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July 1914


 
Blackburn Times 4th July 1914
 
A STATELY LANDMARK AT BLACKBURN
COMPLETION OF THE TOWER OF ST. SILAS’S CHURCH
 
 
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 The completed church of St, Silas’s, occupying a commanding position in Preston New-road, will be consecrated on Monday Morning [6th July 1914,] by the Bishop of Manchester (the Rt. Rev. Dr. Knox).  One of the chief features of the extension is the erection of a handsome tower 104 ft high to the top of the turret.  It is a poem in stone and is a landmark for miles around Blackburn.  All who have seen this magnificent example of ecclesiastical architecture have been enraptured by it.  The progress of the work has been watched with the keenest interest.  Those who pass the church daily are never tired of admiring the staleness and beauty of the tower.  The scheme also includes the completion of the last or western bay of the nave, the extension of the north and south aisles 22 ft to the west, and between these at the west end of the nave appears the tower, which is 17ft square inside and forms with its western doorway and open lofty arches (opening into the nave and aisles) a handsome entrance to the church.  The tower is carried by walls 4 feet thick and by two piers 7 ft by7 ft of solid masonry, from which spring the west arch 33ft 6in high to apex and the two aisle arches 26ft high to apex.  A turret, with a staircase, at the south-west aisle of the tower, gives access to the roof, ringers’ room, and belfry.  The tower is 97ft high to the top of the parapets and 104ft to top of turret.  Panels of sunk and pierced tracery enrich the parapets.  Sunk panels also appear on the fronts of the buttresses in the upper stages.  The west window above the tower doorway is of five lights and 20ft high.  The tower has four square buttresses at each angle, the angles being surmounted by square crocketted pinnacles and vanes.  The belfry windows are coupled by two lights divided by a diagonal shaft which works into the projecting cornice, the latter being enriched with sunk tracery patterns.  Under the sting course of the belfry windows is a deep band of ornament, composed of shields and the sacred monogram “I. H. S.”  In the niche over the doorway of the south porch appears a figure of the patron saint—S. Silas.  A new porch has been erected at the west end of the south aisle.  The west end of the north aisle is to be used as the baptistery.  The scheme has involved an expenditure of over £6,000, of which about £2,000 has yet to be raised.  Messrs. Austin and Paley, of Lancaster, are the architects, and under their supervision the work has been carried out by Messrs. Edward Lewis and Sons of Blackburn.  Several handsome gifts to the church may appropriately be mentioned.  A four-dial clock, non-striking, is to be placed in the tower about the beginning of September.  It is the gift of Miss Lund.  Mr. John Slater, who presented the font at the opening of the church, has now given a very handsome oak font cover, crocketted and pinnacle and rising to a height of 7ft 6in.  Mrs Henry Harrison has promised a beautiful alabaster reredos and also panelling for the east end wall of the chancel; the design is completed, and these additions are expected to be placed in position towards the end of the year.  The west doors of the south porch are of solid oak ornamented with iron-work, and form a memorial the late Mr. John Smith, being given by members of the Family.
In connection with the consecration special services will take place on Monday evening, when the Rev. E. J. Bardsley, M.A., a former vicar, will occupy the pulpit; on Thursday evening, when the preacher will be the Rev. F. Linden Parkyn, of Southport; on Sunday July 12th, when the Rev. Canon Masterman, brother of Mr. C. F. G. Masterman, will officiate in the morning and evening.; and on Tuesday evening, July 14, when an augmented choir will render Mendelssohn’s “Hymn of Praise.”
 

Blackburn Times 11th July 1914
 
SUCCESSFUL GARDEN PARTY AT TROY
IN AID OF THE BLACKBURN PARISH CHURCH FORTHCOMING BAZAAR

Garden Party at Troy.jpg 

 
Delightful weather favoured the garden party given in the beautiful wooded grounds of Troy, the residence of Mrs. John Thwaites, on Thursday afternoon, on behalf of the Church Officers and Choir Stall at the forth coming Parish Church bazaar.  No effort is being spared to make the bazaar a complete success.  It (the bazaar) will be held towards the end of 1915, with the two-fold object of raising £1,000 for the through repair and renovation of the organ, and another £1,000 for improving the fabric.  Thursday’s effort was one a series of garden parties being organised this summer for the benefit of the various stalls.
The proceedings were carried through without a hitch, and all the 325 ticket holders spent a pleasant time.  There was a continuity of interest throughout the whole afternoon.  Sports were arranged on the large lawn; “Brownie,” the popular pony from Sykes Holt, Balderstone, made journeys round the flower garden with gleeful passengers; the band of the 1st East Lancashire Brigade (R.F.A., T.F.) played selections of music in a shaded corner; afternoon tea was served on the east lawn, which is surrounded by a wealth of foliage, all at its best; and on the tennis court, at the extreme end of the ground, a highly diverting dog show was in progress.  The entrance to the house, the balcony, and other parts of the grounds were decorated with the national emblem.
Mr. T. C. Robinson undertook the duties of M.C. for the sports, whilst the full arrangements for the event had been made by an energetic ladies’ committee consisting of Mrs. Clerk, Mrs. Dickinson, Mrs. Fielding, Mrs. Gorse, Mrs. Harvey, Mrs. Hewitt, Mrs. J. Hoghton, Mrs. J. Howson, Mr. A. Markland, Mrs. J. Markland, Mrs. T. Markland, Mrs. T. C. Robinson (secretary), Mr. Shorrock, Mrs. Stocks, and the Misses Taylor.
Chief interest centred in the pet dog show...  The rules in operation were the following: “No points given for the breed or size.  Want of pedigree no bar to a prize.  All dogs must be kept securely chained up.  Dogs seen fighting will be disqualified.”  There were a large number of entries and the adjudicators had no means an easy task in making their awards... The judges unanimously awarded the first prize for neatness to Miss Ogden, and the second to miss Eccles (Quarry Bank); the award for the fattest dog going to Mrs. Leslie Thwaites; for the tallest dog to miss Greenwood; for the smallest to miss Hollins; whilst Miss Howard “took the cake” with an imitation dog which created roars of laughter.
Among the other competitions were a ladies tennis race, candle race, children’s race, ladies hockey dribbling race, men’s egg and spoon race, peas and hatpin race (lady and gentleman entering in pairs), and a needle, thread, and necktie contest.  The candle race caused much amusement, great difficulty being experienced in keeping the candle alight.  The Vicar of Blackburn was among the prize winners.
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 11th July 1914.

AUTOMATIC TELEPHONES FOR BLACKBURN

 

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It is officially stated that in the near future the installation of an automatic telephone service in Blackburn will be completed, but probably a year will elapse before the new system will be in thorough working order.  The engineering staff are at the present busily engaged with the preliminaries connected with the underground cables which will have to be laid before the automatic telephones are installed, but these will soon be over and thus in a short time the telephone service of this town will be almost revolutionised.
Subscribers will not however be taken wholly by surprise at this announcement, for it was plainly hinted at in January, when a number of Post Office Telephones’ officials addressed a meeting of the Blackburn Telephone Advisory Committee in the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. A. M. J. Ogilvie, C.B., third secretary of the General Post Office, then said that while the type of lines for future use had not been definitely decided upon, it was probably that the automatic system would be used.  Since then, however things have moved quickly, and Blackburn will soon rank, as far as its telephones are concerned, among the most up to-date towns in the country.  We are informed that the automatic telephone will not be installed gradually.  It is anticipated that the instruments at present in use will be duplicated—that is, an automatic telephone will be installed alongside it—and when all the subscribers are served the old system will at a given time, be replaced by the new.  The task is a tremendous one, but a large staff will be got to work, and the alterations will be made with very little trouble to telephone users.
At the time of Mr. Ogilvie’s visit we gave an illustration, which is here reproduced, of the automatic telephone and directions as to its use.  As it will soon be in hundreds of Blackburn premises, a summary of these instructions will be valuable.  Attached to each automatic telephone is a dial switch, and to call another number is a simple matter.  Suppose, for instance, one wants to call No. 294.  Having removed the receiver, the caller would insert a finger tip in the hole opposite the figure “2,” rotate the disc clockwise as far as it will go, and withdraw his finger.  He then repeats the operation with his finger inserted opposite “9,” and again opposite “4.”  That done he would he would be through to 294, whose bell is automatically rung, and who should immediately respond by lifting his receiver also.  Then the two can converse.  It will thus be seen that the operation takes but a few seconds, and any further delay is due to the called subscriber falling to answer his bell.  If the number required happens to be engaged the fact is communicated to the caller by a vibratory current or buzzer signal which can be heard in his receiver.  Another big advantage of the automatic telephone is the time saved when a subscriber desires a number of calls in rapid succession, because the mere placing of the receiver upon its rest disconnects the parties who have been in conversation, and there is not that tiresome delay for clearing the lines so often experienced at present.  There is, too, just as good a service at night as during the day time, and it is generally felt that when people get into the way of the new service they will be better satisfied.  Telephone officials are among the most harassed of public servants, they receive more kicks than ha’pence, but they anticipate that the number of complaints will quickly be reduced when the automatic system is in proper working order.

 
 
 Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 1st August 1914
 
A CHILDREN’S AGE
OPENING OF THE NEW COTTAGE HOMES
 
  
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Mr. E. Cunliffe, chairman of the Building Committee of the Blackburn Board of Guardians and vice-chairman of the Board on Thursday afternoon opened a new Isolation and Receiving Home for children.  The building, which adjoins the Cottage Homes of the Blackburn Union, has been erected at a cost of about £1,500, and the opening ceremony took place in the presence of a large gathering of Guardians and others interested in the scheme.
In the course of a short statement the Clerk (Mr. C. E. Bygrave) said that when the Cottage Homes were opened, 14 years ago, it was understood that the children would be received direct in the Homes, but special provision for that purpose was not made, and as it was found that all the cottages provided were required for the maintenance of the children, they continued to be received at the Workhouse, to which they were taken in the ordinary way.  Although that went on for some time, it was undesirable in many ways.  Temporary provision was made for the receiving them at the Workhouse, but even then, children were often kept there for some days before being drafted to the Cottage Homes.  The Cottage Homes Committee had also under consideration the treatment of minor infectious diseases, such as measles and finally the sanction of the Local Government Board having been obtained; it was decided to put up the present building.
Mr. Cunliffe, declaring the Home open, described it construction in detail and said that although the buildings were under one roof they were intended to serve the dual purpose of receiving home and isolation home.  Mr. Cunliffe added that everything about the Home was substantial without being costly.  Mr. Wilson, the architect, then presented to the opener a gold Key, inscribed; “Blackburn Union. Presented to Edwin Cunliffe, Esq., Chairman of the Building Committee, on the occasion of his opening the Children’s Isolation Home. July 30th 1914.”  Several speakers congratulated Mr. Wilson on the building, and afterwards they were speechmaking inside the house.
The house was then formally handed over to the chairman of the Cottage Homes Committee, the Rev. J. P. Wilson, who, in reply said that the facilities given by the Home were needed.  There had been various theories as to the best way of dealing with children who came under the control of the Board of Guardians.  Years ago they were allowed to associate with the men and women in the Workhouse, but the undesirability of their freely mixing with adults, many of whom had lived a life of pauperism, became evident, and the boarding-out system came into being.  In some parts of the country that system was satisfactory, but 14 years ago the Blackburn Board, although adopting in part that idea, thought that Cottage Homes would be better, so that by now they had passed the experimental stage.  Before such methods were tried 50 per-cent of those who occupied our Workhouse were the decedents of people who themselves were Workhouse inmates, pauperism begetting paupers, but, on account of the improvements he had mentioned he had every reason to believe that boys and girls who passed through those Homes had gone into the world to take their part as honourable men and women.  Indeed, very few had failed to live decent lives.  Mr. Wilson went on to quote figures showing that children had in nearly every case become respectable citizens.  A number of boys had entered the army, navy, or mercantile marine, others had become weavers, miners, or farm servants, and others had been sent to grocers’ or butchers’ shops.  None of them had been apprenticed.  As there was plenty of work in the town, there had been no necessity for sending them abroad, but in the way to which he had referred no fewer than 30 had been found work during the last three years.  The Blackburn Guardians also had a Working Boys’ Home, because they recognised that when the lads began work there was always a danger that they might get into bad ways.  Most of the boys in that Home were practically keeping themselves, and were probably being better cared for than would be the case if they were boarded out in the ordinary home, because, not only were they under the discipline of the Committee, but were looked after by a foster-mother, who was almost as good as a mother to them all.  Work in connection with children was one of the most hopeful efforts being put forth by human society.  He was not there to speak about national decadence, but they could not disregard the fact that there were sad and lamentable indications that there was much that was very perplexing to all who cared for the state of human nature.  “This Home,” he added, “is one of the antidotes against that process of decadence which is ever going on in human society, and the effort is one which calls for the sympathy and support of all.  More and more must we do all we can on behalf of the rising generation.”
Mr. Elias, a Local Government Board Inspector, congratulated the Guardians on their forward movement.  He appreciated the improvements carried out—and at a very moderate cost—believing that the money been well spent.  Not only was the building a must suitable one but the furnishing and everything connected with it had been carried out in good taste.  He added that the Local Government Board laid down no definite lines for Guardians to work upon.  It was left to the discretion of each Board, and that was why so many different systems were seen.  There were some towns—large ones, too—that had no Homes of their own.  In time more provision for children would be required, but it would be for the Board to decide which way to proceed.  But they did not want children to remain in buildings which were part of a Workhouse.  During recent years the work done by Guardians had been wonderful, but he hoped they would not be “weary in well doing.”  Let them tackle the many different problems that arose.
Moving a vote of thanks to Mr. Cunliffe, Mr. E. Rennison spoke with the pleasure of the work done in connection with the Home by the Building and Cottage Homes Committee.  The task of bringing up the children was one of the most important given to them, because often with adults it was almost hopeless to induce them to refrain from bad habits.  He reminded his hearers that, despite much adverse criticism from the Poor Law Commission on their work generally, the reports were at one in commending the scheme of Cottage and Scattered Homes.
Seconding the resolution, Mr. R. Wolstenholme said he rejoiced that in a recent speech Mr. Samuel, the President of the Local Government Board, said that after the end of April next all children under the age of three would have to come out of the Workhouse.  This was a children’s age, and for this happy state of affairs nobody was responsible more than Charles Dickens, who brought home to the country many of the inhumanities suffered by children in the workhouse of those days.
On behalf of himself and his wife, Mr. Cunliffe then invited the company to afternoon tea which was served in the open air.
 
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 1st August 1914 
 
EUROPEAN WAR THREATENED
ENGLANDS EFFORTS FOR PEACE
 
One of the most momentous crises in European history as arisen from the quarrel between Austria and Servia, and the whole world is watching with alarm the developments which have followed Servia’s rejection of Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum and the latter’s declaration of war.  Deeds quickly followed words.  Within a few hours of peaceful relations between the two countries being broken off, hostilities began with an artillery attack upon Belgrade, the bombardment causing immense damage and considerable loss of life, and fighting is still proceeding.
But the conflict between these two countries, whose racial jealousy and hatred has led to a series of troubles culminating in the recent assassination of the archduke, is of but little significance compared with the complications which may follow, involving, possibly, some of the greatest European nations in a war appalling in its magnitude and devastating in its consequence.  Russia, Germany, and France are liable to be drawn by their alliances and treaty obligations into the vortex of war.  Assurance of a backing from Russia is said to have inspired Servia—while conceding the greater part of demands contained in Austria’s ultimatum—to have refused compliance with what Austria regards as a vital point in her requisition.  Following closely upon Servia’s partial rejection of the ultimatum, and practically coinciding with Austria’s declaration of war, came news which suggests that Russia expected that result.  Information from reliable sources showing that she was engaged in a considerable mobilisation of her troops near the Austrian frontier.  The position immediately became one of the gravest international importance, for if Russia’s preparations were to be interpreted as an intention on her part to give Servia armed assistance as against Austria, then the latter country, under the terms of her treaty was in a position to count on the aid of Germany in repelling Russian interference.  Nor do the dread possibilities end here, for the alliance between Russia and Franc would looking at the situation in its worst aspect bring the latter country into the conflict, and set aflame the embers of hate which  have smouldered since France bent the knee to Germany forty years ago.
 
STATEMENT BY THE PREMIER
In the House of Commons yesterday Mr. Asquith stated that the Government had just heard that Russia had proclaimed a general mobilisation of their army and navy.  In consequence of this martial law has been proclaimed in Germany.  “We understand this to mean,” he added, “that mobilisation in Germany will follow if Russian mobilisation is general and proceeded with.”
 
MESSAGES FROM MANY QUARTERS
So far as last night’s news was concerned, the facts embodied in the Premier’s statement represented the latest word in regard to the war in its more vital aspect.  Reuter’s correspondent at Berlin wired that a telegram form Mystovitz in the extreme south of Germany where the German, Russian and Austrian frontiers meet, stated that Russia is reported to have blown up a railway bridge between Szlezakowa and Grisieze in Austria.
Last night the press association received the following announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer: Interviews have taken place to-day between Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and representatives of the Bank of England with regard to the financial situation.  It is understood that it has been decided that the situation is not at present such as to justify an emergency action with regard to the supply of legal tender, but in the event of further development necessitating Government action, the Treasury will be prepared to take such action immediately.
Sir Edward Carson in replying to a correspondent, states that if required by the Government, a large body of the Ulster Volunteers will be willing and ready to give their services for home defence, and many will be willing to serve anywhere they are required.
From Athens last night it was reported that the yacht Deglora, which had arrived at Corfue, sighted Austrian war-ships closely blocking the Montenegrin coast.
By way of New York the statement was made that the North German, Lloyd Company have announced that none of their steamers will sail from New York until further notice.  The President Grant Hamburg American liner, which had left New York, has been recalled by wireless message.
A Brussels wire last night stated that the Belgian Government have decided to mobilise.
An order calling out reservists in St. Petersburg was placarded yesterday morning.
A Pekin Telegram via St. Petersburg states that a German squadron has concentrated at Tsing-tao, and that an Austrian detachment is also proceeding thither.  German war munitions and colonial troops are also being hurried to Tsing-tao...

POSITION OF ENGLAND
Happily for England, she is not involved in the Quarrel, though her interests—national, financial, and commercial—in all that affects it are tremendous; and her role so far has been that of endeavouring  to so influence the other great powers as to ensure that the world shall be spared the great conflagration which threatens it.  Her own internal troubles—the grave issue of Ireland—are for the time set aside, and she has bent all her Diplomatic energies to bring about such understanding as shall limit the quarrel to its two principles, and preserve the peace as between Russia, Germany and France.  It is not necessary to follow the minutiae of the negotiations to that end, or to indicate the precise points of difficulty, which prevented Germany responding fully to Sir Edward Grey’s suggestion for a peace conference.  Of Germany’s desire for peace no better evidence, perhaps, can be given than the fact that a special envoy bore a message from the Kaiser to the Czar, and that it is felt that upon the reply depends whether there shall be peace or war.  The possibility that England may be embroiled is a contingency not to be lost sight of, and thus the participation of Japan as England’s ally is rendered feasible.

RISE IN FOOD PRICES
One of the serious effect of the continued strain and uncertainty in the European situation is the sensational rise in the price of grain.  From wheat it extended quickly to flour, which has advanced 3s 6d per sack in three days on the Liverpool market, and an extra ½ d on bread is one of the inevitable consequences.  Other commodities, such as sugar, butter, bacon, etc., are also advancing rapidly in the wholesale market, and the rise must presently react upon the prices demanded from consumers.  If Austria-Hungry and Servia at war can produce such far reaching effects, food would be at famine prices in the event of all the other countries becoming embroiled in the quarrel.

LABOUR PARTY’S APPEAL
The Labour party, at a meeting held in the House of Commons, adopted the following resolution:
!That the Labour party is gratified that Sir Edward Grey has taken steps to secure mediation in the dispute between Austria and Servia, and regrets that his proposal has not been accepted by the Powers concerned.  It hopes however, that on no account will this country be dragged into the European conflict, in which, as the Prime Minister has stated we have no direct or indirect interest, and the party calls upon all Labour organisations in the country to watch events vigilantly so as to oppose, if need be in the most effective way, any action which may involve us in war.”

BLACKBURN CONSERVATIVES AND THE WAR
At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Blackburn Conservative and Unionist Association...the following resolution was passed:  “That this meeting sincerely hopes that the efforts of the Government to prevent a general European conflict may be successful, and further welcomes and approves the attitude of all parties in Parliament in putting aside party political differences during the period of national and Imperial stress.
 



​​August 1914​

Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 8th August 1914

 
TO-DAYS FASHION
 
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The chilly days we have been experiencing lately found a really sensible garment in the shape of the ubiquitous cape; for a while the sun was showing his power at the rate of 92deg. in the shade it did seem a trifle unnecessary to wear a cloak, even if it were only slung from one shoulder.  When his majesty hid his face, however, a real use was found for it; and one wisely wrapped oneself in its fold a snugly as a protection while the cold wind was blowing.  The prettiest example of the fashionable cape-wrap are those of reversible, as, made in that material, one really can claim to have two capes.  A lovely one I saw a few days ago was black one side, grey the other, and the collar and straps of reversible plaid silk.  The grey side, worn over black was very smart indeed, and the same might be said of the black side worn over grey.  Anyhow, it was a very useful possession.

PRETY FROCK FOR CHILD
a pretty little frock for seaside wear is represented here, made up of red and white striped zephyr cut on the cross.  There is a pinafore effect which is a novelty likely to please its small wearer, cut from plain white linen.  This is buttonholed in red, and the tie and smart little slotted sash match the stripes perfectly, and so does the hair ribbon.  The sleeves are loose, being only very slightly drawn in at the elbow, with a ribbon like the sash, tie, and bow,  It will be noted that the tie which so smartly completes the pinafore front is drawn through worked slots, and knotted loosely.

A DELIGHTFUL BLOUSE
Depicted here we have a very smart blouse in shell-pink crepe de chine.  The trimming consists of the small pearl buttons down the centre.  The dainty collar, the cuffe, and the folded vest are of spotted ecru net, and the buckles are of mother-o’-pearl to match the buttons.  It will be noted that the waist line is about in the place where Nature intended it, and that a considerable amount of pouch is permitted.  The sleeves are set in the shoulder, and are quite long.

