The Bradford Daily Telegraph described this as the first touch of war enthusiasm made manifest. No sooner had the men arrived at work that morning, Government envelopes were placed in their hands and they knew the time had come for them to leave. The men went straight back home to don their uniform and pick up their kit bags which were already prepared.
A hundred postmen went to see them off , most of these were also reserve military men and an intense patriotic fervour was clearly evident. “Are we downhearted?” cried the men and a full throated yell came as answer, “No!”
The Naval comrades were regarded as heroes already and could have had anything they wanted from the crowd. First there was a ‘farewell refresher’, drunk to the accompaniment of a lusty rendition of For they are Jolly Good Fellows. At the station kiosk there was a run on cigarettes, cigars and tobacco with dozens of packets of ‘Woodbines’ being pushed into the sailors’ kit bags.
A great crowd of holiday makers showed even more enthusiasm and sang “Rule Britannia” and the National Anthem. With deep earnestness and bared heads the entire crowd joined in.
Behind the crowds, small groups of women, some of them with prams, tearfully looked on. One young man kissed his wife and child saying, “Cheer up, we will soon be back!” The men boarded the 10.25 Express to Bristol from where they would disperse to their units in Devonport, Portsmouth or wherever the War Office decreed.