Kendal historian Arthur Nicholls delves into the archives to see what the Gazette was reporting about the Great War in 1915


January 2
Among the trifling ‘extras’ forwarded to soldiers and sailors on active service as Christmas cheer was about half-a-pound of British plum pudding for every man of them. The parcels almost choked the post office. Although the men got their Christmas pudding there was no Christmas truce for the men in the trenches.

On Christmas and Boxing nights the soldiers in Kendal were given a festive entertainment in the Workman’s Club Room. There were meat pies, mince pies, coffee and cigarettes for them with a capital musical programme.

January 9
In his New Year pastoral letter, the Bishop of Carlisle described Prussia as ‘ridden by the demon of militaristic autocracy, drunk with the blood of Sadowa and Satan, on the way to provide ferocious struggles for the domination of the world’. He went on to say that ‘Tranquillity fatigues the Kaiser and irritates him. In battle he has gone mad for blood and exults in inflicting terror’. He opined that, no doubt there were many willing soldiers in the German host but, willingly or unwillingly, they were obliged to fight. They were his slaves driven to be killed on the fields of battle.

It was said that, while a benevolent population at home had been overwhelming ‘Private Thomas Atkins’ with puddings, tobacco, mittens, body-belts and pocket handkerchiefs, what he was most in need of was a mouth organ!

The British battleship, H.M.S. Formidable, was sunk in the channel. Nearly 600 officers and men lost their lives.

January 16
Obstinate fighting was reported in France. Positions were being taken and re-taken and a big German attack was expected. Persistent bad weather was impeding operations along almost the entire front.

A local soldier home on leave from the front wrote:
‘Twenty-four hours before I arrived in London I was sheltering from the German fire in a cellar at Ypres. In London I was quite bewildered by the light. For three months I have seen nothing but desolation, and the orderliness of London was strange in the extreme. There is not a blade of grass in the country from which I have come. There is mud everywhere. The streets had been ploughed up by shells or dug up for trenches. There is not a tree which has not been smashed to pieces anywhere around Ypres. Everywhere one sees ruin. Yes, there are still people living in the town but their condition is awful’.

January 23
A New Year’s Party was given by Mr E. Farrer and friends to the inmates of the Kendal Workhouse. It included a substantial tea and entertainment. The inmates were given tobacco, cigarettes, snuff, or tea according to their individual tastes.

The children attending Holy Trinity Sunday School at Holme, enjoyed a treat given by Mrs Mallinson of Curwen Woods.

Kendal was invited to do something towards helping to forward Lord Desborough’s scheme for a citizen army of defence, a million strong. At a meeting held in the town, it was suggested to form a Town or Home Guard on the lines of the Volunteer Training Corps under rules laid down by the War Office.

Photograph: of Corporal R. Morris of Kendal with the 2nd Borders. He was near a machine gun in the trenches and an enemy sniper fired at the loophole of the gun. The bullet struck the ironwork, glanced inside the shield and hit him on the head, killing him instantly.

January 30
The Headmaster of Milnthorpe national Boys School, Mr J. Tuson, gave an interesting review of incidents and features of interest during the war up to the present time, illustrated by a series of a hundred lantern slides. A collection realised £2.0s.3d for a Sock Fund and comforts to local men.

An address on the phases of the war was given at Heversham by the Rev S. Redman. Commenting on the heroic deeds already performed by the Allied Armies in the fields, he said that they had never been surpassed in history even from the campaigns of Hannibal and Caesar to the present day.

Private Stephen Moffatt of Hawkshead was returned from the front to a VAD Hospital in England suffering from rheumatism. He said that where he had come from was the worst place in the whole line. They were up to their knees in mud. They had a fierce battle on December 28. There were hundreds of dead lying about that could not be buried as it was too dangerous to try.

February 6
Photograph: of Lieutenant Stanley Hawkesworth of Ambleside was killed in active service during severe fighting at La Bassée in France. The Germans had broken through the line and made their way to the middle of the village. Hawkesworth took as many men as he could spare to cover a brother officer to try to drive them out. Poor chap, he only got about fifty yards when he was struck by a bullet and killed instantly. All his men were proud of him.

The Heathwaite Mission Sewing meeting at Windermere sent off its sixth parcel of comforts to the troops at the front. So far they had sent 69 pairs of socks, 12 belts, 24 mufflers, 5 helmets, 21 pairs of mittens, soap, stationery, pencils, peppermints, combs, buttons and boxes of ointment.

