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Covering the villages of Wilsden and Harecroft

15th May – In German-occupied Belgium, sixty-one people were brought to trial in Brussels, accused of printing and distributing the illegal patriotic newspaper Libre Belgique. The newspaper had had a wide distribution, and had been a particular source of annoyance for the Germans. The sixty-one accused had been arrested at the end of January 1918, and the Kaiser sent a telegram of congratulations to the Military Governor, General von Falkenhausen – the paper had described von Falkenhausen as “a bird of prey sent to live on the palpitating flesh of Belgium”. All the arrested were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years imprisonment – but within weeks, the paper reappeared, with issue 143 being printed almost single-handedly by Abbé van den Hout, who, on a treadle press, printed 7,000 copies, then arranged for more to be re-printed in Antwerp. Copies of Libre Belgique were even smuggled into internment camps in Germany, where they were read aloud to audiences of four or five-hundred internees.

18th May – In retaliation for German air-raids on London, thirty-three British aircraft bombed Cologne, causing widespread damage and killing one hundred and ten civilians. The next night, German bombers struck again at London, killing forty-eight civilians. Of the twenty-eight German bombers on the raid, six were shot down by British pilots, and another three crashed on reaching their home aerodromes.

Photo Libre Belgique Source Ghent University Library, archive.ugent.be:FC213012-1731-11E2-A8D9-5A520D0ED9C1, via Europeana http://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/9200142/BibliographicResource_30. This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.or/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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Sources

Keighley News Archive (accessed via Bradford Libraries website)

Gilbert, M. First World War