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The Great War News from Lancaster in 1914

8th August 1914

These pages include reports from the local press in Lancaster and district from August 1914, illustrated with photographs from the museum's collection.

Pilling Territorial’s Suicide

The tragic end of a Territorial was reported from Pilling on Wednesday. A nineteen year old farm labourer, James Hall, received his call to join the Territorial detachment to which he belonged at Fleetwood by Wednesday morning’s post, and shortly afterwards his father heard the report of a gun on the farm. On making investigations he found Hall dead with a bullet wound through the head. The wound had been inflicted, it is stated, with a Territorial rifle, the muzzle of which was in Hall’s mouth. Hall is stated to have been a keen religionist, and it is surmised that he feared the possibility of having to kill his fellow men.

The inquest was held at Simpson’s Tea Rooms on Thursday afternoon, before Mr N Holden, Lancaster, coroner, when the following evidence was give:-

Richard Hall, joiner, Pilling, identified the body as that of his son, James Hall, aged 19 years. He was a farm labourer, and a member of the Fleetwood Company of the 5th King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. On Tuesday night he came home and said he had seen the mobilisation paper posted up. He seemed ready to go and said he would have to join at Fleetwood. He said nothing more before going to bed. On Wednesday he got up at 8.30 am. After breakfast about 9.30 he went to the shippon and took his rifle with him. After a while witness followed him, and found him trying to clean the rifle with a piece of string. He said he had broken the proper cleaning rod. Witness said he would go into the shop and try and find something to help him. Witness went to the shop, and within two minutes head the rifle shot. He went back and found his son shot. He was leaning over a cow trough dead. His rifle was on the right side, and a piece of wood was under him. Before he left he saw the piece of wood on the ground two of three feet away from where he afterwards found it. Witness did not know he had any ball cartridges with him, but four had been found in the house since. He was quite sane, and never expressed any opinion about going on active service.

PC Strong, Pilling, said at 10 am on Wednesday he received information, and went to the shippon. He found the deceased leaning over the trough, quite dead. The rifle was on the floor under his right arm. The bullet had gone through his head and come out on the left side. He found a bit of wood under him. In the rifle there was a spent ball cartridge. Since then he had received four cartridges, completing the clip. He searched his kit, but found nothing.

The Coroner, in summing up, said the case would have to be treated seriously. The deceased had evidently taken his life at a time when he was perfectly sane. At such times when soldiers were called up to serve their King and Country it was the act of a coward to go and take his own life. The father’s evidence proved that Hall was sane, and he pointed out that they had no alternative but to return a verdict in accordance with the evidence that of felo de se.
The jury returned a verdict of ‘Felo de se.’

Enthusiasm in London

The British Royal Proclamations dealing with the Moratorium, the mobilisation of the Navy and Army, were read from the stops of the Royal Exchange on Monday by Sir William Soulsby, secretary to the Lord Mayor of London.

An immense crowd raised cheers as each proclamation was read, hats being waved enthusiastically when the words “God Save the King” were spoken at the end.

“Without any declaration of war, Germany invaded France at three points – Longwy, Cirey, and Delle. The first was reached from the Duchy of Luxemburg, which was entered in face of a treaty undertaking to respect its neutrality. It is near the point where France, Germany and Luxemburg meet. Cirey is about equidistant from Nancy and Strassburg, while Delle is close to where the French, German and Swiss frontiers join."

Popular Feeling

Patriotic feeling in England and the Empire was now running high.

In Trafalgar Square thousands of people waved flags and made repeated attempts – not always successful – to sing the National Anthem.

Hundreds of people climbed upon the plinth of the Nelson Column, and the King Charles statue was almost entirely hid by …. figures. Some even essayed the perilous of the barricade erected round that portion of the entrance to Whitehall which was being repaired.

