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Opening the Archive World War One

The Theman Brothers and the Gurkha Knife

How did two Manchester businessmen from a respectable Jewish family come to be accused of supporting the enemy during the First World War?

January 1915. The Great War was less than six months old, but already more than a million British men had volunteered to serve; many thousands had been killed. The Manchester Regiment (including the newly-formed Manchester Pals) had been deployed and seen action, including at the first Battle of Ypres.

Supporting the effort

In central Manchester, tobacconists Marcus and Henry Themans decided to show their support for the troops.