August 4, 1914
Tonight Great Britain and Germany went to war. The "momentous decision of the British Government came before the "expiration of the time limit" set by Great Britain in her ultimatum to Germany to respect Belgian neutrality.
According to Associated Press bulletins, Germany has rejected Britain's request in regards of Belgium's neutrality.
The British Ambassador to Germany has received his passports, and the British government has notified Germany that a "state of war existed between the two countries."
The Prime Minister spoke in the House of Commons: "We have repeated the request made last week to the German Government that they should give us the same assurance in regard to Belgian neutrality that was given to us and Belgium by France last week. We have asked that it should be given before midnight."
The response from Germany was unsatisfactory. King George V and his Council met late in the evening, where the declaration of war was signed.
War was declared at 11:00 p.m. The Foreign Office has released the following statement:
"Owing to the summary rejection by the German Government of the request made by his Majesty's Government for assurances that the neutrality of Belgium will be respected, his Majesty's Ambassador to Berlin has received his passports, and his Majesty's Government declared to the German Government that a state of war exists between Great Britain and Germany as from 11 p.m. on August 4, 1914."
More than a thousand people gathered outside Buckingham Palace late tonight and cheered until King George V, Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales and Princess Mary appeared on the balcony.
All of Europe "is now in arms." On one side: Austria-Hungary and Germany, which are opposed by Russia, France, Great Britain, Serbia and Montenegro.
Italy has declared to be neutral but has been mobilizing. Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland are also mobilizing. Germany's request for free passage of its troops through Belgium was "answered with hasty preparations" by Belgium to resist the advance.