August 4, 1914 to be remembered

Dark clouds would soon be over and in Winter it will be peacefully white

Belgium today marks the beginning of the First World War. It is exactly one hundred years ago that Germany invaded the country and thus violated Belgian neutrality.

Since its short existence, created in 1830 soon it had to face some storms which could have endangered its continuation as a country. In 1839,1848 and 1870 clouds had come over it and the population at first was afraid but soon saw the clouds disappear. Used to such dark clouds they also thought this time it would go fast away and would not come to a war, Belgium able to keep its neutrality.

Belgian society and politics were heavily affected by the Franco–Prussian War (1870–71), though despite key battles taking place very close to Belgian territory, including the Battle of Sedan just a few miles from the border, Belgium was never actually attacked. The Concert of Europe, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium with it split province of Limburg into Belgian and Dutch parts would be an independent and neutral country. Zeelandic Flanders had been detached from Belgium and had become part of the Dutch province of Zeeland because the Dutch did not want Belgium to have co-control of the Schelde or Scheldt estuary. In return they had to guarantee the free navigation on the Scheldt into the Port of Antwerp.

European powers had been very divided over the Belgian cry for independence but at the end Prussia, Austria, and Great Britain who supported the somewhat authoritarian Dutch king had also to come to see it would be best to recognise Belgium as a ‘buffer state’. Therefore they came to sign an agreement on 19 April 1839: The Treaty of London of 1839, also called the First Treaty of London, the Convention of 1839, the London Treaty of Separation or the Treaty of the XXIV articles, which had been established through nine years of intermittent fighting, the Belgian Revolution.

An overview of militaristic actions in 1872-1874, 1886-1889, 1897-1899 and 1908-1913 shows that military advocates increasingly pursued alliances with civilian political figures, allowing them to deepen their impact on Belgium’s attitude towards its army.

‘Civilian’ ideas about democratic values, moral regeneration, and social equity became an integral part of how they perceived the army’s role in society. Conversely, lobbyists succeeded in convincing a large part of the public of the truth of basic militaristic notions: that Belgium suffered multiple threats to its very existence; and that reforming the military was the only way to safeguard the state’s survival.

This bridging of the gap between the military and civil sphere remained largely hidden behind the face of an anti-militaristic, peaceful Belgium when compared to its neighbors. Yet it is precisely this dynamic that helps to explain the swiftness and determination with which Belgians took up arms in 1914. {http://www.journalbelgianhistory.be/en/system/files/article_summary/Resu_deMuelenaere_2012_4.pdf}

The arms races of the decades after the Treaty of London and the continues military planning imperial and colonial rivalry for wealth, power and prestige, and economic and military rivalry in industry and trade – e.g., the Pig War between Austria-Hungary and Serbia had made the ground fertile for any form of fire sparkles. The Germans believing that Britain would remain neutral thought they could undertake action against France. (Wilhelm II called British balance of power principles “idiocy,” but agreed that Haldane’s statement was a “desirable clarification” of British policy.)

Britannia and Marianne dancing together on a 1...

Britannia and Marianne dancing together on a 1904 French postcard: a celebration of the signing of the Entente Cordiale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

France in 1914 had never been so prosperous and influential in Europe since 1870, nor its military so strong and confident in its leaders, emboldened by its success in North Africa and the overall pacification of its vast colonial empire. The Entente Cordiale of 1904 with Britain held firm, and was supported by mutual interests abroad and strong economic ties. Russia had fled the triple crown alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary because of disagreements with Austria-Hungary over policy in the Balkans. Russia also hoped that large French investments in its industry and infrastructures coupled with an important military partnership would prove themselves profitable and durable. {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_World_War_I}

It had been a terrible shock that the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in the Balkans on 28 June 1914, but nobody would ever thought this could change so much the history of Europe.

A cartoon apparently expressing a rather sour ...

A cartoon apparently expressing a rather sour German point of view on the British-French “Entente Cordiale” of 1904 — John Bull walks off with the trollop France (in her scandalously short tricolor skirt, whose red and blue colors are indicated by the conventions of heraldic “hatching”), while Germany pretends not to care. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The British Ambassador in Berlin, Sir Edward Goschen, on the 29th of July 1914 was informed by the German Chancellor that Germany was contemplating war with France, and furthermore, wished to send its army through Belgium.

