On 8 August 1914, the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), saw the Government clamp down on what could be published. Newspapers were restricted on what they could write about the war and there was often a time delay in reporting events.

Despite these restrictions local newspapers in Moray gave extensive coverage to what was happening, while also giving effective coverage of life in Moray and not least the support given to the war and the wounded. In a world without radio and television, newspapers played a key role in informing and shaping opinion.

Reports and adverts give a valuable insight to life at that time. The papers were also helpful in publishing letters from the Front and from Moray people working elsewhere, as well as the continuation of local themes. Local poetry, of variable standard, was a regular feature.

Generally there are few photographs of local activity. Photographs, to a considerable extent, were restricted to those killed in action or serving in the forces, golden weddings, deaths of local dignitaries or appointments of councillors or ministers.

The photographs in the Northern Scot Christmas Numbers for 1914, 1915, 1916 and 1919 - there were no editions for 1917 and 1918 – give helpful coverage of life in Moray at that time, with the emphasis on Morayshire rather than Banffshire.

Local newspapers published during World War 1 and available at Moray’s Local Heritage Centre include:

Banffshire Advertiser

Banffshire Herald

Banffshire Journal

Dufftown News

Elgin Courant

Forres Gazette

Forres News

Northern Scot

Strathspey & Badenoch Herald


Banffshire Advertiser part of front page
Extract from the front page of the Banffshire Advertiser of Thursday August 8th, 1918