The War

Lancaster, as a military centre, has naturally shared to the fullest extent in the gravity of the situation caused by the great European War. Throughout the week-end the feeling of suspense was almost painful in its intensity. The hope was freely expressed that England would be able to maintain strict neutrality, but fears were then entertained that acts of aggression on the part of Germany would render interference imperatively necessary, and it was felt we were under the shadow of a great calamity the ultimate outcome of which it was impossible to foretell. At most of the places of worship on Sunday special prayers of intercession for Peace were offered; and on Monday, though holiday jaunts already arranged were not abandoned, there was little of the real holiday spirit abroad. Everywhere the dismal prospect of a sanguinary and probably prolonged struggle were eagerly discussed, and most people were going about with face which if not exactly lugubrious and mournful, were rendered more grave than usual by a sense of impending tragedy.

The period of suspense practically came to an end on Tuesday when the preliminaries to actual mobilisation convinced everyone that England would inevitably be drawn into the fray, though the tidings of the declaration of war did not become generally known until the following morning. Naturally there was a good deal of excitement, but there was no “mafficking” and few outward demonstrations of enthusiasm. There was no lack of patriotism, but the whole business had been brought about too suddenly and developed such huge proportions in a very brief space of time as to almost stagger people who under other circumstances would probably be most demonstrative. The chief feeling was one of amazement at the aggressions of Germany, and although groups of people were to be found in every part of the town discussing the situation, there were no shouting and cheering crowds thronging the streets, which in this respect bore a marked contrast to the scenes they presented during the period of mobilisation for the Boer war.

The Regimental Colours

A great feature of the proceedings during the week have been the formal deposit of the colours of the 3rd Royal Lancaster Regiment at the Town Hall, and those of the local battalion of the Territorials in the King’s Own Chapel. In both instance the handing over of the colours was accompanied by some ceremonial, which furnished practically the only military spectacle in connection with the war which the inhabitants have had the opportunity of witnessing. The muster and departure of the troops has been carried out, not only with remarkable celerity – which speaks volumes for the efficiency of the headquarters arrangements – but also with remarkable quietness. It is infinitely creditable to the reservists of the line regiment that there has been a noble response to the nation’s call, and equally creditable to the Territorials that they have manifested their readiness to make sacrifices in defending the shores of their native land. It is not likely they will be called upon for active service, but in a war of such magnitude it is impossible to predict what will happen.

Food Panic

Lancaster shared to some extent in the panic which seems to have spread nearly all over the country, in regard to our food supply. On Tuesday morning, when the shops were reopened after the holidays, and again on Wednesday, premises of grocers and provision merchants were practically besieged by anxious townspeople who were afraid of a scarcity of flour, sugar and bacon, and of the possibility that these and other commodities would soon attain famine prices. As a matter of fact their conduct in endeavouring to buy up large quantities of provisions was the course best calculated to bring about the dearth they dreaded. In the best informed quarters it is stated that there is now sufficient grain in the country to last for four months, but owing to the sudden exceptional demand, consequent upon the panic, millers have had the greatest difficulty in supplying orders. Sugar is, of course, not so plentiful, but there is a greater supply than is usually the case this period of the year, whilst though the continuance of the war will doubtless militate against deliveries of bacon and other commodities there is, at present, at any rate, no reason for alarm.

There has been a good deal of complaint in certain quarters against dealers taking advantage of the situation to unduly inflate prices; and in some places, Morecambe for instance, where prices were advanced at certain establishments last Friday, there seems to have been a distinct tendency to “make hay while the sun shines”. But that has certainly not been the general practice, and there is no reason to suppose that panic prices would have obtained had not people with means at their disposal caught fright at ill founded rumours and precipitated matters. It would probably be unfair to accuse such people of selfishness, but it cannot be concealed that they have made matters much worse in the long run for the large proportion of people whose means are always restricted, and who, when a crisis comes, are soon reduced to the verge of absolute poverty. It is infinitely to the credit of some, at least, of the firms in Lancaster, that during the week they have manifested a desire to help their poorer customers to tide over the crises by letting them have flour and other commodities at very little advance on the old price.

