In the 7th August 1914 edition of the Royal Leamington Spa Courier and Warwickshire Standard, there are some interesting articles on how the local residents should continue as business as usual, including an article urging readers to “go on in the ordinary way, giving their usual orders for work to be done, and taking their usual credit or paying by cheque. This will go a long way to carry our workers through the stress of the first few weeks of the war, which in our case will, we are sure, be the worst”. There are also a couple of articles describing the pressure on the post office and details of all the local aerial stations being dismantled due to the outbreak of war.
Under “WAR ITEMS” there are updates on the returning 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who have just returned from the Isle of Wight on a training exercise and were due to be disbanded. However, as soon as they arrived at the Budbrooke Barracks “they received orders to return at once to the Isle of Wight, and a special train was provided for them in the evening”. There is also mention of a question in the House of Commons, asking “whether farm horses now in use in harvesting cereal crops in England and Wales would be exempted from being impressed for army requirements”. This is something that would have a great impact on farmers across the country and within Warwickshire. The response was “it has never been contemplated that farm horses should be impressed, except to a very slight extent, and orders have been issued that they are to be exempted as much as possible”.
Although the war has only involved Great Britain for three days by this point, we are already starting to see the impact on the daily lives of residents in Warwickshire. Just within this one edition from 31st July to 7th August, little snippets of information have given us an insight to the details that would have a great effect on the lives of people in Warwickshire including the military, tradesmen and agriculture.
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Leamington Spa Courier, 31st July 1914, courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office.