On July the 31st Germany asked France, whether it would stay neutral in case of a war Germany vs. Russia.

Belgium was warned by Germany that if it did not allow free passage of German troops across her lands it would be considered as an enemy.

In 1905 the Germans had already made a German General Staff Schlieffen Plan predicted the failure of Moltke’s underpowered invasion of France, but Germany feared a French invasion force could be too well-established to be driven from German soil or at least inflict greater losses if not defeated sooner.

Moltke subscribed to a then fashionable belief that the moral advantage of the offensive could make up for a lack of numbers” on the grounds that “the stronger form of combat lies in the offensive” because it meant “striving after positive goals. { Holmes, T. M. (April 2014). “Absolute Numbers: The Schlieffen Plan as a Critique of German Strategy in 1914”. War in History (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage) 21 (2). ISSN 0968-3445, p. 213.}

Actions and reactions of the Great Powers disastrously escalated the situation. So much so that, by the beginning of August, what might have remained a minor Balkan problem had turned into the cataclysm of the First World War having nephews fighting against each-other.

On August the 2nd 1914, the Belgian Council of State had broken from its deliberations at 4am. Viscomte Julien Davignon, the Foreign Minister, gave his political secretary, Baron de Gaiffier, Belgium’s reply to Germany’s ultimatum of the evening before, which he handed to Walter von Below-Saleske at the German Legation. Germany’s proposed attack on Belgium’s independence, it said, ‘constitutes a flagrant violation of international law’.

On the 3rd of August the Belgian government reacted negatively to the German ultimatum to grant free passage or suffer occupation as an enemy of Germany.
An estimated total of 1.5 million soldiers, were being assembled along the Belgian and French frontiers. Russia’s ally France ordered its own general mobilisation and France declared Germany war.

Germany violates the neutrality of Belgium

The passage through Belgium was by Germany considered a question of life and death. It was convinced it had to confront and be finished with France as quickly as possible,

“crush her completely so as then to be able to turn against Russia, otherwise she herself will be caught between the hammer and the anvil.”

“We have learnt that the French army was preparing to pass through Belgium and to attack us on our flank. We must forestall her.” {Official Report of the Belgian Minister at Berlin as to how the German Government Received the Belgian Defiance, by Baron Beyens}

Image illustrative de l'article Eugène Beyens (1855-1934)

Napoléon Eugène Louis Joseph Marie Auguste, baron Beyens (1855-1934)

Baron Beyens assured the Germans:

“Contrary to what you think, France has given us a formal promise to respect our neutrality, provided that you respect it too. What would you have said if, instead of making us this promise of her own accord, she had presented to us the same summons before you, if she had demanded a passage through our country, and if we had yielded to her threats? That we were cowards, incapable of defending our neutrality and unworthy of an independent existence?” {Official Report of the Belgian Minister at Berlin as to how the German Government Received the Belgian Defiance, by Baron Beyens}

By the end of the day five of the six Great Powers of Europe were at war, along with Serbia and Belgium. Diplomacy had failed. The tragedy had begun.

On the 5th of August the German army launched an assault on Liège, damaging the fortresses with their ‘Big Bertha’. This act of aggression against a neutral country prompted Great Britain to declare war on Germany.

Today we stand still by what started at 6 a.m. when in Brussels the Belgian government got informed that German troops would be entering Belgian territory. Later that morning the German minister assured them that Germany remained ready to offer them ‘the hand of a brother’ and to negotiate a modus vivendi. But the basis for any agreement had to include the opening of the fortress of Liege to the passage of German troops and a Belgian promise not to destroy railways and bridges.

It looked like the neutrality of Belgium meant nothing to the German troops which continued their violation of international law, and started killing innocent civilians and destroying non-military buildings. Even people who came out of their houses to talk friendly in German with the German soldiers where shot death before they could come to some reasonable talk with the once five weeks ago still had a friendly relationship with .

For the Germans it looked like they had no other choice facing a French attack on their flank on the lower Rhine which might have been disastrous.

