Soldier in 2nd Leinster Regiment executed for desertion

1916/2016: a miscellany

January 27th, 1916

The Commons hears of the execution in France of Private L Hope of the 2nd Leinster Regiment, for "desertion". "It is well known to all soldiers," Under Secretary at War Office Harold Tennant tells James Farrell, MP for North Longford (right), "that desertion is punishable by death." He had no record of the accused, who was not represented by counsel, presenting evidence that on several occasions, as Farrell put it, that "so far from being a coward or deserter, he had on several occasions needlessly exposed himself on the trench parapets, defying the German snipers."

‘Irish Times’ editorial

“We regret to learn from the report read at yesterday ’s annual meeting of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland that the ‘ Zoo’ continues to be badly hit by the war.

“Strict economy has been the rule in the administration of the Society, and no additions by purchase have been made to the stock of animals, which has been diminished by several deaths. The general health of the collection, however, has been well maintained, though those who are acquainted with her habits will not be surprised to learn that the gorilla ‘Empress’ has developed a neck complaint, common among stablemen, through her addiction to chewing straws. If it is any consolation to the Society, its members have the satisfaction of knowing that the enemy ‘Zoos’ are not so fortunate. The stock of the famous Hamburg ‘Zoo’ is suffering its share in the privations of the blockade. At Budapest, the herbivorous animals, owing to the shortage of hay, are being fed chestnuts, and the Polar bears , which refused to flourish on the war diet, have been shot by a Hungarian ‘sportsman’ who paid twelve pounds for the privilege.”


War news

Western Front: Sir Douglas Haig’s report indicates that the artillery duel is growing in intensity along the British front.


It is learned in Vatican circles that the health of the Emperor of Austria [Franz-Joseph, above right] is "giving rise to grave anxiety, and that he is sinking rapidly".