February 13
A procession of coffins was seen near the German advanced positions at Petrograd. Out of respect for the dead, the Russians ceased fire under the impression that they were watching an impressive funeral ceremony. Shortly afterwards they saw the Germans flocking round the coffins which contained supplies of bread!

February 20
A Patriotic Concert was held in St George’s Hall, Kendal. Among the songs were, ‘The Reveille’ which was enthusiastically encored, ‘The Little Admiral’ and ‘Tommy Lad’. £16 was raised for the St John Ambulance Brigade and YMCA camps.

At an entertainment given by the children of Skelwith Bridge School, there was a sketch ‘Tommy Atkins’ Army’ and the song, ‘The Soldier’s Farewell’. £1.5s.4d was raised for the Belgium Relief Fund.

February 27
A recruiting was posted on the gate of a cemetery within twelve miles of Kendal, reading, ‘Wake up you men, the country needs you’. It was thought that this represented a forlorn hope in recruiting!

Punch cartoon of a Prussian family having their morning hate.

A letter from a soldier from Grasmere read:
‘Although we have had some very rough times and have been in contact with the enemy pretty often, we always seemed to come out on top. We have had some very bad weather to contend with and men have suffered from frozen feet at Ypres. We stood for days and nights with a foot and a half of water in the trenches and we looked a rum lot when we left there having not shaved or washed for three weeks. I was pretty lucky having had shrapnel through my straps, overcoat and tunic, but it did not touch my skin.

March 6
Owing to the high prices of dairy cattle, feeding stuffs, labour, etc, the price of milk in Grange was raised to 3½d per quart.

March 13
Photograph of VAD nurses on page 12. During the night the first train load of wounded soldiers from the front arrived at the newly established VAD Hospital in Stramongate, Kendal.

March 20
Poland is a long way off but it is as much a fire zone as Belgium and its devastation and suffering are as grievous.

March 27
Private T. Burrows of Grange Fell went to Canada in 1913 and when war broke out he joined the 1st Canadian Contingent. He was a particularly smart soldier who spoke cheerfully and lightly of the life in the trenches. He was brought in unconscious with a wound in his head and died without regaining consciousness. He was regarded as a very promising and upright youth.

April 3
War Report from the Front:
‘The lull on the Front continued for four days. We succeeded in destroying one of the German anti-aircraft which had been annoying our aviators. The weather had become warmer and, despite the rain, the country was drying out. The troops we had recently forced out of Neuve Chapelle were of the German 7th (Westphalian) Army Corps, the same unit which drove back our troops 4½ months earlier. In spots, the ground about the German lines was powdered with a bright yellow fungus and so was the stagnant water in the older shell craters. It was due to the lyddite from our high explosive shells.

Lloyd George said in a speech, ‘We are fighting Germany, Austria and drink, and the greatest of these foes is drink’. Employers in the shipyards declared that the only way to get through the work was by total prohibition of the sale of excisable liquor during the war. In nine out of ten cases, lost time in the yards was due to drinking. King George set an example by giving up alcohol himself and forbidding its use in the royal household.

In accordance with the Order issued by the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Command, it was proposed that licensed premises in Kendal should open on weekdays from 10.30am-9pm and on Sundays from 12.30pm-2.30pm and 6.30pm-9pm.

A branch of the ‘Welcome’ to be known as the ‘Union Jack Welcome’ opened in Kendal for the wives and mothers of soldiers and sailors. It was open on Thursdays and Sundays in the Working Men’s Institute in the Market Place and was intended for women and children living in the Stricklandgate, Stramongate and Far Cross Bank end of the town. It was run on the same lines as the one in Captain French Lane.

Towns and villages in Westmorland collected eggs for sick and wounded soldiers and sailors. During one week alone Burton collected 840 making a total so far of 3,100. Sedbergh collected 816 and Dent & Cowgill 144. 1,800 were dispatched from the Melling depôt. Heversham sent 185 via the Mayoress of Kendal. Ambleside had so far sent 2,066 eggs to the national egg collection.

Sergeant Tom James of Holme was sent home for a few days to recover from two ribs broken during some sports held in camp. The regiment was leaving its quarters, probably for the Front.

