“Universal Calamity Impending: The World’s Greatest War” was the news headline in The Daily Advertiser from 4 August 1914. The phrase sums up well the air of foreboding that we imagine was hanging around on that day. It was on 4 August that Britain declared war on Germany. And where Britain went, Australia was determined to follow.
With so many interwoven agreements, promises of support and alliances throughout Europe, when the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo the resulting mess was seemingly inevitable. Countries were mobilising even before any declarations of war – Australia included. No one wanted to be caught out. In that Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Advertiser, the editor gave the people of Wagga details on what the Government could offer Britain in the event of war. Prime Minister Joseph Cook was quoted as saying “the Australian fleet is ready, and at the disposal of the Empire, as it has been and ever will be when our navy is wanted to help the mother country.”
- Read more at On Record @CSU Regional Archives