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The Great War News from Lancaster in 1914

23rd October 1914

These pages include reports from the local press in Lancaster and district from October 1914.

Bloodthirsty Territorials

A Lancaster Territorial, writing from the YMCA tent at Didcot, speaks of the value of the YMCA and its tent to the troops, and then impressive services held each Sunday evening. Particulars are given of the competitive concerts arranged by the Territorials, and a male voice choir has been formed. Speaking as a brotherhood member, the write says: “I am afraid it is not a very brotherly kind of feeling, but I’m quite bloodthirsty when I read about the horrible things the Germans are doing.”

Departure and Arrival of Territorials

Last night quite a demonstration took place in the streets, when 50 of the reserve battalion of the Royal Lancaster Regiment left the town to join the 5th or headquarters battalion. Their comrades accompanied them to the Castle Station, Captain Seward being in command. The men were given a very hearty send off. Directly after their departure 115 men arrived by train from the headquarters battalion to join the reserve battalion, and they were received with equal enthusiasm. These 115 men were accommodated at Jackson’s lodging house, Cable Street, over night.

The YMCA Work

The YMCA continues its activities amongst his Majesty’s troops stationed in Lancaster. This week’s programme commenced with the usual Sunday evening rally, when a good number of soldiers were present. The meeting took the form of a “home circle” and refreshments were provided free of cost. A “heart to heart talk” with the men made the evening pleasant and profitable. On Wednesday evening Mr Owen delivered an interesting talk on “Our Empire” with the aid of limelight views. An imaginary visit to some of the most beautiful and important parts of our vast and loyal Empire was enjoyed. Mr Owen brought home many incidents directly connected with the present war. Mr T J Wilkinson presided, and contributed to the educational value of the lecture. In addition to the existing arrangements a full programme of recreation education and social amusements is being arranged.

Gifts for Infirmary Beds

The following gifts have been received for the beds being prepared at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary for the reception of sick and wounded soldiers – parcel of linen, Mrs Ellis, Westbourne Terrace; pocket handkerchiefs, anonymous; sheets and quilts, Mrs J T Sanderson; pillows, Miss Tomlinson; shirts, Mrs George Jackson, Westwood, and Mrs Grantham, Westbourne Terrace; quilts, Mrs Davies, Carus Lodge.

Lancaster Aliens Arrested

Chief Constable Harriss received on Wednesday evening the Home Office order for the immediate arrest of all enemy aliens between the ages of 17 and 45, and yesterday four resident in Lancaster were removed to the Town Hall, where they will be detained pending the receipt of orders from the War Office as to the place of their internment.
A batch of 140 aliens from Manchester were interned in the Wagon Works camp yesterday. They were brought to Lancaster by 70 armed police and special constables.

5th King’s Own Reserve Battalion

Thanks to the strenuous recruiting propaganda the officers of the 5th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Lancaster Regiment are almost within sight of their objective. Men have this week been enrolled from Dolphinholme, Shireshead, Blackpool and Fleetwood, and last evening the immediate arrival of 115 men from the parent battalion was being anticipated. The men are now thoroughly settled down in their quarters, and the organisation is day by day working with increasing smoothness, despite the absence of clothing and equipment. Yesterday about 200 men were furnished with boots, and thus some portion of the grievance which last week found expression is removed. Colonel Crompton Hall, VD, who retired with the rank of major in April 1903, from the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, and has latterly commanded the Preston Battalion of the National Reserve, has this week taken up duties as OC.

Appeal for Motor Ambulance

A very urgent appeal is being made in The Times for motor ambulances to be used at the seat of war, where they can do invaluable work by lessening suffering and saving the lives of hundreds of our soldiers by taking them straight to base hospitals, with far more promptness than is the case if the medical authorities have to rely only on hospital trains.
The price of a properly equipped motor ambulance car is £400.
This is an object that will appeal to everyone, and it has been suggested that an effort should be made in Lancaster and District and in the Lune Valley to provide such a motor, and that it should be called the “Luck to Loyne Ambulance”.
As it is important that ambulances be provided and forwarded to the front as quickly as possible, donations should be sent before 2nd November, on which date all sums received will be forwarded to Lord Rothschild, the honorary treasurer of the Red Cross Society.
It is hoped that at least £400, the price of a fully equipped ambulance car, will be received.

A list of donations will be sent to all subscribers after 2nd November. Donations can be sent to Mrs J G Wright, Halton Park, Lancaster; or to Miss Welch, Hornby Hall, Lancaster, or can be paid to the Manchester and Liverpool District Banking Co Ltd at Lancaster or Kirkby Lonsdale, to the account of the “Luck to Loyne Ambulance Fund”.

Fired on by Comrades

Private Betts, of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, was fatally shot by another private belonging to the same regiment, who was on sentry duty at the Grand Junction bridge towing path on Saturday night. It appears that Betts was challenged by the sentry, who, failing to get an answer, fired. As the inquest at Southall on Monday, it was disclosed that Betts went to speak to his comrade, who, hearing someone approaching, turned sharply round, and his rifle went off accidentally. A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.

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