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World War One Centenary 1914 - 2014

The year 2014 marks 100 years since the start of World War One, the 'War to End All Wars'. By the time the Great War ended in 1918, sixteen million people had died. In Britain, barely a family was left untouched by this cataclysmic conflict.

In this new section of the website, you will find a short series of articles to give a brief overview of life both at home and at war in the period 1914 to 1918.

We start with a brief introduction to the events that led up to the conflict:

A Gathering Storm...

The events that unfolded after the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serb nationalist on 28th June, 1914.

World War One was not just fought in the fields of Flanders. It was fought on land, sea and in the air. A truly global war centered in Europe, there was also fighting in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.

At Home

For the first time, war came to those on The Home Front. There were bombardments of coastal towns from the sea and Zeppelin raids on British towns and cities. Industry and agriculture were crucial to the war effort and the mobilisation of women into the work force was vital for victory.

Terror from the Skies

Before the outbreak of World War One, airships were the height of luxury travel. No one in Britain imagined they could be used to bring death and destruction to the coastal towns of Britain.

The war ended when an exhausted Germany requested an Armistice in November 1918. Some ten million men had fallen in battle. Winston Churchill observed that “Victory has been bought at a price so dear as to be barely distinguishable from defeat”.

The war sowed seeds of bitterness, disappointment and resentment which would lead to an even greater conflict just twenty-one years later.

World War One: By Year

Important events of 1914, the first year of the First World War, including the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (pictured to the left), the official start of the war and on to the trench warfare of the Western Front.

Click here to see the key events from 1914

Important events of 1915, during the second year of the First World War, including the first German Zeppelin (pictured to the left) raid on England, the Gallipoli Campaign and the Battle of Loos.

Click here to see the key events from 1915

Important events of 1916 during the third year of the First World War, including Field Marshal Lord Kitchener (pictured to the left) asking for US military participation.

Click here to see the key events from 1916

Important events of 1917 during the fourth and penultimate year of the First World War, including the Battle of Cambrai which saw a surprise tank attack by the British (pictured to the left).

Click here to see the key events from 1917

Important events of 1918 during the fifth and final year of the First World War, including the French Marshall Ferdinand Foch (pictured) being appointed Supreme Allied Commander.

Click here to see the key events from 1918