SMART TAILOR-MADE
In the Illustration is shown the much-favoured double tunic coat, made of tussore.  The accompanying collar is of the satin, and the buttons are covered with tussore.  The delightful hat to accompany the costume is in tete-de-negre straw and is trimmed with cherry-red ribbon.  It will be noted that the skirt is rather severely plain with a seam up the centre front.  The coat is really the feature, and is completed by a three-quarter belt and huge buttons and simulated loops.  Altogether a most useful and practical costume for general wear when the days are too warm to allow the use of the ever popular lingerie frock.
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 15th August 1914
 
BLACKBURN’S HOLIDAY AT HOME
 
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Those who had said that people, having saved their money, would go away for their holidays whatever threatened, would have received a surprise had they gone to Blackburn Railway station on Saturday morning.  Everywherethere were unmistakable signs that folks were staying at home.  Te o’clock is usually the time for seeing the annualexodus in its numerical impressiveness, its gaiety, and the height of its bustle, for at that time traffic has become somewhat congested, and those whom the crowded trains have perforce left behind are being reinforced by those who have breakfasted before starting out.  The result has been packed platforms, thronged subways and an entrance alive with vehicular traffic.  At that hour a week to-day, however, the station possessed none of the customary features of the “Great Exodus.”  Cabmen were idle, and temporarily forsaking the protection of their shelter were standing in the pouring rain looking for “fares” that did not come.  This unemployment was not due to the success of their rival, the taxi, but rather to the dearth of holiday-makers, and possibly to the spirit of economy which possessed even those who were going away.  It must be a long time since the “cabby” had such a lean harvest.  One was able to walk along the passages with comfort, while it was possible to perambulate the platforms themselves without being in danger of losing one’s temper because of the jostling.  Excursionists had been arriving since about seven o’clock but the service of trains, though not so liberal as on previous occasions had been quite adequate to convey them to their destinations without leaving disappointed ones behind to wait “for the next.”  For the most part of the day things seemed no brisker than on an ordinary Saturday afternoon.  Obviously people had heeded the warnings to sacrifice their pleasure in order to prepare for the possibilities of the war.  The character of the trippers was instructive in this respect.  They were chiefly of the age when distress in the distance is lightly thought of, and there were comparatively few parents with their young children.  For these the spectre of want had been too fearsome, and they had prudently stayed at home with, doubtless a promise that the youngsters should go to Blackpool for the day.  Striking as was the contrast regarding numbers, it was even more pronounced respecting the demeanour of the crowd.  The joyous agitation, the happy-go-lucky spirit that are ordinarily such conspicuous characteristics were almost entirely absent.  The excursionists were just pleasant, without the exuberance of former years.  Possibly the war and all that it might mean was weighing more heavily upon them than they themselves realised, or was it that many were going away under some sense of disappointment because they were not able to go to the place of their original choice and the one that had made so bright their expectations.  Really there were few resorts one could visit on excursion terms.  One might go to Blackpool, Southport, Isle of Man, Liverpool, at cheap rates, but for many places usually prominent in holiday programmes there were only tourist or ordinary tickets available, and at times like this these were prohibitive.  In a case like that of Morecambe the tourist fare was little more than the long date excursion, and, of course, a large number availed themselves of this.  The hardship was, however, that one had to pay tourist prices even for the day or half-day trip.  In the matter of the number going away, appearances have not been deceptive.  At one agency the takings have amounted to about £2,000 whereas in normal circumstances they would have reached £5,000, while another agency reported their own bookings to Morecambe were fewer by seven hundred than last year.
The stay-at-homes have been able to pass their time pleasantly enough, and probably a good many have realised as never before the attractions of the town and district.  It was gratifying to find that the charms of the Ribble Valley have been amply exploited, for in such delightful weather as there has been during the week few places further afield yield such quiet enjoyment as those picturesque spots along the Ribble.  The Parks have been crowded.  Any day and almost any hour one might have found groups of happy children in the Preston-road Park.  Most of them had brought their meals, and were as merry at their “parties” as they called them as they would have been on the sands.  Queen’s Park, however, claims some superiority in the matter of facilities for diversion.  There you may boat or bowl and the opportunities to do so have been fully taken advantage off.  The main thoroughfares, instead of being deserted as formerly, have been crowded promenades.
 
 
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 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.
 
SCOUT YARNS
BY LIEUT.-GENERAL
ROBERT BADEN-POWELL
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
Signallers;
Wireless telegraphists;
Soup kitchen organisers;
First-aid treatment;
Guides;
Coastguards assistants;
Despatch riders;
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.
 
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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 Wikipedia.
Police reservists.jpg 

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.
 
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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.”
 ​



September 1​914​

 
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Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 5th September 1914
 
WAR ITEMS
Wallpaper Limited, Messrs A. Carus and Sons (Hoddlesden) and Messrs Pickup and Holden (Bank Top Mill) are offering bounties of £2 to each of their workpeople who will join the Army, and are guaranteeing that they shall have their situations again on returning from the war.
The workers at the Corporation gasworks have agreed to make weekly collections during the period of the war, and Mr. A. H. Smith, the chief engineer will lead the list with 7s 6d per week.
The Darwen and Mostyn Ironworks Company are paying 10s a week to the families of reservists in their employment who have re turned to the colours.  The directors of the Company have paid £1,000 to the Prince of Wales’s Fund in London.
The recruiting in the town has been responsible for a great rush on the part of men to serve their country.  Up to last week-end there had been about 90 recruits enrolled, but since then the staff at the recruiting office has had to be increased.  On Wednesday nearly a hundred men submitted themselves to the doctor, and 83 were passed.  During Thursday there were 63 enlistments and yesterday the staff were again kept busy with applicant.
Speaking at Darwen last night, Mr. F. Hargreaves, secretary of the Lancashire Football Association said it had been asked why all the football players and referees did not join the Army, but it might be asked “Why did not all the people in other businesses also join.”  Eleven clubs in Lancashire had been disbanded owing to the war, three because all their players had enlisted, and others because their grounds had been taken for military purposes.
The Darwen police on Thursday took into custody a German Army reservist named Briann Brunn Johnke, at his lodgings in Bank-street, and he was conveyed to the military camp at Lancaster.  Johnke is a music hall artiste and a member of a star acrobatic turn.  During this week he has been giving a performance in the town, and was arrested just as he was about to leave his lodgings for the entertainment.  He was conveyed to Lancaster by Detective-sergeant Cairns.
 
 
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Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 12th September 1914
 
English Made Corsets
A manufacturer in the Cotton trade appeals on behalf of an industry which may prove another prosperous branch to Lancashire’s cotton trade.  Most of the *coutil which corsets are made of comes from Germany.  Many English-made corsets are made of German cloth.  The women of England should insist on being supplied with English-made corsets by firms giving a guarantee that English coutil is used in their manufacture.  By so doing they will help to improve and build to a larger extent another branch of Lancashire’s industry.
*Coutil is a woven cloth produced specifically for making corsets
 
Recruiting And Football
My pride at being a Britisher, writes Mr. W. Woolley, JP, Blackburn is greater than at any period of my life; to see the glorious response made by our young men to the call of King and country rouses within one feelings of admiration difficult to put into writing and at this time every home in our land may feel proud if represented either by father, brother or son in the ranks of our gallant men on land or sea.
I heartily agree with and appreciate the facilities offered by the committee of football clubs in making arrangements for rifle practice on the various football grounds, also in affording facilities for addresses to be givento spectators before play begins and during the interval to lay before our young men the splendid opportunity that they have of serving their country at this time.  But I differ entirely with those who wish to disband the game during the war.  The football committees have already paid thousands of pounds in wages and are under contract to pay between £150,000 and £200,000 during the forthcoming season.  That in itself is not a little matter, yet I feel that there is even a more important reason.  We must have the workers equally with the fighters.  These men will require diversion of mind, and so many of them look forward with keen interest to the Saturday’s football match that unless you can substitute something equally interesting and diverting it would I fear, in thousands of cases lead them to seek diversion by entering public-houses for the discussion of the war, which would mean wages spent in drink, homes made miserable, men demoralised, and the whole tone of our nation lowered.  Go on recruiting with all the earnestness you possess, but do not stop football.  Far better results would follow by shortening the hours of sale of all places that sell intoxicating drinks
 
 
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Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 19th September 1914
 
THE BATTLE OF MONS,
DESCRIBED BY A WOUDED BLACKBURNIAN
Private James Harkin, of the Royal Scotch Fusiliers, whose home is at 19 Rockcliffe-street, Blackburn, has escaped from the terrible fighting at Mons with a comparatively slight wound in the left hip, and is now enjoying a few days’ furlough at home.  He is well known in local football circles, having been a member of the St. Mary’s Club in the Amateur League.
Harkin has served eleven years in the Fusiliers, and went through the South African War which, by the way, he regards as child’s play in comparison with the present campaign.  He left Blackburn on August 8 for Ayr, from which town the regiment moved first to Gosport and then to Southampton, where they embarked for Havre.  Their ultimate destination was unknown.  All that was clear was that they were all keen to be in the firing line.  They had as colleagues the Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and the Lincolns, among others.
At the very outset they were reminded –if any reminder were needed –that they were not out for picnic.  For fifteen hours after they landed there was an incessant and torrential downpour of rain  Without tents, or even the waterproof sheets which serve as a substitute the men had a very rough time the first night.  Standing in ploughed fields they kept erect as long as they could, but gradually fatigue overcame them.  The next day they started on their march to the front.  After four days’ hard tramping they reached Mons, tired out owing to the great heat and load of about 80lb which each man had to carry.
The men marched into Mons about 4 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon.  A party of fourteen cyclists went out to reconnoitre but only two returned and then the cavalry pickets came in with the news that the enemy’s scouts were advancing.  The men entrenched to receive the scouts but found very shortly that they had to face the attack of the German hosts.  The foe were allowed to come within short range and then a terrific fire was poured into their ranks.  Line after line went down, but so great was their number that the opposing force could not be checked, and it became necessary to retire.  It was during this retreat that the British suffered most severely.
The German artillery had an excellent range and did great damage, but the rifle fire of the foe was a very negligible quantity.  The German sacrifice of men was enormous. It was impossible to miss them.  They came on in a solid mass, and as fast as one rank went down the gaps were filled up.
The Fusiliers were engaged for seven hours in holding a bridge over a canal, but at length the artillery fire became so hot that they had to fall back, and it was during this operation that Private Harkin received his wound. He scarcely felt it at the time, and it certainly did not interfere with the celerity of his retreat.  The men were mixed up and separated from their regiments in the rush for cover, the reputation of the Germans not being such as to inspire the wounded with any desire for their company.  On this point Private Harkin testifies to the truth of the stories of the barbarous treatment meted hot to the fallen, stating that he has seen a corporal of the R.A.M.C., both of whose hands had been cut off.  He had to go into hospital at Beauvais, but the enemy shelled it and blew it up, many wounded perishing.  Fortunately he got away in time and was taken on to Amiens and Rouen, and thence to Netley, where he remained until he was fit to take his fourteen days’ furlough.  He reached Blackburn on Wednesday, and may be recalled to go to the front any time.  He is anxious to have a share in the “final,” and be a member of the army marching to Berlin.
Private Harkin speaks in high appreciation of the kindness of the French, who gave the British soldiers an embarrassing enthusiastic reception.  His opinion as to the duration of the war is that it will be either a short one or a very long one.  The Germans are deeply halted by the French, and it required thirty British soldiers to guard three German prisoners from the crowd.  The captured warriors seemed very pleased to be in the hands of the English, and not at all disappointed at having got out of the fighting.  They do not appear to be very enthusiastic about the war, and in some cases, he says, have had to be driven on by officers, who seemed more comfortable at the rear of their men than in the front.
Private Harkin has harrowing stories to tell of the ghastly effects of shrapnel, having seen men blown to pieces and others lose arms and legs.  One English “Tommy” twice fetched in wounded men but the third time he did not return from his errand of mercy, being blown to bits.  In their retreat the English were followed by women and children who had been driven in front of the Germans and it was a common sight to see a stalwart Khaki warrior trudging along with youngster in his arms or astride his soldiers.  The men have no cause to grumble at the way in which they are being looked after.  They have good food and plenty of it, and if sometimes things go astray, as in the case of the retreating movement, it is taken as part of the day’s march, and there is very little complaint.  The arrangements for the care of the wounded are admirable, and all who had to retire from the fight in its early stages by reason of disablement are anxious to get back to the front as soon as possible.  Having had to bear the brunt of the German attack while retreating, they are naturally keen on setting a few accounts now that the tables are being turned.
 
