Tuesday 4 August 1914 – We lost 4

The King holds a privy council at Buckingham Palace, to which only one minister (the minister for works) attends. The cabinet has previously decided to defend the neutrality of Belgium, but is subsequently not consulted. The parliament of the United Kingdom never votes a formal approval of the war.

At 16:00 a War Office telegram is received in the Orderly Room of the Irish Guards. The telegram reads “Get on with it!” All officers of the battalions have been recalled on 30th July as the threat of war loomed. All furloughs were also stopped the same day. On receipt of the War Office Telegram, mobilization notices are sent to every Irish Guards reservist; a total of one thousand three hundred twenty-two men.

The British ultimatum to Germany expires at 23:00 and as Germany has rejected Britain’s demand that she remove her troops from Belgium, war is declared at that time.

The four will include a 17-year old and the son of a family that will lose another son when he is killed in the Great War.

  • Boy Servant Ernest Albert Brackley of HMS Fearless age 17 who dies of septic poisoning.

Ernest Brackley

  • Private Joseph Viles of the Somerset Light Infantry who is 27 is killed in a road accident when he is knocked off his bicycle. He has a younger brother who will be killed in April 1918 serving the the same regiment. This is the first example of a family that will lose multiple sons and it happens within an hour of war being declared.

Photo – findagrave.com