Amiens Despatch in 1914 was an early example of the power of the press

An August 3rd 1914 News Letter announcing war. Later that month The Times published the famous Amiens Despatch war report
An August 3rd 1914 News Letter announcing war. Later that month The Times published the famous Amiens Despatch war report

Tuesday (August 30 2016) was the 102nd anniversary of the most seminal and significant wartime report of the First World War.

The Amiens Despatch was printed in a special Sunday edition of The Times (without a byline) and, although initially it was reviled by Parliament, the other newspapers and the public, it proved to be the first and most important despatch from the Western Front.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

It revealed the true extent of the German advance at the expense of the British Expeditionary Force.

Although severely redacted by the editorial staff of The Times, the Press Censor restored much of the text, hoping that it would exhort the enlistment of reinforcements.

It was this despatch which encouraged Edward Carson to permit the enlistment of the membership of the Ulster Volunteer Force, which resulted in the creation of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

It is a despatch that also reveals the power of the press.

The author of the Amiens Despatch was Arthur Moore, who was born in Glenavy and was raised in Newry.

Keith Haines, Belfast BT6