Cambridge Business and the Great War

Unsurprisingly, Cambridge businesses were keen to stress their patriotic credentials during the First World War. In the month that the Expeditionary Force landed in France, August 1914, Horniman’s announced no increase in the price of their tea. A month later Eaden Lilley, conscious perhaps of some customer grumbling, placed an ad in the Cambridge Chronicle, as follows:

‘Important Notice. Owing to the number of our assistants who have volunteered for service at the present crisis, our shops will be closed from 1 to 2 p.m.’

In December 1914, Dunlop came up with:

‘Are You Helping? In this crisis it behoves all Britons to help one another … Users of motors or cycles can help home workers by demanding British Dunlop tyres … Foreign tyres – European or American – mean foreign profit’.

Woe betide any business with a German-sounding name! The jewellers in Market Square took out an expensive notice, again in the Cambridge Chronicle:

‘Mr. Alfred Wehrle asks us to state that the story which has been circulated to the effect that he is of German nationality, is totally incorrect … He is as patriotic a Britisher as is to be found anywhere, and as long as 43 years ago joined the Cambridge Volunteers, with whom he served for 10 years.’

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