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5th August 1914 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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

5th August 1914

On this day:

  • Green Howards break camp   The territorials of the Green Howards break camp and return to their drill halls. The Drill Hall of the Yorkshire Regiment at Redcar was located on the High Street in a building which had been the Globe Hotel before it was closed in 1910 due to a withdrawal of the liquor licence by the local authority in an attempt to reduce the number of licenced premises in the town. The bar was to the right of the entrance, with toilets, a store with an armoury of more than 100 weapons, utility room and an office for the Officer commanding. On the left was a snooker and games room and a door leading into the rear yard and drill hall. Upstairs the rooms were occupied by the sergeant major appointed to train the men. Today Halford's bike shop stands on the site.

    Remember When

  •    The Battle of Liege

    The German Second Army crossed into neutral Belgium aiming to attack France from the north, and soon reached the key city of Liege, where their advance was checked by a relatively small number of Belgian soldiers under the command of Lieutenant General Leman. The city of Liege was defended by a ring of twelve underground forts built on high ground six miles outside the city in the 1880's, with retractable cupolas housing a total of 400 guns ranging in size up to six inch.

    When the German Army reached the River Meuse a few miles from the city, they found the bridges had already been destroyed. They began to construct pontoons but soon came under fire from the 210mm howitzers, 150 and 120mm canons and 57mm rapid fire guns. The Belgian's had had little time to prepare and the hastily constructed earth works between the forts barely held back the German Forces and on the evening of the 5th the Germans carried out one of the first air raids with a Zeppelin dropping bombs on the city of Liege.

  • First German Naval loss   Königin Luise had been was requisitioned by the Kaiserliche Marine on the 3rd of August 1914 to serve as an auxiliary minelayer, and was pressed in to service when Britain entered the war. On the night of the 4th/5th of August she laid a minefield off the coast but was spotted by a number of fishing vessels. The light cruiser HMS Amphion and a number of destroyers of the 3rd Flotilla sailed early in the morning of 5th of August and sailed towards Heligoland Bight. En-route they encountered a fishing vessel, whose crew informed the British ships that they had seen a ship "throwing things over the side" about 20 miles north of the Outer Gabbard. The taskforce spotted Königin Luise at 10:25, but she fled at top speed, moving into a rain squall, where she proceeded to lay more mines. HMS Lance and HMS Landrail gave chase, and Lance opened fire, the first British Naval shot of the war. HMS Amphion soon closed in and also commenced firing on the Königin Luise which attempted to escape to neutral waters to the south-east, leading the pursuing British vessels through her minefield. Being damaged by heavy fire, Commander Biermann ordered the scuttling of the Königin Luise. The surviving crew abandoned ship, and the vessel rolled over to port and sank at 12:22. 46 of the 100 crew were rescued by the British ships.

  • German vessels held   Numerous German vessels are captured in British ports as they arrive unaware that Britain is now at War with their native land.

  • Export Suspended on Tyne   The export trade on the Tyne is totally suspended with thousands of men being made idle.

  • 3rd Monmouths given Rousing send off.   The whole battalion of the 3rd Monmouths gathered outside the Market Hall in Abergavenny at dawn on the 5th August. Later that day they were marched to Bailey Park where they were given tea. The battalion colours were handed over to the custody of the Mayor and the corporation of Abergavenny. They left the market square of the ancient Borough of Abergavenny to a rousing send off by flag waving citizens. Down the road, out of the Town, over the bridge of the Given River and up the rise to The Great Western railway station, still there today. Two troop trams were ready and waiting, the soldiers boarded bound for Pembroke Dock and what was to be for these Welshmen, a lifetime's adventure. But for many Monmouthshire men the surrounding mountains, the Blaring, the Skirred and the Dei, were the to be their last sight of home.

  • 7th Black Watch man Kingshorn Battery.   At the outbreak of war in August 1914, Kinghorn Battery was manned by the 7th Fife Territorial Battalion, Royal Highlanders who had been been mobilized 5 days earlier. They spent the first few weeks digging new defences to protect the Rosyth Naval Base against the threat of a German landing in the East of Fife.

  • Railways taken over for troops   The railways were taken over by the Government for the transport of troops. All day the stations were busy with reservists who had been called up.

    Homefires Burning - Gavin Roynon

  • Military Manoeuvers at Hyde Park   The traffic at Hyde Park was held up as soldiers loaded cases of ammunition from the Powder Magazine into a fleet of commandeered motor buses.

    Homefires Burning - Gavin Roynon

  • Panic Buying of Groceries   The grocery and provision stores were overwhelmed by a mass of cutomers seeking to stockpile as much food as possible, causing an emourmous rise in prices.

  • 4th Scots Fusiliers at Stirling   The 4th Scots Fusiliers, recalled from their summer camp, mobilised for war. They moved from their base at Kilmarnock to take up their allocated position on the Scottish coastal defences at Stirling.

  • Military Camp to be built   It was revealed that plans had been made to construct a large military camp in the grounds of Lord Brownlow’s country house, Belton Park near Grantham.

