch on a warm summer evening, looking at the svelte expanse of green lawn, the family will now gaze upon the less ornate but more substantial patches of cabbage, peas, etc.
May 8, 1918 – Wednesday – Accuse Asquith of plot to oust Lloyd George cabinet in attempt to regain power. General Maurice, former chief director of military operations at the war office, has impugned the veracity of ministers of the government. The government has urged all of its supporters to attend a special session of the House of Commons tomorrow when Mr. Asquith is expected to propose a vote of censure against the governing coalition. Three Lowell brothers in the big war. Bennie Walsh of 1 Madison place has been fighting in the great war for three years, who has been gassed, wounded, and finally declared unfit for further service with his unit, the Royal Riflemen. Two of his brothers, William and Robert, are now in France on active duty. William Walsh is a member of the Canadian expeditionary forces while Robert Walsh is in the American army. Private Raymond MacAusland of Battery F was slightly wounded in France on April 20, according to a telegram received by his father, James MacAusland. More War Garden land. The war garden committee announced this morning that a large tract of land on Andover street beyond Clark road has been secured for public garden purposes. It will be divided into 12 lots and will be plowed. The plowing on the Worcester land in the same neighborhood has been completed and all of the lots will be assigned by lottery to people who have applied. Also ready for assignment or lots in Middlesex Village, on the Fair grounds, and near the Textile school.
May 9, 1918 – Thursday – Allies launch counter attack and hurl Germans back with heavy losses on Flanders front. Over 500,00 American troops now in France. Lowell man prisoner in German camp. Lt Abraham Strauss, the Lowell officer who was reported missing in France several weeks ago, has been slightly wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans, according to his brother, Moses Strauss. Another quota of Lowell men for the national army will leave the Middlesex street station tomorrow morning for Fort Slocum, NY. Big housing problem confronts Lowell. There are alarmingly few vacant dwelling places in Lowell at present according to a survey recently conducted by the board of trade. The exact figures will be presented at a meeting next Tuesday, but it is known that people coming here from out-of-town to work in the various war industries find housing space at a premium.
May 10, 1918 – Friday – British in another raid block U-boat base at Ostend. French capture Grivesnes park north of Montdidier. British regain ground taken by Huns in Albert sector. Thirty-six Lowell men go to Fort Slocum as recruits for the national army. From theatre of play to theatre of war. Two Lowell athletes who have been doing “gib time” all of the country with their vaudeville act will soon leave the footlights and flying rings to perform for Uncle Sam in the theatre of war. “Biss & Gagne” are a well known vaudeville team made up of Ernest Gagne of 462 Fletcher street and Joseph Biscaillon of 169 Salem Street. They got their first gymnastic experience at CMAC. Both have now enlisted in the Navy. Another Lowell boy dies in France. Mr and Mrs Roger Paquin of 161 Avon street received word today of the death of their son, Private Joseph Paquin of the Canadian Engineers’ corps which occurred in France. It is not known whether he lost his life on the battlefield or from illness.