This week at The Archive we have been busy adding 144,382 brand new pages to our collection, including four brand new titles from England and Wales. We also have extensive updates to a very special best-selling weekly title, whilst our new pages this week span 160 years of headlines, running from 1801 to 1961.
So read on to discover which new titles are joining us this week, and to discover which record-breaking weekly we have added to, as well as finding out about a naval tragedy which struck one hundred years ago this week.
Our first new title of the week is the Midland Counties Tribune. First published in 1854 in the Warwickshire town of Nuneaton, it appeared every Saturday priced at one halfpenny. A distinctly Liberal publication, the newspaper called itself ‘The People’s Tribune’ and ran with a quote from politician and historian Thomas Babington Macaulay: ‘And None were for the Party, but All were for the State.’
With a circulation of 8,000, the Midland Counties Tribune put out the following claim:
The Circulation of the ‘People’s Tribune’ is Double that of any other Paper in the same District. It is read from house to house, in cottage and mansion. It is the accepted Organ of the Warwickshire Miners’ Federation. It is Read in every Miner’s Home in Warwickshire.
Indeed, the Midland Counties Tribune had strong ties to the local coal trade, including news from the nearby collieries. It ceased publication in 1956.
Our next new title also claimed to represent ‘the people,’ this time hailing from Carlisle. The North Cumberland Reformer called itself the ‘The People’s Paper,’ and appeared every Saturday priced at one halfpenny. It featured local and district news, the latest from the police courts and the city quarter sessions, as well as updates from the Highway Board, the Sanitary Authority, and the local schools. Within its pages you could also find nature notes, as well as serialised fiction of ‘romantic, sensational’ type.
Up next is the Cradley Heath & Stourbridge Observer. Published in the Worcestershire market town of Stourbridge, renowned for being the centre of the glass-making industry during the Industrial Revolution, this independent title was established in 1864. Costing one penny, it appeared every Saturday and circulated in Stourbridge and the surrounding area.
Our final new title this week is a Welsh one, the Bargoed Journal. Published in the Caerphilly town of Gelligaer, this newspaper was edited by one Percy S. Phillips and was also known as the New Tredegar, Bargoed and Caerphilly Journal. Featuring local news, advertisements, railway timetables and an intriguing section entitled ‘Caerphilly Cheese,’ this title appeared every Saturday.
We have something of a treat for you this week amongst our updated titles. A highlight of the week are the nearly 75,000 pages we have added to the Weekly Dispatch (London), which run from the newspaper’s inception in 1801 to its final year of publication, 1961. A Liberal title, it was known for ‘the vigour and independence of its original articles.’
But by 1903 the Weekly Dispatch was facing bankruptcy, when it was brought by Alfred Harmsworth and Lord Rothermere. They turned the newspaper’s fortunes around to make it the biggest selling Sunday newspaper in the United Kingdom. Changing its name to the Sunday Dispatch in 1928, by 1947 the title was selling 2 million copies per edition. However, by the early 1960s circulation had fallen, and in 1961 it merged with the Sunday Express.
We’ve also added new pages this week to the United Kingdom’s biggest selling provincial newspaper the Manchester Evening News, with pages also added to Swansea title the Herald of Wales, and Scottish publication the Irvine Express.
The K5 Submarine Disaster – 100 Years On
On 20 January 1921, tragedy struck when British submarine K5 sank at the approaches to the English Channel, claiming the lives of all 57 men on board. 100 years on from this disaster, one of the worst to strike the Royal Navy in peacetime, we discover how the news was reported in the pages of the Weekly Dispatch (London).
The newspaper, appearing three days later on Sunday 23 January 1921, carries news from the Secretary of the Admiralty, who announced ‘the loss of Submarine K5…with all hands on Thursday, January 20.’
K5 was on her way to the Bay of Biscay with part of the Atlantic fleet, which included four other submarines, to participate in a mock battle. The Weekly Dispatch describes what happened next:
They left Portland on Monday, but encountered bad weather in the Channel and were forced to put into Torbay, Devon, where they remained until Wednesday evening. The following day, it is stated, they were about 120 miles south of Land’s End, Cornwall. The five vessels submerged together, but later only four came to the surface. K5 was missing. Destroyers searched the vicinity for some time without, it is said, finding any trace of the missing boat.
K5 had been sunk, and ‘without any hope of salvage,’ having foundered 120 miles from Land’s End. The immediate cause of the disaster was unknown, although it was later theorised that she had gone past her maximum depth, causing her to be crushed.
The loss of the submarine and her men caused grief across the country, but it was acutely felt in the naval city of Portsmouth. A Weekly Dispatch correspondent described the ‘painful effect in the naval quarter of the town, where the members of the crew were known…As recently as Monday they were spending their leave with their families.’
Commanding the K5 was a hero from the First World War, Lieutenant-Commander John A. Gaimes. The Weekly Dispatch writes how he had ‘discovered a secret passage through the minefields to Heliogland,’ his efforts rewarded with a D.S.O. in 1918. Gaimes was fresh from a visit home to his sister and mother at Gillingham, Kent, his sister recalling how:
He was then in the highest spirits, as he always was…and was looking forward with some keenness to his next trip.
Another victim of the disaster was Stoker Charles Alfred Ellis, from Ponders End, Middlesex. His widow spoke to the Weekly Dispatch, describing how she had received a message from the Admiralty a day previously with the news that ‘the K5 was reported missing with all hands.’ She had only found that he was due to join the submarine the day that it sunk.
There were a couple of men who had a lucky escape, however. Commander Dark had traveled with the K5 to Torbay, where he then left the submarine. Another ‘one or two’ men went on leave before the submarine sailed, escaping the fate of their comrades.
The loss of the K5, a submarine which had played a ‘notable part in the Battle of Jutland,’ was Britain’s worse peacetime submarine disaster up until that point (the worst was the sinking of HMS Thetis on 1 June 1939, in Liverpool Bay). We take a moment here, one hundred years on, to remember the crew who so tragically lost their lives that day.
|Midland Counties Tribune||1895-1896, 1898-1911, 1913-1957|
|Cradley Heath & Stourbridge Observer||1881|
|North Cumberland Reformer||1894|
This week we have updated eight of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Weekly Dispatch (London)||1801-1804, 1806-1807, 1814, 1817-1819, 1851, 1869, 1871-1901, 1903-1922, 1925-1933, 1935-1939, 1941-1961|
|Manchester Evening News||1923|
|London Daily News||1921, 1939|
|Brighouse & Rastrick Gazette||1883-1888, 1890-1895|
|Warrington Examiner||1883, 1890, 1892-1893, 1895|
|Herald of Wales||1890|
|Lancaster Standard and County Advertiser||1901-1902|