With a ceremonial event, the United Nations, commemorated on July the 8th 2014, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War in the presence of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (6:30 pm local time) in New York. The event brought all the Member States of the United Nations together. A clip with film material digitised by the EFG1914 partners was shown to several hundred international diplomatic representatives as introduction to the event. European film archives participating in the EFG1914 digitisation project provided the trailer to the UN. It shows original footage from and about WW1, which was digitised with support by the European Commission over the last two years. EFG1914 has digitised more then 700 hours of historic film material and made these available online for the first time on the European Film Gateway and on Europeana.

The 10th army corps, under the command of general Otto Von Emmich, focussed its efforts on the Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) region and to take the fortified town of Liège via the Aix-Liège road. On Tuesday 4 August 1914 the small village of Thimister was catapaulted into the storm of a great battle that lasted 4 long years.

Monument sur le lieu de son décès

Monument at La Croix Polinard for the first human victim of World War I, Antoine Adolphe Fonck

Yesterday Lancer Antoine Adolphe Fonck (Verviers 1893 Thimister August 4, 1914) was remembered as the first Belgian human victim, after his horse got was shot death, of the First World War.

Today, the 4th of August, the invasion of Belgium will be commemorated in many towns all over West Europe. In Liege a national morning ceremony started at the Memorial for the Allies. The Belgian King Philip and other dignitaries from home and abroad honored the fallen soldiers and civilian victims.

Later in the day, the Belgian Air Force will give a large air-show above Liège, where in 1914 took place the first major battle. The German army would march through Belgium to France, but met with stubborn resistance.

Just over a week after Germany invaded Belgium, an English battalion sailed for France and moved south-west by train along the Belgian border. On August 21, they marched for Bettignies, eight miles outside Mons. It can well be that the barely 17 years old John Parr might not be killed by the Germans, but could be a victim of friendly fire.
After Mons fell, Parr and 228 other British and Commonwealth casualties were buried by the Germans at St Symphorien, on land donated by a Belgian landowner. Unlike most cemeteries, which commemorate only one army, 284 German soldiers are also buried here.

Mrs Hunt 75, still having fond memories of her great-grandmother, and treasuring a Forties photograph of herself, aged about two-and-a-half, clutching her hand. is one of the guests for the ceremony at Mons with her son, Stefan, and another of Parr’s descendants, David Fensome.

In Liege, King Philippe of Belgium and Joachim Gauck, German president, gave moving tributes and reminded us of the importance of such ceremonies to remember also the cruelty and barbarism.

King Philippe told the audience:

“We are paying tribute today to the courage and dignity of those engaged in the fighting and those who lived in inhuman conditions.”

“… we are expressing our gratitude to all of those who, in the depths of the darkest nights of the conflict, built up the powerful momentum of solidarity when faced with the suffering of the people and the desperate food shortages.”

The Belgian king also at the previous remembrances the last few days, gave expression of our duty not to forget and to see the memory of the First World War giving us food for thought about the responsibility of leaders and the decisions they can take to keep the peace and bring nations closer together.

This challenge is now of major importance. The European memory reminds us that no peace can be sustained without a state of mind that overcomes the suffering endured, goes beyond the question of guilt and sets its sights firmly on the future.

Peaceful Europe, unified Europe, democratic Europe. Peace is what our grandparents longed for with all their might.

German president Joachim Gauck said it was “unjustifiable” for Germany to have invaded Belgium, adding that nationalism “bonded almost everyone’s hearts and minds”.

We are grateful to have been able to live together with peace for so long in Europe.

The Duke of Cambridge in Liège reminded how at the Belgian seaside many Belgians also spoke German to welcome the many German tourists in Summer. He respects that in Ypres, Belgian volunteers have played the Last Post every night since 1928 – except during the Second World War.

Belgium’s steadfast remembrance of your war dead, and ours, is a great credit to your nation. On behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, head of the Commonwealth, thank you for the honour you do us all.

The magnificent war memorial where we gather today honours the city of Liège and its people for their courageous resistance in 1914. The memorial – and this ceremony – also honours all Belgians, who fought, suffered and died in the Great War.

Your great sacrifice and your contribution to eventual victory was pivotal. Belgium’s resistance in 1914 allowed the Allies to re-group and draw up the battle lines which became the infamous trenches. These trenches have left an indelible scar on your land – they speak of the horrors of war but also of your forebears’ courage.

