100 years ago today. The First World War began.

100 years ago today Germany invaded Belgium.

In a sane world that would have been the end of the matter.

But Germany was invading Belgium to attack France, because they felt they needed to knock over France before fighting Russia.

They wanted to fight Russia because Russia was supporting Serbia against the Austrians.

The Austrians were angry with the Serbians because a Bosnian had assassinated an Archduke in Sarajevo.

Britain declared war in defence of Belgium and before we knew it half a million Australians were in uniform fighting a crazed war in Europe.

58,961 of them would die, equivalent to the whole of Wagga, a whole percentile of the population at the time. 166,811 were wounded.

A promising century was plunged into a cycle of violence and retribution on an industrial scale.

100 years ago today.

The War Memorial has created this video on the first day of the war.

The Australian War Memorial will mark 100 years since the declaration of the First World War with a significant Last Post Ceremony, on Monday, August 4, at 4.45pm.

Ambassadors and high commissioners will attend this special event and will all lay wreaths in unison around the Pool of Reflection as a message of international peace and unity.

In this morning’s sub-zero temperatures, I got up in the dark to photograph the strikingly lit memorials that line Anzac Parade here in Canberra, they are well worth a visit.

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5 Responses to “100 years ago today. The First World War began.”

  1. Emmanuelle
    August 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    These “célébrations” don’t mean it’s been great stuff but let’s not forget lest it should start again!Isn’t it better to live peacefully?What a wonderful world we have when people stop picking at oneanother!!!

  2. Chris
    August 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    I don’t understand why people (and particularly the ABC) are celebrating the start of a War. Perhaps it being pushed by those who have never experienced the horror of war? If we must celbrate the war then at least make it the end of the war not the beginning.

    • John Griffiths
      John Griffiths
      August 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      I can’t speak for the ABC Chris, but to the extent I ran this single post letting people know about the ceremony, amongst other things, it’s the biggest macro historical centenary I can recall in my lifetime.

      All wars end, but this was the beginning of a real bastard.

  3. Josh
    August 4, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Nice one, John!

  4. GP
    August 4, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Wow.

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