On July 28, 1914, one month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by a Serbian Nationalist, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Serbia, thus initiating the First World War. By August 4th 1914 Britain declares war on Germany, Austria’s ally.
Published at the start of the First World War this popular song ‘Your King and Country Want You’ penned by Paul Rubens, was written as a Recruiting Song often sung in the Music Halls which played a significant role in the recruitment of men to volunteer to fight in the war.
As more men went to war, jobs formally reserved for men became vacant, and for the first time women were actively recruited to fill these roles. New jobs were also created as part of the war effort, for example in munitions. The Gramophone Company Factories in Hayes, Middlesex were largely turned over to the manufacture of munitions during the war years, and by 1917 Britain’s munitions factories, which primarily employed women, produced 80% of the weapons and ammunition used by the British Army.
By the end of the war The Gramophone Company had lost its sizeable German business and was unable to regain control of it (it is still in operation today as the classical label Deutsche Grammophon). The company had also lost all of its operation in Russia due to the war and the subsequent Russian Revolution.
Photos: The Gramophone Company Staff & King George V visit to The Gramophone Company, Hayes, Middlesex, 1914 -1918
Recording: Madame Edna Thornton – ‘Your King and Your Country Need You’ – HMV 03390 – 1914
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