The prompt action of the Government in making proposals for reinsuring food cargoes with the object of maintaining food supplies had the effect of restoring confidence, and on Thursday trade had resumed its normal proportions but the effect of the panic was seen in an immediate rise in prices. It was stated that there was no fear of a food famine, and no need for retailers to run up the prices of foodstuffs, and this may be true to some extent. The difficulty, so far as the retailers are concerned, is that in most cases the wholesale dealers put up the prices owing to the fact that they were unable to meet the demands made upon them, and the retailers having to pay more for their goods, naturally followed suit. The rise had been irregular and by no means universal, but generally it may be taken that flour has advanced 5s to 7s per sack, sugar had nearly doubled in price, the average for lump being 6d. per lb. and for granulated 6d; while bacon has gone up at least 2d per lb, and there is an advance of ten per cent in tinned goods and butter.

One Day Camp - Territorials Quick Recall

Events have been passing with pageant-like precision this week in the Territorial world, and they have been officially recognised as an important part in the defence of the country. Four years ago the units forming the West Lancashire Territorial Division were encamped in Lunesdale. The North Lancashire Infantry Brigade were at Hornby, the South Lancashire Brigade at Caton, and the Liverpool Brigade were at Halton, each having a complement of Artillery, Engineers, Army Service Corps, and Field Ambulance. The following year the North Lancashire Brigade were under canvas at Holmescales in Westmoreland, and the South Lancashires at Farleton. It had been arranged that this year the Liverpool Brigade (5th, 6th, 7th and 9th Battalions of the Liverpool Regiment) should encamp at Farleton (Westmorland) while the South Lancashire Brigade (4th and 5th South Lancashires, and the Liverpool Scottish) should occupy ground at Hornby, and the North Lancashire Brigade (4th and 5th King’s Own Royal Lancasters and the 4th and 5th Loyal North Lancashires from Preston and Bolton) should encamp south east of the Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale. The fatigue parties at work from the Thursday previous preparing the camps, and the officers and men arrived in battalions on Sunday (3rd August), which was a busy day for the respective railway companies. The handling of between 12,000 and 13,000 men with baggage and horses, and the equipment of Engineers and Field Ambulance Brigade and Army Service Corps, was a triumph of transport and organisation. Elaborate arrangements had been made for regimental and brigade training rather than divisional work, but it was intended to have one night’s bivouack with movements on a big scale.

The headquarter (Lancaster) Companies of the 5th King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment assembled at the Drill Hall, Phoenix Street, on Sunday morning, and left about 9 o’clock, proceeding through the town to the Castle Station, from whence a special train conveyed them via Carnforth and Low Gill to Kirkby Lonsdale.

The officers present were: Colonel Lord Richard Cavendish; Major J H Bates, Major E C Cadman, Captain and Adjutant Young, Captains Keen, Sharpe, Wright, Atkinson, Eaves, Fawcett, Bingham, Lieutenants Carter, Parsons, Milnes, Simpson, Deed, Preston, Mather, Lloyd-Evans, Second Lieutenants Seward and Coupland. Lieutenant and Quartermaster Hodkinson. The number of non-commissioned officers and men was 630, and the total would have reached 670 by Monday.

Rain was falling heavily when the men marched into camp, but everything was found to be in readiness and the men settled down to their quarters. Then it transpired that there was considerable anxiety about the continuation of the camp, as orders had been received to return 50 per cent of the bedding blankets and oil sheets. The men had therefore to share blankets and sleep nine in a tent, but they were quite cheerful over it. The Brigadier (Colonel Hibbert) and Brigade Major Bruce, intimated that they had received orders at 2 a.m. on Monday for the men to strike camp and return home. The first lot left at 5.30, and were told to hold themselves in readiness for orders. The Lancaster Companies were the last to leave the camp at 11-30 am, reaching Lancaster at 2.30.

What transpired at Kirkby Lonsdale, also applied to the camps at Farleton and Hornby. The South Lancashires being moved on Monday back to their headquarters, while the Liverpools were also sent back to await orders.

Depositing the Colours:  Ceremony at the Town Hall

Within fourteen years the Royal Lancaster Regiment has been twice called upon by the nation, and they have responded nobly to the King’s mobilisation order. Reservists of the King’s Own flocked to the Bowerham Barracks on Wednesday and Thursday, and were sent off in batches to join the 1st Battalion in the South while the 5th Battalion (Territorials) were true to their call to defend their homes and mobilised at the Drill Hall in Phoenix Street, preparatory to their departure under orders for Furness.