That courage was shown not just by your Armed Forces but by your civilian populations. I know that in the coming months, you will be commemorating the massacre at Dinant and the burning of the great library at Lervan.

Many nations here today, the United Kingdom among them, owe you a great debt of gratitude for your fortitude and resistance.

In Glasgow Reverend Laurence Whitley, Minister of Glasgow Cathedral, said at the opening the service there:

“We meet because on a summer’s day like this one, one hundred years ago, the world changed. Our nations and peoples found themselves in a war the like of which had never before been seen and the memory of which still haunts us all.”

He added: “In this, the first of many services of commemoration and remembrance of the Great War to be held today and over the next four years, we have come to bow before God, to pray for peace and goodwill amongst the nations, to honour, to remember and to learn.”

Though we all must be very aware not to think so lightly a s many did at the beginning of 1914, that no war would come to them, and when the Germans invaded Belgium they thought it would be over before Christmas. We may be grateful that we have already so many years of peace in our own regions. As the Duke of Cambridge said:

The peace that we here enjoy together as allies and partners does not simply mean no more bloodshed – it means something deeper than that. The fact that the presidents of Germany and Austria are here today, and that other nations – then enemies – are here too, bears testimony to the power of reconciliation.

He considers war between us unthinkable, but I think we still should be very careful not too much believing nobody would harm us or bringing our peace in danger. It is true that former adversaries have worked together for three generations to spread and entrench democracy, prosperity and the rule of law across Europe, and to promote our shared values around the world, but there may be undermining forces at work. We should be careful to see them and to disarm them before it is too late.

After World War I everybody said there could never be such a gruel-some war after this horrible tragedy. Many were convinced that Great War would be “the war to end all wars,” in actuality, the concluding peace treaty set the stage for World War II.

We all should also remember Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who said:

“It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”

Today we see a growing bad attitude of intolerance and hate against certain groups of people.

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Find also to read:

  1. 1914 – 2014 preparations
  2. 100° birthday of war and war tourism
  3. Flames of Louvain – Leuven 1914 an attempt to destroy a civilisation
  4. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting… George Orwell
  5. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  6. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  7. A good team to guaranty a musical about the First World War
  8. Juncker warns for possible new war
  9. Friendship and Offer for the cause of democracy

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Additional literature:

Ruiter Antoine Fonck +> Cavalryman Antoine Fonck + Voici un document sur l’historique du Cavalier Fonck +

Rencontre unique entre le roi et Antoine Fonck

Le roi a rendu hommage au cavalier Antoine Fonck
Les autorités communales ont tenu à rappeler le sacrifice héroïque de ce jeune lancier de 21 ans, qui fraîchement mobilisé, avait combattu avec bravoure un groupe de prussiens avant de tomber sous les balles de l’opposant. Antoine Fonck allait devenir un héros de guerre, étant le premier militaire belge à mourir au combat, le 4 août lors de l’invasion allemande.

Que s’est-il passé le 4 août 1914?
À peine dix jours plus tôt, personne, en Belgique, n’imaginait que le conflit entre l’Autriche et la petite Serbie nous entraînerait dans la guerre. Lorsque, dans les journées qui ont suivi, les grandes puissances s’en sont mêlées – l’Allemagne, la France, la Russie -, les Belges se sentaient encore protégés par notre statut d’État neutre. Une neutralité garantie par la Grande-Bretagne.

Les choses se sont précipitées le 2 août, lorsque l’armée allemande a, sans préavis, envahi le grand-duché de Luxembourg, pays neutre comme nous. Un ultimatum était adressé à la Belgique qui l’a repoussé. Par ailleurs, il était impossible de ne pas constater que, parmi le million et demi de soldats allemands massés aux frontières, entre Aix-la-Chapelle et Mulhouse, la majorité – 800.000 ! – se trouvait le long des frontières belges. L’invasion du 4 août 1914 n’était donc plus une surprise.
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First World War centenary: how the events of August 3 1914 unfolded

The Battle of Mons

The first battle fought by the British Army against the Germans on the Western Front in the Great War came about simply because pre-war plans had placed the British Expeditionary Force in the way of the German advance towards Paris. This position had been agreed during pre-war discussions between the British and French Armies.