Enemy submarine activity claimed many lives when passenger liners containing non-combatants were torpedoed. This behaviour by the Germans was considered barbarous.

April 10
The film ‘French Victory in the Vosges’ was shown at St George’s Theatre, Kendal. it was advertised as ‘The real thing at last’.

The secretary of the Recruiting Committee congratulated the Blackburn Birgade saying, “Do not relax your efforts when the full number has been achieved. Lord Kitchener still wants more men”.

Photograph of William Proctor (fake VC) as a boy. Details of his exploits written elsewhere by Roger Bingham.

Advertisement. Blacksmiths Urgently Required. Men desiring to enlist as Blacksmiths in the Royal Engineers are put through a test at their trade which is less difficult than the test for shoeing-smiths, eg be required to cut off a length of half inch round bar, bend it into a 5 inch diameter ring and weld to complete.

Advertisement. “When will the war end? Free competition. No entrance fee. The prizes valued at over £200, include 100 two-guinea suits. if a woman wins we will make a suit for the man of her choice. S. Redmayne & Sons Ltd, Kendal”

A Penny Collection for the sick and wounded was instituted by the St John Ambulance Association and the Red Cross Society.

April 17
War Report. The Allied Forces achieved a great victory at Neuve Chapelle. British losses were 2,500 killed and 8,500 wounded. Enemy losses were several thousand dead and more than 12,000 wounded. 30 of the enemy’s officers and 1,657 other ranks were captured.

Photograph of Private A. Sharp
Private A. Sharp of Kendal died in hospital at Versailles of wounds received in action. He served for about eight years with the 3rd Borders and was on the Reserve for a few years until the outbreak of war when he rejoined the colours in the King’s Own Lancashire Regiment.

May 1
Photograph of An Ambleside Soldier Family
Mr Abraham Bowe has five sons serving their country in a military capacity. Leonard and Abraham are in Egypt. John is on transport duty in France. Tom is on guard duty at Grayrigg and Christopher is helping to guard Arnside viaduct. A grandson, Charles Hemms, is also on transport duty in France. The father served for five years with the Cockermouth Volunteers and joined the Ambleside Company in 1865, remaining until he reached the age limit and had to retire as a Corporal, receiving the Long Service Medal. His son, Leonard, like his brothers, went to Africa during the Boer War.

May 8
Second Lieutenant F. Tomlinson of Bolton-le-Sands had fought through the night near Ypres and on the following day, with his platoon, captured six German snipers. He was later wounded in the arm and while walking to the hospital, a German shell exploded near him, killing him.

May 15
The passenger liner ‘Lusitania’ was torpedoed without warning causing the loss of 1,142 women and children. The German embassy had issued a warning that a state of war existed and that those sailing under the British or Allied flags would do so at their own risk. This incident caused intense anger against the Germans.

Comment in The Gazette was that angry Britons, when they hear of soldiers gassed, of wells poisoned and of the ‘Lusitania’ torpedoed, ask: “How are we to retaliate?” Retaliation in the same way renders the perpetrator despicable in the eyes of the world. Britain and her Allies went into the war with clear consciences. They must come out of it with clean hands, not stained with poison and innocent blood.

May 22
Private James Wood of Burton, with the 5th King’s Own R.L.R wrote: “Our boys are out of the trenches now but I don’t know for how long. We are into the second hundred of our men killed and wounded up till now. It is an awful job. The Germans are up to all kinds of games but we must stick to them or else they will be into England yet. I saw thirty-four German prisoners come past us and they looked about done up. I think they don’t know what they are fighting for. Two of our men went up to the trenches with a machine gun and they never came back. They were killed. There are dead horses lying all up and down the roads leading to the trenches.

*Photograph of Sgt. Joseph Hall of Silverdale
Sergeant Joseph Hall was seriously wounded at Ypres in his knee, shoulder, chest and hands. A notebook in his breast pocket was cut through leaving a scar on his chest. He had assisted in pushing back the Germans but was knocked out at the eleventh hour and it was thought that he had been killed so he was left all night in the trenches. He regretted that he was not able to be in at the final drive.

Poem by Pharos Junior entitled ‘The Shirker’:
Kendal sent twelve hundred men to fight the German foe.
What think these men who know full well a thousand more could go?
How will the shirker feel when those brave men come back?
And Kendal honours its brave souls whose courage did not lack?
Pity he whose courage fails and dares not meet the foe,
But shame on him who stays for gain and knows he ought to go.

