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Arthur Douglas Crease Letters, Diaries and Scrapbooks

Letters from Arthur Douglas Crease of Victoria to his brother Lindley Crease and his mother Sarah Crease; instructions for the offensive of July 26, 1917; a regimental notebook, diaries and scrapbook. Learn more.

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BC Archives MS-0055BC Archives MS-2879



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Was Condemned with Edith Cavell

On the morning of October 1, 1915, an official announcement was posted in the streets of Brussels, capital of Belgium, by order of General von Billing, German governor-general. It contained the name of ten persons upon whom sentences had been imposed for helping Allied soldiers to escape from the territory occupied by the Germans. The first five named on the list had been condemned to death. One was Edith Cavell. The others were her four principal helpers: Philippe Baucq, architect, of Brussels; Louise Thuliez, school teacher, of Lille; Lous Severia, apothecary, and the Countess Jeanne de Belleville.

"The sentence against Baucq and Cavell has already been carried out," was the terse conclusion of the announcement.

It was read by the sister of Mlle. Thuliez, who had just reached Brussels in the hope of saving the Lille school teacher from death. It struck terror to her heart; perhaps she was already too late. Wild with anxiety she hurried to the Marquis de Villalobar, the Spanish minister, who was looking after the affairs of the French in Belgium. He at once sent a telegram to King Alfonso of Spain, telling him of the dire peril in which Louise Thuliez lay, and asking him to intercede for her.

The Germans had set the time for Louise Thuliez's execution at dawn on October 13. The evening before the Spanish minister went to the Kommandantur and asked if nothing had been heard from King Alfonso.

"Nothing," was the answer.

"But I know he will wish to have Mlle. Thulliez's life spared," said the Marquis, the despairing entreaties of the school teacher's sister still ringing in his ears.

"Louise Thuliez will be shot at dawn," he was told. Seeing that further efforts were useless he desisted. Finally, only a few hours before the time set, a telegram from Alfonso arrived. Vallalobar dashed to the Kommandantur, showed it to the German authorities, and got a reprieve for the school teacher.

This and much more of absorbing interest are recounted by Louise Thuliez herself in the current issue of the Revue des Deux Mondes, which has just reached this country. She tells of facing death at every turn while helping the Allied soldiers marooned in the occupied territory, of sending them secretly from one friendly house to another until they reached Miss Cavell in Brussels and were set by her on the last stage of the road to freedom.

The French school-teacher was on a vacation at Saint-Waast-la-Valles near Lille, when the German invasion began. She began helping Allied soldiers without delay. When the enemy hosts swept past the little village on their way to the Marne they left behind six wounded Frenchmen, who were cared for by her and others - New York Times.

BC Archives, MS-2879, Box 83, File 1 CREASE FAMILY "Diary of the War", diary and scrapbook of Arthur Douglas Crease 1915-1919.

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