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(The Warilda was a vessel of 7713 tons and 16 knot speed. built in 1912. She was one of the Adelaide S.S. Company's fleet. She was a sister ship of the Willochra, 7784 tons, and the Wandilla, 7788 tons, built the same year.) Details of the sinking of the Warilda show that it ranks amongst the worst of the German outrages. A large proportion of the 60 persons aboard were cot cases. She was attacked in mid-channel early on Saturday morning in black darkness, By the greatest good luck the Warilda kept afloat long enough to allow the great majority to be transferred into lifeboats and later to destroyers, which were promptly on the scene. The torpedo wiped out one ward. Latest reports state that between 90 and 100 were drowned in the eye ward owing to the inrush of water. the ship was listing seriously, but the rescue work was smartly carried out.
Unfortunately the loss of the vessel has been attended by a heavy loss of life, and the circumstance that the victims included a large proportion of patients stamps the occurrence as in some respects the worst tragedy and the most heinous crime yet by the enemy upon vessels sailing under the Red Cross.
The United press correspondent states: The Germans are now at bay, in full retreat to the Aisne. They have been forced to abandon positions on the Avre and Ancre and near Givenchy. Besides the failure of the summer campaign, there is a steady disappearance of reserves. The Germans are equalled, if not outnumbered, by eager forces which are weekly increased by tens of thousands of absolutely fit Americans. Hindenburg and Ludendorff are seeking to arrange the western front to shorten the line here and there, adopting a defensive attitude behind rivers and other natural barriers. They have one chosen spot where they may collect all their available remnants for one last try for a decision. Meanwhile, the oppressive shadow of defeat hovers over their army.
Inclement weather marred the attendance at the Presbyterian Church, Middlemarch, on Sunday evening, when the resolution prepared in connection with the fourth anniversary of declaration of war with Germany was submitted to the congregation by the preacher (Mr C. G. Wilcox), who briefly touched upon certain aspects of the present conflict. The resolution was carried, and the national Anthem was sung at the close of the service. By the authority of the Taieri County Council, a further meeting was held for the same purpose on Monday night, in the Agricultural Hall, when about 30 residents were present. Mr A. M'Kinnon (chairman of the Patriotic Committee) presided. the formal resolution was moved by Mr D. Matheson, seconded by Mr Horn, and carried by acclamation. During the evening the National Anthem and the Battle Hymn of the American Republic were sung by the audience.
There was a large attendance of citizens at the Town Hall, Lawrence, on Monday afternoon, when the Mayor ( Mr. B. W. Winn) submitted the motion expressing inflexible determination to continue the war until a just peace is secured.
- ODT, 7.8.1918