WWI Timeline

1914

Date Event
28 June Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo, Serbia.
5 July Austria-Hungary seeks German support for a war against Serbia if Russian troops are mobilised.
28 July Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia and Russain troops are mobilised.
1 August Germany declares war on Russia.
2 August Germany invades Luxembourg. Germany and Ottoman Empire sign secret alliance treaty.
3 August Germany declares war on France and invades Belgium.
4 August Germany declares war on Belgium. British ultimatum to Germany over Belgium’s neutrality. Britain declares war on Germany at 11pm.
5 August Cabinet mobilises British forces.
6 August Austria- Hungary declares war on Germany. Serbia declares war on Germany.
7 August British Expeditionary Force begins to land in France.
8 August Defence of the Realm Act passed by Parliament – Britain under martial law.
9 August United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary.
10 August Press censorship. Press Bureau set up to dispense and censor news.
20 August German army occupies Brussels, Belgium.
22 August Austria-Hungary declares war on Belgium.
23 August Germany invades France. Start of British retreat from Mons. Japan declares war on Germany.
26 August Battle of Le Cateau after Allied retreat from Battle of Mons. British and French forces invade Togoland, a German protectorate in West Africa.
28 August Royal Navy wins first Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea.
5-12 September First Battle of Marne halted German advance in France which had reached the outskirts of Paris.
11-21 September Australian forces occupy German New Guinea.
13 September South African troops begin invading German South-West Africa.
13-28 September First Battle of the Aisne ends and the “Race to the Sea” begins in Northern France and Belgium.
29 September – 31 October Battle of Yser. British and Belgian forces secure Belgian coast.
16 October First Canadian troops arrive in England.
18 October – 22 November First Battle of Ypres ended in “Race to the Sea” with Germans prevented from reaching channel ports.
29 October Ottoman Empire enters war on German side.
1 November Battle of Coronel off coast of central Chile. Von Spee’s German cruiser squadron defeats Royal Navy squadron.
2 November Britain begins naval blockade of Germany.
5 November Britain declares war on the Ottoman Empire.
8 November Battle of the Falklands. Von Spee’s cruiser squadron defeated by Royal Navy.
14 December First attack by German Navy on Britain at Whitby and Scarborough. 160 civilians killed and 600 injured.
21 December Start of German air attacks on Britain at Dover and Sherwell.

1915

Date Event
15 January First Zepplin raid on Britain takes place at Norfolk.
24 January Battle of Dogger Bank between British and German fleets.
4 February Germany begins submarine warfare against merchant shipping. German bombardment of East Coast ceases.
19 February Britain and France attack Turkish forts in the Dardenelles. Start of Gallipolli campaign.
10-13 March Battle of Neuve Chapelle in Artois area of France halts British offensive.
28 March Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was formed.
22 April -25 May Second Battle of Ypres. Use of poison gas by both sides.
25 April Allied troops landed in Dardenelles, Gallipoli.
28 April First Battle of Krithia, Gallipolli. Allied advance is repelled.
May Coalition Government formed after battle loss from ammunition shortages. David Lloyd George becomes Minister of War.
7 May The Lusitania sunk by German U-boat off Irish coast.
23 May Italy changes sides and declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary. Now fighting with the Allied Forces.
23 June – 7 July First Battle of Isonzo. Italian forces fighting to drive Austria troops from Isonzo on Italian front.
9 July German forces in South-West Africa surrender.
5 August Germans capture Warsaw from the Russians.
6 August Battle of Sari Bair. Last and unsuccessful attempt by British to take Dardanelle peninsula.
1 September Germany suspends unrestricted submarine warfare.
21 September National Registration Act passed by Parliament introducing identity cards and registration of aliens.
25 – 28 September Battle of Loos. Major British offensive fails.
15 October Britain declares war on Serbia.
27 October French army lands in Salonika and sets up Balkan front.
7 December Siege of Kut by Ottomans commences in Mesopotamia.
19 December Allies start evacuation of Gallipoli.

