You are not logged in.
3rd November 1914 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.

If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.

    Site Home

    Great War


    Add Stories & Photos


    Allied Army

    Day by Day

    War in the Air

    Prisoners of War

    War at Sea

    Training for War

    The Battles

    Those Who Served


    Civilian Service

    Women at War

    Life on Home Front

    Central Powers Army

    Central Powers Navy


    World War Two


    Add Stories & Photos

    Time Capsule


    Help & FAQ's

    Our Facebook Page




    Contact us

    Great War Books



World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great

The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

3rd November 1914

On this day:

  • 3rd November 1914 Notification of German Troop locations

  • Pioneering work - trenches   

    Cross-section of trenches

    16th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles - Pioneers Trenches were typically constructed to provide shelter for forward troops and fell into two general categories. Fire Trenches as the name suggests were trenches from which the enemy could be engaged in offensive or defensive actions (see cross section in diagram). Communication Trenches were the means by which men and equipment could move in relative safety to and from the Forward (Fire) Trenches.(see cross section in diagram).

    Doran Family

  • 2nd Life Guards endure shelling   At a farm halfway between Zillebeke and Hooge the 2nd Life Guards were heavily shelled about 1 am. Two horses were killed and two wounded. Men led the horses away to a flank on to a soft plough. At 6 am the Regt was moved again into the wood south of Hooge in a position of readiness. Nothing of incident occurred on this day. At dusk the Regiment moved into billet in a farm half a mile north west of Verbranden-Molen.

  • 3rd Nov 1914 Battleships Attack

  • Yarmouth Raid - 3rd Nov 1914    The Raid on Yarmouth, which took place on 3 November 1914, was an attack by the German Navy on the British North Sea port and town of Great Yarmouth. Little damage was done to the town since shells only landed on the beach after German ships laying mines offshore were interrupted by British destroyers. One British submarine was sunk by a mine as it attempted to leave harbour and attack the German ships. One German armoured cruiser was sunk after striking two German mines outside its own home port.


    In October 1914, the German Navy was seeking ways to attack the British fleet. The Royal Navy had more ships than Germany, so it was felt inadvisable to enter into any direct fleet to fleet engagement. Instead, the Germans sought ways to attack British ships individually or in small groups. The Kaiser had given orders that no major fleet action was to take place, but small groups of ships might still take part in raids. The raids had several objectives. One was to lay mines which later might sink passing British ships. Another was to pick off any small ships encountered, or to entice larger groups into giving chase and lead them back to where the German High Seas Fleet would be waiting in relatively safe waters near to Germany. A further consideration was that raiding British coastal towns might force the British to alter the disposition of its ships to protect those towns. The British had resolved to keep the greater part of the Grand Fleet together, so it would always have superiority in numbers whenever it engaged the enemy. Germany hoped to make Britain split more ships from the main fleet for coastal defence thus giving Germany more opportunities to catch isolated ships. The Yarmouth raid was carried out by a German battlecruiser squadron commanded by Admiral Franz von Hipper with three battlecruisers (SMS Seydlitz, Von der Tann and Moltke), the slightly smaller armoured cruiser SMS Blücher and the light cruisers SMS Strassburg, Graudenz, Kolberg and Stralsund. On this occasion, mines were to be laid off the coast of Yarmouth and Lowestoft, but the ships were also to shell Yarmouth.


    At 1630 on 2 November 1914, the battlecruiser squadron left its home base on the Jade River. Two squadrons of German battleships followed them from harbour slightly later, to lie in wait for any ships which the battlecruisers might be able to entice to chase them back. By midnight, the squadron was sufficiently north to be passing fishing trawlers from various countries. By 0630 on 3 November, the patrol sighted a marker buoy at "Smith's Knoll Watch", allowing them to determine their exact position and close in to Yarmouth. Yarmouth coast was patrolled by the minesweeper HMS Halcyon and the old destroyers HMS Lively and Leopard. Halcyon spotted two cruisers, which she challenged. The response came in the form of shellfire, first small, then from larger calibre guns. Lively, some 2 miles behind, started to make smoke to hide the ships. German shooting was less accurate than it might have been because all the battlecruisers fired upon her at once, making it harder for each ship to tell where their own shells were landing and correct their aim. At 0740, Hipper ceased firing at Lively and instead directed some shells toward Yarmouth, which hit the beach. Once Stralsund had finished laying mines, the ships departed. Halcyon, out of immediate danger, radioed a warning of the presence of German ships. The destroyer HMS Success moved to join Halcyon while three more destroyers in harbour started to raise steam. The submarines HMS E10, D5 and D3, inside the harbour, moved out to join the chase, but D5 struck a newly laid mine and sank. At 0830, Halcyon returned to harbour and provided a report of what had happened. At 0955, Admiral Beatty was ordered south with a British battlecruiser squadron, with squadrons of the Grand Fleet following from Ireland. By then, Hipper was 50 miles away, heading home. German ships returning home waited overnight in Schillig Roads for fog to clear before returning to harbour. In the fog, the armoured cruiser SMS Yorck, which was traveling from the Jade Bay to Wilhelmshaven, went off course and hit two mines. A number of the crew survived by sitting on the wreck of the ship, which had sunk in shallow water, but at least 235 men were killed.


