I suspect that the bank holidays were declared because there was a run on sterling (ie people wanted into gold and out of sterling) and a serious possibility that the banking system would collapse. I don't think the bank holidays were declared to give the populace a last chance to paddle in the sea at Brighton before the business of war started.
1914 31 July - 10 AM London Stock Exchange closes in a wave of financial panic (Monday a Bank Holiday) started in New York.Gordon was right!
My Great Grandfather joined up with his mates on the 4th, leaving a wife and three children behind. Was dead one year later.I just cannot imagine that happening now. 1914-18 the ruling classes lost any claim to rule.
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