UPROOTED BY STORM AT BLACKBURN
uprooted by the storm.jpg
The storm in Blackburn was of quite unusual violence for September, and residents on the hilltops surrounding the town felt its full force.  Happily no personal injury or serious damage to property is reported, but one or two mishaps were of an alarming character.  Shortly after eight o’clock on Monday night a huge tree in Witton Park overhanging the road at Feniscliffe Brow was uprooted by the gale and smashing down the wall fell across the highway.  At the moment a man was coming down the Brow, and was just in time to see it fall and escape being caught in the network of branches.  He ran back and warned the driver of an approaching tramcar, who was thus enabled to pull up and avoid the danger.  The tree fell just short of a tramway pole, but caught and tore down the wires.  The falling of the tree is attributed to its having been undermined when Feniscliffe Brow was altered.  Traffic was stopped till well after eleven 0’clock.
 
WOMEN AND THE WAR
CONDUCTED BY THE RED CROSS
How We Can All Help
There will be a very limited amount spent by women this season on clothes and finery.  Thank goodness we are not less alive to what is suitable than our neighbours and allies.  There never were such bargains offered in Paris as at the present moment, and to the  eternal credit of woman kind, be it said never were there fewer buyers.  Everyone feels that this will not be a season when fashion or style will count.  Each one will sacrifice something in the matter of personal adornment for the sake of our brave and gallant defenders by land and sea.  Money saved through economies in dress will go into one of the funds which supply those dependent upon our heroes for the measures of life.  Do not be lulled into the belief that there will be plenty of money to go round.  Even if this were so, still that fact does not absolve each one of us from the responsibility that duty to contribute our share.  We are only partakers of the results of those who by night and day fight and keep watch and ward that we in England shall be able to sleep and live in security.  The horrible deeds which have been perpetrated upon Belgian soil would inevitably be re-enacted here did our guardians relax their vigilance, or our defenders weary of the terrible fight.  If every single dependent upon our own troops were amply provided for we still owe a great and solemn duty to the Belgians.
In regard to shirts, nightshirts and socks to be made for the use of the wounded and the troops, let me urge that before sending anything to be forwarded you should have the article washed, and put a label saying “Washed” on the outside.  Washing is admittedly one of the greatest expenses in the working of hospitals in times of peace, and therefore, some idea can be formed of the necessity for constant change and cleanliness this means.  In times of war the need is still more acute and widespread.  On the field of action it is an impossibility to get anything washed, and consequently washed articles are the only ones that can be used.  Little children can be pressed into the service of making bandages: it only means tearing up strips of unbleached calico.  After it has been laundered, the strips must be tightly rolled and pinned with safety pins.  Tablets of soap are not very expensive nor important looking presents but hey will be most gladly welcomed by our men at the front.  During the Boer war, the lucky man who provided himself with soap was envied by his comrades.  After a long march or an exhausting fight a good wash is almost as great a boon to the soldier as a good meal.  Remember this item when making up parcels for the front.
What To Do
those who cannot afford much money, either for the funds or for materials to make up can save up magazines or look out books and send them for the sailors of the fleet, or the soldiers in hospitals.  Hundreds of wounded soldiers will be landed daily now onward and there will be great numbers of them whose convalescence may be prolonged: a good stock of reading matter is a great lightener of sick beds.  I think I have said enough to convince my readers that there is no danger of there being too many books and magazines.  Tobacco is another welcome present.  I daresay the hospital authorities will stretch a point in the case of our brave defenders and relax their established rule against smoking.  Anyway it is well that the patients should not be in the position of having the permission without the possibilities to smoke.
It is to be hoped that the sound, sensible appeals made by Lady Lansdowne and others that those who lose their dear ones in this terrible war should refrain from wearing mourning will be adopted.  That is, the accepted form of mourning.  A white band round the arm is the type advised, that wealthy and poor people alike should agree to.  There is much advantage to be gained by it.  It shows that the death we are deploring was a glorious one and worthy to be distinguished from the call that sooner or later we must all answer.  It will save much needed money in poor homes: mourning money is often the worst result of a death amongst a certain class of poor people.  The “bit of black” not infrequently absorbs all or most part of what ever insurance money comes into the house.  If the better class and the more wealthy people are satisfied to display the fact of their loss to the world by this touching , simple inexpensive means, there can be no shadow of excuse for the others not to follow so good an example.
Garments For The Wounded
If every woman and child who could use a needle were each to make some useful garment, such as a shirt, bed-jacket, socks, nightshirt ,or any other article of men’s wear, so much needed during the present crisis, there would still be many more wanted.
The very serious nature of wounds and injuries sustained by our brave soldiers and sailors make it not only advisable but undoubtedly necessary, that garments should be changed at very frequent intervals—perhaps several times each day.  If only for this reason it is easy to understand that there could not be too many of anything at this period of great stress.  This fact alone will induce many women to snatch a few moments, may be from a well earned rest, after a hard and tiring round of household tasks have been fulfilled, and devote them with a cheery heart to make some necessary garment happy at the thought that it will prove of great service to some poor wounded man.
 
 
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The “Helpless Nightshirt”
The illustration here given shows the “Helpless Night Shirt.”  The greatest demand must certainly be for shirts of this description.  As its name implies it is indispensable to the “helpless” and the dangerously wounded, being made in such manner that it does away to a great extent with the ordeal of moving the patient about—which causes such unspeakable agony to the poor sufferer.  This most necessary garment which, as can been seen by the diagram, is quite easy to put together and complete in a very short time, takes about five yards of 36in. material.
These shirts are made very long, and arranged to open all the way down the front, the sleeves also are left open and brought close together by means of tapes tied from the shoulders downwards.  In a word, the “Helpless Nightshirt” is splendidly adapted for its special purpose, and the demand for it is sure to be enormous.
As these patterns will be used for the benefit of others, I have now completed arrangements to supply all patterns dealing with Red Cross work at a specially reduced price, and according to the cost of cutting out and modelling, these will cost from 3½d to 4½d each post free to any address.  Inside each one of my patterns will be found a small printed slip of directions, with a diagram like the one illustrated, showing how to proceed with the cutting out and making of the complete garment.
The “Helpless Nightshirt” here sketched is for a full-size figure, and the pattern cost 4½d post free, which can be sent by return.
 


​ 

October ​​1914

 

 Blackburn Times 3rd October 1914
 
WOMEN AND WAR
Preaching on “Women and War” at Oxford-street Primitive Methodist Church , on Sunday, the Rev. N. Brown, pastor, said he believed that as a class women were the stoutest opponents of war.  Some people contended that it was the business of man to make war.  Women had been refused any place in the consideration and decision of such matters.  In America thousands of women met to mourn with their sisters of other nations whose husbands, sons and brothers were engaged in the present conflict.  To him that was a symbol of women’s deep hatred of war.  In Blackburn services of intercession had been held.  What had struck him was the preponderance of women who attended the meetings had been a disgrace to the men and honour to the women.  That was another sign of women’s hatred of war.  In his opinion women were morally and spiritually superior to men.  Patriotism demanded equality between men and women in the matter of war.  That was to say, women should share equally with men in the right to discuss and decide the question of war.  The Church should support the women’s claim in the interest of the church and of religion.  Universal peace would come the sooner if women had s say in the matter.  The Church would be prepared to use women in the interests of peace when women had a real voice and power in the matter.  The Church ought not to lag behind in this demand for women’s proper place.  Again and again the Church had been lukewarm in support of things which were right and good, but when the battle had been won she had come in to shout “Alleluia” and share in the happy results.  Let the Church stand in the front to demand, in the interests of the nation and especially of the religion, that women should share with men equally in discussing and deciding the question of war and peace.

 

 

 Blackburn Times 3rd October 1914
 
A BRAVE BOY
 
Walter Pomfret.jpg 
 
 The photograph is that of Walter Pomfret aged 16 years of 15, Bank Mill-terrace, Cherry Tree, who made a heroic rescue last week.  He was crossing a foot-bridge leading from Henry Whalley-street to the canal bank when he heard someone shout “A boy in the canal drowning.”  Though some distance away, he hurried to the towing-path, and saw Joe Horsfield aged nine of 116 Bonsall-street, in the water.  He had fallen into the canal whilst attempting to recover his ball.  Though not a swimmer without, divesting himself of any clothing Pomfret jumped into the water and brought the drowning boy to the embankment.  Horsefield was then in a semi-conscious condition, and there is not the slightest doubt if his rescuer had hesitated the boy’s life would have been lost.  Having reached the path Pomfret and his friend Rupert Connell aged 15, of Fielden-terrace resorted to artificial respiration and brought the lad round.  The police speak in the highest praise of the youth’s bravery, and affirm that but for his presence of mind Horsefield would have been drowned.
When questioned by our representative this week, Pomfret admitted there was some risk attached to the rescue, “but,” he added, “I should never have forgiven myself if I had stood there and rendered no assistance.  It would have been cowardly, especially when I was in a position to help.  There was no one else about, and I was therefore left to act and that immediately.  I have a little brother of my own.  He is only three, and I would not have liked anyone else to have stood and watched him drown.”  The lad spoke with sincerity which impressed one and the motive for his bravery renders his act all the more creditable.  Pomfret has taken a few lessons at the baths, but cannot swim above a length or so.  He and his friend have, however, been interested in the diagrams posted in the public baths as to the proper manner of treating persons in danger of being drowned, and this keen observation stood them in good stead.
 
