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The Great War News from Lancaster in 1914

29th August 1914

War News

Lancaster Corporation Officials and the War

At a numerously attended meeting of the officials of the Lancaster Corporation, on Thursday night, it was decided to contribute to the Mayor of Lancaster’s Local Relief Fund a proportionate sum per month during the continuance of the war, the promises already to hand amounting to over £52 per month. A fund is also being organised by the Corporation workmen, and a Police fund is already in operation.

Help for the Belgians

We have received the following letter:-
Dear Sir – I have been requested by the Belgian Minister in London to open in Lancaster a Fund to relieve the distressed families of the Belgian soldiers now in the field, and I shall be glad if you will, therefore, note this in your paper this week. Contributions may be sent to the Belgian Consulate, 10, Irwell Chambers West, Fazakerley Street, Liverpool, or direct to me at the Town Hall, Lancaster marked “Belgian Relief Fund” – I am, yours truly,
William Briggs, Mayor
Town Hall, 27th August 1914.

Alien Prisoners in Lancaster

The first batch of German and Austrian Prisoners arrived in Lancaster on Monday and were conveyed by train direct to the Wagon Works, the fitting up of which serve as a military prison was completed on Saturday. Further batches of prisoners have been brought during the week, a delivery of 100 men on Thursday bringing up the total under detention to about 380. Many of them are seamen, who have been unable to return to their own countries. The guard is composed of the 3rd Battalion Welch Fusiliers (Special Reserve) and the strictest precautions are taken to prevent escape or communication with the outside world.

Territorial Tidings

Captain W O Wright, E Company, 5th King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, writes; “Our work now is to guard a section of main line railway, about nine miles in extent. This naturally means a very scattered disposition but, notwithstanding, everything is running on smoothest wheels – the Territorial Soldier is undoubtedly a very adaptable person. The quarters are varied. Some men live on station premises, others in horse boxes, which were scrupulously clean ready for our occupation; others in improvised shelters under bridges on disused roads, in one case an old Roman road, and quite a large percentage live in gangers’ huts.”

War Items

Major Creagh Osborne, recently commander of the Depot at Bowerham Barracks, will be in charge of the new Kitchener Battalion on Salisbury Plain.

Mr H L Storey JP DL has provided a marquee at Bowerham Barracks, the King’s Own Depot, while the YMCA have equipped it with materials and reading matter for the use of the troops.

In connection with the 5th Battalion of the King’s Own a considerable waiting list of recruits has been received, and Captain F W Seward proposes to commence drill with these.

Lancaster is now a collecting centre for horses for the Army, and the Artillery Drill Shed in Dallas Road, is being utilised for the purpose. Local horse dealers are co-operating with the Army officers to secure suitable animals.

The Hippodrome

An interesting feature of the Hippodrome pictures this week is an excellent film of the 5th Battalion of the King’s Own leaving the Wagon Works after volunteering for active service, and their departure from the Castle Station, where the Mayor and Mayoress (Coun and Mrs Briggs) bade them farewell. The film is an admirable one in every respect, and many of the photos are recognisable.

1914 Lancaster Mobilisation film


Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

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