German troops entered Luxemburg on 2 August and moved into Belgium near Liege next day. The British Government declared war late on 4 August 1914, and by 22 August the four infantry divisions and one cavalry division of the British Expeditionary Force had disembarked in France and taken up their positions near the fortress town of Maubeuge, some miles south of Mons on the extreme left of the Allied line. General Lanrezac’s French Fifth Army was on the right of the British.

A mother’s anguish over the first man to fall
In life, little set John Parr apart. No picture survives of the ordinary working class boy, who grew up in a Victorian terrace in a suburb of north London and was never thought remarkable enough to capture for posterity.

In death, however, he is eternally exceptional. Like 704,000 of his countrymen, he fell during the First World War.

But he is forever marked out for being the first British soldier to die, scarcely more than a fortnight after our declaration of war and two days before the fighting began at the Battle of Mons.

When the British Protocol takes over

Speaking in the Francophone daily La Libre Belgique, Corentin Rousman, the local event coordinator, explains that “the British consider the Mons ceremony a private one, which is why they are in charge. The Belgian protocol had to give way. The governor of Hainaut province will welcome the king and queen, but afterwards the Belgian protocol is being left. It will be William, Kate and Harry who will receive the people that were invited. The diplomatic rules are very strict.”

Adopting the British protocol has certain consequences: “Belgian politicians will not enjoy the traditional privileges. They cannot be brought to the site by their own private drivers, but will have to take a shuttle bus.”

First World War centenary: live
Joanne Thomson, a young actress and graduate of the Royal Conservatoire Scotland, read from memory the heart-rending words of the wife of the poet Edward Thomas.

Helen Thomas described their last night together before he left for the front, after joining the Artists rifles in July 1915. He would died five weeks later.

The poignancy of their parting was captured in the single word, Coo-ee, which they repeatedly called to each other as he walked away from his wife and family after a night of “talking, crying and loving”.

World War I

The spark that started World War I was the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The assassination occurred on June 28, 1914 while Ferdinand was visiting the city of Sarajevo in the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
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As German troops moved south into France, French and British troops tried to stop them. At the end of the First Battle of the Marne, fought just north of Paris in September 1914, a stalemate was reached. The Germans, who had lost the battle, had made a hasty retreat and then dug in. The French, who couldn’t dislodge the Germans, then also dug in. Since neither side could force the other to move, each side’s trenches became increasingly elaborate. For the next four years, the troops would fight from these trenches.

The Great War begins

It goes back to the congress of Vienna 1815. The Netherlands were meant to work as a buffer between Germany and France (from the Brits perspective to uphold the balance of power). But Belgium revolted, broke off from the Netherlands and became its own country.
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As AabiyahAkhtar says, WW1 had nothing to do with Hitler. However, the reverse is not true. WW1 itself, Hitlers experience in it as a common soldier and the peace treaty of Versailles which ended WW1 heavily influenced WW2, Hitler and the rise of Hitler.

Empires before World War I
Isn’t it quite a bit eurocentric or Western-focused to call a primarily European conflict a World War? Shortly after its end, it was simply called “The Great War”. Shouldn’t we be saving such grandiose terms for their more literal meanings?
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While WWI was indeed a conflict between European countries, it is fair to call it a world war, as it involved or affected people all over the world:

1. Many European countries had colonies all over the world, so fighting did not only happen in Europe, but in the colonies as well. E.g. in the Middle East and in Africa.

2. Soldiers were recruited or conscripted from the colonies and brought to Europe to fight. According to wikipedia over 1 million Indian soldiers were deployed outside of India for example.

3. By the end of the war nearly all the independent large non-European countries had joined in. E.g. Japan, China, Brazil, and of course the USA. So it would be fair to say that the vast majority of the world was (at least technically) at war.

The term Great War was used at the time because it was indeed the greatest (in the sense of largest) war those involved had ever seen, both in terms of geographical extent of the fighting and number of countries involved, as well as the number of casualties.

