WWI History

The following is a timeline of the main events in World War I.

Included are the dates of when the 12 soldiers from Feckenham died and where they fell.  


JUNE 1914

28: Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo


JULY 1914

28: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia



01: Germany declares war on Russia

03: Germany declares war on France

04: Germany declares war on neutral Belgium

: Britain declares war on Germany

06: First British casualties as HMS Amphion is sunk in the North Sea

: First air raid kills 9 as Zeppelins bomb Liège

07: First British troops arrive in France

09: Battle of the Frontiers begins as France attempts to regain Alsace and Lorraine

12: Britain declares war on Austria-Hungary

17: Russia invades East Prussia

23: Battle of Mons begins as British Expeditionary Force (BEF) faces advancing                                                German forces

: Japan declares war on Germany

26: Battle of Tannenberg begins

: Battle of Le Cateau, retreating British troops fight a rearguard action

28: Battle of Heligoland Bight, the first naval engagement of the war, Mainz, Köln and Ariadne sunk by British



01: Joffre orders armies to fall back south of Paris as far as the Seine

05/06: French 5th Army and BEF halt, turn around and advance towards the Marne, Battle of Marne begins

15: Battle of Aisne begins

22: British aircraft carry out first air raid on Germany, Battle of Picardy begins

: U9 sinks three British cruisers off Dutch coast

27: Start of Battle of Artois

28: Germans start bombardment of forts surrounding Antwerp



4: German forces reach Belgian coast

12: German occupation of Lille, Battle of La Bassée

10: Surrender of Antwerp

16: Start of battle of the Yser and Battle of Armentières

19: Battle of Ypres sees the Germans attempt to break through to Channel ports

29: Turkish ships attack Russian ports in the Black Sea, heralding Turkey’s entry into the war



02: Russia declares war on Turkey

05: Britain declares war on Turkey



03: Battle of Kolubra begins. Austro-Hungarian forces pushed out of Serbia

08: Battle of the Falkland Islands

09: Warsaw bombed by Germans

16: Hartlepool, Scarborough and Whitby are shelled by German ships, 137 people are killed



01: British women are employed as munitions workers

19/20: First Zeppelin raid on Britain, Great Yarmouth bombed

31: German attack at Bolimov on the Vistula front involves first recognised use of gas



19: Campaign at Gallipoli begins with French and Royal Navy ships bombarding Turkish positions

22: German victory at winter battle of the Masurian Lakes


MARCH 1915

10: Battle of Neuve Chapelle begins

18: Anglo-French attack at the Dardanelles (Gallipoli), involving 16 battle ships and a host of smaller craft, suffers heavy losses

22: Przemysl, with garrison of 120,000, surrenders to Russians


APRIL 1915

22: Second Battle of Ypres begins, Germans use chlorine gas for first time

25: Allied troops land at five beaches at Cape Helles on tip of Gallipoli peninsula and face heavy Turkish resistance


MAY 1915

01: Withdrawal of British troops from Ypres begins

07: Lusitania is sunk by U-boat

09: Spring Artois offensive begins, British attack either side of Neuve Chapelle

15: Attack on Festubert by British begins

23: Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary

25: U-boat off the Dardanelles sinks Triumph, universal conscription introduced in Britain

27: Majestic is sunk by U-boat in Gallipoli Campaign

31: First Zeppelin raid on London; 28 dead and 60 injured


JUNE 1915

07: Zeppelin destroyed in flight by hand-launched bomb near Ghent

20: Germans launch offensive in Meuse-Argonne area


JULY 1915

30: Germans use flame-throwers to penetrate British line at Hooge, near Ypres


August 1915

06: Death of Private Alick Pretty, remembered on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey



06: Bulgaria joins the war, signing a pact with Austria-Hungary and Germany

25: Battle of Loos begins, British forces use chemical weapons for the first time



12: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed



27: Fierce winds bring icy rain, sleet and snow; many deaths from cold and 15,000 evacuated suffering from exposure, frostbite and trench foot



09: Allied troops complete their evacuation from Gallipoli



21: Germany launches large-scale attack at Verdun, following a 9-hour artillery barrage, Germans occupy first line of French trenches


MARCH 1916

06: Germans transfer main effort to west bank of Meuse River. Fierce fighting ensues on the hills of Le Mort Homme and Côte 304


APRIL 1916

29: British surrender at Kut


MAY 1916

31: Battle of Jutland, only large-scale naval engagement of the war


JUNE 1916

01: Germans advance towards Fort Vaux

04: Brusilov offensive begins

22: Germans use phosgene gas in attack on Fleury

23: Opening of preliminary bombardment on the Somme

24: Allies open barrage along 40km (25mile) front


JULY 1916

01: Battle of the Somme begins, British advance first and suffer 57,000 casualties, Anglo-French air supremacy on the Somme, 201 French and 185 British aircraft pitted against 129 German planes

