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Forces War Records Blog

DIARY OF THE GREAT WAR - 100 YEARS AGO TODAY #WWI AUG 23RD 1914.

  • Japan declares war on Germany.
  • British Army engaged at Mons against greatly superior forces; battle lasted four days.
  • Three of Namur forts fall; town evacuated by the Allies.
  • Two Danish ships sunk by mines.
  • After a six days' struggle the French withdraw from Lorraine.

Picture – Furious Charge of British Cavalry at Mons. 

At Mons, a Belgian mining town is where the first great British battle for France took place on Sunday August 23rd, and the following day.  For thirty-six hours the cavalry, artillery, and infantry out-fought a German force of much superior strength.  Some British soldiers had not taken their boot off since they landed in France; yet, after marching rapidly to Mons, they threw up trenches, and fought night and day without rest.  But tired though they were when they started, they shot so well that their dead foes were piled up in heaps before them.  A wounded German Officer, taken prisoner, remarked that the rifle fire was “staggering”, nothing like it had been imagined.  It was also quoted afterwards that the British cavalry rode like madmen against the German horsemen.    

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