Page 3461

3461 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

in Mons this pitiful crowd of civilians

was the first indication that the Germans

were within range. "We waited for the

advance of the Germans," says a British

officer; "some civilians reported to us

that they were coming down a road in

front of us. On looking in that direction

we saw, instead of German troops, a crowd

of civilians-men, women ,and children waving white handkerchiefs and being

pushed down the road in front of a large

number of German troops." "They came

on as it were in a mass," says another

British soldier, "with the women and children massed in front of them. The Germans seemed to be pushing them on, and

I saw them shoot down women and children who refused to march. Up to this

time my orders had been not to fire, but

when we saw women and children shot,

my sergeant said: 'It is too heartrending,'

and gave orders to fire, which we did."

"I saw the Germans advancing on hands

and knees towards our position," testifies

another Briton; "they were in close formation, and had a line of women and children in front of their front rank. Our

orders at that time were not to fire on

civilians in front of the enemy." A Belgian standing in a side-street saw six of

the victims shot by the Germans for trying

to get away. The Burgomaster of Mons

himself had been seized in the streets,

and was driven forward with 'the others.

The Germans renewed these cowardly

tactics on the other side of Mons, on August 24th, when the British were in retreat.

"They had collected a number of women

and children from the houses in the town,"

says a British soldier. "I could see that

the Germans had their bayonets fixed

and pointed at the backs of the women and