Alfred Ford

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World War One centenary: Far-flung heroes of the first truly global war

An interactive map produced by the National Archives highlights the key role played by countries across the globe in the First World War<p>They were thousands of miles away from the horrors of the Western Front.<p>But islands and territories such as Jamaica, Bermuda and the Seychelles played a key role …

The trains that took us to war

Without railways, the First World War could never have happened, as Michael Portillo explores in his new TV series<p>Think Portillo on railways and immediately the mind rattles down the narrow-gauge track of comfortable nostalgia.<p>There is the politician-turned-presenter relaxed in some polished-wood …

The cricketers who fought for their country in World War One

More than 200 professional cricketers in England signed up to fight in the summer of 2014 and obituaries replaced match reports in Wisden. A new book tells the story of the men who played, and fought, for their country<p>On the bank holiday evening of Monday August 3 1914, Lionel Tennyson dreamt of …

Life on the eve of war: the disunited kingdom

In 1914, when Parliament passed the Home Rule Act in the face of Tory opposition, Ulster Unionists organised armed revolt, and civil war threatened. By Charles Moore<p>Much the greatest issue in British politics in the spring and summer of 1914 was Ireland. Since April 1912 the Liberal government of …

World History

Life on the eve of war: panic at the bank

As financial markets reacted to turmoil in Europe with panic, in London people formed orderly queues, waiting to turn their banknotes into gold. It was the beginning of the end of the City's status as the financial centre of the world. By Jeremy Warner<p>When the British taxpayer bailed out the banks …

London Stock Exchange

Life on the eve of war: cricket's close of play

If the early years of the 20th century represented cricket’s golden age, it was an innings cut short by conflict, and many of England’s finest with bat and ball would never again make their way out to the middle. By Scyld Berry<p>Cricket in 1914 was so much simpler. The first-class counties numbered …

Cricket

Life on the eve of war: the workers unite

Despite the reforms brought in by the Liberal government, the years before the war were punctuated by a series of strikes and civil unrest. By Philip Johnston<p>The Left still calls it the Great Unrest – a period between 1910 and the outbreak of the First World War when workers, many organised for the …

Winston Churchill

Life on the eve of war: preparing the Navy for battle

As the prospect of war loomed, Winston Churchill had the task of preparing the already impressive Royal Navy for what lay ahead. In doing so he faced a political struggle on his own shores. By Con Coughlin<p>When Winston Churchill, in his capacity as the First Lord of the Admiralty, staked his …

Life on the eve of war: the first truly global financial crisis,

As financial markets reacted to an impending World War One and the turmoil in Europe with panic, in London people formed orderly queues, waiting to turn their banknotes into gold. It was the beginning of the end of the City’s status as the financial centre of the world. By Jeremy Warner<p>When the …

How the First World War changed motoring

Despite the carnage, technological advances and greater use of motorised vehicles revolutionised post-war society<p>The <b>National Motor Museum</b> Trust, Beaulieu, has been given £97,200 of Lottery funding to explore how the <b>First World War</b> led to a revolution in leisure motoring.<p>A commemorative project …

Life on the eve of war: the best of enemies

In the months leading up to World War One, relations between Britain and Germany were surprisingly cordial<p>One of the many oddities to be found in browsing copies of The Daily Telegraph from the first half of 1914 is a near-insistence on the strength of Anglo-German friendship. Surely, we think a …

The Great War and education

As the nation commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of WWI, Prof Gary McCulloch looks at the impact the First World War had on education<p>The Great War was first and foremost a military event on a global scale, but it was also a social and political landmark. Education was a fine example of …

World War I

Remembering the Irish who fought with Britain in 1914

Irish memories of the First World War are often overshadowed by the Easter Uprising. But tens of thousands fought and died in the fields of Europe<p>At Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday, a significant event took place: <b>the unveiling of a Cross of Sacrifice erected in conjunction with the</b> …

Lest we forget the worldwide war

As the centenary of the First World War nears, we must reflect on the Empire’s sacrifices, says Hew Strachan<p>The Great War was a global conflict, and yet the commemoration of its centenary is becoming resolutely local. That is true of countries other than Britain, but it is for Britain that the …

