DAILY TELEGRAPH REPORTS ON LONDON WAR LOAN RALLY
London (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, February 16, 1917, the Daily Telegraph reported on a War Loan Rally held a day earlier in London's Trafalgar Square*. The Telegraph described the rally as "one of the most historic events of the war."
The British were celebrating the end of a successful war loan campaign. The event was marked by the tolling of bells from many London church steeples and by music provided by the Coldstream and Welsh Guards.
Addresses by the Mayor of Westminster and the Lord Mayor were augmented by the singing of the hymn "Oh God our Help in Ages Past," along with a recitation of the Lord's Prayer and singing of the National Anthem.
An honored guest at the rally was the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Shane Croucher of International Business Times writes that 136 million British pounds are paid each year, even today, on the World War I war loans. He also informs us that 99% of the remaining debt is owed to a handful of financial institutions which remain unidentified.
According to the Debt Management Office, 120,000 war loans remain. Originally, 3 million Britons purchased war bonds.
*Trafalgar Square is a public square located in the City of Westminster, central London, commemorating the British naval victory off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, Spain. The square, designed by Sir Charles Barry, includes a 169 ft. statue "Lord Nelson's Column." TS was completed in 1840.
"London's Rally: Scenes In the Square," The Daily Telegraph, February 16. 1917, www.telegraph.co.uk/
"World War I 100th Anniversary: UK Taxpayers Paying...War Loans to Secret Bankers," by Shane Croucher, International Business Times, August 4, 2014, www.ibtimes.co.uk/
War Bonds Advertisement (1918)