 
Blackburn Times 24th October 1914
 
“ELLERSLIE” AS A WAR HOSPITAL
PREPERATION FOR THE RECEPTION OF WOUNDED
 
Mrs Aitken.jpg 
 Mrs. Aitken Matron of Ellerslie Hospital
 
“We owe a great deal to the men who are fighting for us and we are ready and willingto do what we can for them.”  Those words, spoken by a member of the British Red Cross Society, yesterday afternoon to a “Blackburn Times” reporter during an inspection of “Ellerslie,” East Park-road, are representative of the spirit of the ladies of the Red Cross Society and the St. John’s Ambulance Association who have volunteered their services in connection with the nursing of wounded soldiers.  “Ellerslie,” situated in a commanding position overlooking the Corporation Park, was offered to the Blackburn War Hospital Committee, of which alderman S. Crossley, J.P., is the chairman, by Mr. J. G. Ramsbottom of Whalley, a residuary beneficiare under the will of the late Mrs. Stock, for the use as a war hospital, and the committee gratefully accepted the offer.  The house, which was the residence of Mrs. Stock, is a well-built structure and is in every way adapted for the purpose for which it is about to be utilised.  The best possible use has been made of the many rooms which the house contains, and in all there are thirty beds.  The Largest number of beds—six—are in what was formerly the library, while the drawing-room accommodated five and the dining room four beds.  The various rooms are spotlessly clean, and there is an air of quiet and repose which will be greatly appreciated by the gallant soldiers after the strenuous times they have passed through.  The larger rooms are fitted with heating apparatus in addition to the ordinary fire-range and lighting throughout is by electricity.  Retiring rooms for the nurses have been arranged and there is ample provision for cooking and domestic purposes.  Care has also been taken to see that the soldiers who are convalescent have a room where they can gather for a smoke or quiet chat.  This is in the conservatory in which a number of comfortable chairs have been placed.  Three dining tables have also been erected in a room close at hand and these will probably be utilised by the men capable of walking about.  A generous response has been made to the appeal for gifts for furnishing the home, and almost everything required in that direction has been lent or given.  The hospital will be worked under the auspice of the British Red Cross Society and the St. John Ambulance Association.  All are voluntary workers and will take duty in turns as arranged.  Mrs. Aitken of the British Red Cross Society occupies the position of commandant and Mrs. McCarthy is at the head of the St. John Ambulance detachments.  Dr. Jones is the surgeon in charge and he will have the assistance of Dr. Moffatt, while the staff of the Royal Infirmary, Dr. Aitken, Dr. Rigby, Dr. Bannister, and Dr. Taylor have consented to act as consulting physicians.  Miss Howard is in charge of the trained nurses; Mrs. T. C. Robinson, head cook; Miss Wilson in charge of the laundry.  The ladies who have volunteered as nurses have been at some pains to qualify themselves for the work, and the numerous certificates which have been obtained by them show that they are anxious to do what they can to relieve the sufferings of the brave soldiers.  Nothing is yet known as to when any of the wounded will arrive and their nationality is also not yet stated.  In all probability all will be nursing cases, and should the necessity arise for any operation, this will most likely be carried out at the Royal Infirmary.
The articles most needed by the comforts section of the Blackburn branch of the British Red Cross Society are flannel shirts, socks, body belts, vests and pants, mufflers, cardigan jackets, and bandages.  The stock of garments in hand is now quite small and further contributions are urgently needed.  Very few parcels have been received this week.  No parcels have been sent to headquarters during the week, but the hospital equipment and garments for the use of the wounded have been sent to the hospital at “Ellerslie.”
 
 
Blackburn Times 24th October 1914
 
BLACKBURN’S NEW TERRITORIAL BATTALION
SEVEN HUNDRED RECRUITS IN THREE WEEKS
 
the New Battalion.jpg 
 
 A welcome impetus has been given to recruiting in the town during the week, and the 4th Reserve Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment (Territorial) is rapidly approaching establishment strength.  Recruiting for the new unit only began on on October 1st, but up to yesterday 700 men had been enrolled and billeted temporarily at their homes.  The men are receiving 3s a day, 2s of this amount being subsistence allowance.  Counting the number of young men who signified their intention of joining after the town’s recruiting meeting  last week, and the number who joined on Saturday, it is computed that fully a hundred recruits were secured as a result of the meeting—a return which made the recruiting well worthwhile.  The actual number of Territorial recruits up to noon on Thursday was 645, but Darwen, which is contributing two companies to the battalion, sent another batch of men in the afternoon.  It is therefore not improbable that the battalion will secure the complement of men during the weekend.  So far not a single recruit has refused to sign the paper on which the men notify their willingness to serve abroad.  The battalion will include the 137 men (now billeted at Southport) of the 4th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment (Territorial), who did not volunteer for foreign service.  These men were transferred from the mobilisation camp at Bury after the departure of the main body for Egypt, and thus have the advantage over the new units of useful experience of mobilisation smartness.  A depot staff of the battalion now serving abroad is on duty at the Canterbury-street Barracks, in charge of Captain G. R. Wilson, Sergt-Major R. Wood, and Sergt. P. Thompson.  Captain Wilson has carried out unaided the medical examination of all the men of the new battalion.
Darwen as already mentioned is contributing two companies each of 120 men to the new battalion, and about 50 men joined on Thursday, whilst about 70 recruits have been obtained from Clitheroe, which will have a company of its own.  Great Harwood, Mellor and other outlying districts have each contributed recruits, and it has been decided to form a half company in the first named township, where the United Methodist Free Church School and the recreation ground opposite have been secured for drilling purposes.
Captain H. Bailey, of the Territorial Reserve, formally of the Battalion E.L.R. (T), is the acting adjutant, and he is supervising the drills of the new battalion.  Captain Bailey is well pleased with the type of recruit, and he remarks that they are all very keen to serve.
The Daily scene at the barracks is a busy one, as squads of recruits are being put through the initial stages of drill.  The routine is as follows—8 to 9, physical training; 9 to 10, squad drill; 10 to 11, extended order drill (Sundays, church parade); 11 to 12 squad drill; 2 to 3, extended order drill; 3 to 4, musketry; 4 to 5, musketry.  It has not yet been possible to carry out the last-named order as the men have not yet bee served with rifles.  Some little time will elapse before they receive their uniforms.  They are, however, enjoying their work, and on their route marches through the town, have joined enthusiastically in singing the marching song: “It’s a long way to Tipperary.” On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the men engage in simple night operations.  On Wednesday they have a bathing parade to the Frekelton-street Baths.  The battalion will probably be stationed at the Canterbury-street Barracks for a month or two, and will then, it is expected, join the men of the 4th Battalion at Southport.
During the week end the recruiting office for the regular army was moved back from the Barracks to the permanent office in Ainsworth-street.  The recruits during the week have been; Saturday 6; Sunday 2; Monday, 30; Tuesday 7; Wednesday 1; Thursday, 6.  Monday’s Figure was the highest for about a month.  30 out of 40 men who presented themselves being accepted.  The single figure for Wednesday was the smallest return for any day since was declared.  The number of recruits obtained in Blackburn for the regular army since the war began is 3,027, whilst 670 men have presented themselves for enlistment but failed to pass the medical test.
 
 
new league for children.jpg

NEW LEAGUE FOR CHILDREN
A fellowship and service league has been formed in connection with St. George’s Presbyterian Sunday School for the purpose of gathering together in the week-time the children whose ages range from 9 to 16, and of giving them a deeper interest in the work of the church and school.  The Rev. J. H. Chambers Macaulay is manifesting an active interest in the organisation, and Miss Taylor and Miss Kenyon will act as secretaries, and Mr. H. Bourne and Mr. R. Gibson as treasurers.  The children who now number 130, will be addressed on temperance, missionary, and social service topics, and will be given occasional instruction in music by Mr. Percy Elton, organist at the church.  They will be divided into groups each of which will have a leader and at least one helper, and they will meet at the school one evening each week from 7.15 to 8.30.  It is proposed to instruct them in making of articles for the distribution amongst children of soldiers and sailors at Christmas.
 
 
Helping the Belgian fund.jpg

HELPING THE BELGIAN FUND
The accompanying photo is of a stall outside the residence of Mr. J. Catlow of Cedar-street, Blackburn, last Saturday, when the Misses Janie Catlow, aged 9, and Annie Hodkinson, aged 11, assisted by Miss Marie Forrest, raised nearly 30s by the sale of various articles of use and ornament.  Of the sum £1 has been has been forwarded to the Belgian Relief Fund and the remainder applied to the purchase of comforts for soldiers.​

proposed convalescent home for Blackburn.jpg

 ​
 Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 30th October 1914
 
PROPOSED CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL FOR BLACKBURN PATIENTS
The accompanying picture shows the Convalescent Home which the Blackburn Charity Organisation Society purpose erecting on a plot of land between the Thursby Home and the North Promenade at St. Anne’s, fronting the sea.  The ground floor will consist of the administration block, containing dining and day room, 42ft by 19ft; matron’s room, 14ft by 12ft; kitchen 16ft by 12ft; large scullery, larder, china closet, washhouse, etc.  Flanking same on each side will be the women’s  ward and men’s ward respectively, each containing four separate rooms, two beds in each, with lavatory, bathroom etc.  Each ward will have a separate entrance, and one of the wards is to be provided with an extra entrance for visitors.  The upper floor will consist of two bedrooms for two patients each (or Children if required), matron’s bedroom, servant’s bedroom, spare bedroom, bathroom, linen-room, boxroom, and conveniences.  This floor is arranged so that access can be easily made to another floor, to be erected over each of the ground floor wards at some time in the future as the demand is needed, thus affording further accommodation for eight beds in each ward.  The outside walls are to be finished in rough cast, and the roof covered with green slates.  The elevation facing the sea above the first floor to the central portion will be finished in half-timber work and plaster panels.  The accommodation for the portion to be erected now will be for sixteen beds on the ground floor and four beds on the first floor, and the cost will approximately be £3,000, exclusive of furnishing.  The architects are Messrs Briggs, Wolstenholme, and Thornely, of Blackburn and Liverpool, and the contract has been let to Messrs E. Lewis and Sons, Blackburn.
 
In October The Blackburn Weekly Telegraph began a series called “The Poets and the War”.  The poems printed were by local people, and included both sentimental and patriotic work.  They may not always be the greatest works but they certainly showed how ordinary people viewed and reacted to the early months of the War.
Over the coming months I will include some of the poems in “100 years ago.”
 
“Killed In Action.”
 
Who dies? Those, whose epitaph
Records a duty nobly done
In a just cause.  For such as these
A deathless life is but begun.
 
Dear form, now stilled in death, that once
Lay folded in a mother’s arms,
No more the loud reveille’s call,
The sudden clash of war’s alarms.
 
Dear eyes, that once to other eyes
Responsive beamed their tender love,
Devotion deeper you have shown,
In deeds that only death could prove.
 
Dear hands, that other hands have held,
In loyal friendship, lasting, true,
the clasp is loosed; but memory
Shall firmly fasten it anew.
 
Fond heart, brave heart, and true as brave,
That beat for others, nor in vain—
Dead!  “Death is not of life the sum”:
while others live, you live again.
                                                                         
                                                                          W. G.
                                                                          Blackburn                   
 
 

 

 

November 1914

 

A load of Canadian Cheese.jpg 


 Blackburn Times 7th November 1914

 

Work for Unemployed Women
An Excellent Start at Blackburn
The scheme for finding work for unemployed women is now in operation, and an excellent start has been made.  The headquarters are at Barton-street United Methodist School, a spacious, well-lighted splendidly-ventilated and properly-heated building.  Here 48 women and girls are usefully employed.  They commenced their duties on Tuesday [3rd November].  Next week the number will be doubled.  Miss A. Walker has been appointed forewomen, with Mrs. Towers as assistant.  The women, of course, are paid for their work, which includes tailoring, dressmaking, knitting, patching, and renovating second hand garments, and there is a section devoted to baby-linen and under clothing.  All the goods, when finished, will be given to the poor.  Not a article will be sold.  In the large and comfortable room the women and girls have been busily at work since Tuesday, and take a great interest in their duties.  As one of them said, “We are quite happy now that we have something to do.”  By next week it is hoped to be able to provide the workers with dinners at a nominal cost.  This scheme is to be heartily commended to the public for generous support.  It is intended specially to benefit those who would rather have work than receive relief, and only women who are out of work will be taken on.  Supplies are urgently required of flannelette, cotton cloth, and knitting wool.  Gifts of such goods will be very acceptable, and may be sent to Barton-street School between 9.30 am and 5 pm, any day except Saturday and Sunday.  The scheme it may be recalled is in connection with the Queen’s Employment for Women Fund, and is controlled by the women’s sub-committee of the War Relief Fund of which the Mayoress (Mr. Higginson) is the chairman and Miss Taylor the hon. secretary.