1916

Date Event
9 January Gallipoli campaign ends with Allied defeat by the Ottomans.
27 January Conscription introduced in Britain by Military Service Act.
21 February Battle of Verdun begins.
29 February HMS Alcantara sunk off Western Europe with loss of 69 lives.
1 March Germany resumes unrestricted submarine warfare.
23 April Easter Uprising by Irish rebels against United Kingdom.
29 April British forces surrender to Turkish forces at Kut in Mesopotamia.
10 May Germany suspends unrestricted submarine warfare.
25 May Conscription extended to married men.
31 May Battle of Jutland between British and German fleets.
4 June Brusilov Offensive started.
5 June HMS Hampshire sunk off Orkney Islands. Lord Kitchener dies.
1 July Battle of the Somme begins.
14 July Battles for Longueval and Denville Woods (Somme). Battle of Bezentin Ridge (Somme).
23 July – 7 August Battle of Pozieres (Somme).
18 August – 5 September Battle of Guillmont (Somme).
10 September – 19 November Allied offensive on the Salonika Front.
14-17 September 7th Battle of Isonzo on Italian Front.
15 September Battle of Flers-Courcelette (Somme). British use of armoured tanks en masse for the first time.
20 September Brusilov Offensive ends with Russian success.
25 September Battle of Morval (Somme).
26-28 September Battle of Thiepval Ridge (Somme).
1 October – 5 November Battle of Le Transloy (Somme).
24 October French troops recapture Fort Douavont near Verdun.
1 – 4 November 9th Battle of Isonzo on Italian Front.
13-15 November Battle of Ancre (Somme).
18 November Battle of Somme ends with enormous casualties and no winner.
21 November HMHS Britannic sunk after hitting German mine off Greek island of Kea.
7 December David Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister replacing Henry Asquith.
23 December Battle of Magdhaba in the Sinai Peninsula.

1917

Date Event
9 January Battle of Raifa. British troops drive the Ottomans out of Sinai.
1 February Germany’s re-introduced unrestricted submarine warfare.
23 February Second Battle of Kut with British recapturing the city.
23 February – 5 April Germans withdraw to Hindenburg Line.
8 – 11 March British troops capture Baghdad.
20 March HMHS Asturias torpedoed 6 miles off Devon coast but not sunk. 35 casualties.
6 April USA declares war on Germany.
9 – 12 April Canadians win significant victory at Vimy Ridge.
9 April – May 16 Battle of Arras with British attacking heavily fortified German lines.
15 April HMT Arcadian torpedoed and sunk in Aegean Sea. 277 people drowned (19 officers, 214 other ranks, 10 naval ratings and 34 crew).
16 April – 9 May Second Battle of Aine. France launches unsuccessful offensive on the Western Front.
5 May – 15 May Allied offensive on Salonika Front.
25 May Gotha planes replaced Zeppelins. Attacks on Fokestone (95 civilians killed and 290 injured) and London (162 civilians killed and 432 injured).
7 -8 June British recapture Messines Ridge.
25 June First American troops land in France.
6 July Arab rebels led by Lawrence of Arabia seize Jordanian port of Aqaba.
31 July – 10 November Third Battle of Ypres (Battle of Passchendaele) ends in stalemate. Heavy British losses.
27 – 28 September Battle of Ramadi, Mesopotamia.
24 October Battle of Caporetto where Italian army was heavily defeated.
31 October – 7 November Third Battle of Gaza. British troops break through the Ottoman lines.
5 November Allies agree to establish a Supreme War Council at Versailles.
6 November Britain launched a major offensive on the Western Front.
7 November October Revolution in Russia. Bolsheviks seize power.
9 November – 28 December First Battle of the Paive (12th Battle of Isonzo). Austro-Hungarians and Germans unsuccessful in crossing river.
17 November Second Battle of Heligoland Bight, North Sea.
20 November – 3 December Battle of Cambrai, France. British tanks win victory but British attack fails.
5 December Armistice between Germany and Russia signed.
7 December USA declares war on Austria-Hungary.
9 December Battle of Jerusalem. Britain captures Jerusalem from the Turks.
23 December Russia signs an armistice with Germany.

