Before the start of the war, relations between Britain and Germany and their citizens had been good, not least because the British and German royal families were related. But after the outbreak of war, Germans living in London found their homes and businesses under attack, as people were over-whelmed by pro-war frenzy.
However, as letters from the trenches also showed, there was often little personal animosity between ordinary Britons and Germans. On 20 July, two trains of wounded German soldiers arrived in Richmond. The 23 men were taken to the Grove Road military hospital. The Richmond & Twickenham Times on 22 July reported that sympathetic locals donated cigarettes to the soldiers who “thanked them with a smile”. Evidently the Germans were “very pleased to be in the tender care of the British”.