The 3rd Battalion known as the Special Reservists, followed the course they adopted during the South African War, and deposited their colours with the Mayor of Lancaster at the Town Hall. The Colours were carried by Lieutenants Watkins and J P Jamieson, who were escorted by Colour Sergeants Redfern, Fleming and Sweeney. They were received outside the Town Hall in the presence of a large crowd in Dalton Square, and a procession was formed up the grand staircase and into the banqueting hall. The Mayor (Councillor Briggs) was in his robes of office, and was accompanied by the Mayoress, Mr Noel Briggs, and Miss Stanton, Alderman Kitchen, Alderman R Preston and Mrs Preston, Alderman G Jackson and Miss Jackson, Councillor C F Seward and Misses Seward, Councillor a Bell, Mrs and Miss Bell, Councillor E Cardwell, Councillors JE Oglethorpe, J Heald, J S Riley, J S Harford, I J Curwen, E C Parr, W Glasby, W Sewell, H Gooch, Chief Constable Harris, Mrs S J Taylor, Mr J M Dowbiggin, Mr W French, Mr G H Mitchell, Messrs. J B Barber, W Bentley, and T E Snowball. Other ladies present were: Mrs W Croft Helme, Miss Helme, Mrs Malcolm.

The colours were not unfurled, but handed over in their cases to the Mayor, who acknowledged their acceptance.

The Mayor, addressing the escort, said, in accepting the custody of their colours, he did so with the fullest sense of the importance of the occasion, and of all that it meant. He should like them to know that Lancaster was proud of its King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, and wished it every success. Knowing that it would do its duty wherever it might be called to serve and do its best to live up to the great traditions with which its name was associated. His sincere wishes were that God might be with them all, and that they might safely return to receive their colours back again. (Applause).
The little ceremony then ended.

The Territorial Colours in King’s Own Chapel.

The Colours of the 5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment being taken to Lancaster Parish Church, 5th August 1914.
Accession Number: KO1812/01