1918

Date Event
21 March – 12 June Spring Offensive (Lundendorff Offensive). Series of German attacks on Western Front to divert British troops from the Somme. German gained territory from Allies.
21 March – 7 August Artillery bombardment of Paris.
29 March French Marshall Ferdinand Foch appointed Allied Commander on the Western Front.
1 April Royal Air Force founded by combining Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service.
9 April Germany starts offensive in Flanders.
13 – 23 June Second Battle of Piave. Austro-Hungarian offensive is repelled.
15 July – 5th August Second Battle of Marne and start of collapse of the German army. Last German offensive on Western Front.
8 – 11 August Battle of Amiens and start of 100 Days Offensive. Successful advances by the Allies.
12 September Battle of Havrincourt (100 Days Offensive).
18 September – 10 October Battle of the Hindenburg Line (100 Days Offensive). Allied troops break through German lines.
19 – 21 September Battle of Megiddo. British win victory in Palestine and collapse of Turkish forces.
25 September – 11 November Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Final phase of 100 Days Offensive and of WW1.
30 September Bulgaria signs armistice with Allies.
1 October British enter Damascus.
4 October Germany asked Allies for armistice.
20 October Germany suspends submarine warfare.
24 October – 4 November Battle of Vittorio Venito. Austro-Hungarian army is defeated.
29 October Keil mutiny. Germany’s navy mutinies following orders to carry out final attack on Royal Navy. Spread to other seamen and workers after leaders arrested.
30 October Ottoman Empire signs Armistice of Mundros.
3 November Austria-Hungary signs armistice with Italy.
9 November Kaiser William II abdicated and German republic proclaimed.
9 November Councillor Sidney Guy Kimber elected as 695th Mayor of Southampton.
10 November Austria-Hungary Kaiser Charles 1 abdicates and Austria-Hungary declared a republic on 12 November.
11 November Germany signed Armistice of Compiegne with the Allies at 6am with the official end of WWII declared at 11am.
12 November Thanksgiving Service and Parade in Southampton.
14 November Czechoslovakia declared a republic. German U-boats interred. Fighting ends in East African Front when news of German surrender is received.
21 November Germany’s naval fleet (Hochseeflotte) surrendered to British.
25 November Public meeting to discuss a Southampton war memorial.
27 November Germans evacuate Belgium.
4 December Yugoslavia declares independence.
8 December Repatriation of Allied troops from Southampton started.

1919

Date Event
4 January Treaty of Versailles Peace Conference opens in Paris.
22 January Sir Edwin Lutyens accepts invitation to meet with Southampton’s Mayor and War Memorial Committee to discuss appointments as architect for Cenotaph and design of the monument.
25 January Proposals to create League of Nations accepted.
4 April Government lift wartime restrictions on civilian aviation.
23 April Memorial Service to the Fallen on Southampton Common. Over 5,000 people in the procession and 25,000 on the Common.
21 June Surrendered German naval fleet scuttled at Scapa Flow (53 ships and 9 deaths)
28 June Treaty of Versailles signed.
3 July Proclamation of Peace by the King. He announced that a national day of thanksgiving services was to be held on 6 July.
6 July Memorial and Thanksgiving service held at St Mary’s Church with parade and procession from Audit House. Mayor addressed public from balcony of Audit House on return. Other church services were held and huge crowds attended open-air services on the Common, Palmerston Park and Shirley Recreation Ground.
8 July Germany ratifies the Treaty of Versailles.
19 – 26 July Celebration of the Great Peace in Southampton started with 21 gun Royal Salute, sports and other events, pageant and procession, fireworks and bonfire on the Common.
20 July Thanksgiving service at The Dell, Southampton’s football ground.
21 July Pageant and presentation of Peace Medals to schoolchildren of Southampton.
21 July United Kingdom ratifies the Treaty of Versailles.
22 July Entertainment and refreshments in Southampton’s local schools.
26 July Teas for old age pensioners in various parts of the city. Finale of week on the Common with fireworks and bonfire.
26-30 July Corporation’s labourers strike in dispute over pay for increase of 5 shillings a week, which was eventually granted.
3-6 August Bakers strike in dispute over pay caused bread shortages and Bakers returned to work after Mayor was invited by both sides to mediate.
12 September Public meeting to discuss plans for Cenotaph. Large audience voted strongly in favour of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ drawings.
16 December Committee agreed to lowest constructor’s tender of £8.500 from Messrs Holloway Bros. of Westminster.

1920

Date Event
10 January First meeting of League of Nations in London and official end of WW1.
21 January Paris Peace Conference ends.
February Southampton Branch of Electrical Trade Union in wage dispute with Pirelli General Cable Company.
11 – 24 August Tramway strike following sacking of worker, until the Council agreed that the case would be referred to the Joint Independent Council for resolution.
18 October Sir Edwin Lutyens inspected the Cenotaph and was very pleased at the manner in which work had been carried out.
1 November League of Nations headquarters moved to Geneva, Switzerland.
6 November Cenotaph fully completed, erected and paid for by public subscription. One of the first WW1 cenotaphs in the UK.
Major public ceremony held at the Cenotaph with the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire unveiling the Cenotaph and the 1800 names of Southampton’s Fallen inscribed on the Portland Stone.
7 November Significant extension of borough of Southampton boundaries with addition of 4 wards to the North and East of the town.
9 November Sidney Kimber steps down as Mayor after 2 years. Councillor Herbert Blatch becomes the 697th Mayor of Southampton.
15 November League of Nations holds first General Assembly.
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