Friday, 15 August 2008

Principal Events of the First World War

In our three-month commemoration of the Great War, ‘Blackmore Area Local History’ is concentrating on local and social rather than military history. However, it is useful to place in context these events with a timeline of principal dates, battles, places and personnel. The information on the national and international stage comes from an unlikely source: a commemorative book celebrating the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935 – ‘The Story of 25 Eventful Years in Pictures’ (Odhams Press, London). Interspersed are other notes linking the overall picture with local happenings.

4th August 1914: German invasion of Belguim
4th August 1914: British Ultimatum to Germany
4th August 1914: War Declared
4th August 1914: Sir John Jellicoe assumes command of Grand Fleet in the North Sea
4th August 1914: Sir John French appointed to command Expeditionary Force
5th August 1914: Earl Kitchener of Khartoum appointed Secretary of War
8th August 1914: British Expeditionary Force lands in France
10th August 1914: Liege occupied by Germans
10th August 1914: France declares war on Austria-Hungary
12th August 1914: Defence of the Realm Act passed
12th August 1914: Britain declares war on Austria-Hungary
20th August 1914: German occupation of Brussels
24th August 1914: Fall of Namur
26th August 1914: Destruction of Louvain
6th September 1914: Battle of Marne begins
15th September 1914: Battle of Aisne begins
24th September 1914: Trench warfare begins
9th October 1914: Fall of Antwerp
29th October 1914: Turkey enters the War
29th October 1914: Lord Fisher appointed First Sea Lord
5th November 1914: Britain declares war on Turkey
14th November 1914: Death of Earl Roberts at St Omar
17th November 1914: Issue of £350,000,000 War Loan
23rd November 1914: British squadron bombarded Zeebrugge
16th December 1914: German bombardment of Hartlepool, Scarborough and Whitby
24th December 1914: Air raid on Dover
25th December 1914: Informal Christmas truce – hostilities resumed at midnight
19th January 1915: Zeppelin bombs dropped on Yarmouth
2nd February 1915: Turks defeated on the Suez Canal
11th February 1915: British aeroplanes and seaplanes bombard Bruges and Ostend
18th February 1915: German blockade of Great Britain begins
19th February 1915: Bombardment of the Dardanelles begins
21st February 1915: German aeroplane raid on Essex
10th March 1915: British take Neuve Chapelle
20th March 1915: Air raid on Deal
14th April 1915: Air raid on Tyneside
16th April 1915: Zeppelin raid on Lowestoft, Maldon, etc
18th April 1915: British take Hill 60
23rd April 1915: Rupert Brooks dies, aged 27
25th April 1915: Allied forces land in Gallipoli
30th April 1915: Zeppelin bombs on Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds
7th May 1915: Lusitania torpedoed
10th May 1915: German bombs on Southend
17th May 1915: Zeppelin raid on Ramsgate
19th May 1915: All racing suspended (except at Newmarket) for the duration of War
23rd May 1915: Italy declares war on Austria
25th May 1915: Coalition Ministry announced by Mr Asquith. Mr Lloyd George: Minister of Munitions
26th May 1915: Triumph torpedoed
27th May 1915: Zeppelin raid on Southend
31st May 1915: Zeppelin raid on London
6th June 1915: Zeppelin raid on East Coast
7th June 1915: Zeppelin destroyed by Lieut. Warneford, R.N.
9th June 1915: Ministry of Munitions established
14th July 1915: National Registration Act passed
3rd August 1915: King presents first colours to Welsh Guards
5th August 1915: Fall of Warsaw
10th August 1915: Air raid on East Coast
13th August 1915: Another raid on East Coast
15th August 1915: National Register taken throughout Great Britain
19th August 1915: White Star liner Arabic torpedoed
20th August 1915: Italy declares war on Turkey
4th September 1915: The liner Hesperian torpedoed
7th – 13th September 1915: Zeppelin raids on East Coast
8th September 1915: Air raid on London
19th September 1915: Bulgaria mobilises
25th September 1915: Beginning of Great Allied offensive on Western Front
5th October 1915: Allied forces land in Salonika
11th October 1915: Lord Derby, new Director of Recruiting
12th October 1915: Nurse Cavell executed at Ghent
13th October 1915: Zeppelin raid on London and Eastern Counties
14th October 1915: Bulgarian armies attack Serbia
15th October 1915: Great Britain declares war on Bulgaria
16th October 1915: France declares war on Bulgaria
19th October 1915: Italy declares war on Bulgaria
12th December 1915: Lt.-Gen. Sir William Robertson appointed Chief of Imperial General Staff
15th December 1915: Sir Douglas Haig succeeds Sir John French in France
19th December 1915: Withdrawal begins from Anzac and Suvla Bay
5th January 1916: Conscription Bill introduced
8th January 1916: Evacuation of Gallipoli completed
11th January 1916: Mr Herbert Samuel becomes Home Secretary
14th January 1916: Lord Chelmsford made Viceroy of India
23rd January 1916: Aeroplane raid on Kent
31st January 1916: Zeppelin raid on East Coast. Six or seven Zeppelins over Midlands
10th February 1916: Compulsory military service for single men aged 19-30
18th February 1916: Germans in Cameroons surrender
20th February 1916: Aeroplane raid on Kent
21st February 1916: Battle of Verdun begun
2nd March 1916: Military Service Act comes into operation
8th March 1916: Germany declares war on Portugal
19th March 1916: Seaplane raid. Deal, Dover, Margate and Ramsgate
27th March 1916: In Paris, first War Conference of all the Allies
“31st March 1916: Bombs dropped over Blackmore”
