For reasons that still remain unclear, John Roper Parkington was the Consul General for Montenegro in the United Kingdom. Montenegro spent the best part of a decade at war from the First and Second Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, through World War 1 when it was at war with the Central Powers [Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire], and then finally a civil war about whether to join Serbia. It became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918. JRP was on the side of the Montenegrins favouring independence.
He did issue press releases, from time to time, regarding the situation in Montenegro. The following three are from the Tablet. At the time of all three, the Roper Parkingtons were living at Claridge’s.
AUSTRIANS AS BABY-KILLERS.
Sir J. Roper Parkington, Consul General for Montenegro, has received the following official telegram from Cetinje :
The Austrians have again been busy with wanton attacks on undefended towns. About half-past four on Thursday an aeroplane passed over Cattaro, and seven bombs were thrown on the market place at Podgoritza, killing or wounding seventy-two women and children. One poor woman gave birth to a dead child before she could be removed to hospital.
These repeated attacks on women and children of entirely unfortified towns cause the most intense anger and indignation throughout Montenegro, as no military purpose whatever is served. The ravages of typhus and typhoid are spreading greatly, aggravated by some seventeen thousand refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina recently driven across our borders by the Austrian troops. [The above text was found on p.15, 17th April 1915 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .]
SERBIAN TERROR IN MONTENEGRO.
Sir Roper Parkington, Consul General for Montenegro, has received the following official communique :— Montenegrin men and women, who refuse to testify their loyalty to the King of Serbia and to admit the justice of the seizure and annexation-of their country, are daily arrested and forced into Serbian prisons, notably at Podgoritza, Cettigne, Nikchitch and Kolachine. General Vechovitch, formerly Montenegrin War Minister, who led the guerilla warfare against Austria, has been arrested and taken before a tribunal at Belgrade accused of high treason. Martial law has been proclaimed throughout the country, and all those who decline to recognize the Serbian authority are condemned to death. The stores of the American mission have been burnt ; and reports from other Red Cross missions confirm the carnage and misery which reign supreme throughout this unfortunate country. It is reported in Montenegro that the British Government has addressed a serious remonstrance to the Serbian authorities. [The above text was found on p.10, 25th September 1920 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .]
THE SITUATION IN MONTENEGRO.—Sir Roper Parkington, Consul General for Montenegro, has received the following official communiqué :—The news that the ” Montenegrin Army ” is being armed in Podgoritza, under the command of General Mitar Martinovitch, with the intention of attacking Albania is utterly false, because in Montenegro there is no army except the insurgents who are in the mountains, and who have been struggling against the terroristic Serbian army of occupation.
General Mitar Martinovitch is a Montenegrin renegade, in pay of the Serbians. The above news is intentionally circulated by the Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs with the intention of impairing the friendship and destroying a proposed agreement between the Montenegrins and Albanians, for which both sides have lately been feeling the necessity. The Serbians want to turn the dissatisfaction which is felt, especially in Rome, against their expedition in Albania, onto the Montenegrin people, whom they wish to represent as the instigators of these attacks. [The above text was found on p.29, 16th October 1920 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .]