Research on this subject was completed before 'Local Studies' in the Central Library closed in 2012 to allow the move to the new Library of Birmingham. It was mainly based on twelve all-Birmingham and suburban newspapers over the relevant period. It deals with the city in the weeks before the war and the first eight weeks of the war. It will appear here in the future.

Content will include:-


The suffragette campaign, particularly the Bertha Ryland attack on a picture in the Art Gallery

Deaths of Joseph Chamberlain and Sir Benjamin Stone

The developing international crisis

Plans for a new Villa Park

Percy Jeeves plays for the Players versus the Gentlemen

Housing and health

Large Boy Scouts rally

The next Mayoralty

The Irish crisis

Territorials set off for camp at Rhyl

Minimum wage for Corporation workmen

Lord Roberts speech in Birmingham on national service

Holiday departures


Reactions to the outbreak of war/street scenes

Territorials return

Initial but limited anti-war protests

Brummies caught out on the continent

Mobilisation of the reservists

William Bowater becomes Lord Mayor

Rush to join up

Territorials leave the city

The 1st Southern General Hospital mobilised at the University

HMS Birmingham in action

Departure of the RGA from the Saltley works

Distress and unemployment concerns

Food supplies and prices

German 'aliens' register with the local police

Women make their contribution

First serviceman killed - Victor McKey, HMS Amphion

First officer killed - Captain Clutterbuck

Belgian 'atrocities'

Anti-German feelings

Response of the labour movement

Riot at Sparkbrook butcher's shop

Bowater raises the City Battalions

Football and the war

Arrival of Belgian refugees

Death of Robert Louis Jefferson, famous cyclist


Image description
Image description

Left: Funeral procession of Joseph Chamberlain

Above: Recruiting parade in the Horsefair in 1914