The lost gardeners of Heligan

A series of events tomorrow commemorates the workers who left the idyllic Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall for the First World War trenches<p>“Heligan is a modern miracle,” wrote the novelist John Fowles. “Once the estate of the Tremayne family, its ancient community was definitively scuppered – …

How darkness descended over Europe in August 1914

On the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, historian Hew Strachan profiles Sir Edward Grey, whose words are behind a national commemoration<p>"The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life”. In his 1925 memoirs, Sir Edward Grey said that he could …

August 3 1914: the countdown to cataclysm

Pre-war Edwardian Britain was not a happy place. Millions lived in overcrowded city slums, unable to earn enough to feed their families, Ireland was a tinderbox and suffragettes were dying<p>Everyone remembered the glorious summer before the outbreak of the First World War. The long golden days …

August 3 1914: the countdown to cataclysm across the world

The build-up to hostilities of the First World War was met with joy in Berlin, disinterest in France, disbelief in America and fear in Russia<p><b>GERMANY by Justin Huggler</b><p>Huge crowds poured through the streets of Berlin on 3 August, 1914. They were celebrating in Germany. Soldiers marched through the …

Europe

First World War centenary: how the events of August 1 1914 unfolded

Britain went to war on August 4, 1914. In the first part of a four-day series, we document the dramatic events leading up to the declaration of war as they happened, hour-by-hour<p><i>Are we to go in or stand aside? Of course everybody longs to stand aside.</i> <b><br>Herbert Asquith, diary entry, July 31</b><p>The crisis …

First World War centenary: how the events of August 2 1914 unfolded

Britain went to war on August 4 1914. In the second part of a four-day series, we document the dramatic events leading up to the declaration of war as they happened, hour-by-hour<p><i>Ever since 1892, when France and Russia had joined in military alliance, it was clear that four of the five signatories</i> …

WW1 centenary: how the events of August 4 1914 unfolded

Britain went to war on August 4 1914. We document the dramatic events leading up to the declaration of war as they happened, hour-by-hour<p>The outbreak of war in 1914 is not an Agatha Christie drama at the end of which we will discover the culprit standing over a corpse in the conservatory with a …

Jingoism was only one front in Rudyard Kipling’s war

The Nobel laureate was not the reactionary figure of popular prejudice – his works should be celebrated this year<p>In the roll call of writers and poets with a connection to the First World War, one name has been conspicuously absent, that of Rudyard Kipling.<p>Commentators seem reluctant to include …

WW1 Lena Ashwell parties: Shining a light on the young women who brought music to the trenches

WW1 centenary: A new play seeks to shine a light on the brave young British women who toured the battlefields of the First World War to perform for soldiers. One of the authors, Dr Anne Farthing, explains all<p>As we <b>commemorate the centenary of World War One</b>, we are finally starting to build a more …

The start of the First World War was a seminal moment in modern history

It shaped almost every aspect of the world in which we now live – the first act in a drama that lasted until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991<p>The final weekend of peace was sunny and warm. On the Bank Holiday Monday, day trippers flocked to the most popular resorts, Blackpool and Brighton, …

Never forget the bravery and the selfless sacrifice

Commentary: As Britain prepares to remember, Sajid Javid, the Culture Secretary, on why we should never forget<p>Within the rich earth of St Symphorien Military Cemetery, there is indeed “a richer dust concealed”. The site, just over a mile from the Belgian tourist town of Mons, is the resting place …

The First World War still touches Britain

The lost lives we commemorate have added meaning in light of the troubles of today<p>Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of Britain entering the First World War, a chance to remember the fallen at church services or at wreath layings across the country. In the evening, many Britons will be lighting a …

BBC Proms War Horse review: 'movingly elegiac'

Serena Davies on the 'beautiful reimagining' of Michael Morpugo's classic story at this year's proms<p>The 2014 Proms’ most explicit commemoration of the start of the First World War came the day before its outbreak. Sunday’s short, sweet concert invited us to remember the conflict by putting War …

In war and peace, Britain can be proud

When plans were made for the commemoration of the First World War, it seemed like an exercise in history – a necessary and salutary process of remembrance, but not one that could have much resonance in an age where consumerism appeared to have replaced patriotism as society’s animating force.<p>Yet …