DCSIMG

How did Chad cover the start of The Great War?

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editorial image

It may have become known as The Great War that cost millions of lives, but the importance of the First World War may have failed to ignite the imagination on home shores when it first began.

This week marks the 100-year anniversary since the outbreak of the war, and sifting through the Chad archives from 100 years ago this week, we find the old Mansfield Chronicle did not find it newsworthy enough to raise the issue on their front page.

Instead, news of the start of the conflict was relegated to page two, and only a few columns at that.

Was this symptomatic of the attitude towards the start of the war, following the nonchalant ‘over by Christmas’ theory?

Perhaps more likely is that nobody really understood the unimaginable horror that was waiting, and four years of fighting that would engulf and decimate Europe.

Under the subject of ‘The European war’ it described Monday, 3rd August as ‘one of the most fateful days in British history’ and ‘neutrality in Europe was an impossibility’, following speeches made by British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey.

One adjacent column in the Chronicle simply reads’ Britain to fight’, with the subheadings ‘War declared on Germany’ and ‘Britain to save Belgium at all costs’.

The article focuses on the ultimatum telegrams sent to Germany to stay out of Belgium which were ignored.

Surely it was only a matter of time before the blood and horror seeped onto the front pages?

 

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