Mixed reports from the Front

Aeroplanes lined up for inspection at the American Aviation School in France. — Otago Witness, 31...
Aeroplanes lined up for inspection at the American Aviation School in France. — Otago Witness, 31.7.1918.
The great battles on the western front seem to be still going favourably for the Allies.

The latest reports suggest that there has been a good deal of confusion on the part of the enemy arising from a conflict of views on the part of his military leaders with reference to the inevitability or the desirability of a retreat from the Marne Front, and that this circumstance provides an explanation of some of the fluctuations of the struggles in which the French and American troops have been engaged. Moreover, there is still  a certain divergence in the views that are presented of the movement which the enemy is carrying out. From one American source we learn that the Germans are in full retreat from the bottom of the ‘‘pocket’’ in which they have found themselves and from another has come the information that they are retreating towards the centre of the salient. These reports are not necessary inconsistent, and they may both mean that the Germans are seeking safety in that portion of the salient which is not reached by the Allies’ guns.

But while it is further suggested that the enemy may now try to hold the present line at all costs or else straighten his front between Soissons and Rheims, the German newspapers are apparently preparing the people of the Fatherland for a further withdrawal to the Aisne, where ‘‘fresh blows’’ may be planned by them.

Children’s home

The late Mr William Barron’s property at Kew, comprising house and eight and a-half acres, is to be utilised as a children’s convalescent home and a playground for children. Mr M. Cohen explained the scheme to the bowlers’ meeting on Saturday night. The purchase money, he said, was £5300, and he had taken upon himself the responsibility of finding that amount.

The proposal at first was to devote the property to three purposes — convalescent home, playground, and school for the backward children — but the last-named item had been cut out, as the ground set apart for the school was required for the convalescent home. It was now proposed, therefore, to give five acres as a playground, and the remainder to the home. Mr Cohen went on to say that he wished to appeal to the bowlers for help, as he would be £500 to £600 short. In Dunedin there was also a scandalous lack of provision of recreation areas for young people. The meeting, after considering the proposal, referred it to the executive to devise ways and means of rasing a substantial portion of the deficiency.

Icy blizzard in Canterbury

A lady who lives near Springfield gives some particulars of the conditions created by the snowstorm there.

"On Monday and Tuesday, and on Sunday also, we had a dreadful icy blizzard. It flung the snow up against everything, and it froze as it fell. You would like to see the cows with icicles on their ears and horns. The snow (from the first storm) is still nearly up to the roof and the path between the south veranda and the laurels is completely blocked up. Trees are broken in all directions, and one old outbuilding was simply flattened out."

Mr A. W. Rutherford, jun, Brookdale, Parnassus, informs the Christchurch Press that the recent snowstorm was the worst he had ever seen, but he cannot say what the losses are likely to be until shearing time. — ODT, 29.7.1918



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