Monday, 4 August 2014

Recollections of War: 4 August 1914 - 100 Years

        100 years ago - war was declared.  After Germany marched through Belgium, violating the Treaty of London, the British ultimatum delivered to the Germans was ignored, and at 23:00 (11:00pm) on August 4, Britain - and with her the Commonwealth, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - a state of war existed between the Axis Powers and the Allies.

        Future Prime Minister Winston Churchill later wrote about the scene in London that night:
                “It was eleven o’clock at night – twelve by German time – when the ultimatum expired. The windows of the Admiralty were thrown wide open in the warm night air. Under the roof from which Nelson had received his orders were gathered a small group of admirals and captains and a cluster of clerks, pencils in hand, waiting. Along the Mall from the direction of the Palace the sound of an immense concourse singing ‘God save the King’ flouted in. On this deep wave there broke the chimes of Big Ben; and, as the first stroke of the hour boomed out, a rustle of movement swept across the room. The war telegram, which meant, “Commence hostilities against Germany”, was flashed to the ships and establishments under the White Ensign all over the world. I walked across the Horse Guards Parade to the Cabinet room and reported to the Prime Minister and the Ministers who were assembled there that the deed was done.”

        With that telegram, four years of conflict began.  Nation fought against nation - countries banded together against the enemy - whoever that was.  The world was changed.  Many wondered which side God was on?  However, the real question was, and in some ways still is - Who was on the Lord's side?  For this war and its victories and defeats, humanity and horrors, brought home to many the realization that this world is a broken world - yet, there is hope.  When Christ comes again he will make all things new, and there will be no war and death. Until then, we must live in light of that knowledge.
        Rudyard Kipling summed up the state of the world at this point in history many years earlier with his poem, "God of Our Fathers:"
'God of our fathers, known of old-
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine-
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!'

(Read the rest of the poem HERE.)

        Thus began one of the most fiercest worldwide conflicts in all of history - The First World War. 

Written and posted by William A Moore

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