Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1914

  • Robert Menzies as a member of the Melbourne University Rifles Member of the Melbourne University Rifles

"World War I broke out during the years when Menzies was pursuing the law course at Melbourne University. It was considered at the time a fair thing if two boys out of a family of four went to the war. Menzies's two elder brothers enlisted and went overseas after a family conference in which it was agreed that Menzies should not enlist but should complete his law course. Compulsory military training within Australia was then in operation and Menzies had become a lieutenant in the Citizen Forces. He continued to hold this commission until his period of compulsory service ended on his attaining the age limit."
Sir Percy Joske, Sir Robert Menzies, 1894-1978 - a new, informal memoir, 1978 p 18.

Australian Events

Posted in 1914

  • WWI soldiers parade down Swanston Street, MelbourneAugust: Australia joins Britain in the war effort. Britain controls Australia's foreign relations and defence. By war's end, more than 320,000 Australians enlisted and served overseas of whom over 60,000 were killed.
  • Fisher Government, September 17.(see Australian Prime Ministers)
  • HMAS Sydney cripples the German raider Emden.
  • Armed forces capture the German colony of New Guinea.

World Events

Posted in 1914

Royal Family portrait: Kaiser Wilhelm II

  • July: Concerned about Russian expansion, Turkey signs a secret defensive alliance with Germany.
  • August: World War I begins after Germany declares war on Russia and France then invades neutral Belgium on August 4 to attack France. On the same day Britain declares war on Germany.
  • Lord Kitchener begins a very successful recruiting campaign for men to join the British Army with 33,000 men joining every day.
  • August 26: German forces defeat 150,000 Russian troops at the Battle of Tannenberg on the Eastern Front. The Germans lose 20,000 men in the battle and take over 92,000 Russian prisoners; only 10,000 manage to escape. News of the Russian defeat is kept from the British public.
  • Panama Canal lockSeptember: Battle of the Marne - with the Allied forces in retreat and the German Army advancing to encircle Paris, the French government moves to Bordeaux. On September 6 the French and British armies advance and divide the German forces. Three days later, unable to break through the Allied lines, the Battle of the Marne is over. The French suffer 250,000 casualties, Germany a similar number, and Britain loses 12,733 men during the battle.
  • October 29: Turkey and Germany launch an attack on Russian Navy bases in the Black Sea. Turkey declares its alliance and that it is at war with Russia, France and Britain.
  • Irish Home Rule Act provides for a separate Parliament in Ireland.
  • The Panama Canal is opened. It had taken 10 years to construct.
  • Marconi sends wireless telephone messages between Italian ships 80k apart.
  • Panama Canal (1930s map)Chaplin and de Mille make their first films.