Stories Taken From The Blackburn Weekly Telegraph For August 1914
FILLING THE LARDER
RISING PRICES OF FOODSTUFF
Blackburn householders have had to pay considerably increased prices for their commodities this week. Wholesale provision dealers have experienced the greatest difficulty in securing supplies, and orders have only been met in limited quantity. They have endeavoured to supply each retail customer with some portion of his orders, but the shortage of supply, coupled with increased demand, as naturally had the result of forcing up prices. At a meeting of the Wholesale Grocers’ Association on Wednesday the following resolution was adopted:
“Owing to the war, and the disorganisation of trade and scarcity of supplies, we regret to notify customers that we cannot allow further credit, as merchants have insisted on cash payments before delivery of goods.”
At the same meeting it was unanimously decided to advice the public to use their holiday money wisely, and to buy only such classes of as are necessary.
The corn millers in the town have experienced a great demand for sacks of flour from private customers, and at a meeting on Tuesday the Master Bakers’ Association decided to increase the price of bread a halfpenny per loaf. The following retail prices were quoted yesterday: Butter, 1s 6d per pound, bacon, 1s 2d to 1s 6d per pound, ham, 1s 6d, cheese, 10d, sugar 4d per pound, and flour, 3s 6d per stone.
Many firms have had to part with horses the demands made by officials being proportionate to the number kept.
IN TIME OF WAR
Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the chief scout has issued the following appeal to village lads;
“Boys of Britain,--Don’t go about waving flags because there is a war. Any ass can do that. And don’t stay idle doing nothing—that is almost worse. Come and do something for your country. She needs your help. The Boy Scouts are now a Service in all parts of the kingdom. Come and Join the nearest Troop in your district. And do duty like a man.”
Though only mobilised on Sunday, the Scout Service is already providing the Admiralty with 1,200 Scouts and 3,000 are assisting the police. Other public offices in London have requisitioned their aid, and headquarters have received many gratifying letters written in appreciation of the service. Another party have been sent to York House in connection with the National Fund. The American Committee have asked for and received sixteen Scout cyclists. The Hon. Miss Morgan, whose brother is equipping a hospital ship, rang up for eight Scouts to requisition hospital stores in the West End. To show how perfectly the service is organised it may be mentioned that after six o’clock on Monday night a party of Scouts was telegraphed for to headquarters for duty on the East Coast. The East London district was at once communicated with, and by seven o’clock a telegram announced at Victoria-street that the boys had already left from Liverpool-street. An amusing illustration of the versatility of the Boy Scout followed the receipt of a message from the War Office mess to the effect that there was a great shortage of waiters and waitresses, and asking if the service could help. The work, it was pointed out, was hard and responsible, and therefore probably not of a kind to be undertaken by the boys, but it was suggested that they might find a supply of regular waiters. The service, however, was equal to the call, for four six-foot Scouts were immediately despatched.
A few days ago the Chief-Scout Commissioner for Suffolk in securing 1,000 Scouts to aid local civil or defence authorities in such duties as collecting or distributing information re supplies, billeting, guarding culverts and telegraphs, assisting police, fire brigades and ambulances, and in poor relief distribution. The response of Suffolk is being repeated all over the country, the lads entering upon their duties with a zest that is infectious.
The Scouts have already done service, or preparing to take on such duties as
Soup kitchen organisers;
Watching telephone and telegraph wires;
Cycling across country with emergency news;
The corps of wireless operators and signallers number 120, and every one of them has volunteered. The cyclists’ camps are ever watchful. Cycles and motor-cycles are to be seen outside 116, Victoria-street London, at all hours, and Scouts squat in corridors and offices ready to go anywhere and do anything that a lithe, alert, and intelligent youth can be expected to do.
The establishment of an Old Scouts Corp is now under consideration, but actual organisation will not take place until Lord Kitchener has obtained 100,000 men.
THIS CONCERNS YOU
STRIKING REGULATIONS FOR THE NATION
A Supplement to the “London Gazette” details the measures which may be taken by naval and military authorities under the new Defence of the Realm Act*. The most important regulations are:
Any building may be seized by the military authorities and, if necessary, destroyed.
No one may spread reports likely to alarm the civilian population.
No one may loiter near a railway bridge.
No one my give or sell liquor to a soldier on duty.
The authorities are also given the right, among other things, to
Take possession of any land and construct military works, including roads, thereon, and to remove any trees, hedges, and fences therefrom.
Take possession of any building or other property, including works for the supply of gas, electricity, or water, and of any sources of water supply.
