The War Illustrated No 37 Vol 2 May 17th 1940

The War Illustrated May llth, 1940 fat tin q A $ A amt he,S d ito lA’d U a'd i met aiD A y ,JUST back from a flying visit to my ‘‘home tow n”on the Clyde. “Flying,” here used metaphorically, as the train re­mains the best way of getting to and from Glasgow. By air I ’m told that one has to fly to Liverpool, then Belfast, and soto Glasgow. Someday that will be altered. I was aston­ished to find so little change in the centre of the city. There are streets that stand as I knew them full sixty years ago. Bothwell Street, which ought to bethe rival of Sauchie- hall Street,, is astoundingly like what it was when I was a laddie, save that the monumental masons’ yards have disappeared. I started life, by the by, in a monumental mason’s yard, R.and J. Mossman, a famous Scottish sculptor, who owned the business, hoped to make a sculptor (not of tombstones) out of me. Glad he didn’t. ?Strange somehow streets never develop. This Bothwell Street ought really to have been the pride of Glasgow. It remains merely a dull, windy (all Glasgow streets are windy), uninteresting thoroughfare, and when Glas­gow is moreno an emporium of world com­merce and Macaulay’s New Zealander comes from the ruins of London to survey those of Glasgow from the span of Jamaica Bridge that may still be standing, the south side of Bothwell Street will probably show that to the end it stood “undeveloped.” What memories I could, and may yet, write of the days of my youth in Glasgow toon 1 ?In this same Bothwell Street a firm of printers and publishers had an imposing building— It still stands, but the firni has gone elsewhere. They issued for a time a fine pictorial weekly, “Pen and Pencil.” One of the early numbers had a large cover portrait of George Augustus Sala, the beau ideal of the English journalist in the 8o’s and 90’s.“ Sala of 1 The Daily Telegraph ’"was as famous as “Dana of the ‘New York Sun.’ ”He used to sign himself. G:A: Sala, and, believe tome, this day I sign myself J :A: Hammerton —the hero-worshipping impulse of the imita­tive novice who first saw Sala’s signature so reproduced in “Pen &Pencil.” Sala had packed up before I came to London, but I once had an interesting meeting with his widow, who was a sister of “John Strange Winter.” I wonder if that name means anything today. I doubt if a copy of “Booties’ Baby ”was sold last year. Well, well ?But two things impressed me in Glasgow this time. The short stature of the Scottish lassies for one. I went to seethe sixtieth pantomime at the Princess Theatre it had been running for five months! I had seen the fifth or sixth of the series, with Robert Courtneidge, my friend of later years, as the comedian. It was “Peter Wilkins,” and Courtneidge told me long years after that I was about the only person he knew who had seen him in that show. This sixtieth pantomime was“ Wullie W astle,” George West the comedian. A fine show, indeed, continuous fun and not one word, gesture or innuendo to which a Sunday Schoolteacher with her scholars at her side could have taken exception. A lesson in how to be funny and clean. Let Glasgow pantomime flourish !?The chorus girls were all charming and all so petite that I doubt if they, could have got a London booking. Teddie St. Denis, the “girl ”of “Me and My Girl,” who is from Glasgow, is of their size, which fits within Lupino Lane, and hence her tremendous vivacity, 1 -oomph, ’’and charm have won her an outstanding Metropolitan success. George West is one of three Scots comics who are so peculiarly Scottish that they can’t be spared orE London. (I would promise none of them Editor Sir John Hammerton Associate Editors G.S. Blaxland Stubbs (General) E. Royston Pike (Literary) J.R. Fawcett Thompson (Illustrations) Editorial Assistants 0 . Lumley, D. Allmand, G. Holland, C. Bowen, A.B. Atkins, G. MacCormack, J. St. Denys Reed, Terence Dennis E d ito rial Offices John Carpenter House, Whitefriars, London,E.C.4. a success here). The others are Dave Willis and Harry Gardon, and anyhow they do so well in the North that they don’t need to bother about London. ?The other thing I noticed in Glasgow was the writing on the walls, Nowhere have I seen such a disgusting abuse of private pro­perty or disregard of public amenities. Hope Street, Wellington Street, and most of the streets from Bothwell Street to Sauchiehall Street are chalked over with such slogans as “Stop the War,” “Down With Profiteers,” and other inscriptions such as dirty-minded little Glasgow keelies used to write only on the walls of urinals. “It’s the low Irish,” explained one Glaswegian whose attention I drew to these mural graffiti (I’ve seen similar stuff on the ancient walls of Pompeii and Ostia), but surely the Glasgow police could at least wipe out the foul scrawlings that dis­figure the outer walls of. so many fine and imposing buildings. In my boyhood we were all brought up to regard the Irish immigrants as ‘‘low. ’’Evidently the tradition endures. D EVERTING to my recent notes on the mystery of animal suffering, probably one of the silliest ‘‘explanations ’’of the uni­verse, in which our Earth is abut speck, is that given by one of our most