Events of 1914

28 June 1914

Assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the
Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princep

IWM’s Podcast 1: The shot that led to war

20 July 1914

Austria-Hungary sends troops to their frontier with Serbia.

25 July 1914

Serbia mobilises its troops.

28 July 1914

Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Russia mobilises.

29 July 1914

Great Britain warns Germany that it cannot remain neutral.
Austrians bombard Serbian capital Belgrade.
German patrols cross the French border.

1 August 1914

France mobilises its armed forces.
Germany declares war on Russia and signs a secret alliance with the Ottoman Empire.
Italy and Belgium declare their neutrality.


2 August 1914

Germany invades Luxembourg
Skirmish at Joncherey, first military action on the Western Front.

3 August 1914

Germany declares war on France.
Great Britain mobilises its troops.

4 August 1914

Germany invades Belgium to outflank the French army.
The United States declares neutrality.
Great Britain gives Austria-Hungary ultimatum to stand down from hostilities. When Austria-Hungary doesn’t comply a state of war is declared at 11.00pm

IWM Podcast 2: Outbreak of War

5 August 1914

The Ottoman Empire closes the Dardanelles
IWM Podcast 4: Wrong Place, Wrong Time

6 August 1914

Royal Navy cruiser HMS Amphion is sunk by German mines in the North Sea, killing 150 men, the first British casualties of war.
Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia. Serbia declares war on Germany.

7 August 1914

First members of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) arrive in France.

11 August 1914

‘Your King and Country Need You‘ slogan is published, calling for the first 100,000 men to enlist for Kitchener’s New Army. Within two weeks, 100,000 have signed up.
France declares war on Austria-Hungary.

IWM Podcast 3: Joining Up

12 August 1914

The United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary.

It’s A Long Way To Tipperary

13 August 1914

The first squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps arrive in France.

20 August 1914

The Germans occupy Brussels.

21 August 1914

Walter Biggs enlists in Army Service Corps

20 August 1914

The Germans occupy Brussels.

23 August 1914

Battle of Mons
Japan declares war on Germany.

25 August 1914

Three planes from the Royal Flying Corps 2nd Squadron force down a German reconnaissance plane.

26 August 1914

Battle of Le Cateau begins. BEF suffers 7,812 casualties and is forced to retreat.
British and French forces conquer Togoland, a German protectorate in West Africa.

Keep the Home Fires Burning (1914 song)

28 August 1914

The Royal Navy wins the First Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea.

1 September 1914

Frank Cummins enlists in the Army Service Corps as a baker.

6 September 1914

The First Battle of the Marne. The German advance on Paris is halted, marking the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, but at the cost of 13,000 British, 250,000 French and 250,000 German casualties.

26 September 1914

On 26 September, soon after the outbreak of war, the first 28,500 Indian Army troops arrived on the Western Front to fill the gap left by the near decimation of the British Expeditionary Force. They played a vital role and are said to have arrived just ‘in the nick of time’.

29 September 1914

Charles Choules enlists in the 501st Coy Army Service Corps.

1-4 October 1914

The First Battle of Arras

5 October 1914

Albert Creighton enters theatre of war.

13 October 1914

Battle of Armentieres

16 October 1914

The British Indian Expeditionary Force sails from Bombay to the Persian Gulf in preparation for the defence of Mesopotamia.

19 October 1914

First Battle of Ypres ends The Race to the Sea. The Germans are prevented from reaching Calais and Dunkirk.

1 November 1914

Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.

5 November 1914

The United Kingdom and France declare war on the Ottoman Empire.

11-21 November 1914

Battle of Basra.

22 November 1914

Trenches are established along the entire Western Front.

23 November 1914

The British enter Basra, securing oil supplies in the Middle East..

1 December 1914

George Edward Choules enlists (London Regiment, 6th Battalion Army Service Corps and Kings Royal Rifle Corps). William Kislingbury enlisted as a Private in the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

8 December 1914

The Battle of the Falkland Islands. A Royal navy task force sinks three German cruisers that had been victorious at the Battle of Coronel in November. Only the SMS Dresden escapes.

16 December 1914

The German fleet bombards Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough, killing 137 civilians and proving that the British mainland is susceptible to attack.

24-25 December 1914

In some sectors of the Western Front, an unofficial Christmas truce is observed between German and British forces.

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