 

Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 7th November 1914

A call to the colours.jpg

Boom in Recruiting
Blackburn Figures Advancing Quickly
 
The big advertisement given to recruiting last week by the reduction of the standard height measurement, also by the Government’s announcement of more liberal allowances to the soldiers dependents, is still influencing the returns at the Blackburn recruiting office.  Last week, which was the best for some time produced 123 recruits, and the previous week 92, but up to noon yesterday the number for this week was 145, whilst there have been more “rejects” than usual.  The figures are as follows: 
                                       Recruits      Rejects
Saturday.................     30               11
Sunday...................        5                 2
Monday..................      43               21
Tuesday.................      31                 9
Wednesday...........      18                 5
Thursday................      15                 3
Friday.....................        3                 7
Total.......................    145               58

In the majority of instances the cause of rejection was defective sight and deficient chest measurement.  The number of recruits since the beginning of the war is 3,465—412 have enlisted during the past 4 weeks—whilst the number of rejects now totals 814.
Whether it will be necessary to continue recruiting in Blackburn for the Territorial Force is not known, but there should be no lack of men if it is desired to form another reserve battalion.  The 4th (Reserve) Battalion will, it is anticipated, be used to fill any vacancy that may occur in the 4th Battalion stationed at Cairo.  Surgeon-Capt. Wilson, of the 4 Battalion, who personally examined the recruits for the Reserve Battalion remains at Canterbury-street, in charge of the depot staff.  Dr. Wilson spoke highly of the physique of the men.
 
Kitcheners little recruiting sergeant.jpg 

Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 7th November 1914

Blackburn Harriers
The weekly run was held on Saturday, eight members turning out.  It was decided not to lay a trail.  The pack in charge of H. Ames, captain with J. C. Haslam, whipper-in, went down Pleckgate, behind the laundry, across Whalley New-road, over Wilpshire Golf Links, past the Orphanage to Lovely Hall (Salesbury), through Ramsgreave, past the Hare and hounds, and home, a distance of about ten miles.  The country was very heavy after the rain of the previous week, and footholds, especially down the steep parts, was bad to obtain.  On one part of the run the harriers had rather a startling experience, a farmer urging his dog to attack them.  During the time the club has been in existence they have never been seriously interfered with by the farmers over whose land they are obliged to cross.  It is a point with all clubs to do no damage whatever to fences etc.  If the pack had not kept the dog off it would most certainly have inflicted injury on one or more of the members.  It was decided at the annual meeting, held before the war, to enter a team for the junior cross-country championship, but we hear the fixture has been abandoned.  In any case it would hardly have been possible to raise a strong enough team.  Providing nothing unexpected turns up the local club entertain Burnley Harriers to-day [Saturday].  It is hoped to get a trail away by 2.30.  The route is over Wilpshire Moors and Mellor.  The members will finish up by the side of the reservoir on Revidge.  It is not known yet how the count will be, but it probably will be the first four in each team, the fewest number of points winning.  A good race is anticipated as Burnley are a sporting side.
 
 
Blackburn Times 14th November 1914

The Winning Team.jpg

School Girls and Swimming
Winners of Bottomley Challenge Shield
 
For the seventh year in succession the children from Bank Top Council School have won the Bottomley Challenge Shield, in connection with the Blackburn School Children’s Swimming Competition.  This year the race was of exceptional interest, as it was known that several of the Schools competing had children who are exceptionally good swimmers.  The race, as was anticipated, was a closely contested one, Bank Top winning by about half a yard.  The names of the winners, reading from left to right are: Edith Singleton, Alice Ford, Agnes Bennett, and Alice Jackson.  The others are Miss Hodgson (swimming instructress to the Education Committee) and Miss Horsefall (the mistress in charge of the girls).
 
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 14th November 1914
 
 
 War Pensions
A Greatly Improved Rate
 
The Government this week issued a new scale of pensions for seamen, marines and soldiers, and their wives, widows, and dependents for the period of the present war.  No change is made in the separation allowances, but considerable increase in the amount of pensions to widows and disabled or partially disabled soldiers are to be given.  The news of the death of a husband is no longer to mean to the childless widow the reduction to 5s of the amount she has been receiving as separation allowance.  For 26 weeks the old payment will be continued, and then a pension of 7s 6d is to be paid.  The following statement shows the improvement in the minimum pensions for the widows of privates:

                                                           New Rate      Old Rate
Widow with one child                         12s 6d            6s 6d
Widow with two Children                   15s                  8s
Widow with three Children               17s 6d            9s 6d
Widow with four Children                   20s               11s
 
The scales of pensions for partially or totally disabled soldiers and sailors also show considerable increase.
The following will be the minimum weekly scale of pensions for widows and children of seamen, marines and soldiers who in the present war are killed in the performance of naval or military duty, who die of wounds or injuries within seven years after the receipt of the wound or injury, or die of disease medically certified as contracted or commencing while on active service, within seven years of their removal from duty, on account of such disease:
 
                                                 A                 B            C                  D                E
With four Children              20s          20s 6d        21s           21s 6d       22s 6d
With three Children           17s 6d     18s             18s 6d      19s             20s
With two Children              15s          15s 6d        16s           16s 6d       17s 6d  
With one Child                   12s 6d     13s             13s 6d      14s            14s 6d
Without Children                  7s 6d        8s               8s 6d        9s            10s
 
A—Army private, marines below corporals and all navel ratings below those described in B, C, D and E
B—Army corporal, corporal of marines, and navel 2nd class petty officers leading rates with over three years’ service as such and passed as petty officers
C—Army sergeant, sergeants of marines, and 1st class petty officers and petty officers (N.S.) of the Navy.
D—Army colour-sergeants, colour and staff sergeants of marines, and chief petty officers of the Navy.
E—Army quartermaster-sergeant.

 In every class there will be an additional allowance of 2s for each child in excess of four.  The payment for children will be continued in the in the case of girls until the age of 16, and in the case of boys until the age of 14.  If the boys attends at a State-aided school (not being an evening school) the pensions will be continued until he leaves school up to the age of 16.  In the case of any child unable to maintain himself or herself owing to mental or physical infirmity, the payment may be continued up to the age of 21.  In the case of motherless children payment will be 5s a week for each of the first three children and 4s a week for each child in excess of three.
The pension of a window will census upon her marriage, but she will receive a gratuity of an amount equal to two years’ payment of the pension.  The payments in respect of children will continue irrespective of remarriage of the mother.
Additional allowances to the necessitous windows and a scale of pensions for partial or total disablement are provided for.
 
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 14th November 1914
 
James Pitts VC.jpg 
 
Blackburn V.C. Returns to the Ranks
 
Private James Pitts V.C., Water-street, Blackburn, has enlisted in Kitchener’s Army, having joined his old regiment, the 1st Battalion, Manchester’s.  During the South African war fourteen years ago, Pitt was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery at Caesar’s Camp, on the outskirts of Ladysmith, where a small number of the Manchester’s kept at bay a large force of Boers.  When all their comrades had been killed, Pitts and Private Stott, of Haslingden, alone held the position till dark.  In the photograph Private Pitts is shown wearing the Victoria Cross and south African medals.
 
ADVERT
THE War—For two weeks only we will Sole and Heel F.W.S. Ladies’ Boots for 1s 9d, and Gents’ 2s 9d per pair.  Usual quality and promptitude guaranteed.  Save money by wearing F.W.S. Laces and using F.W.S. Polish.  Fred William Sutcliffe, 8 Lord-street Blackburn, and all branches. 
 
 
A Haven of Rest
 
Belgian Refugees at Blackburn.jpg 

Belgian Refugees at Blackburn
 
A warm welcome was extended to Blackburn’s first batch of Belgian refugees, who arrived in the town on Monday evening.  The local committee had offered to provide accommodation for 50 persons, but on Monday only two families arrived, consisting of a dozen persons.  They came from Ostend.  They were met at the railway station by members of the committee, and their arrival was a signal for much applause.  They made the journey from London alone and in conversation all agreed that they had had a pleasant time.  Among those who extended a welcome were the Rev. Canon Lonsdale, rector of St. Alban’s; the Rev T. R. Sale, vicar of Blackburn; J. P. Wilson, pastor of James-street Congregational Church; Mr. J. P. Bonney, secretary of the committee; Mr. James Sharples, Mr. C. Etherington, Mr, Philip Smalley and Mr. John Wells.
On arrival they were conveyed in motor-cars to the headquarters of the Blackburn Co-operative Society in Northgate, where the latter had provided a tea.  On entering the building the Belgians were given a hearty reception by a large concourse of people, and judging by their pleasant countenances the refugees were more than pleased with the arrangements made for their comfort.  “Long live Belgian” cried an onlooker, and a male member of the party, on hearing the name of his country, made a suitable acknowledgment.
After tea had been served a pianist rendered the national anthem of the Allies, and a chorus joined in the singing of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.”  The Belgians were afterwards taken in motors to Ivy Bank, the residence of the late colonel H. J. Robinson, where Mrs. Cressy is officiating matron.  The party consisted of a Belgian fisherman, his wife and five children, and a lady and two children.  In an interview the fisherman explained that he and his family left Ostend the day previous to the Germans entering.  They were members of a company of refugees who were conveyed across the Channel in a fishing smack, and they considered themselves very lucky in making their escape.  Devoid of all belongings the refugees were in a terrible plight, and so hurriedly had they to make their exit that the families were separated, and the scenes on the boat would never be forgotten.  The roar of cannon was constantly heard, and they were thankful to reach Dover, from which place they were taken to London where they had been in residence for the last fortnight.  They thoroughly appreciated the kindness of the English.
The refugees apparently belong to the poorer class, and the only personal property they were able to bring away with them were contained in two small boxes.  One of the women carried a little one on her arm and led another by the hand, and a lad, who seemed not more than ten struggled with a child almost as big as himself.  Both woman and boy were eventually relieved by the station constable and other officials.  The man being lame and walking by the aid of a crutch gave the erroneous impression that he was a wounded soldier.  When the party were being put into separate taxis in which they were to be driven to Ivy Bank for the night, some of them displayed anxiety about being parted.  They were reassured, however, and drove away amid a chorus of Cheering.
Our representative paid a visit to “Ivy Bank” on Tuesday and found the party thoroughly enjoying their new surroundings.  One little fellow perched himself amid the shrubberies and made gleeful exclamations in his native tongue as the electric cars passed up and down Preston New-road.  Later he went for his little sister and his mother, and insisted on their witnessing the same interesting spectacle.
In the house was M. Edgard Duchateau who spoke English quite excellently, and who is acting as interpreter at “Ivy Bank,” “Ellerslie,” and Moss Bridge Hospital, Darwen.  He appears in the group photo given above.  He told our representative that the refugees left Ostend just when the German cannonading became manifest, and they came to England on board the Royal Belgian yacht.  This bad weather prevailed, and they were two days and two nights on the water.
Relating his personal experiences, M. Duchateau said he was employed by a Belgian Congo firm In Brussels, being a bookkeeper in the office.  He was the son of a Belgian colonel, and his mother resided in Bruges.  On August 1st he left work to visit his home, and the following day was warned that he must not return, because his services would be required as one of the Bruges Civilian Guard.  He had left all his private belongings at Brussels, and was unable to go back for them.  In the course of his duties ha had two or three slight skirmishes with the German outposts and on one occasion a bullet just glided of his knee.  One day he set out on his duties to post notices on the official boards of the town and returned at 5.45 pm.  He was then warned to leave the town because the enemy were near at hand, and they paid scant courtesy to the civilian guard.  He had just 15 minutes in which to get ready and catch the last train that night.  The Belgians had found by experience that houses which were locked were not respected by the Germans, but that they generally allowed dwellings occupied by people to escape.  Therefore his mother remained at home, whilst he and hundreds of others took part in the general flight.  The Germans were expected at six o’clock the following morning, and he and his friend considered it wise to wait the final train the following morning.  They slept at the railway depot, and steamed into West Cappelle at 8am.  The train was going no further, and they therefore had to continue their journey of 25 miles on foot.  They took the boat to Flushing and sailed to this country.
The Belgian people would never forget the kindness of their English comrades, and they looked to this country to save them even more so than France.  Asked if he had been cognisant of any acts of cruelty by the Germans, the interpreter said the Civilian Guard arrested one German officer, and in his possession was found a ladies hand.  It had evidently been cut off in order to gain possession of the rings.  The officer was brought to Bruges as a Prisoner.  He also came across a girl of five at the same place whose hands had been cut off by the Uhlans.  Whilst Belgium mourned the loss of many brave sons and the destruction of valuable buildings nevertheless she did not regret the action she had taken in defence of the homeland.  With the valuable help of the British and the French particularly the former the Belgian people were confident of ultimate success.
M. Duchateau had had the honour of shaking hands with the Belgian King, whose bravery and steadfast courage everyone so greatly admires.  He paid a striking tribute to the fighting qualities of the Turcos, and said they never considered a German dead unless he was beheaded.  One brave fellow carried a German head in his haversack for seven days and proudly displayed it in head quarters of his French and Belgian colleagues.
Another party of 11 refugees arrived in the town on Tuesday and were taken to the Parish Rooms of St. Silas’s Church, which had been offered for their accommodation.  They are all men of the tradesman and artisan class, with ages ranging from 15 to 50 years, and they come from different parts of Belgian, though most of their homes are at Brussels.  One man is a Greek.  They spent some days at Folkestone and London before coming to Blackburn.  The Parish Rooms are admirably adapted for the purpose to which they have now been put.  About a dozen beds have been lent by local people, and whilst the front room will be used for sleeping purposes the second room will be available as a sitting room.  There are also splendid kitchens arrangements.  Several people have expressed some surprise that these men are not serving in the Belgian Army.  It is explained, however, that compulsory service has not been part of the general policy of Belgian, and owing to the swift advance of the Germans these men had to fly before they had any opportunity to train, just as men in this country would have to take a similar course in the event of our being invaded.  The men seem quite happy in their new surroundings, and they are assisting to clean their own rooms and to prepare meals.
Efforts are being made to obtain regular and systematic contributions of money or food each week to provide for the refugees.  Mrs. Smith, wife of the Vicar of St. Silas’s, has already received some offers of bread each week and others are hoped for.  The cooking arrangements are under the superintendence of a Belgian lady, who with her daughter and two boys is residing with Mr. Stansfield of Billinge-avenue.
There are hopes that those of the party who are physically fit will participate in military training with the local Territorial’s after a short time.

Poets and The War
On and O’er
I gaze on the earth this Autumn morn,
And see flowers here and there,
And tangles of grasses, and trees, now shorn,
Of their garment, stark and bare.
But I know that a Springtime again will come,
Then a Summer with everything gay,
For these tangles of grasses and naked trees,
By new life must be hidden away.
I gaze o’er the earth this Autumn morn,
And see Kindness here and there,
And tangles of nations, and friendships torn,
By a blast disguised in prayer.
But I know that a Springtime again will come,
Then Summer with everything gay,
For those tangles of nations and friendship torn,
By new life shall be hidden away.

J.P. Howe, 21, Park Avenue Blackburn.


 
 
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph December 5th 1914
 
E Marsden.jpg

£700 A YEAR: A BLACKBURN SCIENTISTS CALL TO NEW ZEALAND
 

 Dr. Ernest Marsden, whose home is in Lynwood-road, Blackburn, and whose father carries on business as a draper at Rishton, as accepted the Professorship in Science at Wellington University, New Zealand, at a salary of £700 a year.
Only twenty-five years of age, Dr. Marsden has had a brilliant scholastic career.  He attended the Rishton Wesleyan Day School, afterwards the Blackburn Public Higher Grade School, where he obtained a County Council scholarship for the Blackburn Grammar School.  While there he won another County Council scholarship of £60 a year for three years at the Victoria University, Manchester, and after taking his B.Sc. degree he accepted an appointment as lecturer at London University.  When he had been there about twelve months he returned to Manchester and joined the Fellowship in Science at the University.  This year he gained his D.Sc. degree.
Dr. Marsden is an enthusiastic Territorial, and recently he has varied his ordinary duties at the University by drilling the members of the Officers Training Corps.
Dr. Marsden’s success draws attention to the fact that  a number of scholars from Rishton Wesleyan Day School have entered upon professional careers in Blackburn.  Among them are Mr. T. Holden, solicitor, who is with Mr J. W. Carter; Mr William Slater, solicitor, who gained several distinctions on passing his final last year, and who is now in partnership with Mr Little; Mr Harold H. Marsden (a brother of Dr. Marsden), who is with Mr H. Crellin, and who will sit for his final as solicitor next year.  Another old scholar is Mr George Knowles, solicitor, Rishton.  All were at school while Mr Marshall was head master.
For a biography of Ernest Marsden go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Marsden
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 12th December 1914
 
Crimean Veteran dead.jpg

CRIMEA VETERAN DEAD
 
Blackburn has lost one of the few Crimean war veterans in the person of Mr. Hartley Wilkinson, of Joseph-street, whose death is announced, at the age of 77.  He joined the 55th Regiment in 1853, and was at the battles of the Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, and Sebastopol, and of his twenty-one years’ army service twelve were spent in India.  When the King and Queen visited Blackburn last year the veteran wearing his medals and clasps, had a special place outside the Town Hall which enabled him to see the King, who re turned his salute.  In his early soldiering days Mr. Wikinson was a proficient in high jumping and other athletics, and when he settled down in Blackburn he became a publican, and was chairman for several years of the old Blackburn Victuallers’ Association.
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 12th December 1914
 
Soldiers funeral.jpg

IMPRESSIVE SCENES AT A SOLDIERS FUNERAL
 
All Darwen turned out on Monday afternoon to do honour to the late Private Alec Done, of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, whose remains have been brought from the Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot—where he had died from wounds received in Action—for interment at the Local cemetery.  The dead soldier was married on the 2nd of June last, and two months later he was called upon to rejoin his regiment.  Throughout the closing days of his life he reportedly said that “More men are wanted yonder,” and his thoughts seemed to be constantly with the lads at the front who are risking their lives to defend air country’s honour.  When he died it was decided he should be interred in the cemetery of his own town.
The funeral was of a civic and military character.  The procession was formed at the residence of his sister, Mrs Scholes, in Richmond-terrace, and the chief mourners were Mrs Done (widow), Mrs Done (senior), Mr And Mrs Scholes, Mr R. Done Mr  and Mrs Harry Done, Mr H. Turner, Miss Hannah Turner, Mr and Mrs Hodkinson, Mr and Mrs J. Turner, Mr and Mrs T. Turner, Mrs R. C. Done, Mrs Walton, Mr R. E. Done (Manchester), R.A.M.C., Mr A. Walton (R.F.A.), Mr S. Done (Manchester), and Miss Bertha Done (Manchester).  The coffin had a Union Jack for a pall, and on the top of the hearse were a number of wreaths, and amongst them one composed of red, white, and blue flowers.
Blinds were drawn at houses along the route to the Cemetery, and there was evidence everywhere of the anxiety of all to do tribute to the dead hero.  The streets were simply packed with people all the way, and many had climbed buildings to get a view of the cortege.  By the hearse were employees of the Railway Company, who acted as bearers.
When the procession reached the centre of the town it was joined by the Mayor and many members of the Town Council, Who were accompanied by the head officials of the Corporation.  In addition there were a number of Belgian and British wounded soldiers, a detachment of soldiers from Preston, along with men who were in the town on Furlough, Belgian refugees, representatives of the Athletes Volunteer Force, National Service men, Army veterans, and of various departments of public life.
The service at the Cemetery was conducted by the Rev J. Blackburn Brown, M.A., vicar of St. James’s Church, who was assisted by the Rev. J. W. Taylor.
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 19th December 1914
 
Another load of colonial gifts.jpg

ANOTHER LOAD OF COLONIAL GIFTS FOR BLACKBURN
 
The accompanying photo shows one of the motor-lorries of Messrs. T. Bolton, Ltd., leaving the warehouse to distribute Blackburn’s share of the Colonial gifts of food to grocers in the town.  Applicants are supplied with a ticket by the relief committee and obtain a share of the gift by presenting it at any of the grocers’ shops named on it.  Messrs. T. Bolton, Ltd., are kindly making the distributions free of charge.  The load in the photo consists of sacks of flour, bags of potatoes, and tins of salmon.  On the lorry are the words; “The Colonies’ gift to Blackburn”; and the motor: “Canada, 1,000 sacks flour, 100 bags potatoes, 100 tins salmon.”
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 26th December 1914
 
