1914

  • 25 JulySerbia announces a general mobilization.
  • 30 JulyRussia announces a general mobilization.
  • 31 JulyAustria-Hungary and Belgium announce a general mobilization.
  • 1st AugustFrance and Germany announce a general mobilization
  • 4 AugustGreat Britain declares war on Germany.
  • 12 AugustArrival of the British expeditionary force under the command of General French in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 23-24 AugustBattle of Mons (Wallonia, Belgium).
  • 5 September-13 NovemberFirst Battle of the Chemin des Dames (Aisne, France).
  • 6-13 septembreBattle of the Marne (France)
  • 13 OctoberCapitulation of the City of Lille (Nord, France).
  • 13 October - 2 NovemberBattle of Armentières (Nord, France).
  • 17 October - 22 NovemberFirst Battle of Ypres (Province of West Flanders, Belgium).
  • 24 OctoberGeneral Foch (1851-1929) sets up his headquarters in Cassel (Nord, France).
  • 23-24 NovemberThe British Indian Army fights at Festubert (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 20-21 DecemberThe British Indian Army fights at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée (Pas-de-Calais, France).
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1915

  • FebruaryFoundation of the Grave Registration Commission in charge of registering the graves of Commonwealth soldiers.
  • MarchFirst repatriations of French civilians from areas occupied by the Germans.
  • 10-13 MarchBattle of Neuve-Chapelle (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 22 April - 24 MaySecond Battle of Ypres (Province of West Flanders, Belgium).
  • 22 AprilFirst German gas attack near Ypres (Province of West Flanders, Belgium).
  • 15-27 MayBattle of Festubert (Pas-de-Calais, France)
  • JuneGeneral Foch leaves Cassel (Nord, France) which henceforth is under British command.
  • JulyCreation in France of the Battlefield registry (Service de l’Etat civil du Champ de bataille) to register the graves of French soldiers.
  • 25 September-18 OctoberBattle of Loos (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 29 DecemberFrench act assuring the right to perpetual burial site in French soil of Allied and French soldiers who died during the war.
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1916

  • JanuaryEstablishment of mandatory military service in the British Army.
  • FebruaryThe British troops take over from the French troops in Artois and now hold the frontline from the Somme (France) to Ypres (West Flanders, Belgium).
  • 21 February - DecemberBattle of Verdun (Meuse, France)
  • MarchThe British General Headquarters move from Saint-Omer to Montreuil-sur-Mer in Pas-de-Calais (France).
  • 4 MaySigning of an agreement between France and China for sending Chinese workers to Europe.
  • 1st July - 18 NovemberBattle of the Somme (France)
  • 19-20 JulyBattle of Fromelles (Nord, France).
  • NovemberStart of British recruitment drives to recruit Chinese workers in the Province of Shandong (China).
  • November200 French civilians are deported as hostages to German internment camps.
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1917

  • 17 FebruaryThe Athos is sunk in the Mediterranean by a German submarine. About 543 Chinese workers are killed as a result.
  • 9 April - MayBattle of Arras (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 12 AprilTaking of Vimy Ridge during the Battle of Arras (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 16 April - MayBattle of the Chemin des Dames (Aisne, France).
  • 21 MayEstablishment of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, originally named Imperial War Graves Commission. This institution is responsible for the registration, construction and maintenance of the graves of Commonwealth soldiers that were killed in battle during various conflicts, including the First World War.
  • 31 July - 10 NovemberThird Battle of Ypres (Province of West Flanders, Belgique), also called Battle of Passchendaele.
  • AugustChina declares war on Germany
  • SeptemberCircular letter of the French General Headquarters, which defines the repatriated civilians as "those who had to live under enemy rule in an occupied country".
  • SeptemberRiots in the British military camp at Etaples (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 20 November - 7 DecemberBattle of Cambrai (Nord, France).
  • Publication of the first Illustrated Michelin Guide to the Battlefields on the First Battle of the Marne (France), by French publishing house, Michelin.
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1918

  • January1,000 French civilians are deported as hostages to German internment camps.
  • SpringLarge-scale German offensive from Reims (Marne, France) to Ypres (West Flanders, Belgium).
  • 9 April - 29 AprilFourth Battle of Ypres (Province of West Flanders, Belgium), also called the Battle of the Lys.
  • SummerAllied counter-offensive after the German attacks of the spring.
  • 11 NovemberSigning of the Armistice in the forest at Compiègne (Oise, France).
  • 25 NovemberEstablishment in France of a national graves commission.
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1919

  • AprilOfficial ceremony marking the departure of the British General Headquarters from France.
  • 28 JuneSigning of the Treaty of Versailles (France) which sets out the terms of peace between the former warring parties.
  • Foundation of the Saint Barnabas Society in Great Britain which assists families who lost a family member in battle to organise their visit to their loved one’s grave.
  • The British travel agency, Thomas Cook organises the first trips to France and Belgium for the first battlefield tourists.
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1920

  • 31 JulyA law enacted by the French Government provides for the creation of national cemeteries.
  • 20 SeptemberA French law allows families to repatriate the bodies of French soldiers to their villages and towns at the State’s expense.
  • 11 NovemberBurial of an unknown British soldier in Westminster Abbey (London, Great Britain) and a French unknown soldier under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (France).
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1921

  • Inauguration of the Chinese cemetery of Noyelles-sur-Mer (Somme, France).
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1922

  • 14 MayInauguration of the British cemetery at Etaples (Pas-de-Calais, France).
  • 28 JuneA French law grants the right to a perpetual burial site in French soil for German soldiers (extension of the Act of 29 December 1915).
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1924

  • 16 JanuaryDecree relating to the construction of the French national cemetery of Notre-Dame de Lorette (Pas-de-Calais, France).
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1925

  • 2 AugustInauguration of the Lantern Tower of the French national cemetery of Notre-Dame de Lorette (Pas-de-Calais, France).
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1927

  • 22 MayInauguration of the monument to the people of Lille in Lille (France) which commemorates the plight of the civilians in Lille during the Great War.
  • 24 JulyInauguration of the British Memorial of the Menin Gate in Ypres (Province of West Flanders, Belgium).
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1929

  • 23 JuneInauguration of the national French cemetery of Douaumont (Meuse, France).
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1932

  • 1st AugustInauguration of the British Memorial of Thiepval (Somme, France).
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