Take such steps as may be necessary for placing any building or structures in a state of defence.
Cause any building or structures to be destroyed, or any property to be moved from one place to another, or to be destroyed.
Order the inhabitants of any area near a defended harbour to leave the neighbourhood.
Order public-houses near any defended harbour to close between specified hours.
Order people at a defended harbour to remain indoors between specified hours, unless they have a permit allowing them to leave their homes.
Enter by force any building or ship and seize anything which there is reason to suspect is intended for any purpose prejudicial to the public safety.
It Is announced that ordinary civil offences will be dealt with by the civil tribunals, but a number of offences will be dealt with by courts-martial. These offences include:
Unlawfully publishing naval or military information which might be useful to the enemy.
Making photographs, plans, sketches, or models of naval or military works.
Tampering with telegraph or telephone wires.
Giving or selling Liquor to a member of His Majesty’s Forces when on sentry or other duty.
Damaging a railway or railway bridge.
Spreading reports, by word of mouth or writing near a defended harbour likely to create disaffection or alarm among the troops or civilian population.
Lighting a fire on a hill near a defended harbour without permission.
Courts-martial will have power to inflict sentence of penal servitude for life.
The regulations are prefaced by the declaration that ordinary avocations of life and enjoyment of property will be interfered with as little as may be permitted by exigencies of the measures required to be taken, and ordinary civil offences will be dealt with by civil tribunals in the ordinary course of law.
*The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) was passed in the United Kingdom on 8 August 1914, four days after it entered World War I. It gave the government wide-ranging powers during the war period, such as the power to requisition buildings or land needed for the war effort, or to make regulations creating criminal offences.
FROM DUTY TO DUTY
The Blackburn Borough Police Force has been depleted by 22 men, who rejoined their regiments at such remote places as Chelsea, Athlone, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leth, and Pembroke.
The men left on Wednesday morning after assembling in the parade yard where they were addressed by Chief Constable Hodson. Mr. Hodson wished them “Good luck” and a safe return and shock hands with each man. Twenty eight postmen and one clerk in the post office hae responded to the call, and five members of the Blackburn County Police, six members of Church County Police, and three railway men are numbered among the reservists>
Members of the Blackburn section of “D” Squadron of the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry left on Wednesday morning having received orders to proceed to the north of Ireland.
Sergeant McDonald, recruiting officer, has had an exceedingly busy time. His offices in Ainsworth-street have been crowded by reservists, with a multitude of questions to ask and papers to be signed and a number of recruits have come forward.
BLACKBURN TROOPS RETURN FROM CAMP
The 1st East Lancashire Brigade Royal Field Artillery (Territorial Forces), in accordance with the orders of the War Office, struck camp at Bellingham, Northumberland, on Monday, and returned to the respective battery headquarters in Blackburn, Church and Burnley.
The brigade only reached Bellingham early on Sunday morning. Sunday was spent in camp in order, but at eight o’clock on Monday morning just about twenty-four hours after arrival, orders were received to return immediately to headquarters. Arrangements were at once made with the railway companies, and at two o’clock the homeward journey had been commenced. The Blackburn battery and ammunition column reached the town about ten o’clock at night. The men had a hearty reception, and marched from the station to the King-street Drill Hall, with a band playing, and accompanied by cheering crowds.
The Blackburn, Accrington, Darwen, and Clitheroe contingent of the East Lancashire Regiment (Territorial Forces), numbering about 800, left Carnarvon, where they had gone for their annual training, and arrived at their respective headquarters on Monday afternoon. The men had had one night under canvas, and they left by special trains about seven o’clock in the morning. A large crowd had gathered in and around Blackburn railway station, and the men cheered loudly as the train steamed into the station.
BLACKBURN RELIEF FUND
THE BOER WAR BALANCE
The Mayor of Blackburn [John Higginson] at the Town Council said that there was now only one dependant—the mother of a soldier who was killed—on the fund generously subscribed for by the townspeople during the Boer War of 1899. He proposed to call a meeting of the subscribers to re-form the committee and ask their consent to divert the balance to that fund for the benefit of persons in need of help in consequence of the present war. He sincerely hoped that it would not be necessary to make any further appeal to the public.
ARMY RESERVISTS IN BLACKBURN
The calling up of the army reserves in pursuance of the measures being adopted by the Government will immediately over a thousand families in Blackburn. The army reserve is composed of regulars who enlist for so many years’ service with the colours, and many in the reserve, seven and five in the case of the infantry. They are liable to be called upon at any time of national danger such as the present, and to be sent abroad if necessary. Taking an average of the reservists who have re-engaged at the recruiting office at Blackburn since 1910, there are about 1,000 residing in the town. Of these 418 enlisted in Blackburn, the others having come to reside here since. In addition to the army reserves, there are the special reserves, liable to be called on in times of international danger or war for the defence of the country. Since 1910 six hundred and fifty-six men have been accepted in Blackburn for this branch of service.
MOTORISTS AND THE WAR
Mr. James Campbell, Kensington-place, Blackburn, secretary of the Lancashire Automobile Club, has sent out a circular to members as following:
“n view of the grave position of affairs the Royal Automobile Club are obtaining for the War office the names and addresses of motorist who are willing to place their cars at the disposal of the military authorities for home or foreign service, Full details of the scheme will be obtained as early as possible and communicated to those who are willing to assist. In the meantime my committee will be obliged if those members who are willing to help will kindly fill in and return to me as early as possible the enclosed form.”
Mr. Campbell will also be pleased to hear from non-members who are willing to assist. The particulars asked for are: Horse-power and make of car; seating accommodation additional to driver; whether car is volunteered for home or foreign service; district in which the owner would prefer the car to be used; whether driver will be supplied.
HORSES COMMANDEERED AT BLACKBURN
Colonel W. Sandman V.D. of Church, formerly commanding officer of the 1st East Lancashire Brigade Royal Field Artillery (Territorials), and Alderman A. Nuttall J.P. of Blackburn have been busy during the week acting under instructions from the War Office, purchasing about a hundred horses, with harness, and a number of wagons, etc., required by the Brigade. Many of the horses were selected from local livery stables whose proprietors are paid an annual fee as a “retainer”, giving the War Office the right of taking a certain number of horses for service. Other horse-keepers, however, are liable to be called upon to part with such animals which may be selected by the appointed officials. If the price offered is not satisfactory to the owner, the County Court Judge is the referee to decide the dispute, the horses being meanwhile taken.
LADIES AND HOSPITAL WORK
The Blackburn detachments of the Red Cross Society and St. John’s Ambulance Brigade have this week taken over the Blakey Moor School and been busy preparing it for use as a hospital during the war, should the occasion arise. Nearly two hundred ladies have assembled each day to perceive instructions as to their places and duties in case of emergency, and it can confidently be stated that the work done at the Blackburn hospital will be second to none. The strength of the Blackburn sections calls upon them to provide two hundred beds in time of war, and nearly the whole of this number have already been promised. Mrs. Atkins is commandant of the joint sections, under her being Dr. Aitkin and Dr. Moffat, in charge of the Red Cross Society members, and Dr. Jones in charge of the Ambulance Brigade.
A section of the school is being fitted up in order that the nurses may be kept in regular practice, and thus be fully prepared when they are needed for actual service.
The lady president of the Red Cross Society is Mrs. F. T. Thomas and Alderman S. Crossley has consented to act as chairman. A personal appeal for flannel shirts for day and night is being made to men connected with the various social, political, and sports clubs, and the committee would be very glad to receive them from all quarters. The beds and equipment have been promised.
Miss Wolfenden, St Michael’s Vicarage, hon. Secretary of the local Girl Guides, has in response to an appeal from headquarters, offered the voluntary services of the Guides to the Red Cross detachment and the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, in connection with the hospital. Mrs. Aitkin has thankfully accepted the offer. The guides will undertake cooking, needlework, and laundry work if required, and will also give household assistance to families in distress or in case of illness. A working party will shortly be formed for making garments which will be of service to soldiers and sailors, their families, the hospital, and those among the poorer classes of the community who will suffer from any stress that may arise. Gift a of material will be gratefully received.
Mr. John Duckworth, “The Knowle,” Wilpshire has placed his large recreation room and garage at the disposal of the authorities, to used as a hospital or nursing home for convalescents.
The following appeal of the Hospital Equipment Committee of the Blackburn Division of the British Red Cross Society, signed by Mrs. F. T. Thomas, vice-president, has been sent to all golf and social and political clubs in Blackburn, Pleasington and Wilpshire; “The committee have been requested to provide an emergency hospital in Blackburn with 200 beds for the sick and wounded. The following articles are immediately required: 200 men’s nightshirts, 200 men’s woollen shirts, 200 men’s day shirts. Will every member of your club kindly supply one or more of these—they need not be new ones—and leave them with the steward, is empowered to receive them and forward them to a central depot. Should any articles not be used, the committee will dispose of them amongst other war hospitals or convalescent homes. The shirts to be sent in before August 29.”