Even before war was declared, steps were put in place to reduce opening hours in areas where there were garrisons or armament factories. Obviously there was widespread appreciation of the fact that the British needed to have all their wits about them, not have brains befuddled by alcohol.
The state even took over the drinks trade in some areas of the country, including Carlisle. 3 of the 4 breweries were closed down, as were almost half the pubs. Rather surprisingly, the Carlisle experiment remained in place until the 1970s!
It was Lloyd George who persuaded the King to sign the pledge. On 6th April 1915, the following declaration was issued:
“No wines spirits or beer will be consumed in any of His Majesty’s houses after to-day, Tuesday April 6th, 1915 for the duration of the war.”
The King was leading by example – one which many others followed.
The British has asserted their moral superiority over the Germans.