WWI ARGUS ARCHIVE: Tribute to Belgium's 'heroic resistance'

TRIBUTE: Herbert Henry Asquith

TRIBUTE: Herbert Henry Asquith

First published in News

British tribute to Belgium

Speech by the premier

"We do not regret our decision"

Mr Asquith in the House of Commons moved that "A humble address was presented to his Majesty praying him to convey to his Majesty the King of Belgium the sympathy with which the House regards the heroic resistance offered by his army and people to the wanton invasion of his territory, and an assurance of the determination of this country to support Belgium to vindicate her own independence and the public law of Europe.

"Very few words, he said" are needed to commend to the House the terms of this address. The war which is shaking to its foundations the whole European system originated in a quarrel in which this country had no direct concern.

We strove with all our might, as everyone now knows, to prevent the outbreak, and when that was no longer possible, to limit its area. It is of importance and I think relevant to this nation that it should be clearly understood where it was, and why it was, that we intervened.

It was only when we were confronted with the choice between keeping and breaking solemn obligations in the discharge of a binding trust, and a shameless subservience to naked force, that we threw away the scabbard . We do not regret our decision."

More severe fighting

Terrific attack

Heavy losses on both sides

Mr Asquith stated that in the fighting that took place on Wednesday, our troops were opposed to and bore the attack of five German corps, two cavalry divisions and other troops.

We inflicted very heavy losses on the enemy and our troops behaved splendidly. Unfortunately our casualties were very heavy and the exact extent is not yet known.

Armed German liner sunk by British cruiser

In the House of Commons, Mr Churchill said the British cruiser High Flyer had sunk the German armed cruiser, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, off the west coast of Africa.

Our loss was one killed and five wounded. The German vessel carried ten guns and was trying to arrest British South African traffic. The following message was sent to the High Flyer by the Admiralty: " Bravo, you have rendered a service not only to Britain, but to the peaceful commerce of the world. The German officers and crew appear to have carried out their duties with humanity and restraint, and are therefore worthy of all seamanlike consideration".

Certain triumph

Great battle impending

British now well-supported

Paris - According to an official communique just issued in the North the British army was attacked by greatly superior forces and was obliged after a brilliant resistance, to withdraw a short distance to the rear. On the right our armies maintain their position. In the Vosges, our troops have resumed the offensive and have repelled the German forces which had forced them to retire yesterday.

The Germans yesterday bombarded an open town. In the region between the Vosges and Nancy our offensive has continued without interruption the last five days. The German losses were considerable.

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