London, Aug 31 – A Reuter dispatch to Ostend says that a small party which has just returned from a visit to Liege describes the destruction wrought by the war as appalling.
"All along the road to Vise," said one of the party, "there was nothing to be seen but walls blackened by smoke, the remains of factories burned, and mounds of earth freshly dug – the sepulchre of the first Germans to fall.
"And then comes Vise. What a painful sight for those who knew the proud city, so typical of Walloon gayety, and now nothing but a mass of ruins, while many of the inhabitants lie all over the place, their chests riddled with bullets! I was told here that the natives were put to work building roads for the invaders from Vise to Aix-la-Chapelle.
"On the way to Argenteau we met a procession of able-bodied men marching four abreast and commanded by a non-commissioned officer, all carrying implements for road and trench building. These men have to submit to discipline Draconian in severity.
"Herstal, usually filled with the busy hum of activity in factories, coal mines, and workships, we found plunged into deathly silence.
"At last we entered Liege.The inhabitants stood at the thresholds of their homes, silent and anxious, but afraid to speak. The streets in the middle of the town wore a deplorable aspect. Many houses had been abandoned. Their doors and windows were shattered and their contents had been removed.
"Nobody but soldiers were to be seen. The Place de l’Universite, the Rue des Pitteurs, and the Quai des Pecheurs had been burned."
The New York Times, 1 septembre 1914