The fourth of August 1914 was a day of jubilation throughout Britain. German armies, numbering in the millions, had overrun Belgian border stations the previous day and were advancing unchecked across the frontier. As the morning progressed, a buzz of enthusiasm began to grow. News placards throughout Britain broadcast the news of the German invasion to the eager public from every street corner. Those British in the big cities were first to hear. From London to Birmingham, Manchester to Cardiff, and Edinburgh to Belfast, people gathered to hear the news. By noon, Trafalgar Square was packed end to end with Londoners. The war that Europe had been waiting for had finally arrived. Within hours thousands were gathering outside local recruiting stations. The queues consisted of men young and old, rich and poor, covering the spectrum of Britain’s class society. These men were here for many reasons but all wanted in before their chance had passed.
The Gettysburg Historical Journal:
Vol. 1, Article 9.
Available at: http://cupola.gettysburg.edu/ghj/vol1/iss1/9