GENERAL Wanted was a brief advert in The Westmorland Gazette in August, 1913.

The ‘situation vacant’ was not for elite military service, but for ‘a maid of all work’ in domestic service, which covered much of society.

Thus, that August, a ‘sarvant lass’ Sarah Clark, of Lyth, summoned her mistress Alice Rowe, of Sparrow Mire, for assault after she’d been ‘clouted once too often’.

Mrs Rowe was acquitted, but her husband was advised to control her in future!

At the inquest on Richard Banks, butler to Mr Hedley, of Calgarth Park, the witnesses included another butler, two chauffeurs, and two footmen. Butler Banks had been crushed to death after his employer’s car collided with a traction engine loaded with six tons of cement.

The world was indeed speeding up – dangerously.

On August Bank Holiday, two young bikers were killed at Crook while returning from a motorcycle rally on Arnside Knott.

Within two days, ‘2,000 touring cars (excluding Westmorland cars) passed through Kendal’.

At Milnthorpe, ‘horse- driven vehicles were the exception’, and residents of Church Street demanded that the dusty roads be asphalted.

Two weeks later, when Milnthorpe Scouts returned from camping in the Lakes (where ‘they’d beaten the Langdale lads hollow’), they found that the village had received its first stretch of Tarmac.

Meanwhile, in a hint of things to come, 21 Milnthorpe ‘volunteers’ went to a Territorial Army camp at Barrow. Here, they were ordered ‘to capture the docks without any regard to (pretend) fatalities’.

Actually, one ‘terrier’, from Lancashire, was killed when he lost his head after leaning too far out of a train window in Askham railway tunnel.

However, there were no casualties in ‘Military Sports’ held at Longlands, Kendal, where the ‘amusing events’ included boxing, tent pitching and striking, and ‘handicapped band marching’.

It was a ‘glorious summer’ with all the hay in by August 1.

Though rain spoiled Grasmere and Dallam Tower Sports, the sun shone on most of the quasi-military and peaceable events. Among the brightest occasions were the Tercentenary celebrations of Heversham Grammar School.

‘Old boys from all parts of the Kingdom’ joined current scholars in singing the school hymn ‘O God our help in Ages Past’.

Ironically, they sang the doleful line ‘Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away’, heedless to the fact that many of them would pay the ‘supreme sacrifice’ in the First World War, which began its cull of millions exactly a year later.