Ex-Czar’s death confirmed

The padre of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade has a wayside canteen within 300 yards of the Somme...
The padre of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade has a wayside canteen within 300 yards of the Somme front line. Cakes, cigarettes and a cheery word are always available for troops about to enter the firing lines. — Otago Witness, 17.7.1918.
There is no longer any cause for speculation respecting the fate of the ex-Czar of Russia.

The declaration by the Russian authorities that he has been put to death may be accepted as reliable. Their announcement is made in terms which seem to suggest that there is no need for them to offer an apology for his assassination, Yet the murder in cold blood of a man who was a prisoner in the hands of the revolutionaries and who had not been tried for his life and condemned by any judicial tribunal or by any tribunal of any description, can only be reasonably regarded as a hideous crime. Apparently the immediate responsibility for the murder rests upon the Ural Regional Council. It may be presumed that this is a purely local executive, but apparently it does not shrink from exercising wide powers upon occasion. The Ex-Czar was not an imposing figure. A weak, vacillating creature, he inspired little respect and less confidence. The autocrat of all the Russias was in fact, a mere tool in the hands of men and women of more robust will than was possessed by himself.

Erstwhile motorist

Mr R. L. Jones,, whose headquarters are at Wellington, out up a fine performance through hail, sleet, and snow on Saturday. Driving a six-cylinder 25 h.p. car, he left Clyde on Saturday morning, and reached Omakau at a quarter to 8, the roads being in fairly good order. At Ranfurly, which was left at half-past 10, the snow was lying 3in or 4in deep on the different parts of the road, and thence onward the snow increased in depth, falling heavily all the time. Coming down from the Pigroot there was a depth of 9in on the road, and near Green Valley the motorist took a false road, and his machine ran into a drift. Fortunately Mr Jones had a  sack with him, and by using it under his back wheels he was able to back his machine out. Dunback was left at 1.25 p.m, the roads here being fairly free from snow, and being considered by Mr Jones as about the best in the dominion for motors. Dunedin was reached at two minutes past 3, after an actual running time of 7 hours.

Snow stops trains

The snow which fell on Saturday and Sunday rendered the maintenance of the railway services a somewhat difficult matter yesterday, but with the exception of trains on the Otago Central line all requirements were met. The ordinary train left Dunedin for Clyde at 7.52 a.m, yesterday, but by the time it reached Wingatui the reports from up country were so unfavourable that the rest of the journey was cancelled, and it returned to Dunedin. The 11.40 goods train to Ranfurly was cancelled for the day. The train that left Clyde yesterday morning got as far as Ranfurly and then stopped, further progress being dangerous if not impossible. Heavy snow lay on the line all the way from Pukerangi to Waipiata, as much as 9ft deep lying in the cuttings. A goods train that was running ahead of the train from Clyde got stuck, and an engine had to be sent to help to pull it out. The passenger train returned to Clyde. A works train with two engines and a gang of men was despatched from Dunedin at 10 a.m yesterday to help clear the line. Advice received by the department last night was to the effect that between Waipiata and Ranfurly, a distance of about two miles and a half was under snow,  to a depth of 15ft in one of the cuttings. — ODT, 23.7.1918.

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