Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:22 AM
I've transcribed an editorial from my local newspaper dating from 1912. As you will see, there was little sympathy for Serbia and no support for our participation in a war starting there:
"At the beginning of the week it looked as if Europe might be headed in to the rapids because Servia wanted "a little window" in the Adriatic. The crisis is not quite weathered yet, but there is less all round bluster now than there was. It would seem that in the nick of time he nations have wakened up to the crime that was proposed in their names and with themselves as victims. The attempts to "ginger" the European people into a right attitude of explosive wrath because Austria bars the way to Servian ambitions have so far provoked nothing more cataclysmic than a yawn.
"Nobody has yet explained to the British working man why he should bother himself whether Servia gets her harbour or not. Tangible reasons, of course, there are none, so he is adjured to consider the intangible ones. Well, he has considered them, and, and he remains cold. The Servian episode, we are told, is important, not in itself, but as a touchstone of international relations. Russia is pledged to the Servian cause, and France is committed to the Russian. Italy and Germany are not less engaged with Austria. In other words, the two Alliances are ranged against each other. But England has a friendly understanding with one of the Alliances – the Russo-French. So that, however grotesque the occasion, we must be ready to give our partners in the Triple Entente the support of our army and navy. If we withhold our support, Russia may have to yield to Austrian claims, and the upshot would be a diplomatic victory of the Triple Alliance at the expense of the Triple Entente. The other partners in the Entente would see that to reply upon England was to lean on a broken reed. The Entente itself would collapse.
"Such is the argument by which it has been sought to convince Englishmen that the Servian demands are so close a concern of ours as to be worth Armageddon. The weakness of this chain of reasoning appear the instant it is examined. In the first place, even if we were allied to France and Russia, and we are not, we could hardly be committed to any and every quixotic enterprise embarked on by our partners. What would it profit Russia if Servia gets its Adriatic outlet? Taking the answer to be nothing, what right has any nation to embroil its allies in a war over a mere matter of racial sentiment?
"Those questions might well be asked, even if we were Russia’s ally. It is likely that they are already now being asked in France, which, in fact, is allied to Russia. But, again, England is allied to neither of them. Her relations are, of course, as cordial as an alliance could make them. Were France threatened we should have to fight with as little regard for the causes of [the] quarrel as if our own existence were menaced; which indirectly, it would be. Even if Russia were threatened her support of this country in the Agadir incident last year might bring us into the field to discharge a debt of honour. But Russia is not threatened. All that has happened is that Servia has earmarked for herself a slice of Albania which Austria denies her. If Russia gravely considers that situation to justify her in launching an ultimatum, that is her affair. Ours is to keep out of such a carnival of folly and bloodshed." 
As late as 1st August 1914, Hucknall’s MP, Leif Jones, made a speech arguing against British involvement in any war caused by "a half-civilised people in the centre of Europe who had made murder almost a part of their public policy" .
Then Germany invaded Belgium.....
 ‘Hucknall Dispatch’, 28th November 1912.
 ‘Nottingham Daily Express’, 3rd August 1914.