In the presence of a large congregation the colours of the 5th Battalion King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (Territorials) were deposited during the afternoon in the King’s Own Chapel attached to the Lancaster Parish Church. The Mayor (Councillor Briggs) walked with the Corporation in state from the Town Hall. All the gentlemen who attended a similar ceremony at the Town Hall were present. The Mayoress and Mr Herbert L Storey were amongst the congregation. The Territorials marched from the Drill Hall through the streets to the Parish Church and filled the King’s Own Chapel and also the north aisle. Lord Richard Cavendish was in command, and the other officers were Major J H Bates, Major Cadman, Captain and Adjutant Young, Captains Sharpe, Atkinson, Fawcett, Bingham, Lieutenants Parsons, Milnes, Preston, Lloyd Evans, and George, Sergeant Major Snelson, Lieutenants Parson and Lloyd Evans were entrusted with the charge of the colours. The King’s and regimental colours respectively. They were escorted by Colour Sergeants Smith, Ralph and Haigh, the colours being those presented by Lady Moyra Cavendish. The Mayoral procession was received by the Vicar (Rev J U N Bardsley), Rev W E Cunliffe, Rev R L Hussey, Messrs R Stanton (churchwarden) and A B S Welch (sidesman).
The escort took up a position right in front of the Communion table in the Chapel, looking at the stained glass windows erected in memory of those who fell in the South African War, 1899-1902. Overhead were the old colours of the 1st Royal Lancashire Militia who served in the Crimean War, and old colours of the later Militia Battalions, who went through the South African War. After the impressive singing of the old hymn “O God our help in ages past”, the Vicar proceeded with the other clergy to the King’s Own Chapel, and received the colours, which were placed by each side of the altar. Addressing the escort, the Vicar said: “I gladly accept this trust which you have honoured us with this day, in keeping the colours in this hallowed spot until please God you return in safety to reclaim them.” Returning from the Chapel to the Chancel, the Vicar intimated that the order of service was that referring to those at sea, and in going through it he asked them to kneel down reverently and remember that possibly in that very time a fierce engagement might be fought in the North Sea. He asked them to beseech the “God of Victory” to grant them that which their hearts desired. Prayers were then reverently said, and at their conclusion The Vicar, addressing Lord Richard Cavendish and the officers and men of the King’s Own Regiment, said he gladly accepted the trust with which they had honoured them that day. The colours which they had just brought to that hallowed spot would be preserved in reverence and honour until it pleased God they returned in safety to reclaim them. They could not possibly have chosen a better place than the chapel which has been dedicated to the worship of Almighty God, and to the memory of those noble men who laid down their lives for their country – men belonging to that regiment. The colours which they had just placed in that sanctuary, and the colours hanging from the walls of the chapel spoke to them of a regiment that bore an honoured name – a regiment that bore an honoured name - a regiment that possessed a record, a noble record of the past of those who had done great tings and of those who had suffered. They were going away from the town that afternoon, and may these colours be a stimulant to them as they went away. They might be called upon to endure many long weeks and months of monotonous training, but they must not forget that service, and must not forget the colours left behind. They spoke to them of the high and noble traditions of the past. They all knew what high traditions could do, influencing men for good or for evil. I every walk of life they knew what it was to have an honoured name, and to be brought up with an honoured name, and to be brought up with an honoured name. They knew what it was to have been brought up in a school with its traditions of the past. They knew what it was to belong to a country with the very noblest traditions that any country could possess. They knew what it was to belong to a regiment like that, the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. As they were aware they might be called upon to do work which was not in the offensive, but they would be called upon nevertheless to endure, and that was as great work as any man could be called upon to perform. They would be called upon to endure months of waiting for a foe which might never – please God may it be so – never appear, but it would be weary work doing their duty. His earnest prayer was that whatever might come, that their country and homes might be in safety and in God’s protection. They would be called upon to endure in a keener sense even than that – they might be called upon to resist temptation to dishonour their God, their country, home and people. He prayed that they might be loyal men and think of the colours they had left behind. Let them remember, too, that they would earnestly join in prayer for them day by day in that chapel, and as they beheld the colours they would think of them as they prayed for their safety, physical, moral, and spiritual. They asked God to preserve them in body and in soul and in spirit, and hoped they all would pray with them that God would give them His grace and pour it out in abundance upon them so that whatever might come – whether they were called upon for active service or merely to defend their shores – they might be true to the performance of their duty. To God’s gracious mercy and protection they committed them. “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious until you, the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you peace now and for ever” “Amen.”
A chorus of fervent “amens” followed this benediction, and the National Anthem was vigorously sung, the voices of the men making the Church ring. The Mayoral procession left, and then the Territorials, who were headed by their bugle and brass bands and led by Lord Richard Cavendish, passed in quick step down Castle Hill, Market Street, Cheapside, and North Road to their headquarters, the streets being crowded by their anxious friends and well-wishers.

1st King’s Own Colours

Another ceremonial was witnessed on Thursday afternoon, when the colours of the 1st Battalion King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment were given sanctuary in the King’s Own Chapel. The Battalion is under the command of Lieutenant Colonel A N Dykes, who served in the South African War, and has latterly been stationed at Grand Shaft Barracks, Dover. They expect to proceed with the expeditionary force to Belgium, and on Wednesday night their colours were brought to Lancaster under the escort of Lieutenant C G S Irving and Lieutenant W E G Statter, two smartly built officers, who, during the handing over the colours, were accompanied by Colonel Duffin (the new Commander of the Depot at Bowerham Barracks, in succession to Major Creagh-Osborne), and Colonel J M Graham, the Commander of the 3rd Battalion, King’s Own Regiment.

The Vicar of Lancaster received the colours from the hands of Lieutenants Irvine and Statter.

