Terre Haute Lad on Warpath in Europe

Terre Haute Tribune, March 28, 1916, page 12


Albert Dawson Making Films for Picture Concern Saw Awful Fate of Serbs

Albert K. Dawson formerly of Terre Haute and Vincennes, and whose sisters still reside at the latter place, has written to the Tribune that he is now a European agent for the American Correspondent Film company and has just had an interesting experience in Belgrade and the Balkans, where he has been with the German and Russian armies making war films. He writes:

“I followed the track of the Bulgarian army and saw all the strong positions which had been taken by storm and without artillery from the Servians.

“From Prisrend there is a fine road to Albania and that had been followed by the king and his army for the thirty kilometres of its extent. After that it tapers off into a trail. And at the end of that road a strange and weird sight met my eyes. The road is just cut into the side of the mountain and there is a rushing mountain stream way below. So when they reached the point where the road ceased they just set their automobiles running at full speed, jumped off them and let them take a big leap over the side into the gorge below. And there they lay, hundreds of them burnt to ashes, for as they fell the petroleum spouted out and there was a grand conflagration.

The Royal Coach

“There too, a pathetic sight, was the old-fashioned royal coach of King Peter, a queer ramshackle specimen of the coachman’s art in bygone times. Also masses of artillery which had been destroyed as much as possible, and specially they had chopped the wheels off. They buried the ammunition and in order to conceal its whereabouts they ploughed up the entire land. But in that they were foiled because in their flight, the Servians had taken away a number of Austrian prisoners, many of whom escaped and returned to show where the munitions had been hidden.” At one point Mr. Dawson saw an entire train which bad been burnt and which remained as just a long, black patch.

“The Austrian prisoners were in a truly awful plight. They had no proper food for a couple of months, for the moment the Central powers entered the country their whole existence consisted of perpetual forced marches. The Servians had not enough food for themselves, much less for their prisoners. So that all they had to eat in the two months had been four loaves each, and they had to eke out their existence upon peas and corn, just as given to the horses. It was only the strongest and hardest that survived. In many, very cases, their toes were completely frozen off and they were starved beyond belief. They just looked like wolves, a case of men having by circumstances been turned into animals.”