Outbreak of war fails to move city residents

Historian Peter Cullen will lead special tours of the Toowoomba and Drayton Cemetery this weekend as part of 100-year commemorations of the start of the First World War.
Historian Peter Cullen will lead special tours of the Toowoomba and Drayton Cemetery this weekend as part of 100-year commemorations of the start of the First World War. Bev Lacey

TOOWOOMBA residents were perhaps too busy marvelling at the wonders of household electricity or enjoying the latest pictures at The Strand to be troubled by the initial announcement of the First World War.

A notice in the Toowoomba Chronicle on August 6, 1914, questioned the patriotism of its readers.

It was a part of coverage of Australia's pledge, made on August 4, to join Britain in its war against Germany.

The pledge came after war was declared in Europe on July 28, exactly 100 years ago today.

"Brisbane, Ipswich, Dalby and other centres have shown their live loyalty in various ways," it read.

How The Chronicle reported the start of the First World War.
How The Chronicle reported the start of the First World War.

"Are there no patriots in Toowoomba?

"Why not a demonstration at the Austral Hall?"

>> Check out part one of The Chronicle's 100 YEARS OF ANZAC SPIRIT inside the newspaper today

The city's residents had in January seen the opening of the Air Crystal Palace Picture Gardens in Margaret St.

In April, new owners renamed it The Strand.

Reticulated power was also connected to homes in Toowoomba's suburbs for the first time.

A mainstay of Toowoomba's theatrical scene, the Toowoomba Philharmonic Society, staged its first musical comedy, The Country Girl.

Toowoomba historian Peter Cullen is confident a tour planned this weekend of the Toowoomba and Drayton Cemetery will give residents insight into the Darling Downs residents who enlisted for duty.

"These tours will recognise the contribution of many who served and in some cases gave their lives in wars from the time of Napoleon to the present," Mr Cullen said.

"There will be special emphasis on the two world wars."

The tour will be held from 10am on Sunday.

For more information, or to book, call the Toowoomba Local History Library on 4688 6150.



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