First World War:
Events Leading to the Outbreak of War::
On the 28th June 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand
was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb student in Sarajevo. This gave the
Austro-Hungarian Empire the excuse they were looking for to invade
Serbia and they declared war on Serbia on the 28th July. Russia was
bound by treaty to Serbia and they announced the mobilisation of their
army in Serbia's defence - a process that would take six weeks.
Germany was bound by treaty to Austro-Hungary and they viewed the Russian mobilisation as an act of war against Austro-Hungary and Germany declared war on Russia on the 1st August 1914. France, because of its treaty with Russia, found itself at war with Germany and by extension Austro-Hungary following a German declaration on the 3rd August. Germany invaded Belgium so as to reach Paris by the shortest route.
Britain, allied to France by a more loosely worded treaty that placed a 'moral obligation' on Britain to defend France, declared war on Germany on the 4th August. Britain's reason for entering the conflict lay in another direction: she was obligated to defend neutral Belgium by the terms of a 75 year old treaty (1839 Treaty of London). With Germany's invasion of Belgium on the 4th August and the Belgium King's appeal to Britain, Britain committed itself to Belgium's defence later that day. Like France, Britain was by extension also at war with Austro-Hungary.
Japan, honouring a military agreement with Britain, declared war on Germany on the 23rd August. Two days later, Austro-Hungary responded by declaring war on Japan.
Italy, although allied to both Germany and Austro-Hungary was able to avoid entering the fray by citing a clause that enabled it to avoid its obligations to both: Italy was committed to defend Germany and Austro-Hungry only in the event of a defensive war; Italy argued that their activities were offensive. Italy declared a policy of neutrality that lasted until May 1915 when she joined the conflict, siding with the Allies against her former allies.
|Those Who Served Members of the family who fought in the First World War
|Those Who Fell Family members, who made the ultimate sacrifice.
|Medals and Badges
|Shot At Dawn
|90th Anniversary of the Armistice