My grandfather, Charles Stanley Kinrade, joined the Canadian army in 1916 in Trail, B.C. where he was a company painter. At 32 he was deemed to be too old to be in a fighting unit so joined up with the 1st Canadian Overseas Pioneer Detail. He arrived in England June 29th, 1916 and his unit was immediately shipped across to France to join the Somme offensive where he was involved with digging trenches, bringing up shells, burial details and the such.
Sunday, April 9th will be the 100th Anniversary of the assault on Vimy Ridge in the Nord-Pas-de-Calaise and Arras region of France. On a snowy, Easter Monday morning, for the first time in the Great War, four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force attacked a fortified German position as a fighting unit. When the day was barely halfway through the main German stronghold on the top of the ridge had been taken and its defenders killed, captured or fleeing in disarray.
August 7, 1914 - The first British troops land in France. The 120,000 highly trained members of the regular British Army form the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commanded by Field Marshal John French. Thse soldiers are veterans of the Boer War and some form old wars like the Sudan. Their professionalism under fire makes them the best troops on either side. They head straight toward Belgium where the Germans are beseiging Leige.
The Houses of Parliament, Blackpool Illuminations and Tower Bridge were darkened to mark the outbreak of the First World War. From 10pm on -– the hour when Britain declared war with Germany 100 years ago. In addition the National Theatre, Cornwall’s Eden Project,Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Manchester’s Old Trafford ground as well as churches, mosques and other places of worship also observed the solemn occasion.
From "The Salient: A Novel of the Great War" by Kim Kinrade: (Release date September 2014
"His Majesty's Government gratefully accepts your offer
to send an expeditionary force to this country,
and would be glad if it could be dispatched
as soon as possible."
- King George V to the Prime Minister
of Canada: August 1914
August 1: Germany declares war on Russia
August 3: Germany declared war on France.
August 4: Great Britain declares war on Germany. Canada, as a colony of Great Britain, is also at war. Prime Minister Robert Borden calls to support Great Britain. Canadians rush to enlist in the military. Germany unleashes the Schlieffen Plan, a military strategy that requires it to invade neutral Belgium on its way to defating France.
July1914 was definitely the month that changed the world. On July 23rd Austria sent an impossible ultimatum to Serbia and the response, although seen to many as reasonable, was flatly refused by the Austrian government. Therefore, pleased with Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany's assurances for support, Austria declared war on Serbia prompting Russian, Serbia's ally, to mobilize.