On 31 July 1914, the Elgin Courant adverts for bazaars, the Keith Show, church sales of work and the Elgin Mart suggested a sense of normality. The Morayshire Farmers Club Annual Show was well reported as were scout camps, a motor accident near Cullen and the Findhorn Regatta. But also “Peace or War: hanging in the balance” got prominence.
One week later, the editorial stated, "The future is dark with danger and anxiety, but let us hope that whatever is in store for us as a nation will be borne with fortitude and resolution".
The subsequent four and a half years of warfare brought about major changes which still impact today. Life in Moray would never be the same again, with the contributions of men, women and children on the Home Front being indispensable to the efforts of those on the Fighting Front.
Industry and commerce experienced radical changes in order to meet the needs of war, not least in relation to forestry, fishing and textiles, the latter benefitting from the need for uniforms. Women took on new roles and responsibilities in the work place and in society.
Local organisations, whether churches, boy scouts, girl guides the YMCA and many others rallied to the call, all with a focus on benevolence and public giving.
Government restrictions through the Defence of the Realm Act, War Loan appeals, conscription, British Summer Time, rationing of bread, sugar, meat and fats were new challenges to be dealt with.
Social changes were significant, the old order rapidly disappearing, peoples’ faith and previous certainties being challenged.
Sport and leisure remained necessary outlets, with the cinema, local bands and sports clubs contributing to morale and supporting the many wounded brought to Moray.
Floods, hard winters and ‘flu left their mark across Moray, the Cabrach changed for ever by the combination of weeks of snow at home and absent men on the Fighting Front.
The story of the Home Front in Moray and the fortitude and resolution of the people in Moray during those momentous war years demands our attention and contributions.