The opening gala of the swimming season was held at the corporation baths in Kendal. Although the baths were crowded, the absence of so many members of the Swimming Club on war service meant that the gala was confined to juveniles which proved a tremendous success.
Recruits entering into the regular army and the Territorial force will now be accepted up to the age of 40 and the minimum height for infantry will be 5ft.2ins.

May 29
The Whitsuntide hiring took place. In Kendal there were a good number of female farm servants but fewer men. The recruiting meetings occupied the Market Place and the few men who were not hired kept away from them. At Shap there were a good number of men and boys as well as most of the local farmers. Not many women were on offer. The local recruiting officer did not meet with much success. At Appleby the attendance was rather below average. As many men and those married were stopping on, there was much difficulty in obtaining labour. High wages were asked and one or two were hired at over £30 for the half-year. With the exception of young girls, women workers were almost unobtainable and secured good wages. Ulverston was remarkable for the competition both for male and female labour. Many soldiers on active service and many young men in the local Territorial battalions, with many Reservists, joined in a big effort to recruit for the army.

With three others, Private Bert Shepherd of Grange was buried in a trench as a result of the explosion of a shell and was severely injured in one foot. Corporal Lewis Pennington of Grange was carrying official dispatches when the front forks of his motor-cycle broke and he was thrown, receiving injuries to his face and head.

June 5
Private T. Newton of Melling wrote home:
“Thank God I am alive. He looked after us and guarded us through the tortures of death and hell. We came out of the trenches at night having lost 45 men in our company alone and the following night went in again for a kind of Empire celebration. We attacked at daylight and got their trench. Then their artillery fire opened up and practically wiped us out as their trenches were knocked to dickens by our shell fire and, consequently, we had no cover from their shrapnel. We came out at night seventeen strong out of two hundred and fifty but we hung on once we had captured their trench till reinforcements arrived. The trench was full of dead and wounded, the Germans on the bottom and our men on top, poor fellows. The attack was nothing to the havoc we suffered from their shells. Some of the men went crazy. Some were only in the trenches for the first time.”

There were fun and games at Ambleside when a traction engine drawing the rolling stock out of Taylor’s amusement park got stuck in a field. A drain had given way and the two hind wheels of the engine sank up to the axle. It had to be jacked up and it was the following afternoon before the mishap was remedied. The Abbot Hall Children’s Sports were abandoned for the year. The Westmorland Agricultural Society’s Annual Show was abandoned this year.

Quarter-master Sergeant Atkinson of Kendal, who had been in Maymyo hospital, returned to duty having quite recovered from his

Private R. Gregson of Kendal met with an accident through the explosion of a petrol lamp while cooking, his face and arms being badly burned. The force of the explosion blew the windows out of the building. He is now doing nicely.

June 12
Lord John Sander’s Royal Circus and Menagerie (an all-British institution) visited Kendal for one day only, going on to Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick, Penrith and Morecambe afterward. Among the attractions were a Russian Cossack display and other equestrian performances, an elephants’ pantomime, clowns, wire-walking, performing lions and human flying machines.

Sergeant J. Armstrong of Ambleside was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government for conspicuous bravery in helping wounded French soldiers out of the firing line. He had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous bravery on many occasions, especially near Ypres where he repaired the trenches blown up by the enemy and conducted a party of bomb carriers into the fire trenches with great coolness under heavy fire.

Mrs Rawes’ old-established fish shop in Stramongate, Kendal, was closed owing to the high price of fish.
Children attending Grange Church Sunday School agreed to forgo their summer treat and to donate the money usually allocated to the event to the British Red Cross Society.

Captain A. Bingham of Kendal wrote home:
“I had rather a hair’s-breadth escape this morning. Any nearer and you wouldn’t see me again for a while. A ruddy great shell burst right on top of my trench and buried me in loose earth. Great lumps of steel flew all round me and ne’er a one touched me!”

June 19
Gilbert Gilkes & Co in Kendal are to make war munitions.

Old Hutton Sunday School Council sent £7.10s.0d, the balance of the annual Sunday School picnic, to the Red Cross Society.
St. Mary’s Infants School, Windermere, collected 15s.4d for comforts for soldiers and sailors.

