Eye-witness

The home of the Lonsdale Battalion 1914-1918

Eye-witness: The original "Eye-witness" of the Great War in 1914-1915 was Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Dunlop Swinton, RE, DSO [1] He was suceeded by Earl Percy, who similarly supplied the British public with what information the authorities thought fit to allow them, until, in the later stages of the war, increased facilities were accorded to the Press representatives at the Front, when "Eye-witness's" letters ceased.

Mr. Winston Churchill, when First Lord of the Admiralty, in the autumn of 1914 proposed to appoint a selected journalist as naval "Eye-witness" with the Grand Fleet, but Lord Fisher objected, and the idea was dropped. The term "Eye-witness" for an official war-correspondent, first appeared three centuries ago, during the Great Civil War, in 1644, when the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the City of London employed a special writer to accompany and report on the doings of the London Trained Band regiments in Sir William Waller's Army, on the Commonwealth side, his letters being printed in the newspapers of the time usually with the heading "From an Eye-witness." [2]

References / notes[edit | edit source | hide | hide all]

  1. Lt-Col. Swinton retired as a Major General in 1922.
  2. Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.90.

Glossary of words and phrases[edit source | hide]

The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used, and have been transcribed from three primary sources (see contents). Feel free to help improve this content.
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