During February 1917, a very large number of people were transferring their savings at the post office into war bonds in aid of the war loan.
Miss Stewart at the Blantyre Post Office and her assistants were kept extremely busy, forced to keep open the post office until late hours for much of that month. Such was the demand for funding the war, even schoolchildren were being encouraged towards being thrifty and saving. It was a way for many children to feel like they were contributing to war efforts too.
Businesses also got in on the action, offering to make a special deducton on wages of employees, setting it aside for the war loan. Messrs William Baird & Co offered this to their mining workforce with many of them taking it up. Workers and officials at Priory Colliery contributed £3,200 towards the war loan with 2s per week being deducted for every £5 war bond share.
Of course, people did this on the basis that there would be expectation that it would be repaid back to them after the war by the government.
To show just how debt ridden the UK became during WW1, it took until 2015 for the remaning WW1 debt to be cleared when then UK the Chancellor George Osborne paid £1.9billion to the last remaining 120,000 investor companies and individuals, a legacy due in many cases to the relatives of people no longer alive who had initially contributed.
The payout drew a final line under WW1 debt for Britain.
From the forthcoming book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2019
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
John Cornfield Did any of the landed gentry or aristocracy Royal Family etc not take up the baton and help the country out ? Or is that a stupid question? Oh that’s right they were the people who were still getting pay 💰 back 100 years later.
Gerry O’Donnelly I can just imagine all the well off children of miners queuing up at Blantyre post office to buy war bonds with their spare cash !!!!
Bobby Paterson You not old enough to have been on the queue ????
John Cornfield Bobby Paterson you would know Boabby