THE ADVENT of the great catastrophe of 1914 soon depleted the staff. Mr. J. R. Hemsted, now Managing Director, had been called up to the R.N.V.R.; he acted as Yeoman of the Signals on Board H.M.S. Iron Duke and H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth, and was present at the Battle of Jutland. B. S. Lush and F. L. Tutt were also called up to the R.N.V.R. and served during the War, but the latter was unfortunately lost at sea in August 1918, when his Destroyer struck a mine. Many employees were called up to the Reserve. This was at the beginning. Soon afterwards Mr. A. V. Courage rejoined the Royal Navy. He served on board H.M.S. Cornwallis, which was torpedoed off Gallipoli. He afterwards assisted in perfecting the Convoy system in the anti-submarine campaign, and he returned as Commander O.B.E. Major M. R. F. Courage rejoined the Royal Artillery in 1914, was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in 1915, commanded the 147th Army Brigade R.F.A. throughout the War on the Western front. He was present at Loos, Vimy Ridge and the Somme, was wounded and awarded the D.S.O., and was demobilised in Belgium in 1919. The late Mr. H. E. Courage volunteered for service in the R.F.A. and returned as Captain. The Surveyor, Mr. Edward Faux, a Territorial Officer, commanded the 1/7th Battalion London Regiment in 1915 with the 47th Division, and was present at many actions, including Festubert and Loos (when he was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the C.M.G.) and Vimy Ridge, when he commanded the 140th Infantry Brigade. He assisted in the capture of High Wood, on the Somme. He retired from the Company after the War, owing to ill-health.
The business was managed during the war years by Mr. Raymond Courage, Mr. 0swald M. Courage and Mr. G. N. Hardinge, the Managing Director. Courages raised a Company of Special Constables, who helped to police the streets. They rendered good service during air raids, in escorting people to shelter on the occasions when German Gothas and the lighter aluminium-hulled aeroplanes flew over the river by day, dropping bombs near the Tower and Liverpool Street ; the only response was a single gun, which fired ineffectually at them from the top-most structure of the Tower Bridge, for no British aircraft ever appeared for the defence of the City of London in those early days. Then - far more alarming - were the raids by night when hundreds of people in the neighbourhood of the Brewery took refuge in the cellars, and, incidentally, appreciated the beddings of hop pockets, which they said induced sleep. The Brewery escaped destruction, or any damage, from German aircraft. Before this many difficulties had to be encountered under the new war conditions with a depleted staff. First, the Beer Tax was raised in November, 1914, from 7/9 to 23/- per Barrel. Then, in 1915, the restrictions followed: public houses were allowed to open for only 5½ hours a day, and a No-Treating Order was enforced. In 1916 the output of beer all over England was reduced to 30% less than in 1914, as from April 1st, the duty being now raised to 24/- per barrel. This meant that all houses had to be rationed for beer, in the same way as the general public were with their food and meat coupons. In 1917 the output was further restricted to 42% less than in 1914, and at the same time all beers had to be brewed at an average gravity of 1036°, with the duty further increased to 25/- per barrel. In 1918, the last year of the War, the average gravity of all beers was still further reduced to 1030° and the duty increased to 5o/- per barrel. In spite of all these necessary but drastic changes, which had to be met in the interests of the nation, they were stoically endured, as everybody was out to help win the War. Every drop of beer that could be brewed was sold. Brewers themselves came into closer contact with each other, and often met at Brewers Hall to discuss and agree amicably the various adjustments of gravities and prices. The Central Board, which represents the interests of the Retail Trade, worked in unity and harmony with theBrewers to meet the many calls made upon them in these difficult days. These meetings were most admirably presided over by Mr. Cecil Lubbock of Messrs. Whitbread & Co., Ltd. It is a sad reflection that now, in the piping times of peace, the duty is more than double what it was in those critical days of the Great War. Nothing has been said of the duty on spirits, but this was increased from 14/- per proof gallon pre-war to 72/6 as at the present day.