The most moving anniversary journey you could ever take
As the world prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of The Great War, Steve Race visits lesser known Belgian battlefields with remarkable stories to tell Email email@example.com for advice
YOU could be forgiven for thinking Mons is just an for monuments. There are a lot of them in this small Belgian town, but that is because it has a special place in history. It was here that the First World War, in effect, both started and ended for Britain.
On Monday, August 4 it will be 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany.
On August 22, 1914 the first shot was fired by a British cavalryman on the outskirts of Mons. It marked the start of four years of the first totally industrialised war, in which millions died and many more were injured.
The war effectively started on July 28, 1914, when Austria declared war on Serbia following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Crown Prince of Austria Austria was joined by Germany, and Serbia by Russia. By August 4, Germany had entered that they gradually overcame the resistance of the BEF, which was forced to retreat. The Germans took Mons and it would be another four years before the British returned.
The battle provided the first legend of the war – The Angel of Mons.
The story goes that when the Germans were threatening to overrun Mons, angels came out of the sky in the form of archers, stopping the Germans and protecting the British who were able to retreat safely in total darkness.
The war came to Mons again four years later when British Empire troops advanced to the town in November 1918 and when the last British casualty of the war died – his name G L Price – on the day peace was declared.