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Covering the villages of Wilsden and Harecroft
20th October - 26th October 1914

This Week in 1914


The First Battle of Ypres

21st October – British and French troops at the village of Passchendaele fall back to the more secure location in proximity to Ypres. Both sides had begun to dig networks of trenches, redoubts and fortifications. The trench lines around Ypres would become the scene of some of the most brutal fighting of the whole war over the next four years, but Sir John French, the British commander, wrote to Lord Kitchener in late October 1914 that “the enemy are vigorously playing their last card and I am confident that they will fail”. The First Battle of Ypres, as it was later known, raged until November, dragging in divisions of the British, French, Belgian and German armies. It ended in stalemate, with all the participants digging into the trenches that would characterise the fighting on the Western Front for the next four years.

22nd October – The British government orders all foreign vessels out of the Suez Canal

26th October – Four “suspect” foreigners had to be rescued by the police from a mob of angry Welsh farmers after fleeing into the Welsh hills. One of them, a professor of languages, was studying the Welsh language.


Sources

Gilbert, M First World War

Keighley News Archives (accessed via Bradford libraries website)

Askwith, R (ed.) A History of the Great War in 100 Moments

13th October - 19th October 1914

This Week in 1914

15th October – German forces succeed in capturing Ostend. The German Admiral Tirpitz, in a letter to his wife, remarks that “It is really extraordinary how unpopular we [the Germans] are”.

18th October – French and British forces recapture the Belgian town of Ypres from the Germans.

19th October – From this day all licensed premises in London must close at 10pm rather than 11pm

13th October - 19th October 1914
13th October - 19th October 1914

Sources

Gilbert, M First World War

Keighley News Archives (accessed via Bradford libraries website)

Askwith, R (ed.) A History of the Great War in 100 Moments

6th October - 12th October 1914

This Week in 1914

7th October – The German force besieging Antwerp begin bombarding the city, having previously thrown their attacks against the outlying forts. The Germans were using 17-inch Austrian howitzers – the defenders, with 6-inch naval guns and 4.7 inch howitzers, were outmatched. French reinforcements refused to move from Ghent, and the British division at Ostend would not move without French support. On October 10th, the city surrendered to the German army. 57 British soldiers had been killed during the siege, 936 were taken prisoner and 1600 managed to retreat to neutral Holland, where they were interned for the rest of the war.

“In future, villages in the vicinity of places where railway and telegraph lines are destroyed will be punished without pity (whether they are guilty or not of the acts in question). With this in view hostages have been taken in all villages near the railway lines that are threatened by such attacks. Upon the first attempt to destroy lines of railway, telegraph or telephone, they will be immediately shot”

- Proclamation issued by the German Military Governor of Belgium


Sources

Gilbert, M First World War

Keighley News Archives (accessed via Bradford libraries website)

Askwith, R (ed.) A History of the Great War in 100 Moments