"We are at war. The tremors and the tumult have already been felt in every corner of our county. Naval and military mobilisation has caused dislocation and commotion everywhere."

So said the Comment artilce of the Berrows Worcester Journal on August 8, 1914, its first issue since war had been declared.

It's a fascinating newspaper covering a fascinating and portentious time. Nothing had changed, and everything was changing.

The cricketers of Worcestershire and Surrey were battling it on Day 2 of their county championship match at New Road in front opf a sparse crowd under 'threatening skies'.

It was summer, and across the pages are reports of local flower shows at Hewell, Alcester Hospitall, Cookhill, Droitwich, Evesham. There were reports of Bredon Agircultural show, and another show at Redmarley.

There is a report of a tennis tournament in Kidderminster, of a tragic shooting, of a man in debt, the wedding of a Miss Fitton, and adverts across the front page as usual. Not even war could bring news to the front page in those days.

But alongside the normal, the routine, the banal and the peaceful, there was change.

The King's call to arms to raise 100,000 men was made more local to Worcestershire by the appeal of R C Temple, Chairman of the Worcestershire Territorial Association. He needed precisely 259 to make up a 'deficiency, in numbers.

The Worcestershire Voluntary Aid Detachment had been mobilied.

Ironicaly the peacetime army manouevres in the area had been cancelled. For obvious reasons, the Army was marching elsewhere - to France and, eventually, to four years of trench warfare.

Death and diaster were already being reported. There were tales of German atrocities, the invading army shooting 'a postman, a girl and 7 peasants'.

The cruiser Amphion had been sunk by a mine off the Suffolk coat with the loss of 130 men. This was no phoney war.

And life in Worcestershire was already changing. The Triennial Festival in Worcester was in doubt, despite record seat bookings of £1,200.

The 'Lord Bishop' announced he would be giving a special sermon on the church and the war that Sunday. The Canon in Residence at the Cathedral, H B Southwell, asked the paper to print a special prayer for these worrying times.

And Mrs Grice-Hutchinson wrote an article for the paper asking: What can we women do?

She had many suggestions, but the first one was - pray.

The womenfolk of Worcesterhsire would offer up many many more prayers as the war dragged on and thousands of local men and boys went off to figth for King and Country, many to return home.

  • This section of the website will be dedicated to articles about what was happening on the home front while the war took place.

There was enlistment, conscription, rationing, war work for men and, growingly, for women. There was day-to-day life overshadowed by the dark clouds on the Continent.

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