27/7/1914 London fears war. Civil war.

In London, the Times warns of the danger of war. But this is not a European war it fears, but one closer to home. Ireland seems on the brink of civil war between those who support and oppose Home Rule, with the army’s loyalty in considerable doubt. The Ulster Volunteers, an anti-Home Rule militia, have already imported rifles for themselves. Yesterday the pro-Home Rule Irish Volunteers imported their own batch of arms. British troops tried unsuccessfully to intercept the shipment and then fired on a crowd of Dubliners as they returned to barracks. The Times fears that this will further inflame tensions and lead to more violence.

Grey, meanwhile, has finally been able to see the text of Serbia’s reply to Vienna’s ultimatum. The foreign minister is astonished by its moderate tone. He meets with Lichnowsky, the German ambassador, and urges Germany to restrain its ally and mediate between it and Russia.

Churchill also has his eye on the wider crisis. He telegrams naval commanders, warning them of the possibility of war and ordering them to prepare to shadow the ships of Britain’s likely enemies.

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