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This Is How The British Press Reported The Outbreak Of The First World War

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."

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This is what the front page of The Times looked like on 5 August, 1914.

As was the style of the time for broadsheet papers, the front page was a mixture of adverts and official notices. Not even a war could break this tradition.


Inside, the paper reported all the latest details of the war – including that military activity didn't yet "amount to very much".

The paper also notes that dangers of a food shortage, caused by people in northern England buying flour to keep at home, were not as bad as first feared.

Let us for the moment drop solicitude for Europe and think of ourselves. We care as little for Belgrade as Belgrade does for Manchester. But, though our neutrality ought to be assured, it isn't.If we, who might remain neutral, rush into war or let our attitude remain doubtful, it will be both a crime and an act of supreme and gratuitous folly.

The same paper's 5 August 1914 edition showed the HQ of the Manchester Territorial Army, where the 8th Manchester regiment was waiting for a medical exam.


Some local papers, including The Manchester Courier, carried adverts from anti-war groups such as the Neutrality League.

Manchester Courier /

In language not dissimilar from the anti-war rhetoric of the 21st century, it says: "Englishmen, do your duty and keep your Country out of A WICKED AND STUPID WAR. Small but powerful cliques are trying to rush you into it; you must DESTROY THE PLOT TO-DAY."


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