An Uphill Battle. Campaigning for the Militarization of Belgium 1870-1914 (Journal of Belgian History)

First World War in Belgium: Monday marks 100 years
Despite valiant defence led by the city’s commander, General Leman, our countrymen had no answer to the massive German howitzers (the “Big Berthas”).
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The German army is advancing through our country, and disturbing reports are coming in that civilians, even priests, are being shot. A German chief of staff has been heard to say that: “We are fighting for our lives and all who get in the way must accept the consequences.”

Europeana 1914-1918 – untold stories & official histories of WW1
The Deutsches Filminsitut, co-ordinator of the European film digitisation project about the First World War, EFG1914, and its European partners welcome the appreciation of their work by the United Nations.

Twilight of the Empire: 10 facts about Russia in WWI

World War I began for Russia on August 1, 1914, less than three years before the revolution which brought down the royal family. On that day, Germany declared war on the Russian Empire. This was four days after the official beginning of WWI and a just over one month after the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was murdered in Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb nationalist, Gavrilo Princip.

Memories of August 1914 in Liverpool

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  • The month that changed the world: Tuesday, 4 August 1914 (oup.com)
    At 6 a.m. in Brussels the Belgian government was informed that German troops would be entering Belgian territory. Later that morning the German minister assured them that Germany remained ready to offer them ‘the hand of a brother’ and to negotiate a modus vivendi. But the basis for any agreement must include the opening of the fortress of Liege to the passage of German troops and a Belgian promise not to destroy railways and bridges.
  • First World War centenary: how the events of August 4 1914 unfolded (telegraph.co.uk)
    What came to be called the Schlieffen Plan was not the first attempt to craft a German strategy to fight a two front war. Such a strategy had already existed prior to Schlieffen. Simply put, that strategy had been “hold in the west and attack in the east.” The traditional invasion route into eastern France was through the Belfort Gap or “Burgundian Gate,” a relatively flat, high plateau between the northern rim of the Jura Mountains and the southernmost part of the Vosges Mountains. This was the invasion route that German armies had taken during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Subsequently, the French had heavily fortified the area. An extensive network of new forts was built centered on the four “front line” cities of Belfort, Epinal, Toul and Verdun.
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    The proposed invasion of Belgium added a political element to the Schlieffen plan whose consequences were not fully appreciated at the time. By invading Belgium, Germany made it a virtual certainty that Great Britain would intervene on behalf of France in the defense of Belgium. The Anglo-French accords of 1905 did not specifically obligate Great Britain to come to the defense of France in the event she had been invaded. Both the British General Staff and the British government had given private assurances to the French government, and its military, of their willingness to come to their aid, but it is unlikely that a formal treaty of alliance would have had sufficient parliamentary support or public approval to be ratified.
  • Belgium, France, Germany unite for war remembrance (gazettetimes.com)
    The Great War, as it came to be known, is now often depicted as senseless slaughter without a big moral cause that claimed an estimated 14 million lives, including 5 million civilians as well as 9 million soldiers, sailors and airmen from 28 countries. At least 7 million troops were left permanently disabled.British Prime Minister David Cameron sought to debunk that notion.”Although there was an enormous amount of waste and loss of life, there was a cause that young men rallied to at the beginning of the war, which was the idea that Europe shouldn’t be dominated by one power. That a country, a small country like Belgium, shouldn’t be simply snuffed out,” Cameron told the BBC.
  • World leaders to mark WWI outbreak in Belgium (expatica.com)
    Reduced to rubble, Liege paid heavily for its sacrifice, but its bravery was such that France awarded the city the prestigious Legion d’Honneur.
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    The main ceremony on Monday in Liege is at the Allied War Memorial of Cointe, overlooking the city where a tower complex sits beside a weathered grey-stone church with a massive cupola, streaked green and brown after many years.
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    St Symphorien “is a uniquely fitting place for us to gather in a spirit of common remembrance,” the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said.”On land donated by a Belgian, in a cemetery first built by the German army and now cared for by the CWGC, the fallen from both sides of the conflict lie together at peace. Today we remember them all.”
  • German Troops Enter France : August 3, 1914 (carletonplacelocalhistory.wordpress.com)
    One German force crossed the French frontier near the village of Cirey, between Nancy and Strausburg, and another German detachment, probably the 29th Infantry, Saturday night invaded the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, neutral territory between France and Germany and continued its march on the French fortified town of Longwy. A dispatch from Brussels said there was good reason to believe that this force later in the day entered France.
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    A train full of German soldiers arrived at the station at Luxemburg during the night. The troops seized the station and the bridges on the Treves and Trois Vierges line in order to secure the regular passage of military trains across the Grand Duchy.According to an evening newspaper published at Liege, twenty thousand German troops crossed the French frontier yesterday morning near Nancy. They encountered French forces and were repulsed with heavy losses. This new
  • #War1914 – The lamps are going out (mcurnow.wordpress.com)
    Sir Edward Grey addressed the House of Commons to explain the situation. He began: “Last week I stated that we were working for peace not only for this country, but to preserve the peace of Europe. Today events move so rapidly that it is exceedingly difficult to state with technical accuracy the actual state of affairs, but it is clear that the peace of Europe cannot be preserved. Russia and Germany, at any rate, have declared war upon each other.”
  • Revisiting the Western Front: What to see now (theglobeandmail.com)
    Lieutenant Albert Mayer, a German cavalry trooper, and Corporal Jules-André Peugeot, a French soldier, were killed the day after a small patrol of German cavalry shot up a French customs post. France formally declared war against Germany on Aug. 3.
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    Eventually, the Mulhouse area became an ancillary focus of the Schlieffen Plan. Alsace, which has felt distinct and separate from either Germany or France since the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, became part of the horrific Battle of the Frontiers, which took place in many locales around Mulhouse, including Belfort and Épinal. By September, 1914, casualties totalled 430,000 on both sides.
  • France, Germany to mark WW1 anniversary (punchng.com)
    Some 30,000 men were killed in the mountains around Vieil Armand, known in German as Hartmannswillerkopf.The cemetery there contains the remains of 12,000 unidentified soldiers.Hollande and Gauck will pay tribute to the sacrifice those men made and celebrate the importance of the modern Franco-German relationship in Europe.
  • World War I – 100th Anniversary (propresobama.org)
    The First World War (1914-1918) had a profound impact on the history of Belgium and of the whole world. “More than any other modern war, ’14-’18 lives in the memory as the ultimate example of a mismatch between what was at stake and the price that was paid. It is the war of the ‘lost generation’, sacrificed for a cause which, in hindsight, is difficult to pinpoint.” (Sophie De Schaepdrijver). Although the last human witnesses are no longer with us, the First World War remains etched in the collective memory of our nation. Belgium played an important role in the conflict, not least through the courageous resistance shown by our soldiers during the German invasion. ‘Poor little Belgium’ earned the admiration of the world.It is only fitting, therefore, that Belgium will play a central part in the centenary commemorations. These will include a number of national commemorative ceremonies with international scope. In addition, Belgium’s various levels of government will oversee a range of cultural, artistic, historical and scientific initiatives throughout the period 2014-2018.
  • President Higgins in Belgium to mark start of first World War (irishtimes.com)

