WWI Diary 1914
|3 January||The last horse-drawn bus made its final journey through Beckenham.|
|15 January||Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty threatened to resign from the
Government in protest against Ministerial opposition to higher naval expenditure.
|9 February||The wireless pioneer Marconi announces that he can light a lamp six miles away
by wireless power.
|25 February||Ulster's opposition to Home Rule for Ireland means the country was drifting towards
civil war. The parliamentary Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) has 1000,000 armed men
and warned there would be bloodshed if the Home Rule bill should every become law.
|13 April||Mr Bernard Shaw's new play Pygmalion opened in London.|
|April||Cricket ball makers at Penshurst and Tonbridge are among thousands of workers
throughout the Country on strike for higher wages. Building workers came out in
January followed by Yorkshire miners in March.
|14 May||Rochester Bridge was opened by the Countess Darnley of Cobham. It took 3 years
to build and cost £80,000.
|20 June||The world's biggest liner, The Bismarck, is launched by The Kaiser in Hamburg.|
|28 June||Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife,
the Duchess of Hohenburg were assassinated as they drove through Sarajevo,
the capital of Bosnia.
|28 July||Austria declares war on Serbia.|
|30 July||The German Kaiser Wilhelm III warns the Czar of Russia that Germany will
mobilise unless Russia withdraws the mobilisation orders of 1,200,000 troops.
|30 July||The Government agrees to shelve the Irish Home Rule bill due to the crisis in Europe.|
|July||Work on a newly commissioned airship base at Kingsnorth on the Hoo peninsula
began and it was considered to be the most important and largest airship station in
|1 August||The Kaiser declares war on his cousin, the Czar. The Royal Navy was mobilised.|
|3 August||Germany declares war on France. Britain says it will stand by the 1839 Treaty of
London guaranteeing Belgium neutrality and will protect French coasts.
|4 August||Germany invades Belgium and Britain declares war against Germany.|
|6 August||Austria declares war on Russia.
Serbia declares war on Germany.
Germany and Austria threaten to attack Italy if she refuses to announce neutrality.
|16 August||Germany takes Liege after fierce Belgian resistance.|
|17 August||Field Marshal Sir John French and his British Expeditionary Force land in France.|
|23 August||Russian troops penetrate 50 miles into Prussia.
Japan declares war on Germany.
|31 August||British troops are engaged in a bitter struggle for the town of Mons.
Bloody battles are being fought in the ever-shifting line from Belgium in the north
to Lorraine in the south.
The Russian army have suffered a terrible defeat on the Eastern Front along the
borders of East Prussia.
|7 September||The first bomb falls on London.
The Royal Flying Corps throw steel darts out of their aircraft into the German trenches.
|9 September||The Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, has called for another 50,000 men to sign
up for the army. The army's strength is now 825,000 and almost as many men
are joining in a day as are normally recruited in a year. Thousands are from Kent.
|12 September||German troops take Ghent and Lille. Rheims has already fallen.|
|12 September||Germans in retreat from Paris after decisive battles on the Western Front.|
|18 September||Crayford inventor Hiram Maxim reveals his ant-Zeppelin incendiary bullet.|
|23 September||Zeppelin sheds at Dusseldorf are bombed by British aeroplanes.
Three British cruisers have been sunk off the Netherlands.
|28 September||Turkey attacks Russian ports.|
|September||Gravesend Grammar Schools for boys and girls are opened. They had previously
been educated in a co-educational school.
|10-17 October||More than 5,000 Belgian refugees and wounded soldiers were brought into Dover.|
|28 October||Police round up aliens across the country. Concentration camps are set up in Kent.|
|29 October||The Ramsgate fishing vessel, Our Tom, is blown up by a German mine killing all hands.|
|26 November||HMS Bulwark blows up in the harbour at Sheerness, 700 are killed.
Income tax is doubled to pay for the war.
|8 December||HMS Kent sinks the German cruiser Nurnberg in the Battle of the Falkland Islands.|
|24 December||An aerial bomb falls on Dover.|
|28 December||SS Montrose, intended as a blockship in Dover Harbour was blown out to sea and
was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands.