Here is the second in our series of how the Alnwick and County Gazette covered Britain’s involvement in the First World War.
Saturday, August 8 1914
BLAME FOR THE WAR
The delivery of the British ultimatum giving a period ending at midnight on Tuesday for a declaration of Germany’s intentions as to Belgian neutrality ended the uncertainties of the preceding days. It was vital that Britain should know without delay whether German policy included a violation of the neutrality of a country to whose exclusion from these quarrels Germany himself was a guaranteeing party.
Sir Edward Grey’s historic speech on Monday made clear to the world why Britain would be compelled to regard any such violation as a casus belli. This country has worked to the last moment and the uttermost limit of patience and reason for peace.The reply of Germany to our request for information on a matter vitally affecting our interests as a nation has been swift and dramatic.
AMBLE HARBOUR PROTECTED
THREE GERMAN SHIPS SEIZED
The excitement in the town of Amble and indeed throughout the district this week has been intense. It reached its climax for the time being when war was declared between England and Germany.
Every unit of the Amble section of the “E” Company of the 7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers was called out late on Tuesday night, and a section of them left by a large motor char-a-banc at 1-30 on Wednesday morning for an unknown destination.
The staffs of the various public services in the town have been increased by expert operators. These offices are kept open night and day. The railway station and the harbour are guarded by Territorials. Torpedo boats are lying constant at the mouth of the harbour. Three German vessels and three Swedish vessels are now in the harbour.
One Swedish steamer left this week. She carried about 20 passengers, Swedes and Norweigans, bound for Bergen. They had come from the vicinity of Newcastle, not being able to get away from the Tyne.
Three German ships, the s.s. Rhenania, the Drei Gesehwister (sailing ship), and Emanuel (sailing ship), have been seized by the customs on behalf of the Government as prizes of war. The staff at the coastguard station has been increased, also at the way signal, which lies further to the south, on the link.
Saturday, August 15 1914
LOCAL WAR MEMS
At the cinema entertainment in the Corn Exchange, Alnwick, on Saturday night, before the exhibition took place at the second house, there was a scene of loyal enthusiasm. The audience sang with great fervour “God Save the King,” and “Rule Brittania,” and the cheering was rousing in the extreme.
In consequence of the war, and difficulty in getting goods out and in, some of the more important places of business in Alnwick have been placed on shorter hours.
Some alarm was occasioned in Alnwick on Monday evening by the ringing of the “curfew bell” in the Town Hall at six o’clock. Many of the townspeople thought it was an alaram of fire, but it was only a summons to the Territorials and Reserves to assemble.
Owing to the outbreak of war many visitors have gone home, and others have written giving up their rooms, so that what promised to be a record season has been spoilt. The golf course which at this time is usually crowded have very few players on it and the takes are gradually diminishing. The outlook for the coming winter is not a bright one – what with inflated prices and scarcity.