THE following letter has been sent to us by Dave Brown, vice-chair of West Bromwich Local History Society. It was written by C. Sydney Bache, Mayor of West Bromwich, and published in the Midland Advertiser on 8th August, 1914, just four days after Britain declared war on Germany.
"Sir, may I through the columns of your newspaper impress upon all of the inhabitants the necessity at the present time of acting in a calm and thoughtful manner, and not to do anything to cause a feeling of panic either to themselves or their neighbours. Rumours of all kinds will be abroad: do not believe them, and do not repeat them until official confirmation is obtained.
"Many housekeepers have been purchasing more food than usual. This is both unpatriotic and unwise as even in normal times such a course would rise the prices and at the present time may bring distress on those not able to buy in large quantities.
"You may feel assured all necessary measures have been taken by those in authority to ensure a full and sufficient food supply for the nation.
"May I also ask the employers to continue their works and establishments in the same manner as they have done in the past and in no way foster the feeling of fright.
"Let West Bromwich show her patriotism by remaining calm and doing her duty."
Mayor Bache was foreshadowing that famous slogan of the Second World War: "Keep Calm and Carry On".