On Monday 9th August, 1914, the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser reported:
THE GREAT EUROPEAN WAR
By the beginning of the week, five European nations were involved in war – Russia, Germany, France, Austria and Serbia and before the middle of the week these also included Belgium and Great Britain.
The first movement was by the German troops having entered the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, and 100,000 men were on Sunday crossing the Duchy and concentrating on the French frontier. French territory had been raided at Circy.
French territory had been invaded by the Germans at Circy, on the frontier, and they were marching on the port. This act, it was pointed out, had been committed without a declaration of war. A German force also marched on the French fortress at Longwy.
"The whole responsibility for the present situation and anything that may eventuate rests with Germany, declares M. Cambon, the French Ambassador in London.
So began the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser's announcement of war. The commencement of the First World War conflict was as keenly felt and widely communicated in Lanarkshire as it was in all other parts of the country.
The county’s newspapers and periodicals all carried the news in their first editions after war was declared, with several offering in-depth analysis of the run-up to and actual declaration of war. This comprehensive coverage was in stark contrast to the usual short, clipped style of reportage which normally conveyed the news of the day.
A striking note to consider at this early stage of the conflict is in the tone of the reporting. This example highlights the early article paragraphs detailing the latest military situation and build-up in Western Europe, whilst later on in the article the report outlines the myriad reasons behind the prevailing and febrile mood of international tension. However, a telling point comes within our extract almost at the beginning of the article, whereby the paper reports:
The whole responsibility for the present situation and anything which may eventuate lies with Germany.
It is clear, even at the inception of the conflict, that throughout Lanarkshire, as the rest of the world, this will be a war of where nationalist sentiments will be very much at the forefront.
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