    Admiral Hipper was awarded an Iron Cross for the success of the raid, but refused to wear it, feeling little had been accomplished. Although the results were not spectacular, German commanders were heartened by the ease with which Hipper had arrived and departed, with little resistance and were encouraged to try again. In part, the lack of reaction from the British had been due to news received that morning of a much more serious loss at the Battle of Coronel and the fact that Admiral Jellicoe, commander of the Grand Fleet, was on a train returning to his ships at the time of the raid Also, according to First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, the British could not believe there was nothing more to the raid than briefly shelling Yarmouth and were waiting for something else to happen.

    Order of Battle

    • Royal Navy
    • HMS Halcyon, minesweeper, flagship
    • HMS Lively, destroyer
    • HMS Leopard, destroyer
    • HMS Success, destroyer
    • HMS E10, submarine
    • HMS D5, submarine
    • HMS D3, submarine
    • German Navy
    • SMS Seydlitz, battlecruiser, flagship
    • SMS Von der Tann, battlecruiser
    • SMS Moltke, battlecruiser
    • SMS Blücher, armoured cruiser
    • SMS Strassburg, light cruiser
    • SMS Graudenz, light cruiser
    • SMS Kolberg, light cruiser
    • SMS Stralsund, light cruiser

    John Doran

  • Reserve position   E Battery 3rd Brigade RHA

    Started at 1000 and halted in reserve most of the day near Dranoutre when we were lent to 3rd Cavalry Brigade and went into action at 1930 near Lindenhoek but did not fire.

    war diaries

  • 3rd November 1914 Training

  • 3rd Nov 1914 1st East Lancs shelled

  • 3rd Nov 1914 1st North Staffs Ready

  • 3rd Nov 1914 13th Londons proceed to France

  • 3rd Nov 1914 Nominal Roll of 13th London Regiment

  • 3rd Nov 1914 Demolitions

  • 3rd Nov 1914 The Kaiser's Visit

  • 3rd Nov 1914 Appeal for Donations

  • 3rd Nov 1914 Reorganisation

  • 3rd Nov 1914 Hard Fighting

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

If your information relates only to an individual, eg. enlistment, award of a medal or death, please use this form: Add a story.

Want to know more?

There are:16 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. Arthur Bedford. South Staffordshire Regiment 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. George Harding. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. Albert Joseph Perris. Highland Light Infantry 2nd Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. James Francis Henry Probert. South Staffordshire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Leonard Ryder. Hampshire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. William Smith. Northamptonshire Regiment 1st Battalion Read their Story.
  • L/Cpl. Arthur Toms. Rifle Brigade 1st Battalion

    Add a name to this list.

  • Items from the Home Front Archive

    Diary of Cpl William Dickson - 13th (Kensington) Btn London Regiment
    Diary of Cpl William Dickson - 13th (Kensington) Btn London Regiment

    More about this item

    Newspaper page with article about HMHS Rohilla
    Newspaper page with article about HMHS Rohilla

    More about this item

    The need for motor lifeboats
    The need for motor lifeboats

    More about this item

    2nd Field Ambulance at Althorpe Park
    2nd Field Ambulance at Althorpe Park

    More about this item

    Do you have any letters, photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia from the Great War? We would love to include copies. Please use this form to submit diary entries and letters or photographs for this new Section: add to this archive.

    Select another Date
    Day:  Month:   Year:

    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.

    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library

    Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVIII
    - All Rights Reserved