  • 44th Brigade RFA mobilize   44th Howitzer Brigade Royal Field Artillery, which consisted of the 47th, 56th amd 60th Batteries, began to mobilise at Bordon. Bordon Camp was first built in 1899 and is situated near Petersfield in Hampshire, the site has been continual in use by the Army since 1903 when the hutted camp was expanded. The Louisburg barracks were built in 1906, adding brick buildings to house two regiments of Artillery, a riding school and a veterinary hospital. The Royal Engineer Lines were added by 1911.

  • Territorials mobilise at Colchester   At Colchester Camp, which has historically been an important military garrison, territorial units are mobilising for war. The men of 8th (Cyclist) Battalion Essex Regiment, The Essex Yeomanry and Essex Royal Horse Artillery are all ordered to prepare to take up their war stations.

  • F Coy 6th DLI leave Barnard Castle   The men of F Coy, 6th Durham Light Infantry were ordered to report to the Drill Hall in Barnard Castle at 8am, to prepare to leave at 4.30pm to rejoin the rest of the Battalion at Bishop Auckland. They had arrived home just after mid-day yesterday.

    Teesdale Mercury

  • 4th Yorks mobilise   4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment receive the order to mobilise and the Companies to assemble at Northallerton.

  • 2nd Life Guards & 4th Cavalry Brigade mobilise   2nd Life Guards are at Canterbury between the 5th and 8th of August. 4th Cavalry Brigade Mobilisation normal

    War Diary

  • 4th Northumberlands proceed to France   On the 5th of August, 17 officers and 660 men, territorials of the 4th Battalion, Northumbland Fusiliers reported for duty and began intensive training in Newcastle.

  • Reservists receive telegrams   Telegrams were sent to the 300 reservists of the Leicestershire Regiment ordering them to report for duty at Glen Parva Barracks, Saffron Lane, South Wigston. The 500 regulars of the 1st Battalion were at Fermoy, Ireland and returned swiftly to England for duty on the East coast in case of invasion.

  • Early actions 1914   Bavarian Ersatz Division part of 7th Army

    The Bavarian Ersatz Division consisted, at the outbreak of the war, of the three mixed Bavarian Ersatz brigades, Nos. 1, 5 and 9 (12 battalions), which detrained on the 17th-18th August 1914 in the region of Schelestadt. But afterwards this designation indicated a composite division (Benzin Division) formed from the 3rd Bavarian Reserve Brigade and the 59th Landwehr Brigade (28th Ersatz, Baden) and the 120th Landwehr Regiment (Wurttemberg).


    The Benzin Division was first engaged in the Vosges (St. Marie Ridge, St. Die, Laveline) until September 1914. After a rest in the Valley of the Bruche, it entrained at the end of September for Mars-la-Tour and reinforced the 3rd Bavarian Corps in the St. Mihiel area.

    historical records

  • Early actions 1914   1st Guards Reserve Division part of 2nd German Army

    Belgium 1914.

    At the beginning of the war the 1st Guard Reserve Division together with the 3rd Guard Division forming the Guard Reserve Corps, swept into Belgium as part of the 2nd Army under von Buelow.

    On the 16th of August it crossed the Meuse at Ardenne and pushed on as far as Namur by the 20th August. On the 29th the two divisions (Guard Reserve Corps) were brought back to Aix-la-Chapelle and left for East Prussia.

    1st September 1914 Poland.

    At the beginning of October the Guard Reserve Corps, attached to the Southern Army Group, took part in the invasion of the southern part of Poland. It fought at Opatow (4th Oct) and suffered severe losses at Lodz while retreating from the Russian armies.

    During the winter of 1914-15 it fought on the Bzura.

    historical records

  • 1st East Lancs mobilise   Mobilization of the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment took place at Colchester between teh 5th and 8th of August 1914.

    war diaries

  • 5th Aug 1914 

  • 4th Munsters mobilise   The 4th Royal Munster Fusiliers were assembled at Kinsale before proceeding to Queenstown.

  • Warwickshire Territorials Mobilise   At 6am on Wednesday, the Territorial Battalions of the Warwickshire Brigade paraded before leaving their home towns. The 5th and 6th Btn shared Thorp St Barracks, which was not big enough for both battalions to parade together. So Col Parkes and Col Martineau tossed a coin. The Mayor won and whilst the 6th Battalion paraded at the barracks, the 5th Btn held their parade in the railway sheds of the Midland Railway. The 8th paraded as a Battlion in Aston and the 7th at their various drill halls across the county.

    In the evening the four battalions boarded trains and departed for Weymouth.

  • 5th Aug 1914 Battery Ready for Service

  • 5th Aug 1914 Mobilisation

  • 5th Aug 1914 Agression Suspended

  • 5th Aug 1914 Mobilisation

  • 5th Aug 1914 Mobilisation

  • 5th Aug 1914 Return from Camp

  • 5th Aug 1914 Mobisation

  • 5th Aug 1914 In France

  • 5th Aug 1914 In France

  • 5th Aug 1914 Mobilization

  • 5th August 1914 Mobilization

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?

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Want to know more?

There are:36 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.

  • Stkr. Walter Edgcombe. HMS Amphion Read their Story.

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  • Items from the Home Front Archive

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