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Remembered Today:

Hill 60 Journalism, 1915 from 'The Slow Dusk' Magdalen College Website- worth checking out


David_Blanchard
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http://slowdusk.magd.ox.ac.uk

This is an excellent Great War Memorial website. I was particularly impressed with the level of academic research throughout but particularly  the discussion of journalistic reporting of the battle for Hill 60 in 1915- with the focus being the death of Captain George Upton Robins, attached to the 2nd Duke of Wellingtons who died on the 7th May 1915.

 

http://slowdusk.magd.ox.ac.uk/people/george-upton-robins/

 

A sample:

 

George Valentine Williams (1883–1946) was a journalist and popular novelist who worked during World War One as a War Correspondent for Lord Rothermere’s (Harold Sidney Harmsworth [1868–1940]; from 1919 the 1st Viscount Rothermere) stridently pro-war Daily Mail. Williams worked out of the General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force – i.e. relatively close to the front line – and narrated the events that had taken place during the Battle of Hill 60 (17 April–6 May 1915) in a long, detailed and very anti-German report that finally appeared in the The Daily Mail on 7 August 1915. This was about a month after the Hill had passed into German hands (until 1917), and two weeks after Williams had published a preliminary report on a visit to the Hill in the same newspaper on 27 July 1915 as a result of a question in Parliament relating to its loss a few days before. The second (August) report contrasts markedly with the more dispassionately factual, less theatrically chauvinistic report on the first four days of the Battle for Hill 60 (17 April–20 May 1915) that had appeared anonymously in The Times on 24 April 1915, having been written on the previous day by Lieutenant Cecil William Gason Ince (1888–1966), the Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion of “The Duke’s” who had been wounded on Hill 60 on 18 April 1915.

Williams began his report by zooming in, like a cameraman creating an establishing shot, on a striking event – a large military parade – which he appears to have witnessed more or less by chance, and without at first explaining why it had taken place even while he succeeded in suggesting that it was of great symbolic importance. Thus:

The other morning I stood by the gate of a field on a country road in these parts and watched a Brigade march past the saluting point under the eye of the General Commanding the Second Army [the newly promoted Lieutenant-General (later Field Marshal) Sir Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer (1857–1932; 1st Viscount from 1919)]. There was a fine swing about the battalions as they went by, and with eyes shining, heads held high, and shoulders well back, they marched with the air of men who are inspired by the memory of a great ordeal greatly endured. These are the men of the 13th Brigade […]. Twice the [13th] Brigade attempted to recapture the Hill [from the Germans]. Twice it failed. There was no shame in the failure, only glory. The Commander-in-Chief [Field-Marshal] Sir John French (1852–1925; 1stViscount from 1916)] had already expressed his warm appreciation of its gallantry [in a congratulatory telegram], and [now] the Army Commander had come to speak his thanks to the 13th Brigade for its splendid services. Indeed, the lustre of its record shines so bright that I count it a privilege to be able to relate for the first time the full story of how Hill 60 was captured and lost.

 

 

 

David 

 

 

Edited by David_Blanchard
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What a great record and memorial.

One query...the pic of Hill 60 in the Robins entry....is it really Hill 60, have tried to identify the viewpoint, but having difficulty. The library number O 4329/4359 ?

Peter

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Not sure. But I have a better idea of why he ended up buried in Railway Dugouts.

 

David 

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