imagi­native and erudite scientists, Sir James Jeans, when he attempted to explain the inexplicable by suggesting that it is“ a thought in the mind of the Master Mathe­matician.” When I contemplate the idiocies of our time— of all prehistoric and historic time— and the hideous suffering of mind and body to all mortal living things that inhabit this planet, I can only hope that it is a “passing thought ”and I ’m now less keen on mathematics than when I was regu­larly head of my format school in that particular branch of science. iriniiiim iii IN THIS NUMBER illllU IIIIIIII Page‘D eutschland iiber A andalsnes ’50? Evacuation o f Central Norway 510-514 Air War in Norway 515 N arvik Fate’s in the Balance 516 C hasseurs A lpins Embark for Norway 517 B om bingo f Rena and Elverum 518 Norway &After: How Goes the War? 519 Italy Prepares for War 520-521 Bom bingo f Nam so s 522-523 O then Fringes o f the War :Ho ll and. 524-525 Parliament Debates the Norwegian Evacuation 526-527 Ceaseless T ham es-side Vigil 528 When A.A. Guns Tackle the Bombers 529 U -Boat Sunk a t N arvik 530“ i Was There ”Section 531-533 Stories of Norway Battles 534-535 Historic Documents and Diary 536 ¦k I happen to have read today a short article on the Whale by Surgeon Rear-Admiral C.M. Beadnell in the “Literary Guide,” and in it I am reminded of certain zoological facts long familiar tome—“ Moby Dick ”was my youthful introduction to the amazing life of the whale and I ’m tempted to re-read it— and of one historic event that is news tome, though it happened eleven years ago. The zoological facts :(1) About 100 million years ago man and the whale had a common ancestor of very primitive form, that may have lived in trees, for (2) it fed on insects, until (3) it became carnivorous and (4) some 60 million years ago had taken to the sea in pursuit of its food supply. (5) It was now a Cetacean or “great fish,” (such as swallowed Jonah) though remaining forever a mammal and not a fish at all !(6) The Sperm Whale can swallow a atman a gulp, but the Whale­bone Whale, though providing mouth room for two or three men at a time, has throat accommodation for nothing bigger than a herring,! (7) Another species, the Killer Whales, are the deadliest beasts that swim the seas. They hunt in “schools ”and will chase a great twenty-ton whale until it is exhausted and lies helpless on the surface of the water, when they swarm around its great head, and tear off its huge lips with their“ harrow-like teeth,” force open its mouth and pullout its vast quivering tongue, on which they ravenously feed !The maimed Leviathan then floats helpless, the prey to multitudes of sea creatures and birds. Oh, the natural history of the whale has a mighty store of new knowledge, for those who have never read it up. ?“My pet animal is the whale,” wrote whimsical Barrie. But the new bit of know­ledge Admiral Beadnell reports is the fact that in 1929 a hundred whales ran ashore near CapeTown (possibly pursuing fish into shallow water), and when they lay stranded there(for although mammals are certain to drown if unable to rise to the surface to breathe, they cannot breathe land,on lacking the support of the water to exercise the inspiratory muscles) ‘‘their human-like moaning was so touching that spectators were moved to tears.” So that 100 million years after the common ancestors of whale and man existed, here were their descendants united in suffering and sympathy !Meanwhile, man is slaughtering whales to the extent of 19,000 a year for a multitude of commercial purposes. ?The Killer Whale’s taste for the tongue of its gigantic cousins reminds me of those horrid gourmets, the Australian parrots who kill young sheep and lambs solely for the purpose of feeding upon the fat that surrounds the kidneys. What inconceivably bestial instinct could have led them to acquire a knowledge of this titbit ?And, talking of tongues, I remember a lady in Santiago de Chile telling me that when crossing the Andes from Mendoza and near to the spot where the great figure of Christ stands as a symbol of the eternal peace pledged between Argentina and Chile, one of the team of six or more horses drawing the diligence fell and broke a leg. The Gaucho driver in a jiffy was on the ground, undid the harness, and, whipping out his sheath knife, cutout the poor animal’s lolling tongue (it was a mare, and mare’s tongue is a delicacy with the Gauchos), with which he resumed his seat, whipped up his team and proceeded merrily on his way down the road to Los Andes. The poor mare was reported as still alive when the next diligence came by. I doubt if any Hitler-bred brute could equal that for human villainy. One thing is cle'ar :the Killer Whale and the Gaucho certainly had a common origin !The War I l lust rate dis sold subject to the following conditions, namely, that it shall not, without the written consent of the publishers first given, be lent, resold, hired out 3r otherwise disposed of byway of Trade except at the full retail price of 3 d .and that it shall not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition orin any unauthorized cover byway of Trade.
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