Battles at Home: Coal Shortages

Coal shortages were a problem across Britain during the Great War, as many miners went away to fight. The Isle of Man was in an even worse position, as no coal was produced on the island, and it could only be obtained via a perilous crossing of the Irish Sea. After losing a number of ships, coal merchants were reluctant to deliver coal to the island, and as a result it was in short supply.

Throughout the war, coal supplies were controlled by the Manx government. Street lighting was cut to save on gas, and the amount that each household could use was limited through the use of coal coupons.


In view of the present difficulties in obtaining coal supplies for the Island, His Excellency the Lieutentant-Governor hopes that each member of the communty will do his utmost to economize the consumption of Coal and Gas. He invites Local Authorities to curtail the lighting of street lamps wherever possible, he appeals to shopkeepers to only consumer light within the strictest limits, and he requests Gas Companies to reduce the pressure of gas at 10p.m. daily. The Lieutenant-Governor further appeals to Coal Merchants to permit only limited quantities of coal and coke to be issued to customers at any one time. His Excellency hopes that, if these proposals are complied with, the necessity for taking further steps, accompanied by greater inconvenience, may be averted.

By Order, B.E. SARGEAUNT, Government Secretary, Government Office, Isle of Man, 1st February 1915.

Back to top