Addressing the escort, the Vicar said he had just received a letter from the Colonel of the 1st Battalion, King’s Own Regiment, that afternoon from Dover, stating:-

“The Battalion under my commanding having been ordered to mobilise for active service, I am today sending the Colours to the Depot in charge of an officer. No doubt the Officer Commanding the Depot will, in due course, request you to receive these sacred emblems for safe custody in the King’s Own Memorial Chapel. I know that you will gladly accept this responsibility until we can return to claim them; and I also know that we shall have the prayers of yourself and your congregation that the regiment may maintain its proud traditions and add new honours to its colours in the performance of whatever duty it may be called upon to undertake.”

The Vicar said he could assure the escort that they would have daily the earnest prayers of himself, and he should lay the subject before his congregation at the first opportunity next Sunday. He hoped they would all pray for them, and that they might return in safety under God’s protection to reclaim the colours. He prayed that they might be true to their trust, to their country and to their King, by doing that which they were called upon to perform. He should earnestly pray day by day, and ask his people to pray, that they may be sustained in the great work they were undertaking, and that by God’s mercy they might come back safe and sound in body and soul to do once more the work of defending the shores of England. He received the colours feeling that it was an honour to take care of them, and said that they might be sure that during their absence from the country they would be given safe protection. He repeated that he felt it was an honour to himself and the wardens of the Church to be asked to look after them, while they were serving their King and country.

The Vicar placed the colours alongside those of the Territorial Battalion left the previous day, and shook hands with the Ensigns, wishing them a safe return.

Departure of the Territorials

The 5th King’s Own Headquarter Companies left Lancaster for Barrow in Furness, their preliminary duty station, on Wednesday afternoon at 4.50pm. Crowds lined the streets all the way from the Drill Hall in Phoenix Street to the Station. The people behaved in an orderly manner, and there was little for the big staff of police to do, except to keep the platform as clear as possible, so the men could entrain with a minimum of inconvenience. Very few Territorials had been rejected in the medical examination.

Lord Richard Cavendish was in command, and the other officers were: Major Bates; Kean and Cadman; Captain and Adjutant Young; Captains Sharpe; Atkinson; Fawcett; Bingham; Lieutenants Carter; Parsons; Simpson; Preston; Lloyd Evans; 2nd Lieutenant Seward, Lieutenant & Quartermaster Hodgkinson. Amongst those witnessing the departure of the men were: Colonel Hibbert and Major Bruce of the North Lancashire Infantry Brigade; the Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs Briggs), Mr Noel Briggs; Aldermen Preston; Jackson; Councillors E Cardwell; C F Seward; A Bell; J E Oglethorpe; J S Harford; I J Curwen; Sewell; W Glasby; H Gooch; E C Parr; De Buchanan; Mr S J Taylor (deputy Town Clerk), Chief Constable Harriss, Mr E Sharpe, Mr H A Paley; Major F B Bell; Mr W Sharples, Mr F Huntington; Mr T W Huntington; Mr R Watson (a veteran of the old Volunteers), and many others.

Mr H M Stones (superintendent); Mr J H Thurstan (Engineer) and Mr J Brooks (station master) supervised the departure, which was carried out in a business-like manner, the train including the baggage, machine guns, and stores. As the train started the men had their baptism of fire, detonators having been place on the metals, and amidst encouraging cheers they left for “active service” for the old country in good spirits. A tremendous crowd assembled on the bridges outside the Station, and joined in the cheering.

Morecambe Territorials

The E Company (Morecambe), numbering 77 officers and men, left Morecambe at 2.45pm on Wednesday for Barrow. They were in charge of Captain W O Wright, Lieutenants Simpson and Coupland.

The Artillery Territorials

The Lancaster Batteries of the West Lancashire RFA mobilised at the headquarters in Dallas Road, but awaited arrival of horses to convey their batteries by broad to Preston, where they join the Brigade and proceed to their point of duty. The fitness of the men was exemplified by the medical examination before Surgeon Major Lamport, not a single man being rejected. The batteries are at full strength and most efficient. There has been a tremendous rush of former members of the Artillery Volunteer Corps offering their services, but all Captain Wilson could do was to take their names and tell them he would communicate with the Brigade Headquarters. It was found to be necessary to commandeer horses at several livery stables in Lancaster and Morecambe and also railway van horses.

