Friday, February 26, 2016

Today -100: February 26, 1916: Wiggle, woggle, wump

British newspapers are pleased, indeed smug, about Woodrow Wilson’s rejection of Germany’s intention (“impudent demands” – Daily Chronicle) to sink armed merchant vessels. The Morning Post: “It is the fate of America, whether it will or not, to make a choice between her own gods and Germany’s idols.” The Times: “The President remains immovably true to his lofty, moral attitude.” Ain’t it the truth.

Austria responds to the US protest over its attack on the Standard Oil tanker Petrolite, claiming that the u-boat which fired on it thought it was under attack, that the American flag the Petrolite was flying was a fake, and that the Petrolite gave the u-boat provisions voluntarily, without any coercion at all, and refused to accept any payment. The US believes the facts are otherwise.

The second issue of the satirical trench newspaper The Wipers Times is out. It announces that its subscribers will receive, free, life insurance entitling them to 11s. 7d. in the event of death caused by a submarine anywhere in the Ypres district.

And here’s a poem from it, entitled “Stop-gap”:

Little stacks of sandbags,
 Little lumps of clay;
Make our blooming trenches,
In which we work and play.

Merry little whizz-bang,*
 jolly little crump;**
Made our trench a picture,
 Wiggle, woggle, wump.

* A shell.
** A loud thudding sound caused by a shell.

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