Thanks to all those programmes on the telly, I think I’ve got a rough idea about why and how the First World War happened.
That stuff about the empires, the alliances in Europe, who got on with who in Europe’s royal families, the big battles, what life was like in the trenches at Gallipoli and Passchendaele …
I sort of remember the poems from school, and bits of the massive BBC documentary series in the ‘sixties, and “Oh! What a Lovely War”, and Blackadder going over the top …
… but I realised a couple of weeks ago that didn’t have a clue about what life was like in Leeds at the time.
So I went to the library for an afternoon to look at the local newspapers of 100 years ago. And I thought I’d share what I found.
So, regular readers (that’s you, Max and Tilly Savile-Rowe of Chapel Allerton), take this as a warning that occasional posts are now going to crop up when I find something in the library that looks interesting.
They’ll be clearly marked #LEEDS1914, Max, so contemporary people such as yourself will know it’s only HISTORY and won’t feel obliged to read it.
Back to the library
I started looking at papers from the first week of March 1914. And there was, of course, no hint of any coming war.
What was there?
– a Briggate landlord taken to court over a drunk found in the vaults of the rammed Albion pub;
– a man of the cloth saying you’d find more vice in a week next to his church in Leeds than you would in Paris in six;
The first five stories – the ones with the links above – have been posted. The plan is to post more every couple of weeks or so.
All human life will be there. Contributions welcome.