1st April 1916: Zeppelin brought down in Thames estuary
14th April 1916: British aeroplanes raid Constantinople
19th April 1916: Field Marshall von der Goltz dies
29th April 1916: Fall of Kut after resistance of 143 days. General Townshend surrenders with 9000 troops
21st May 1916: Summer Time Act comes into operation
25th May 1916: Royal Assent to Military Service Act No. 2
31st May 1916: Naval battle off Jutland
5th June 1916: Lord Kitchener drowned in H.M.S. Hampshire
5th June 1916: General von Moltke dies
1st July 1916: Anglo-French offensive on the Somme
6th July 1916: Mr Llord George appointed Secretary of State for War
9th July 1916: Mr E. S. Montagu appointed Minister of Munitions
26th July 1916: Capt. Chas. Fryatt of G.E.R. Steamer Brussels sentenced to death by Germans.
30th July 1916: Zeppelin raids on South-east Counties
9th August 1916: Zeppelin raid. Eastern England
27th August 1916: Rumania declares war on Austro-Hungary
28th August 1916: Germany declares war on Rumania
30th August 1916: Field Marshal von Hindenburg appointed Chief of German Staff
3rd September 1916: Schutte-Lanz Airship brought down at Cuffley
15th September 1916: First use of tanks
23rd September 1916: Two Zeppelins brought down in Essex
“One at Great Burstead, the other at Great Wigborough”
1st October 1916: Zeppelin raid; one brought down at Potters Bar
29th November 1916: Sir John Jellicoe appointed First Sea Lord and Admiral Sir D Beatty in command of the Grand Fleet
5th December 1916: Mr Asquith resigns
7th December 1916: Mr Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister
11th December 1916: M Briand forms French War Ministry
1st January 1917: Sir D Haig created a Field-Marshal
9th January 1917: Allies reply to President Wilson’s Note
16th January 1917: Death of Admiral George Dewey
3rd February 1917: U.S. breaks relations with Germany
24th February 1917: Gen Maude captures Kut-el-Amara
25th February 1917: German retreat on the Ancre
28th February 1917: British capture Gommecourt
8th March 1917: Count Zeppelin dies aged 78
11th March 1917: Gen. Maude captures Baghdad
17th March 1917: British capture Bapaume
18th March 1917: Ramsgate and Broadstairs shelled from the sea
26th March 1917: British attack Turks at Gaza
29th March 1917: General Foch takes over Command of the whole of the Allied Armies
5th April 1917: U.S.A. declares war on Germany
7th April 1917: Cuba declares war on Germany
9th April 1917: British advance and capture Vimy Ridge
16th April 1917: Food strikes in Germany
26th April 1917: German naval raid on Ramsgate
12th May 1917: Men between 41 and 50 accepted for the army
15th May 1917: General Petain appointed Commander of Northern and North Eastern French Armies on Western Front
25th May 1917: Aeroplanes raid Folkestone
7th June 1917: British capture Messines-Wytschaete Ridge
13th June 1917: Aeroplanes raid London
26th June 1917: U.S. Troops in France
29th June 1917: General Allenby appointed Commander in Palestine
7th July 1917: Aeroplanes raid London and Margate; 97 killed, 193 injured
21st July 1917: Russian retreat
28th July 1917: Tank Corps formed
11th August 1917: Rt. Hon. Arthur Henderson M.P. retires from War Cabinet
3rd September 1917: Fall of Riga to Germans
14th September 1917: German submarine shells Scarborough
17th September 1917: 9d Loaf Order in force
1st October 1917: Aeroplane raids on London
31st October 1917: General Allenby captures Beersheba
6th November 1917: Canadians capture Passchendaele
17th November 1917: General Allenby enters Jaffa
17th November 1917: Naval engagement in Heligoland Bight
18th November 1917: General Maude dies
1st December 1917: German East Africa cleared of German forces
10th December 1917: General Allenby captures Jerusalem
15th December 1917: Russo-German armistice for month’s truce signed at Brest-Litovsk
6th February 1918: Representation of the People Bill receives Royal Assent
18th February 1918: Hostilities between Germany and Russia re-commence
18th February 1918: Lord Northcliffe appointed Director of Propaganda in enemy countries
21st February 1918: British troops occupy Jericho
25th February 1918: Rationing of meat, butter and margarine comes into force in London and Home Counties
13th March 1918: Odessa occupied by Germans: Petrograd evacuated
18th March 1918: Germans repulsed on Belgian front
21st March 1918: Great German attack from Scarpe to Oise
22nd March 1918: General Allenby crosses the Jordan
23rd March 1918: Paris shelled by Big Bertha
16th April 1918: General Foch appointed Generalissimo of the Allied Armies in France
23rd April 1918: Successful Naval Raid on Zebrugge under Vice-Admiral Roger Keyes
7th May 1918: Rumania signs “Peace of Bucharest”
3rd June 1918: Postage rate raised to 1½d for letter, 1d for postcards
23rd June 1918: General Austrian defeat
10th July 1918: Mr J R Clynes appointed Food Controller
6th August 1918: General Foch created Marshal of France
15th August 1918: British troops cross the Ancre
30th August 1918: British cross the Somme
20th September 1918: General Allenby occupies Nazareth
26th September 1918: Franco-American victory on the Meuse
27th September 1918: British break the Hindenburg line at Cambrai
13th October 1918: German retreat on a 100-mile front
30th October 1918: Conference at Versailles of Allied Chiefs
31st October 1918: Government Bill making women eligible for Parliament introduced in House of Commons
11th November 1918: Armistice with Germany signed. Hostilities ceased at 11am

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