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First World War Timeline
July to September 1916

Places > Bedford > First World War > First World War Timeline

Based on local newspaper research in the Bedfordshire Times and Independent.
[Notes in square brackets have been added by the compiler to clarify, where needed, and to set the local event in a national context.]
Compiled by local historian Stuart Antrobus.

7 July 1916

P5 (Col 1)
'War Savings Certificates: Very many people are putting on the brake here and there round the circle of their expenditure in order that they may be able to take up either the Exchequer Bonds or the War Savings Certificates offered by the Government. This is entirely praiseworthy, but we want to emphasise the fact that by far the best way of helping the country in this matter is to form or join a "War Savings Association" – which is, in brief, a company of men and women, or boys and girls, clubbed together for the purpose of lending small sums towards the prosecution of the war.'

14 July 1916

P5 (Col 4)
Letter to the Editor from J. E. Down, 9 Waldeck Avenue, dated 11 July 1916 'The graves of the Highlanders: Sir, At present in our Cemetery may be seen 27 unnamed mounds covered with rough tufts of grass; these mark the last resting place of men of the Highland Division who died at Bedford, while in training for the front. There are, I believe, not a few people in Bedford who would wish to join in paying a tribute of respect to the memory of these gallant men, who were among the first to respond to the call of King and County, by contributing to place head-stones over the graves of those men, who lived among us, and died away from home... The Burial Board has undertaken to maintain these graves in good order and condition... On completion of this work it is proposed to have a photograph sent to the near relations of the deceased in Scotland.'

21 July 1916

P4 (Col 6)
'Notes of the Week: The most significant incident of the week has been the decision to give up the August Bank Holidays, and the autograph letter sent by General Haig to the munition workers at home. "Let the whole British nation," he says," forgo any idea of a general holiday until our goal is reached. A speedy and decisive victory will then be ours".'

28 July 1916

P5 (Col 4)
'Local War Casualties: News was received in Bedford on Tuesday of the death of Lieut. Millar, of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders, killed in action in France, July 18. During the time he was stationed in Bedford last year, he was stationed with Mr. C. Bowery, 12 Aspley-road. The news of his death was received with much sympathy a nd regret by the numerous friends he had made during his stay in Bedford. He was the youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Millar, "Glenarloch", 6 Argyle Street, Dundee.'

4 August 1916

P4 (Col 5)
'Corn Exchange Concert: After nearly two years the Sunday concerts at the Corn Exchange have ceased for the time being. To say that they have given Bedfordians and our soldier friends the greatest pleasure... is a mild statement.'
P7 (Col 3)
'Proposed Emergency Corps: Mr Alfred Paine has received from the Order of St. John and the British Red Cross Society an urgent appeal to form a Register of Voluntary Workers, who would be willing, when called upon, to meet the real and urgent need that exists for more workers in the hospitals and convalescent homes for the wounded.'

11 August 1916

P5 (Col 2)
'More Praise for the Bedfords: Tenacity, Valour and Fighting Spirit: The Bedfordshires have again been in the thick of the fight, and have once more acquitted themselves with honour and gained marked distinctions.'

18 August 1916

P8 (Col 3)
'Food Prices in Bedford: Our attention has been called to an article in a Sunday paper, from which we take the following quotation: - "I have received an interesting letter from Bedford calling my attention to the particular brand of food thieves with which this town is afflicted. No place stands in greater need of something to be done to keep down the unfair and cruel prices of the necessaries of life than Bedford, though Bedford had the name once of being a fairly cheap town".'

25 August 1916

P4 (Cols 4-5)
'Advertisement: '"The Daily Mail" Battle Postcards, Official Photographs taken on the battlefield showing all phases of the Great War.'
P4 (Col 5)
'The War Work Party at The Town Hall: Since January a War Work Party, organised by the Mayoress (Mrs Hockliffe)... consisting of between sixty and seventy ladies, have been doing a great work for the soldiers. They meet in the large committee room daily, except Saturday, and wear light cotton overalls and coverings for the head, as required by regulations where hospital supplies are made, the work being carried on under antiseptic conditions... All this work is supported entirely by voluntary donations...'

8 September 1916

P5 (Col 2)
'The Week's War: News Of Each Day In Brief: Monday -The great news on Monday was the destruction of a raiding German airship near Enfield... Tuesday – Naval aeroplanes made successful raids on the ship-building yards near Antwerp, and the aerodrome near Ostend... Wednesday – The main factor in the destruction of the German airship on Sunday morning, Lord French announced, was an aeroplane of the R. F. C. [Royal Flying Corps; the air arm of the British Army] manned by Lieut. W. L. Robinson, who has been awarded the V.C. [Victoria Cross]'

15 September 1916

P5 (Cols 6-7)
Notice: 'Visit to Bedford of Field Marshall Viscount French of Ypres. There will be a Flag and Flower Day, Saturday Oct 28 for the Town Hall War Hospital Depot'.

22 September 1916

P5 (Col 5)
'Wayside Shrines: By the end of next week every road, street and avenue in the parish of St Peter will have its wayside shrine or roll of honour, and inscribed on each will be the names of the men of that particular locality who are serving their King and Country. The scheme owes its inception to Rev. Percy G. Langdon. [Photo of one shrine at 13 Cavendish Street]'
P5 (Col 5)
'O.B.G.[Former Bedford School pupil] Airman Visits Bedford: Young Bedford thoroughly enjoyed itself yesterday morning. Soon after 11 o'clock a biplane of the latest type flew very low up the High-street, and disappearing over the houses, was judged to be making for a landing in the Grammar School field... the airman was Lieut. F. J. Grevelink of the Duke of Wellington's, attached to the R.F.C., who left the Grammar School in 1911... He has been with his regiment at the front for 12 months, and bears the scar of one wound on his right cheek. Only two months ago he joined the Flying Corps, and three weeks since he promised his mother to pay her "a flying visit"... The ladies of the adjacent streets, leaving preparations for dinner and other household duties, flocked in ...and the boys – well they had a rare time, until the civil and military police... cleared the ground.'

29 September 1916

P4 (Col 6)
'Trade Announcements: Prohibition of Dutch Bulbs (Owing to the above action, and rightly, we think) Old English Flowers... will be used for Spring Bedding. Sow Now... Laxton Bros., High Street.'
P6 (Col 3)
'How The Huns Treat Their Prisoners' A letter purporting to be from an escaped British POW, writing from Switzerland, writing to a friend in Bedford, complaining about his treatment in Germany and the poor food in particular.
P5 (Col 7)
'A group of Welsh soldiers got together on the Embankment on Monday evening, and sang a number of delightful part songs and hymns to native tunes. They did it most tastefully and beautifully, and a small crowd which had gathered round them gave the men a clap after each item.'

Page last updated: 1st May 2014