AS we look forward to what is being predicted to be a heatwave, the Echo looks back at when not just temperatures were soaring, but so was the political climate.

It was 108 years ago this past week when political temperatures were steadily reaching boiling point across mainland Europe as a summer heatwave gripped Southampton and many other towns and cities in Britain.

A violent thunderstorm overnight had helped temper the scorching temperatures across many parts of the country, which reached 90F (32C) in some southern areas.

With the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife seemingly a long distance away, the sunshine was proving something of a boon for the various shows and fairs that were being held across Hampshire this very week 108 years ago.

It was the perfect weather for the annual Rose Show of Southampton Royal Horticultural Society, held in the beautiful grounds of Southampton Stoneham House.

Daily Echo: Heritage. Troops in front od Alexandra Hotel, 1914

Lady Swaythling, whose estate was playing host to the show, officially opened the proceedings with a charming little speech before assisting the judges as they did the rounds of the various exhibits on display.

Several new rose varieties were exhibited in the rose classes, including a rambling rose named in honor of Lady Swaythling.

Meanwhile, the second annual fete of the Millbrook Adult School was also in full swing. There were plenty of attractions at the ground, which, besides the many various stalls, included roundabouts, coconut shies, shooting galleries, hoop-la and a myriad of other amusements laid on by “Clarkes Fair”.

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The Nursling Brass Band played as patrons danced and indulged in Mrs Thomas’s refreshing ice creams – which caused her ice cream stall to be rendered bare early on during the day.

Despite the jovial scenes being played out at the fete, the mood was very different in Millbrook 24 hours earlier when a bathing fatality of Millbrook Shore had cast a painful shadow over the community.

Three Southampton lads had been enjoying a bathe in the sunshine when one of the youngsters, 15-year-old William Moss, of Kingsley Road, got into difficulty in the water and drowned.

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The Daily Echo reported that both Moss and another one of the boys got into difficulties, with both of them at serious risk of losing their lives.

As they cried for help, their other friend raced in and successfully pulled William’s friend to safety but while he was doing so William slipped under the water. His body was recovered from the water some three hours later where it was removed to the mortuary to await the findings of an inquest.

Elsewhere Southampton Fire Brigade was trying to discover the cause of a fire at the back of the Penny Bazaar, adjoining the Southampton Picture Palace, in East Street. The blaze caused a premature conclusion of the performance at a time when there was still one more film to be shown.

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The outbreak, which started in some rubbish and straw, was confined to a small court at the back of the bazaar but spread to two doors underneath a ventilator of the Palace.

Two attendants of the picture hall managed to check the conflagration’s progress and partial subdue the flames before the brigade arrived. Very little damage was done.

The weekend’s events in Sarajevo had done little to curb the ongoing debate on the Home Rule question, and an open-air meeting at the corner of Stratton Road, Shirley, to discuss the matter attracted many Sotonians out onto the street.

Mr Sidney Herbert, of Fareham, addressed the assembled gathering for over an hour before taking several questions from members of the crowd.

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