Penwith St Ives Uncategorized West Cornwall (and local history)

Reports from Cornish Newspapers in 1914-The Outbreak of War

A postcard of The Cornish Arms Hotel in New York-frequently advertised in The Cornishman
A postcard of The Cornish Arms Hotel in New York-frequently advertised in The Cornishman


Up until August 1914, The Cornishman and the St Ives Weekly Report contain many detailed reports from abroad. These include the Cornish in America, Canada, South Africa. Many Cornish people travelling to the States will have responded to the large adverts in the Cornishman for the famous hotel in New York

Without doubt, however, the greatest concern appears to be about Nationalist Rebellions in Ireland.  The only reference to the possibility of  an outbreak of war- reading between the lines- concerns the speeches in support of building more dreadnoughts. Money appeared to be of no real concern  to the advocates of building more battleships.

The effect on the Fishermen and Families
The effect on the Fishermen and Families

When war broke out many fishermen in St Ives were immediately affected and the effect on many of them, their families and the price of fish was very soon to follow. Many were called up within hours and summoned as members of the Royal Naval Reserve to Davenport and had to leave by train for that destination. A newspaper report states that when addressed by Mr Stephen Reynolds, Inspector for the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, he was told that some 160 fisherman were on active service with about the same numbers of families affected. Two-thirds of the summer Herring Fleet were laid up and the price of fish and particularly Crayfish that would otherwise have fetched a fine price in Paris were catastrophically affected.


The details of this call=up are very moving since we only have to turn to the next couple of weeks to learn how many will have been aboard ships which sank or been caught in the first defeat later at Mons. The accounts of farewells said above the peaceful beaches and the brass bands playing can still be imagined by anyone walking out of the town. There is a strange mixture of fear and jingoism apparent in the newspapers. There were worries about the supply of wheat which caused fears about  starvation; there were food riots in Camborne. Other articles show a concern about possibilities of aerial attack from Zeppelins and tables showing their limited range were the subject of articles in the press.

Vulnerability to Aerial Bombardment
Vulnerability to Aerial Bombardment




The Zeppelin Threat
The Zeppelin Threat

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