Reservists Departure

A batch of 100 reservists left Bowerham Barracks about 7.15 on Wednesday night to catch a special train at the Castle Station for Dover. They had only arrived in Lancaster during the day and reported themselves, but the mobilisation equipment was so smart that they were all ready in good time. Large crowds witnessed the march to the Station, and the men appeared to be in good spirits.

Lieutenant L S Brocklebank was the officer in charge. At the railway station the Mayor and Mayoress were on the platform. Major Creagh-Osborne, who is relinquishing the command of the Depot during the war, was present.

The Mayor and Mayoress conversed with the men, wishing them “Good luck and a safe return” to which came the response “We will do our best.” Private Hall, the Vale of Lune and Kent County Rugby footballer, left the following message: “The best of good luck to the Vale of Lune.”

Detonators were placed on the metals to give the men a hearty send-off. There was an absence of rowdyism which characterised some of the South African war departures.

Over 400 Reservists, all men who have had several years with the colours in South Africa and India left on Thursday night by South Eastern and Chatham special train at 8.50 for Dover. They marched through the town about 8 o’clock and were a sturdy lot of fellows. The officers in charge were: Lieutenants Irvine, Statter, Hardy and Beaumont. The two former officers have been with the 1st Battalion at Dover, and brought the Colours to Lancaster. Lieutenant Hardy is 6ft 3in in height, and Lieutenant Beaumont is the youngest officer in the Regiment. The general public were not admitted to the station, but amongst those on the platform were: The Mayor and Mayoress, Colonel Duffin, Colonel Graham, Captain Scott, Captain Nornabelle, Lieutenant Morris and Lieutenant Phelips, and other officers from the Depot. Just before the train started a lady sent a horse shoe of white roses, wishing the Battalion good luck and a safe return. A volley of detonators signalled the departure, and the cheering was most hearty, the men responding vigorously as the train steamed out of the station.

Another 100 men leave to-day (Friday) which will complete the war footing establishment of the 1st Battalion.

The Special Reservists

The mobilisation of the 3rd Battalion King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment is being carried out today (Friday), and the men will probably leave for duty at Plymouth or some other seaport in the South on Saturday. They number from 400 to 500, which means that, exclusive of Territorials, the Bowerham Depot has fitted out over 1,000 men this week – a night and day task.

Voluntary Aid

Miss Garnett of Quernmore Park, has offered a Detachment of the Voluntary Aid Association to the War Office, for nursing work during the hostilities.

National Reservists

The Lancaster National Reservists have issued a notice stating that they are required to provide the following:- For protection of vulnerable points, nine men; 1st West Lancashire Royal Field Artillery, 35 men (must have been artillerymen); West Lancashire Division Royal Engineers, one man; 5th King’s Own 110 men, 1st Field Ambulance, one man.


The War Office have evidently secured a tremendous number of motor wagons for transport, and on Thursday Scottish motors were passing through the town on their way south.

Railways under the Government

Although the Nationalisation of Railways is probably a long way off, yet in the time of war they are really under Government control. An Order in Council has been made, under Section 16 of the Regulation of Forces Act, 1871, declaring that it is expedient that the Government should have control over the railroads of Great Britain. The various railway managers are co-operating with the Government. One effect of military traffic has been the abolition of excursions fares. We are officially advised that in order to give due effect to the instructions received from the War Office and the Admiralty for the movement of troops etc., it may be necessary to discontinue at short notice a portion of the advertised service or to close certain of the lines against ordinary traffic. Under these circumstances no responsibility can be accepted for any delay or loss that may arise. Some Lancastrians on holidays have been alarmed at the position and have returned home earlier, some chartering vehicles by road.

Warning to Workers

The immediate effect of the war upon local industry has been the intimation to the employees of Messrs Jas. Williamson and Son and Messrs. Storey Bros. Ltd., that they will probably be put on short time – the exact amount has not yet been stated. Messrs. Storey Bros. have asked their workpeople to resume work on Monday morning, and the firm will do their best under the difficult circumstances, with so many of their markets closed.




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