A Hundred years ago today, as English troops fought German on the Continent, a scandal emerged - namely that English cement may have been used to build some German pill-boxes. The cement in question had been exported to Holland and it was assumed it then found its way into German hands.
The Government was urged to ban all exports to Holland and, indeed, Lord Robert Cecil, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, said that if investigations proved it to be the case, then all exports would halt but he added that at that stage no conclusions could be drawn.
As it later turned out, bags of Blue Circle cement made in Holland, which was neutral in the war, were discovered on the half-built German Atlantic seawall.
Meanwhile, on the Continent, the British were using tanks in the Battle of Cambrai in a bid to secure the Hindenberg Line, a major supply route for the Germans, however, the tanks were plagued by mechanical breakdowns and were overcome in some cases.
Also on this day there was a brief report on the situation in Russia, with an update on the revolution from Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, who described the situation as “obscure”, adding: “the extremists had complete control in Moscow”.
In last week’s article on the Leeds Liverpool Canal, we are happy to point out that historian Mike Harwood said the measurements for the canal began at the Liverpool end, this being the location of the company headquarters at the time, hence the distances from Leeds baring the additional quarter mile (and not the other way around). Mr Harwood added: “What I was finding curious is any measurement over such a long distance could claim to be accurate to within a quarter of a mile.”