Tag Archives: July Crisis

Diary entries recording the events leading to the declaration of war on Germany on 4th August 1914.

28 July 1914; Tuesday

Got up 6.20. Went to baths. Tom Vicar back. Busy at work all day. Played the piano a bit at night. Wrote up diary. A good deal of excitement caused by Dublin matters1 and by Servia2 and Austria. Troops being recalled to their stations.

War declared against Servia by Austria. Servian ships seized on the Danube. Kaiser holds all night War Council.

  1. Dublin matters: The Ulster crisis again; see note on 21 March

  2. See note on 23 July about the spelling of Serbia. 

27 July 1914; Monday

Got <up> in decent time and went to work <in> better time. Very busy all day. Got through in good time at night. Played a bit and had short walk with Charlie. Did a bit Pelman1. Looked up a bit grammar. Trouble between Servia2 and Austria & a prospect of all Europe being concerned. Gun running3 at Ulster and 4 people killed in riot. Mr Whittaker called for Father to go and sign loan.

  1. Pelman: see note on 6 January

  2. See note on 23 July about the spelling of Serbia. 

  3. Gun running: See note about the Ulster Crisis on 21 March

26 July 1914; Sunday

At chapel and School as usual. Mr Chadwick preaching. Managed very well in both places. Went to Willie and Lily’s to tea. Mr and Mrs Peake there. Willie playing the organ. Blaikie on his holidays. Miss Hunter away too. A few hail showers and we didn’t walk far. Mr Chadwick announced that we would commence with the new hymns old hymn books next month and that Mr Flood will be preaching one day in August.

Conference of Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain proposed by Sir Edward Grey1 but Germany declines. 27th2.

  1. See also Wikipedia: Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon  

  2. “27th” perhaps means that this last sentence is overflow from the next page (28 July), which is full. 

25 July 1914; Saturday

Busy all morning at work. Boxed with Charlie in the afternoon and played a bit. Read a bit and went over to Roker at night with Willie Whittaker. Listened to the band and walked along to Whitburn and carred1 back. Rather cold night. Charlie at work.

Servia’s2 answer considered unsatisfactory. Austrian ministers leaving Belgrade.

  1. “Carred”: rode on the tram-car. 

  2. See note on 23 July about this spelling of Serbia. 

24 July 1914; Friday

Got up at 6.15 and went to baths. Swimming on my back for first time. Received telegram at home from insurance man and he called and saw Father. I went along at night to Whittakers’ and talked with Mr Whittaker until about 11 o’clock. He was in bed. Decided to write and ask Robsons’ what they propose to do.

Austrian Demands considered to imply challenge to Russians. Russian cabinet meetings.

23 July 1914; Thursday

Busy all day. Did some shorthand in the morning. Compensation man called to see Father, but Father was not in at the time. Willie and Lily called to ask us to tea.

Austrian note presented to Servia1 and a reply demanded within 48 hours.

  1. “Servia”: Serbia was commonly so spelt before WW1; cf. Bartholomew’s Literary & Historical Atlas of Europe, publ. 1910, repr. 1912 & 1914, in Everyman’s Library; also Lady Cynthia Asquith’s diaries for 1915/18. The spelling possibly arose from confusion between В/в (pronounced “V”), and Б/б (pronounced “B”) as actually used in spelling Србиjа.