26 July 1914 - WW1 Blog - Jersey Heritage

The Island has witnessed a week of unprecedented upheaval. It began with the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia and the likelihood that Russia would enter the conflict.


The Island has witnessed a week of unprecedented upheaval. It began with the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia and the likelihood that Russia would enter the conflict. As a precaution, the British Government moved to place its armed forces on alert. In Jersey, this meant mobilising the Active Militia. 

The Lieutenant Governor, General Sir Alexander Rochfort, issued the order on the evening of 29 July, with Militiamen having to report for duty at the various arsenals and barracks on the following day. After mustering, the men deployed to guard the Island’s coasts and key locations in town. It seems that few of them had much of an idea what was behind the move, but they went about their duties without grumbling.

Then on 1 August, news reached the Island that France had ordered a general mobilisation of its armed forces. As a result, thousands of local French military reservists immediately departed to return to their regiments in preparation for a possible war with Germany, which subsequently broke out on 3 August.

As of this time, Britain’s position is unclear, although news that German troops have entered neutral Belgium is a cause for great concern.