Gawith, Hoggarth & Co of Kendal sent twenty-two parcels of tobacco to the troops and one parcel to a prisoner of war camp in Germany. Since the start of the war they have sent out ninety parcels.

Mrs Walker-Jones provided a tea for a meeting of the Burton wives and mothers of men serving in H.M. Forces.

June 26
As the roads were being tar-sprayed at Rydal, the boiler in which the tar was prepared caught fire, creating a great blaze and huge clouds of smoke. The fire was extinguished using a cart load of dust that had been swept from the road.

At the Annual Treat to Mrs Weston’s Sunday School class at Endmoor, instead of games and amusements, time was devoted to making garments for soldiers.

Private Tom Atkinson of Tebay, one of the first to join the Canadian Contingent, took part in the storming of Hill 60, the capture of Neuve Chapelle and the fighting around Ypres. He has on four occasions been made unconscious from gas poisoning, received shrapnel wounds in his arms and face and received two bullet wounds in his leg. He has been brought home to recuperate.

A war workroom was set up at Kendal Public Library for women to do work for French and English Military Hospitals, making bandages and clothing.

Private Albert Noble of Kendal was wounded at the Dardanelles when he was shot in the neck by a sniper. He had been standing in the trench and an officer asked for six men to go sniping. He volunteered and was just standing up putting on his equipment when he was shot. The doctor said he was a lucky chap to survive.

An officer from Kendal, serving at the Dardanelles wrote:
“I am one out of ten officers left in our battalion. Six were killed and the rest wounded and there are only about 400 men left. We were in a lull of a battle. We had engaged in a bayonet charge and captured a main Turkish trench. I got my first one there. He would have had me if I had not been pretty handy. I am the only officer in my Company now and am just realising that my pals have gone. I often wondered what a bayonet charge might be like. Now I know. We went about 150 yards with bullets whistling about our heads. We have had fifteen days on end in the firing line and are absolutely jiggered.”

July 3
*Photograph of Mr. George Thompson, National Reservist.
He challenged all young civilians between the ages of 17 and 19 from Bowness and Windermere to try to beat him on the rifle range at 200, 500 and 600 yards. The first to accomplish the feat would receive £1 from the Windermere Rifle Association.

July 10
Children at Torver School send parcels to the Torver soldiers at the Front. They visit every house in the parish and receive gifts of money and articles which they bring to the school. The money is spent on comforts and the parcels are sent each Friday to one soldier who shares the contents with other Torver men.

Forty sandbags were made by the Girls’ Friendly Society at their festival at Eversley.

*Photograph of Lieut Herbert Assheton Bromley, heir to the Dallam estates. He was killed in action at Ypres.

July 17
Sergeant G. Drewitt, R.E. of Kendal wrote:
“Yesterday morning, waking at about 3.30, I strolled outside for a smoke. The earth was wrapped in a beautiful feathery grey mist. In the distance were a windmill and the red tiles of a sleeping village. In the east the rising sun flooded the whole with golden shafts of light. Quietness reigned along our immediate front and as I stood there my soul cried out, ‘Oh, if only this peace would rest on all the tired souls of mankind, torn and distressed by this awful strife’. Hardly had I turned to go in again when the crackle of rifle fire burst out followed by the boom of heavy guns. It seemed like sacrilege to so disturb God’s peace. It is well that we can feel we are fighting in a righteous cause.”

The Grasmere Rushbearing was held as usual but without the accompanying gala.

*Photograph of Private J. Bond.
Private J. Bond of Endmoor was wounded during operations in Gallipoli. He had a lucky escape as the rifle bullet of a sniper entered the top of his back and came out at his neck. He said it was a treat to see the Ghurkas with their knives charging the Turks. When all the boys charged the hill the Turks ran like mad.

July 24
It was agreed that considerations of the arrangements for the next Mary Wakefield Festival were to be deferred until after the war.

July 31
Ambleside Rushbearing Festival took place again this year. The weather was the best experienced for several years but earlier rain reduced the number of flowers collected by the children. The town band accompanied the procession.

Sergeant G. Drewitt of Kendal asked, “Can any Gazette reader supply us with gramophone records of any size? We have a gramophone but very few records”.

