August 1914 - war is declared and the Army and Navy Reserve are quickly called up. The need for recruitment continues, while troops are trained at home and in England before going to France and Flanders and other foreign fields. Many men of the fishing communities exchange fishing for minesweeping and other naval service.
Industry and farming are affected and increasingly rely on female labour. There is a change of emphasis for the textile mills as they move from making estate tweeds and other cloth to producing khaki and army blankets. Forestry and sawmilling become of vital importance with the help of the Canadians.
Preparations are put in place to deal with any wounded. Local hospitals, big houses and even castles are identified as possible locations, but the full scale of what will happen cannot yet be imagined. Indeed will the war be over by Christmas? But Christmas at home and at the Front will bring its own challenges.
Local communities and organisations focus on fund raising and on initiatives to support the men at the Front. Crucial for morale are the local weekly newspapers, not least The Northern Scot based in Elgin.
This section of Moray’s War is based on the reports, editorials and correspondence contained in The Northern Scot from the outbreak of war in 1914 to the end of the hostilities and then the peace process.
It consists of the articles written by Derek Bird of The Western Front Association and published weekly in The Northern Scot from August 2014. These articles reflect what was reported in the paper, that same week, 100 years before.
Moray’s War is grateful to The Northern Scot for permission to publish these articles and to Derek Bird for his most informative contributions to the story of Moray during World War I.