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The Express & Star on 5 April 1915 published an article following the Reverend J. Davison Brown’s sermon at the Darlington Street Wesleyan Church on the previous Sunday evening. The Reverend Brown said that “the question of the drinking customs of England was vital, and drastic changes were imperative.”

He urged the Government to close public houses during the war, as long as reasonable compensation was given and provision made for those who would lose employment as a result. This was not simply a call for temperance, however, but was a sermon in the name of patriotism as less drunkenness meant “less disorder, and more efficiency.” Some of the largest employers in Wolverhampton were in favour of greater restrictions on public houses.

Reverend Brown also referred to the soldiers in the trenches, “who accepted the heaviest losses, his own personal misfortunes, in complete cheerfulness, so long as he knew we are winning”. He suggested that those at home should be making similar sacrifices. He ended by calling those workers who “impairs his efficiency by either drunkenness of constant drinking” as traitors.

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