War Report. Hill 60 having been successfully mined and captured was taken by the Germans by means of poisonous gas. The low hill forms the end of a ridge. The German trenches run in a double tier along the crest and upper slope. Our trenches form an irregular line along the edge of the lower slopes. The enemy is at the top of the hill and we are a little way up the side of it. There are huge craters everywhere. Torn and gaping sandbags are scattered in profusion and broken rifles, British and German, odds and ends of equipment, barbed wire and a mass of other debris lie down the hillside. Dead men have been lying about for some months. No-one dares to bring them out for burying. The trenches are wet and slippery, the floor covered thickly with rich brown mud. Despite the weather the men are cheerful and make little jokes among themselves. A man new to the trenches wanted to see how the land lay and rashly exposed his head above the parapet. He hardly had time to give one look around when a German bullet went through his brain.”

There were discussions on whether or not to agree to the LNWR’s intention to change the name of Burneside station to Burneshead to avoid confusion with Burnside in Scotland. Discussions were lengthy but in the end the idea of changing the name was given up by the railway company.

August 7
Excavations were carried out at the Roman Camp at Borrans, Ambleside and interesting things were brought to light. The foundations of the fort were uncovered together with a wall and small artefacts.

*Photograph of Sergeant G. Drewitt of Kendal
He wrote from France:
“If only the people of Kendal could see the refugees living here in a loft. How utterly hopeless they look. What would people in dear old Kendal think if all they loved was destroyed and the fine old church reduced to ruin? Nearly all the villages we have been through this week are like that. We have been on the march for a week, sleeping at a place as we passed through, and such wet weather day after day. We all long for fine weather to dry out clothes and boots. One of the worst discomforts are the flies which swarm over everything. Life here is anything but a picnic but it is a joy to know we are doing our duty for those we love at home.”

*Advertisement - ‘More Recruits Wanted’
Owing to the scarcity of male labour, Mrs R. S. Moffatt, wife of the Kirkby Stephen town postman, is acting temporarily as the rural postman on the Mallestang route.

Windermere, Bowness and District have sent fourteen units under the ‘Tubs for Tommies’ movement and two more are almost ready. A unit consists of five baths and will provide a hundred soldiers with a hot bath per day with all washing materials.

The children of New Hutton School made a collection on Empire Day for sending parcels to soldiers and sailors at the Front.

August 14
*Punch cartoon.
Caption: “Officer to boy of 13 who, in his efforts to be taken on as a bugler, had given his age as 16 - ‘Do you know where boys go who tell lies?’ Applicant - ‘To the Front sir’.”

It was proposed to buy Castle Dairy in Kendal by public subscription.

*Photograph of Private John Wilson of Kendal
He was killed by a stray shot piercing his heart. He enlisted in the 7th Borders and was transferred to the 6th Borders to join his elder brother, Albert.

August 21
Mary Wilkinson, a schoolgirl of Grasmere, received a letter from a wounded soldier thanking her for eggs. Driver B. Nicholson, R.F.A., in hospital at Aldershot wrote: “having received one of your eggs for breakfast this morning, I take the liberty of writing to you to tell you of my big accident. We were riding along at Aldershot with big guns and wagons when some sixty of our horses took fright. We could not hold them for love or money. I was centre driver on a six-horse team. We were descending the very steep hill called Gunhill and the wagons had six or seven tons on them. In the runaway the horses knocked down eight lamp posts and caused an explosion. I rode about a hundred yards when I was trampled on by my horse and kicked in the head, which knocked me unconscious. Then the wagon passed over my leg and broke it. I have a compound fracture and have had five operations. In the last one they put a silver plate in my leg with nine gold screws into the bone. I have been a raving maniac with the pain and am afraid, Mary I shall never be able to ride another horse. I am 24 years old”. (Did he end his letter with the customary words, “Hoping this finds you as it leaves me”?)

A Kendal man wrote from the Dardanelles:
“Oh for a pint or even a schooner of John Graham’s ale! This is a terrible job out here. People at home have no idea what it is like and I notice you don’t get much news of it in the papers. In the afternoons we go to the pictures in our pyjamas. We also go to a French gaff where they sing songs in some blimy lingo we don’t understand and we clap like mad at the finish.”

*Photograph of sandbag making at Bowness

Up to date, the boatmen at Bowness have bought material and have sewn and sent to the Front, with the help of friends, 5,300 sandbags. A poem by D.B.C. accompanying the photographs begins:
“We all are sewing bags for sand
To send out to that stricken land
Where our brave fighters at the Front
So fearlessly now bear the brunt.”

