This is the story of the 30,490 men that left Dundee to fight in the First World War and of the people left at home.
28th June 1914
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife are assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, setting off a chain of events across Europe that lead to war.
29th June 1914
Dundee Courier reports on the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Little did the people of Dundee and the rest of Great Britain know how their world was about to change.
29th June 1914
Secretary of the Austro-Hungarian Legation at Belgrade sends despatch to Vienna accusing Serbian complicity in the assassination.
20th July 1914
Austria-Hungary sends troops to the Serbian frontier.
25th July 1914
Serbia orders mobilisation of troops. Russia arranges for troops to be stationed on Russo-Austrian frontier.
28th July 1914
A month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
1st August 1914
French military mobilisation ordered; Germany declares war on Russia; and Italy and Belgium announce their neutrality.
3rd August 1914
Germany declares war on France and Great Britain orders for troops to mobilise.
4th August 1914
Germany invades neutral Belgium and Great Britain declares war and the United States declares its neutrality.
6th August 1914
Royal Navy cruiser HMS Amphion is sunk by German mines in the North Sea resulting in the death of 150 men - the first British casualties of war.
7th August 1914
The first contingent of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) land in France.
11th August 1914
Kitchener calls for the first 100,000 men to enlist in his New Army with the publication of 'Your King and Country Need You' poster (that number is made good within two weeks).
13th August 1914
The first squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps arrive in France and claim their first 'kill' on August 25.
20th August 1914
Brussels is evacuated as Germans occupy the city. By invading neutral Belgium, Germany hoped to capture Paris quickly by catching the French off guard.
23rd - 26th August 1914
The Battle of Le Cateau starts where the British Expeditionary Force suffers 7,812 casualties and is forced to retreat but they delay German advance at Le Cateau and Mons.
28th August 1914
The Battle of Helogoland is the first naval action of the war when the Royal Navy sinks three German battle cruisers.
5th - 12th September 1914
The First Battle of Marne checks the German advance at an estimated cost of 13,000 British, 250,000 French and 250,000 German casualties. In total over two million men fought in the battle.
10th - 13th September 1914
Battle of the Masurian Lakes where German forces win a second victory of the Russians forcing them into a retreat.
14th - 28th September 1914
The Battle of Aisne where the allies fail to break German lines and both sides reinforce their defences in what becomes known as the ‘race to the sea’ – it is also the start of trench warfare and the development of some 400 miles of continuous trench systems.
16th October 1914
The British Indian Expeditionary Force D, tFhe largest Indian Army force of the war to serve abroad, sails from Bombay to the Persian Gulf in preparation for the defence of Mesopotamia.
16th October - 11th November 1914
The First Battle of Ypres when German forces attempt to take the Belgian city but the allies hold out – inflicting 135,000 causalities and the British Expeditionary Force suffer significant causalities.
29th October 1914
Turkey enters the war as a German ally bringing some 600,000 troops into the war.
1st November 1914
Battle of Coronel. Outsized, out-manoeuvred and outgunned, German cruisers destroy a small British squadron off the coast of Chile. Commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock, his orders were to fight to the end, despite him knowing the odds were heavily against him.
22nd - 23rd November 1914
Trenches are established along the entire Western Front and the British enter Basra in the Middle East (to secure oil supplies mainly for the Royal Navy) and is formally occupied on 23 November.
23rd November 1914
The Portuguese Government announce prospective co-operation of Portugal with Great Britain.
8th December 1914
Battle of the Falklands where Admiral von Spee's squadron is destroyed and the ‘Scharnhorst’, ‘Gneisenau’, ‘Leipzig’ and ‘Nürnberg’ are sunk. Admiral von Spee is killed and only the SMS Dresden escapes.
16th December 1914
The German First High Sea fleet bombards Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough, killing 137 civilians - proving that the British mainland is susceptible to attack.
18th December 1914
As a result of the declaration of war with the Ottoman Empire, of which Egypt was nominally a part, Britain declared a Protectorate over Egypt.
21st December 1914
First German air raid on England where aeroplane drops bombs in sea near Dover – and Jasin (East Africa) occupied by British forces.
24th December 1914
Second air raid on England and first bomb dropped on English soil (near Dover).
25th December 1914
Aircraft of the Royal Naval Air Service, carried to within striking distance by seaplane tenders of the Royal Navy, bombed the Cuxhaven area causing damage to shore installations.
25th December 1914
‘Christmas Truce’ observed on certain sectors of the Western Front - in some areas the unofficial truce was maintained for days. German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings, food and souvenirs. Some meetings ended in carol-singing and elsewhere men even played games of football.
29th December 1914
Memorandum sent to United States Government by British Government in defence of British blockade policy. (US commercial interests wishing to profit from wartime trade with both sides were suffering because of the blockade).
30th December 1914
Russian Commander-in-Chief (Grand Duke Nicholas) suggests a British expedition against the Turks to ease Russian situation in the Caucasus.