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Weekly begins look back at First World War

A weekly newspaper has reminded readers how it covered the outbreak of the First World War as part of a series of features to mark the approaching centenary.

The Dewsbury Reporter kicked off its commemorations by publishing a page five story headlined ‘Eight Nations at War’ from 8 August 1914 – four days after Great Britain declared war on Germany.

Over the next 12 months, the newspaper and the Mirfield Reporter will be looking back at the men of Dewsbury and Mirfield who fought for their country to ensure that the stories of local soldiers are never forgotten.

Reporter Series editor Hannah Ridgeway is appealing to readers for pictures, diaries, newspaper cuttings, letters and medals to help shine a light on what the people of Dewsbury and Mirfield endured between 1914-1918.

The Dewsbury Reporter from 1914 reveals the outbreak of war

Said Hannah:  “The Reporter Series titles have hundreds of years of history behind them. It was a wonderful use of our precious archives to uncover how we broke the story to local people a century ago.

“This article is ahead of a broader look at aspects of the First World War, locally and nationally, which will run across all our Yorkshire titles in-print and online starting next month.”

The first archive story, pictured above, describes ‘great crowds surrounding Dewsbury Rail Station as the soldiers boarded trains to the barracks – and into a war from which they might not return’.

It also reported how hundreds gathered outside Dewsbury Town Hall to read Royal Proclamations about the war, which were ‘eagerly scanned… until darkness closed in’.

Territorials from Eastthorpe and Mirfield were cheered on their way as they set off for Grimbsy, where the Reporter said they 
were to take up duties in Grimsby connected to home defence work.

If you would like to share your family and friends’ stories of the war, on the front lines or back home, contact reporter Georgina Morris on 01924 487110 or email [email protected].