August 28
Due to there being two men named Thomas Allan in the same Company with the consecutive numbers 8050 and 8051 in the Dardanelles, Private Tom Allan of Old Hutton was reported killed. It was actually the Thomas Allan with the other number who was the unfortunate one. The Old Hutton man was wounded and taken to a hospital in Cairo.

A correspondent in a Swiss newspaper wrote of his experiences while visiting the British lines:
“What struck me most was the exact discipline, the perfect behaviour - thousands working together in order, neatness and a cheerful regard for comfort. Every camp gave the impression of a well-kept house.” (He obviously did not go to the front-line trenches!)

September 4
Nearly 200 Boy Scouts from 15 Westmorland troops were inspected at Windermere by General Sir Robert Baden-Powell. Addressing them he said that 2,000 scouts were doing coastguard duty round the shores, setting at liberty men for service in the Navy. He said that many Westmorland Scouts would like to be useful in that way and should remember that, by their training, there were many other ways in which a Scout could be useful.

September 11
Lord Robert Cecil said in a speech that we were within reach of a great success in the war which would have an enormous effect on all parts of the world. The war was now regarded as a national war which threatened the prestige and security of England. Our unshakeable faith in victory, our certainty of success was not based upon sentiment but on fact and logic.

Comment in The Gazette read:
There had been a debate about the soundness of entering on to the Dardanelles Campaign before any decision had been made elsewhere. The campaign was now recognised as brilliant whatever mistakes might have been made and that it would have a decisive influence on the course of the war. We could not withdraw with credit even if it were possible.

September 18
During the showing of the pictures at the Kinema in Kendal a firework bomb was discharged exciting the audience. It made a tremendous din. It went off in the sixpenny seats but most of the excitement was in the cheaper seats at the front where the audience was mainly women. Some swooned and one fainted away. The pianist, who was experienced in ambulance work, restored her. The film continued running. The following day two or three loaded bombs were found by a cleaner. The incident was probably a misplaced practical joke perpetrated by a soldier.

September 25
Private R. Travis of Kendal wrote from the Dardanelles how The Gazette was taking an active part at the Front:
“I had a very narrow shave of being hit. It had just put The Westmorland Gazette down to have a smoke when a shrapnel shell burst in the dugout. One piece went through The Gazette, one through my belt and three through my coat but I escaped without a scratch.”

On Sunday evening the platform at Milnthorpe railway station was crowded with people assembled to give a send-off to boys of the 8th Border Regiment rejoining the battalion at Aldershot. As the train moved off fog signals were exploded and there was a general chorus of farewells.

October 2
*Photograph of Private william Woodburn showing his battle scar
Private William Woodburn of Ambleside in the Border Regiment, returned from the Front with a German souvenir in the shape of a big battle scar on his forehead. He had been out in the Front nearly from the start and will be leaving for it again shortly. His comrades have given him the nickname of ‘tom cat’ as he seems to be possessed of more lives than one.

October 9
Twenty children from South Shields were brought to the Abbey Home at Staveley where they were to stay for the duration of the war. The buildings in which they lived in South Shields were taken over by the Government.

The source of Typhoid Fever in Kendal was found to be leakage from a sewer into the stream supplying the horse-trough in Beast Banks making the water contaminated and dangerous to drink.

An earth tremor in Westmorland and Cumberland was most strongly felt in the Lake District. People were awakened by banging doors, rattling windows and falling crockery.

October 16
The ha’penny post for postcards was reprieved following public persuasion when the Postmaster General announced that he wanted to increase the price.

October 23
The official story of the trial by court-martial and execution of Nurse Edith Cavell was made public. She showed the highest sense of honour and stated her actions with courageous truthfulness. Her last words were to an English clergyman four hours before being put to death: “I am happy to die for my country”. She had been matron of a nursing institution in Brussels and when the Germans occupied the city she declined to leave even though she could have escaped. She assisted Allied men of military age to get away to Holland and England and was tried and shot as a spy. She was British and brave.

Private George Washer of Holme went with comrades to look for a German patrol. They had only gone half-an-hour when a bullet or two came over. Washer’s companion did not know he had been hit as he made no sound. He managed to take George to a small hole in the ground, got his tunic off and applied a field dressing as best he could in the dim light. He eventually got him back to the doctor who attended him an sent him to the Rawal Pindi Hospital. The bullet had gone through his upper arm but it was only a flesh wound, not touching the bone.