02: British capture Fricourt

07: British make unsuccessful attack on Mametz Wood

10: British capture Contalmaison and make another attack on Mametz Wood

13: Night attack on German line from Longueval to Bazentin-le-Petit

14: Bastille Day counterattack by the French

20: British attack for possession of High Wood



12: French gain the German third line of trenches from the Somme to Hardecourt

18: British advance to Guillemont, scene of fierce German resistance



03: Guillemont, with many prisoners, captured by British. Ginchy also taken, but British then driven out

15: British tanks are used for the first time at Flers-Courcelette

25: British begin attack in Morval area

26: British launch attack on Thiepval Ridge, capturing Thiepval



05: Death of Private Frank Owen, buried in Salonika (Lembit Road) Military Cemetery, Greece

13: British attack at Beaumont Hamel and along north bank of the Ancre, Beaumont Hamel and Beaucort captured

18: End of the Battle of the Somme

18: Death of Private Egbert Dolphin, buried in Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt, Somme area, France



18: Battle of Verdun ends



31: Germany restarts unrestricted U-boat warfare


MARCH 1917

28: Formation of Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps in Britain


APRIL 1917

06: USA declares war on Germany

09: Battle of Arras begins

16: Nivelle Offensive leads to heavy losses and French Army mutinies

24: Death of Private Edgar Hawthorne, remembered on the Doiran Memorial, Greece


MAY 1917

27: Death of Private Enoch Parker, buried in Sunken Road Cemetery, Boisleux-St. Marc, Arras, France

30: Death of Sergeant Frank Styler, buried in Feckenham Churchyard, Worcs.


JUNE 1917

07: Battle of Messines Ridge

07: Death of Private Alfred Gould, buried in Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery, near Mesen, Belgium

13: “Diamond formation” Gotha bombers target London causing 158 deaths and 425 wounded: worst civilian casualties during the war


JULY 1917

06: T.E. Lawrence ‘of Arabia’ takes the Red Sea port of Aqaba after a surprise raid

10: Death of Sergeant Wilfred Slade, buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery, near Nieuport, Belgium

31: Third Battle of Ypres begins



12: Death of Bombardier Ernest Hicks, buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium



20: British Second Army launches attack astride Menin Road

26: British launch assault around Polygon wood



04: British attack at Broodseinde

09: British assault on Poelcappelle hampered by mud

25: Russian Bolsheviks seize power in the October Revolution



20: Battle of Cambrai begins; massed tank attack enables British to make significant gains

21: British capture Flesquières but suffer heavy losses elsewhere

22: Fontaine lost to German counterattack

27: Germans defeat last British attack on Fontaine



11: General Allenby enters Jerusalem

15: 28-day armistice signed by Russia and Germany


MARCH 1918

03: Russia signs Brest-Litovsk treaty with Germany

21: Germany launches its Spring Offensive on Western Front

23: Péronne captured as Germans make rapid advance; British 5th Army virtually destroyed, first long-distance shelling of Paris

24: Death of Private William Styler, remembered on the Arras Memorial, Arras, France


APRIL 1918

09: Death of Private Stephen Rumsey, buried in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium

12: Voluntary British withdrawal of 2nd Army south of Ypres

23: British attempt to block the port at Zeebrugge with sunken ships


JUNE 1918

01: Influenza epidemic reaches Western Front; German troops especially badly hit


JULY 1918

18: Allies begin counteroffensive actions on Western Front

22: Death of Private Cecil Burrow, buried in Lumbo British Cemetery, Mozambique



8: Battle of Amiens begins the Hundred Days Offensive, British planes drop 1,563 bombs and fire 122,150 rounds in support of ground offensive

18: British offensive in Flanders begins

21: British renew offensive on Somme

22: British forces capture Albert

30: Austro-Hungarian intention to sue for peace communicated to Germany



06: Germans complete withdrawal from Lys salient

27: Start of British offensive between Lens and Epehy

28: British, Belgians and French launch offensive: Fourth Battle of Ypres

29: Hindenburg Line breached by the Allies, British offensive opens with Battle of St Quentin Canal



01: Damascus taken by Arab and British forces

04: Germans send request to US President Wilson for armistice

08: Wilson demands withdrawal of Germans from occupied territories

14: British offensive around Ypres forces Germans to begin abandonment of Belgian coast, President Wilson demands Germans to end all U-boat offensives

17: British forces occupy Lille

29: German sailors mutiny, unrest leads to the German Revolution

30: Turkey ends its involvement in the war



03: Austria signs its armistice

04: Start of final Allied offensive on Western Front

05: General retreat of Germans from the Meuse begins

11: Germany signs the armistice document ending the war


Research in to when and where the soldiers died was done by Richard Pearce. 

For more  information on the soldiers mentioned, please see the biographies in ‘The Fallen’ and ‘We Will Remember Them’ in ‘Audio’.