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First World War Timeline
July to September 1918

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.

5 July 1918

[This edition, only, reverts to large-page format]
P6 (Cols 1-7)
7 photos & detailed description of the day 'The King and Queen Visit Bedford June 27th.'

12 July 1918

[Newspaper returns to small-page format]
P5 (Col 3]
'Comrades of the Great War:... Lieutenant Talbot Jarvis has been asked by the Lord Lieutenant [Mr. S. H. Whitbread] to call a meeting to explain the objects of the Association and to form a branch in Bedford.'
P6 (Col 5)
'The League of Nations (By J.A. Spender)... we are beginning to understand that militarism never can be extinguished until we have something else to be put in its place... it can only be by establishing in the world a new system of international relations which treats war as a crime against humanity and provides a way of punishing and restraining war-lords and war-makers... when President Wilson [USA president] came into the war... [he proposed] a League of Nations to prevent war.'
P8 (Col 1)
' "Our" Prisoners of War: There are 24 men belonging to the Bedford Regiment who are known to be prisoners of war in Germany at the present time. The food provided for them by the Germans is utterly inadequate for the bare maintenance of life. What is Bedford going to do about it?...An appeal has been issued by the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor of Bedford for subscriptions amounting to £3,000 a month... We appeal to our readers throughout the county to volunteer their help...'

26 July 1918

P7 (Cols 5-6)
International Stores advertisement (printed upside down!): 'To Our Customers: These are difficult days in the food supply trades. If you cannot always secure the precise quality or kind of rationed food that you would want please remember that we cannot now select our supplies, but have to accept the supply allotted to us. We are giving, and will continue to give, every effort to secure the best possible service for our customers. Each of us can help the other by a good-humoured acceptance of the smaller difficulties that bother us both, and by an appreciation of how much more serious they might have been.'

2 August 1918

P8 (Col 2)
Advertisement for Solomon's. 131 Midland Road 'The Talk of the Town: Solomon's New Colour Photography See Our Showcases.'

9 August 1918

P6 (Cols 2-3)
'Remembrance Day: Church Parade on Bedford School Field: Celebration in the Churches: Sunday, August 4, the fourth anniversary of Britain's entry into the War, was observed as "Remembrance Day" with great solemnity throughout the country. Remembrance was accompanied with thanksgiving , for the opening of the fifth year found the nation thrilled with the splendid news from the Western Front, though impressively silent, for the horrors of four terrible years had bitten into the very soul of the people.'

16 August 1918

P6 (Cols 6-7)
Advertisement for War Savings Certificates [bearing a square 'swastika' logo for National savings]: "Notes on Savings: No.1 – How to save on Gas... Invest your Gas Savings in War Savings Certificates.'

23 August 1918

P6 (Cols 3-5)
'Mr. W.T.A. Foot's First Public Speech As Labour Candidate for the Bedford Division: ... The Chairman [Mr. C. Chesher] said the workers had definitely come to the conclusion that neither Liberal nor Tory could serve the cause of Labour. The facts of today were conclusive evidence that the interests of one class were not the interests of the other. It was useless to expect favourable legislation unless they had a majority in the House of Commons – that was the only way of obtaining redress... The Effects of Demolibilsation... eight million people had been employed in the processes of war... about five million soldiers... three million men and women were engaged in making munitions of war or in trades essential to the war. Directly peace was declared these ...would be put on the streets... during the last four years the profiteer and capitalist could not shake off ...the making of profits. Everyone knew what had been going on...'

30 August 1918

P5 (Col 5)
'The Coal Shortage: A Practical Solution: view of the serious shortage of coal the roots of the trees brought down by the great Blizzard of 1916 should be distributed among the people in country districts... German prisoners might be engaged for chopping up and carting the wood. It is estimated that in Kempston alone, there are 1,000 butts littering the landscape and serving no useful purpose. What a saving of coal would be effected in Kempston alone if this wood... were distributed.'

6 September 1918

P3 (Col 4)
Notice from the Coal Mines Dept. of the Board of Trade : 'A critical Decision Revealed: Britain's Sacrifice for Liberty: It was a moment of grave peril. The British Army was in danger of being driven into the sea. The Germans had almost separated the British and French Armies. The French coalfields were overrun. Would the next push get through? Could the Allied Armies stand the strain till American help arrived. The Supreme Allied Army Commanders saw the only way to save the situation. They had to take the men. They had to take the coal. 75,000 more Miners were called to the colours. Our winter coal reserves were sacrificed to save the Armies and to bring the Americans to the front. The decision, grave as it was, has been splendidly justified... The saving of the Armies has meant a shortage of coal. Still more coal is required. Discomfort is inevitable. Everyone must use less coal. The more Coal saved the greater our power to defeat the enemy.'

13 September 1918

[Newspaper reverts to its normal full-size page format from now onwards]

P6 (Cols 6-7)
Government notice: 'Corn Production Act, 1917: Agricultural Wages Board (England and Wales): Proposal To Fix Minimum Rates Of Wages For Female Workers In Certain Area Of England And Wales.'

20 September 1918

P5 (Col 6)
Head and shoulders portrait photo and personal appeal [one of many to be seen over many months in the local newspaper]: 'Information Wanted: Pte. P.J. Fowle, 58014, King's Liverpool Regt., officially reported wounded and missing on March 24th (presumed near St. Quentin). Any information from prisoners of war or others will be gratefully received by his father, James Fowle, 34, Elstow Road, Bedford.'
P6 (Cols 4-5)
'Prospective Candidature of Mr. F.G. Kellaway, M.P.: ...a meeting was held of the Council of the Liberal Association ... of Bedford... to invite Mr Kellaway to become the prospective Coalition candidate for the next Parliamentary Election for the Bedford Division... [they agreed to contact the Conservative and Labour associations to invite them to support Mr Kellaway as a Coalition candidate in order to enable a government of unity to deal with the end of the war].

27 September 1918

[Small page format for next three weeks]
P7 (Cols 5-6)
Propaganda advertising by International Stores, including line drawings of a solder and a sailor, both with rifles: 'Carrying On! We are inclined to take pride in our record for the four years of War. 2,500 of our trained men have left us to join the Forces. We have had to fill their places with women who were, of necessity, inexperienced in the trade. We have had to undertake a huge increase of work to carry out the various rationing schemes. We have met our difficulties as they arose with the minimum of disadvantage to our customers. If new ones arise, we shall still hope to overcome them and to Carry On.'

Page last updated: 1st May 2014