October 30
While inspecting a portion of the First Army, in France, the King’s horse was excited by the cheers of the men and reared up. The King fell sustaining severe bruising. He was confined to bed for a few days.

November 6
A war film was shown at St. George’s Theatre in Kendal: “The bridge on the Yser”. It showed thrilling scenes based on actual incidents in the desperate fighting on the river.

A letter from Sapper J. Cheeseman, a prisoner of war in Germany had earlier complained about the poor quality of food supplied to the prisoners and now wrote:
“Thank you kindly for the food parcels. The apples were just lovely and to see the chaps gather round to taste an English apple would have done you good. The jam too was grand. You don’t need to send any more bread as we get it nice and fresh from Switzerland, but don’t forget the cake, please!”

A khaki armlet bearing the royal crown was issued to show willingness on the part of the wearer. It was a sign that he was enlisted and awaiting the order to join the colours or that he had tried to enlist but was medically unfit or that he had served and been discharged on medical grounds. It was expected that it would prevent such men of military age from being suspected or accused of being shirkers.
War Report. The enemy is using a new device, driving burning liquid into our trenches. This supported an attack made at Hooge. Most infantry in the trenches were driven back by surprise and temporary confusion by the burning liquid.

November 13
An airship sailed over Morecambe Bay, then turned over Witherslack in the direction of Windermere. As the sun sparkled on the ship it formed a pretty sight and a couple of Union Jacks flew fore and aft.

A depot for the collection of fruit and vegetables for the North Sea Fleet was opened at Burton. Wartime Economic Cooking was the title of a series of lectures given at Gatebeck to a fair number of ladies and some schoolgirls. A bazaar to raise funds for sending out Christmas parcels to men from Milnthorpe in the forces raised £17.

*Photograph of English Prisoners at Doeberitz

November 20
*Photograph of Private J.W. Troughton
Private J.W. Troughton of Underbarrow, serving with the 8th Borders, was killed by a bullet while working on a dugout. It hit him in the back of the head and came out through his forehead. He was bandaged and died four hours later. He was unconscious throughout and never spoke a word.

The German Prince Bulow said that Germany intended to arrange for peace. Among her declarations were that she would not arrange peace terms by international congress on the model of former congresses at Berlin and Vienna. She would conclude a separate peace with each of her enemies. She would not accept mediation of the United States nor admit to any American interference in European affairs. Germany would not allow Japan any voice in settlement of European questions. Her allies were to share her views and intentions. Austria was to regard peace with Italy as exclusively its own affair. Settlement of Belgium’s future to be exclusively Germany’s affair.
Lance Corporal T. Morris was awarded the DCM. He was in a bomb shelter when a bandolier of French bombs fell to the ground. The five-second fuse ignited. He immediately took the bomb and went into the communication trench but was unable to throw it away as there were men in the trench which was roofed for ten yards with wire netting. He ran to the end of the netting and threw the bomb which exploded immediately it left his hand.

November 27
Kendal Canal was frozen two inches thick with ice and people enjoyed the novelty of walking on it.

War Report. Our artillery has successfully bombarded the enemy’s trenches destroying the wire and breaching the parapets. The enemy made little reply. The artillery has been active at Loos, east of Ypres.

December 4
*Photograph of Volunteer encampment in Kendal Castle in 1874

December 11
Girls of a Burneside school made a house-to-house collection for supplying comforts to soldiers and sailors. People were asked to give 3d, or 1d and £4.16s.10d was raised.

*Photograph of Kendal brothers all serving in the forces.

December 16
*Photograph of laundresses working for the VAD hospital.

On Friday and Saturday there was quite a rush to Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale of Milnthorpe men wanting to be attested for enlistment. Having left it so late they were put to considerable inconvenience as the recruiting offices were crowded. Some men went on Monday and, to their surprise, were refused.

December 24
Mr Asquith reiterated the determination of the Allies to fight until victory was won. Germany was warned that the Allies were united and resolute.

It was reported that the most popular word in Germany was ‘Ersatz’ - substitute. The most famous ersatz was potato for wheat flour which was not as wholesome. Acorns, beech nuts, maple and linden seeds were being used in the making of oil and for feeding cattle.