Well before CEW Bean and Keith Murdoch slugged it out to become Australia’s Official War Correspondent and Bean got on the boat with the first AIF, this journalist was sheltering in Antwerp while the Germans overran it. Meet Louise Mack (Mrs Creed), who was paid by the London Evening News and wired stories of the Siege of Antwerp and German atrocities to Australian papers. Born in Hobart and raised in Sydney she was stationed in Europe at the time, living in England and Italy before heading to Belgium to write for the Evening News and The Daily Mail. She also wrote romance novels.
In 1915 she published a book about her experiences, called A Woman’s Experiences in the Great War and she had a mighty lively tone. Here she is, describing arriving in Belgium and meeting a
fellow correspondent mansplainer.
“My orders are,” Mr. Frank Fox told me as we chatted away, “to stick it out. Whatever happens, I’ve got to see it through for the Morning Post.”
“And I’m going to see it through, too,” I said.
“Oh no!” said Mr. Fox. “You’ll have to go as soon as trouble threatens!”
“Shall I?” I thought.
But as he was a man and an Australian, I did not think it was worth while arguing the matter with him. Instead, we talked of Sydney, and old friends across the seas, the Blue mountains, and the Bush, and our poets and writers and painters and politicians, friends of long ago, forgetting for the moment that we were chatting as it were on the edge of a crater.”