18th August 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Blean in Kent – Mary Selena (“Peta”) Taylor (married name Mary Jaegar), English cricketer.



Western Front: In Belgium, after the fall of Liege, King Albert orders a retreat towards Antwerp, which infuriates the French because it will effectively withdraw the Belgian forces from protecting their left flank from the oncoming German advance.

An anonymous British nursing sister writes from  her berth on the troopship “SS City of Benares”:

“We had a great send off… and went on board about 2pm…I don’t remember anything quite so thrilling as our start off from Ireland. All the 600 khaki men on board, and all the crowds on the quay, and in boats and on lighthouses…we had the King’s proclamation read out to us about doing our duty for our Country, and God blessing us, and how the King is following our every movement.”

From: “The Diary of A Nursing Sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915” (anonymous)


“Boy soldier” William Hayman, also leaving from Ireland, reports a different perception of the Irish public’s mood today:

After preparing all day we leave Portobello Barracks at 4.30pm. I am riding my grey horse and
finding the cobbled streets very slippery indeed. The Irish people demonstrate against us and are
very unfriendly. Not a very nice send off for us! We reach the docks and embark after much trouble
with the horses on S.S. WESTMEATH (Grenock)”




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