    This evening the President and Mrs Higgins will attend a service hosted by the UK at Mons, where the first British army casualties of the war – including a number of Irish soldiers – are buried.

    The ceremony at Liège this morning will be attended the by presidents of France and Germany, and members of the British and Belgian royal families.

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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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12 Responses to August 4, 1914 to be remembered

  1. Pingback: Liège 2014 remembering the Great War | Marcus' s Space

  2. Pingback: Mons 2014 remembering the Great War | Marcus' s Space

  3. Pingback: Reflections on the Great War #1 | From guestwriters

  4. Pingback: Reflections on the Great War #2 | From guestwriters

  5. Pingback: June 13: 100 years ago my father was born | Marcus Ampe's Space

  6. Pingback: Honouring hundreds of thousands of victims of the brutal Somme battle | Marcus Ampe's Space

  7. Pingback: The Somme (1916) Working Class Holocaust | From guestwriters

  8. Pingback: July 4, 1916 – Battle of the Somme greeted with ‘the greatest enthusiasm’ | From guestwriters

  9. Pingback: The Great War changed everything | Marcus Ampe's Space

  10. Pingback: The War to end all wars | From guestwriters

  11. Pingback: Why are we killing? | From guestwriters

  12. Pingback: Anatomy of a World War I Artillery Barrage | Marcus Ampe's Space

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