Children at Feast.jpg

WEAKLY TELEGRAPH SANTA CLAUS TREAT
A THOUSAND CHILDREN ENTERTAINED
 
However much the elders may have found the bed pull yesterday morning, the children were astir, seeking if possible to probe the mystery of Father Christmas, and finding him again excel even in Scarlet Pimpernel in the quality of cleverness.  However, the youngsters more favourably circumstanced found that the “Father” had left pleasant traces of his visit, and so they were well satisfied with works, and content to live in faith as his personality.
Up to comparatively recent years Santa Claus was the intimate friend only of those with purses fairly well lined.  The poor knew him only as a mythical sort of person who never visited their humble dwellings.  The older he grows, however the more active the old gentleman becomes, and he now not only makes his lengthy journeys in the small hours of the morning but is astir during the hours of daylight, with the happy result that there were few children in Blackburn who did not benefit by the genial spirit and disposition.   One of the best of his good works centred in the Barton-street School, where, under the auspices of the “Blackburn Weekly Telegraph” Santa Clause Fund, over a thousand children enjoyed a substantial breakfast, and the majority received a useful gift to remind them for many days of the treat they had had.  It is safe to say that but for the beneficent operation of the fund the youngsters invited to Barton-street would have had little by which to remember Christmas.  They were selected by the masters and mistresses of the day school, who were careful to pick out the very poorest of their scholars, so that the object of the movement might be fully realised.  The delight of the children who received the coveted ticket was unbounded, and they needed no calling to be in time.  The first section were due at the school at a quarter past eight, but many were patiently waiting at half-past seven.  Fortunately the weather, though cold, was dry.  The children breakfasted in four batches of 250 each, two tables being arranges down the room.  Opposite each child was a mug of steaming hot tea, meat sandwiches, raspberry and rock buns, and mince pies.  After grace had been said the youngsters set to work with a will, and were long not long in making the good things vanish.   There was an unlimited supply, and if any child found it too great for his present need he popped the surplus into a brown paper bag, into which also was dropped an orange and an apple as the children left the room.  While they were assembling, and during the progress of the breakfast, ladies and gentlemen who have had experience in administering poor relief selected the most thinly clad and shod, and these were taken into an adjoining room and furnished with suitable garments and boots and shoes, while orders were given for one hundred children to be specially fitted with clogs by various tradesmen in the town.  Altogether 750 articles of clothing, 120 pairs of stockings and 130pairs of clogs, boots and shoes were distributed.  The Children were overjoyed by their presents, and there were many excited little groups on the homeward journey discussing the good fortune that had come to them.  There were several evidences that many of the children were badly in need of a good meal, three or four of them fainting before their turn came to take their places at the table.  A touching sight too, was the carrying in to the room of several cripples.  Lady Coddington, the president of the fund (Lady Hamer is the vice-president), visited the school during the morning, and was very deeply interested by what she saw, being impressed too, by the admirable order and organisation of the scheme.  Everything worked smoothly, and the gathering came to a conclusion at half-past eleven.  The preparing of the breakfast was no light task; over 1,000 sandwiches being cut up and, in addition to the bread used in this way, there were 140 two pound loaves.
Fifty of these were distributed by Boy Scouts during the morning to poor families, and the remainder were handed out to the needy applicants at the close of the breakfast.  The fund has been splendidly supported this year, and had the accommodation been greater five hundred more children could have been fed.  Amongst those who assisted the preparation of the treat were Mr and Mrs W. Boothman, Miss M. Boothman , Mr and Mrs Gregson, Mr and Mrs J. H. Cronshaw, Mr and Mrs Kenyon, Mrs Embley, Mrs Simpson, Mrs Yates, Miss Yates, Mrs J. Leaver, Mr Lee, Mr L. Duxbury, Miss Ruth Duxbury, Mr and Mrs Widdop, Mrs Sizer, Mis L. Aspden, Mr Cunliffe, Mr W. Hoyle, and Mr T. Sharples, and there was a willing band of about fifty workers at the school yesterday morning looking after the children.  The proceedings were presided over by Mr H. Mann to whom much of the success of the movement is due.
 
 
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph 26th December 1914
 
Fritz Hindle.jpg

COUNCILLOR FRITZ HINDLE ON SHORT FURLOUGH
 
Councillor Fritz Hindle, a former Mayor of [Darwen], arrived from the front, where he is doing good work with the \red Cross. 
 In letters which were received at his home previous to his return he says:
“We are now close up to the front, but quite comfortable, as we are quite used to sleeping on straw.  We have just returned from clearing a hospital to an ambulance train—250 wounded men—a very pitiful sight, though most of them are extremely cheerful.  One poor chap we had was put rather too low down on the stretcher and the bearer caught his bad foot.  The yells were heartrending.  The weather is wet and the road awful—one mass of slush nearly a foot deep and very narrow.  Things do hum when we meet or pass a transport convoy.  We had the finest exhibition of language I have ever had the pleasure of hearing when our coming suddenly round a corner sent a big motor-waggon into the ditch.  We had to back for a mile and wait and wait an hour and a half, although we had four badly wounded on board.  The cannonading outside here has been very heavy indeed during the last 24 hours.  A new division has come up , and is evidently in full action.  “The King and the prince of Wales have been here.  They visited our hospital, and the Colonel-in-Command told me soon after that they had gone all through the wards and been most affable.  The King saw a wounded Grenadier and sent the Prince to talk to him, it being his own regiment.  The Prince drove the first car, a big open Daimler, and looked very well indeed.  The King and President Poincare were in the second open car and general Joffre in the next car.  They got a rousing reception.  They are staying here tonight.  I couldn’t, help reflecting how much had passed under the bridge since I last saw the King in Darwen in July last year!  He looked very well in his Field Marshal’s Khaki uniform.  Immediately after he had gone we were called to take the wounded men from the hospital to the train, and soon cleared 800 men It is rather wearisome and trying work carrying the frost bitten chaps “pick-a-back” from the cars to the train, but everything is worked at express speed, and it is a case of all hands to the pump!  The general impression here is that military matters are at a standstill for some time.  Both sides are said to be entrenching themselves very strongly.
“About two miles from here is a town absolutely deserted.  The church and all round is smashed up, and you can go into any of the houses or shops and see the food, cups, etc., exactly as the inhabitants hurriedly left them when the firing began.  The town is still being shelled by the Germans.  We went into it the other afternoon, and were most interested.  We saw the big holes made by the *“Jack Johnsons.”  We also picked up a kitten and intended to bring it back as a B2 “mascot,” but it had a bad fit en route, so we dropped it hurriedly!”
We had this afternoon off so walked to --. A very few of the inhabitants are just beginning to come back again, but we walked in and out of dozens of houses.  Some had been shelled while the occupants were at meals, and all the food, etc., was on the table exactly as they left it.  The church is very damaged by “Jack Johnsons” shell, which makes a hole big enough to bury a motor-waggon.  It is just like a city of the dead, and very weird.
*German shell bursting with black smoke. After the boxer Jack (John Arthur) Johnson (1878-1946), the first black American world heavyweight champion (1908-1915).
 
 
W hayhurst Advert.jpg 
 
 
Below are some reports how various institutions celebrated Christmas.

AT THE WORKHOUSE
The Workhouse inmates thoroughly enjoyed the special provision made for their comfort.  The premises were lavishly decorated, and the festivities commenced on Christmas Eve, when the officials went round the wards and visited the Cottage Homes singing carols.  On Christmas Day the menu was considerably extended, there being for dinner a plentiful supply of roast beef, potatoes, plum pudding, and coffee.  Each adult male received an ou8nce of tobacco, and the women six ounces of sugar and three ounces of tea.  The children were not forgotten, an official dressing up as Father Christmas and distributing gifts and sweets.  In the evening the Rev. E. G. Wales, chaplain, conducted a Christmas service.  The concert usually given on Christmas night will be given tonight [Boxing Day], when a party organised by Mr Bleasdale, organist of St. Michael’s Church, will entertain the inmates.  At dinner time, the Mayor (Alderman Thompson0 and Alderman Nuttall went through the wards, wishing the inmates a happy Christmas, and the afternoon visitors included the Rev. T. R. and Mrs Sale, and Mr C. E. Kenyon, J. P. chairman of the Board of Guardians.  Mr Kenyon distributed tobacco to the men and mince pies to the women.
AT THE ORPHANAGE
All the children at the Orphanage, Wilpshire, look forward with keen interest, mingled with expectant hope, to Christmas tide and they have not been disappointed.  The two orphan homes, for boys and girls, had been decorated for Christmas with evergreen and flags etc.  On Christmas Eve Santa Clause filled the orphans’ stockings with suitable gifts, and for the Christmas dinner the youngsters were provided with roast beef and plum pudding.  Mr Charles E. Kenyon, J.P. had provided the Christmas tree, and this was laden with toys, given by many friends, for all the boys and girls.  In the evening a reunion party for old scholars now in situations was held.  A substantial meal was given, and the present scholars provided an entertainment.  The arrangements also included the usual religious devotional services.
Mr Dixon, the superintendent, informs us that during the past year the children have been in excellent health, and the boys and girls are all well and happy.
The Mayor sent a letter and two guineas towards the expenses.  Mrs Wilkinson of Warren Holt Wilpshire, gave £1 for Christmas fare; Mr James Boyle [Blackburn toffee manufacturer] 144 toffee-sticks; Mr Scholes Rostron, [Mineral water manufacturer Artillery-street] 144 bottles of mineral water Mr Archibald Shaw Oranges and Apples; Mrs J. W. Stones 56lb Jam; Mr Middleton, a football; Mr Barnes, two baskets of apples; Mr Ingham, bananas; Mr Parr and several friends sent toys, Christmas cards; and Messrs Butterworth and Gregson, confectionary, toys.
CRIPPLED CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS
Excitement runs high amongst the children of the Blackburn and district Crippled Children’s Aid Society (Ragged School) at the approach of Christmas, and all the youngsters eagerly look forward with joy to the pleasures of the festival.  On Christmas Eve 200 of the little cripples on the list received a special hamper containing garments, oranges, apples, chocolates, Christmas loaf, toys, etc.  Mrs Yerburgh had kindly provided 100 rabbits which were distributed to the most needy of the cripples.  In addition many received packets of tea, kindly presented by an anonymous donor.  Oranges and apples had been given by local friends for the children’s hamper.
at the Livesey Home 20 little cripples were entertained to dinner, tea, and Christmas tree.  Thanks to the kindness of friends, a very happy time was provided for the youngsters, who received gifts of clothing, toys, etc.  Mr Chilman, of the ragged School, was dressed to represent “Santa Claus.”  The President, Mr F. G. Briggs, and Mrs Briggs were also present.
BUSY TIME AT THE POST OFFICE
This year were new factors in the work at the Post Office, and possibly the staff have never had a busier Christmas.  The payment of allowances to soldiers, their wives and other dependents, has reached tremendous proportions.  In the early part of the war the sum distributed was about £300, and this has gradually increased until it now amounts to over £3,000.  Again, the parcels traffic was greatly in excess of previous years.  Parcels to men on foreign service or in training camps were despatched during the last few weeks, but every day this week there was a tremendous number of parcels to deal with.  The inference to be drawn from the latter fact is that the wives and children of soldiers have been well looked after in the matter of presents.  The Post Office staff itself sent suitable gifts to its men with the colours, and it also forwarded presents to those left behind.  This seems to have been done in a good many cases, and prior to every delivery one might have seen at rooms in the Parish School (used because of alterations at the Post Office in connection with the automatic telephones) a large pile of parcels.  To make the work increasingly heavy the staff was minus eight of its clerks and thirty-two of its postmen, all on military duty, and while temporary assistance was requisitioned the loss of experienced men was greatly felt, especially seeing that so far as could be judged the ordinary business showed no diminution compared with previous years.  All these elements resulted in work at high pressure, and if there was delay in delivery the public should remember the exceptional circumstances.  Moreover, the public might reasonably share the blame, inasmuch  as this year the exhortation to “post early” was less heeded than for some years past.
 
Poster the war done.jpg 
 
 
 
A CALL TO ARMS
Come let us give our men a lift,
And fight like Britons till we shift
The German Army out of France.
And let us wield both sword and lance
For what is right and just and true,
It a Britons duty to.

For little Belgium, in her plight
Appeals to us to swell her might.
that she may stem this man from Hell,
Against whose rule they now rebel.
Then let us all go forth to War
And quell this mighty Emperor.

Our country needs us, one and all—
Let us respond unto its call:
Put joy away, along with greed,
and serve our country in its need.
To fight for what is right and true,
It is a Britons duty to.
Harold Sharratt, 313 Accrington-road, Blackburn
 
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