ONE hundred years ago, one of the most dramatic incidents in world history took place in the far-off city of Sarajevo.

The assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife received just a short report, however, in the columns of the Southern Daily Echo the following day.

After all, problems in the Balkans were not unusual, even when it involved the death of such a high-profile European figure.

There was little reason for the readers of the paper here in Hampshire to believe that just 37 days later Britain would be drawn into the bloodiest conflict that the world had ever seen up to those times.

As we mark the 100th anniversary of those fatal events, the Southern Daily Echo begins its coverage of the First World War as seen through the pages of our publications at the time.

As we report today, local life went on. Amid the increasing alarm over the extent of the killings on the battlefields, Southampton, Winchester, Eastleigh, Hamble all continued to go about their every day existence.

Theatres were full, shops offered the latest fashions, local authorities met and debated issues of local importance. But behind the mask of familiarity was the ever-present horror of the war across the Channel.

Through our reports, we hope to bring alive again those times, a time we all hope may never be visited on mankind again.



Tragedies of the Hapsburgs

YET another ghastly chapter was added yesterday to the tragic history of the Royal house of Austria-Hungary, when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir-presumptive to the Imperial Crown, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinated at Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital.

The Archducal pair had been attending the manoeuvres in Bosnia, which concluded on Saturday. Yesterday they paid a visit to Sarajevo.

In the morning, when the Archduke and Duchess were driving in a motor car to the Town Hall, a bomb was thrown at the vehicle, but its occupants escaped without injury. After a reception at the Town Ball the Archducal party left for the Museum.

On the way a Serbian student fired two shots, the first of which struck the Archduke and the second the Duchess.

The motor car drove to the Konak, where medical aid was procured, but both the Archduke and Duchess succumbed to their injuries.

The murderer was arrested. It is stated that the crowd attempted to lynch him, and that he was conveyed to the police station with difficulty. The thrower of the bomb has also been taken into custody. It is believed that the plot is of Serbian origin, and that many persons are involved in it.


The account of the crime given by the Austrian Official Telegraph Agency, says the Times, is as follows: “As his Imperial and Royal Highness the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, with his Consort, was proceeding this morning to a reception in the Town Hall at Sarajevo, a bomb was hurled at his motor car. His Imperial and Royal Highness warded off with his arm the bomb, which exploded after the Archducal motor car had passed.

“Count Boos Waldeck and the Aide-de- Camp of the Governor, Lieutenant- Colonel Morizzi, who were in the next car, were slightly wounded. Of the public six persons were injured, some slightly, some severely. The man who threw the bomb was arrested. He is a typographer named Cabrinovic, from Trebinje.

“After the reception in the Town Hall, the Archduke continued, with his Consort, his drive through the town. A student named Prinzip, belonging to the highest class in the public school (gymnasium) a native of Sarajevo, fired several shots at the motor car with a Browning pistol. The Archduke was hit in the face and the Duchess was wounded by a shot in the abdomen.

“The Archduke and the Duchess were taken to the Konak (Governor’s Palace), where they succumbed to their injuries.

“Prinzip was arrested. Both he and the man who threw the bomb were almost lynched by the infuriated crowd.”


The Emperor, who left yesterday for Irchl to spend the summer in his villa, was naturally affected by the news of the tragedy. When his Majesty received the news he exclaimed, “Terrible, terrible! I am spared nothing in the world!”

He immediately resolved to return to Vienna.