Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Monday, 4 August 2014

4 August 1914. Great Britain Declared War On Germany. The First World War Had Begun.

Saint Benedict Ornate Wall Crucifix.

A future Prime Minister, Winston Churchill,
described the scene in London
in the hours that led to the Declaration of War.

“It was eleven o’clock at night – twelve, by German time –
when the Ultimatum expired. The windows of the Admiralty were thrown wide open in the warm night air.

Under the roof, from which Nelson had received his orders, were gathered a small group of Admirals and Captains and a cluster of Clerks, pencils in hand, waiting.

Along the Mall, from the direction of the Palace, the sound of an immense concourse singing ‘God Save the King’ flouted in.
On this deep wave, there broke the chimes of Big Ben;
and, as the first stroke of the hour boomed out,
a rustle of movement swept across the room.

The War Telegram, which meant “Commence hostilities against Germany”, was flashed to the ships and establishments, under the White Ensign, all over the world.

I walked across Horse Guards Parade to the Cabinet Room,
and reported to the Prime Minister and the Ministers,
who were assembled there, that
the deed was done.”

Text above taken from HISTORY LEARNING SITE

1 July 1916, the first day of The Battle of the Somme,
was the worst day in the history of the British Army.

British Army casualties for the day were 60,000.

The Battle of the Somme lasted from
1 July 1916 until 18 November 1916.

In total, there were more than 1 million casualties.

Leyton Orient Football Club
Supporters visit The Somme Battlefields,
July 2011.
Available on YouTube at

Soldiers of the Australian 4th Division, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, on a duck-board track,
passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge, in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917.
The leading soldier is Gunner James Fulton and the second soldier is Lieutenant Anthony Devine.
The men belong to a Battery of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade.
Source: This image is available from the Collection Database of the
Australian War Memorial under the ID Number: E01220.
Author: Frank Hurley.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Battle of Passchendaele
(or Third Battle of Ypres or "Passchendaele")
July 1917 - November 1917.

In total, there were, approximately, 1 million casualties.

Battle of The Menin Road.
"Australian wounded on The Menin Road, near Birr Cross Road,
on 20 September 1917".
(Caption source: National Library of Australia, n.d. (1 June 2014).
Date: 1917.
Source: State Library of New South Wales file:a479035.
Author: Frank Hurley.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Accrington Pals.

11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington),
East Lancashire Regiment.
Better known as
'The Accrington Pals' Battalion.

Accrington Pals, 30k

"Accrington Pals",
near Hyndburn Park School, Accrington, Lancashire, 1914.
[Accrington Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, B Company, No. 1 Platoon.]
Photo kindly provided by Robert and Tony Robinson.

A month after the outbreak of war, the "Accrington Observer & Times" reported, on 8 September 1914, that an offer by the Mayor of Accrington, Captain John Harwood, to set up a Battalion,
had been accepted by the War Office.

As the Recruitment began, on 14 September 1914, 104 men were drafted during the first three hours. Brothers, friends and work mates reported together. On 24 September 1914, the Accrington Battalion
had reached a full strength of 36 officers and 1,076 men.

About half of the Battalion were recruited from Accrington and the surrounding area;
the remainder were recruited from the neighboring towns of Burnley, Chorley, and Blackburn.

The 'Accrington Pals' Battalion is probably the most famous of the "Pals" Battalions, which were erected in the early months of World War I, in response to Kitchener's call to form a Volunteer Army. It was formed by men from all walks of life from Accrington, Lancashire, and the surrounding area.

Groups of friends - "Pals" - came forward together, in anticipation of a great adventure. In its first major battle, the Battalion suffered devastating losses in the attack on Serre, France, on 1 July 1916,
the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The losses were hard to bear in a community where everyone had a close relative
or friend, who was killed or injured.

Although the Battalion fought again, the "Pals" concept was forever lost.

May They Rest In Peace.

Requiéscant In Pace.

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