The Great War Bookshop Great War Diary, October 2015 – 1915

Thursday, October 1st

Bitter trench fighting at Loos as the British and Germans seek control of the Hohenzollern Redoubt.

Friday, October 2nd

Bulgaria agrees to enter the war on the side of Austria and Germany in return for territory from its neighbours. Serbia is their first priority.

Saturday, October 3rd

The fight for the Hohenzollern Redoubt ends temporarily with the Germans and the British both in possession of different trenches.

Sunday, October 4th

In an effort to avoid the imposition of conscription, the British government appoints Lord Derby to run a recruitment scheme for men aged 18 – 41.

Monday, October 5th

French and British troops go ashore at Salonika in Greece with the aim of offering assistance to Serbs facing invasion from Germany, Austria and Bulgaria.

Tuesday, October 6th

The Germans and Austrians invade Serbia from the north. The aim is to knock Serbia out of the war once and for all. British planes in Mesopotamia fly over Baghdad.

Wednesday, October 7th

French and British war leaders meet to discuss Gallipoli, Salonika and how to help Serbia.

Thursday, October 8th

Parliament debates the Turkish genocide of Armenians, of whom 800,000 are reported killed so far.

Friday, October 9th

At Gallipoli a storm wrecks landing stages and floods trenches. The abandonment of the campaign is now under active consideration in London.

Saturday, October 10th

Austrian invaders occupy Belgrade after fierce street fighting.

 Sunday, October 11th

The British war cabinet agrees to organise more troops for the Mediterranean without deciding whether they will fight at Gallipoli or Salonika.

 Monday, October 12th

General Sarrail arrives in Salonika and orders the first French contingents to advance. In occupied Belgium, a British nurse, Edith Cavell, is executed after a court martial.

Tuesday, October 13th

The war poet, Charles Sorley, is killed fighting for a trench on the Loos battlefield called the Hairpin. Heaviest zeppelin raids on London so far: 71 killed; 128 injured.

Wednesday, October 14th

Bulgaria invades Serbia from the east. The advance guard of Sarrail’s army advances by rail into the Macedonian hills to link up with the Serbs.

Thursday, October 15th

A new commander for Gallipoli, General Sir Charles Monro, leaves the Western Front to take over from Hamilton, who is replaced with immediate effect.

Friday, October 16th

France declares war on Bulgaria; the British and Montenegrins did it yesterday. The plan to assist the Serbs depends on speed and numbers.

Saturday, October 17th

The British offer the Greeks Cyprus in exchange for helping the Serbs; offer rejected.

 Sunday, October 18th

The Italians launch a third offensive on the Isonzo Front with its first objective the hill of San Michele; frontal attacks fail to take it.

Monday, October 19th

The Serb government leaves its wartime base at Niss as the Bulgarians advance.

Tuesday, October 20th

Women become eligible to apply for jobs as ‘conductorettes’ on British buses and trams. General Botha wins re-election in South Africa’s general election

 Wednesday, October 21st

King George visits troops on the Western Front to bestow awards and rally morale after Loos. He learns that confidence in Sir John French is ebbing away.

 Thursday, October 22nd

A mass exodus of Serb civilians follows the army into retreat as stubborn rear-guards try to delay the German, Austrian and Bulgarian invasions.

Friday, October 23rd

With Monro gone to Gallipoli, Sir Edmund Allenby is promoted to full general on the Western Front. England’s greatest cricketer, W.G. Grace, dies aged 67.

Saturday, October 24th

The Bulgarians get between the Serbs and the French troops in Macedonia who have supposedly arrived to help them.

Sunday, October 25th

Several of Sir John French’s senior generals brief against him as King George visits their headquarters.

Monday, October 26th

The German invasion in the north of Serbia links up with the Bulgarians from the east. More civilians join the Serb retreat towards Macedonia’s blizzard-swept hills.

Tuesday, October 27th

Politicians in London gossip about the imminent sacking of Sir John French. A government committee urges the use of women on the land.

Wednesday, October 28th

King George is thrown from his horse while inspecting his troops in France. He fractures his pelvis and is rushed away in agony.

 Thursday, October 29th

As a new Prime Minister, Aristide Briand, takes over in France, Joffre goes to London to urge strong support for Serbia. British war casualties to date: 493,000

Friday, October 30th

Briand appoints a new War Minister, General Gallieni. South Africa sends a governor to run the conquered territory of South West Africa.

Saturday, October 31st

The first steel helmets reach British troops on the Western Front. At Gallipoli, General Monro tells London that he is in favour of an evacuation.

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