The Defence of the Realm Act 1914 (DORA)

circa 1914: A World War I evacuation order issued under the Defence of The Realm Act. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)   On the 8th August 1914, only four days after war was declared, the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) was passed in the United Kingdom, providing the Government with sweeping powers to facilitate…Read more

Australia’s response to the war

A studio portrait of Andrew Fisher and his family in 1910. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)   As soon as war between Britain and Germany was declared on 4 August 1914 there was an outpouring of nationalistic fervour in Australia. The popular sentiment was to help “defend the Mother Country” and demonstrate that Australia was a loyal servant of…Read more

The Battle of Liege

The destroyed Leopold Bridge in the centre of Liege, Belgium, in August 1914. Photo: Wikimedia Commons   This was the first land battle of the war, initiated by the Germans when they invaded Belgium on August 5th 1914, with the longer-term plan being to attack France from the north. The Germans were not anticipating serious…Read more

First Allied Shot in the War

The Allies’ first shot in World War One. The crew at the c 1890, probably 6 inch coastal gun, which fired on the German merchant ship, SS Pfalz at 1245 hours, 5 August 1914. (Photo: Australian War Memorial)   On 5 August 1914, the German steamer “Pfalz”, a 6,500 ton cargo steamer operated by the Norddeutcher Lloyd shipping company, departed…Read more

NZ declared allegiance to Britain in WWI

Arthur Foljambe, 2nd Earl of Liverpool. The last Governor of New Zealand. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)   At 3pm the New Zealand Governor, Lord Liverpool, read a telegram from His Majesty King George V to a crowd of 15,000 people gathered at Parliament in Wellington. The telegram expressed The King’s appreciation for the solidarity of his overseas…Read more

This Week In The War (4-10 August 1914)

HMS Amphion – the first Royal Navy ship to be lost in World War One (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)   The first week of World War One saw an immediate commencement of hostilities with the German cruisers “Goeben” and “Breslau” attacking and bombarding the French colonial ports of Philippeville and Bona, located on the northeast coast…Read more

Germany Declared War on Belgium

Crowds gather in the Place Rogier, Brussels, in the rain to watch German troops as they march into the Belgian capital. Original Publication: Illustrated War News – pub. 1914 (Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)   Soon after the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in June of 1914, Germany began to activate its so-called Schlieffen Plan…Read more

The Willy-Nicky Telegrams

Kaiser Wilhelm II with Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1905, wearing the military uniforms of each other’s nations. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)   The Willy Nicky Telegrams Following the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of the Austro Hungarian Empire, on 28 June 1914, the darkening storm clouds of war began rapidly gathering across Europe. Soon after…Read more