WWI Calendar

June 28 Archduke Franz Ferdinand (The heir the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and his wife  are assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip sparking the First World War.
July 1 Royal Navy Air Service [RNAS] formed from Naval Wing of Royal Flying Corps.
15 HMS Philomel commissioned for service under the New Zealand Government by Captain P.H. Hall-Thompson in Wellington.
August 4 Britain states it will be at war with Germany at 11pm if they do not withdraw from Belgium thus at 11pm Britain and the Empire is at war with Germany.
5 The Governor General of New Zealand, Earl of Liverpool, announces that New Zealand is at war with the Central Powers along with the other Dominions.
6 Charles Palmer walks into the Auckland regional military commander to offer his services as a naval patrol service for Auckland Harbour. His offer is taken up and he is given a rank and organises the patrols.
15 Samoan Expeditionary Force in two troopships departed Wellington, HMS Philomel, Psyche, & Pyramus as escort then joined by HMAS Australia and Melbourne and the French cruiser Montcalm at Nouema.
28 Battle of Heligoland Bight, HMS New Zealand part of the 1st Battle Cruiser Force under Beatty and the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron under Goodenough. Three German light cruisers SMS Mainz, Köln and Ariadne and two destroyers are sunk and many German ships are damaged for no loss. First use of the term Grand Fleet in the RN.
30 Occupation of German Samoa by New Zealand Samoan Expeditionary force, HMAS Australia [flagship], HMAS Melbourne, HMS Psyche and Pyramus, French cruiser RFS Montcalm and HMS Philomel escorted New Zealand troopships Monowai and Moeraki.
September 6 The Admiralty announces the formation of a Royal Naval Division – it has a large number of reservists it cannot send to sea. A number of new Zealanders including Bernard and Oscar Freyberg join the Naval Division.
19 Submarine HMAS AE1 foundered off the Bismarck Archipelago – New Zealander Able Seaman John Reardon is lost serving in her.
October 6 British troops are landed at Zeebrugge and Ostend – New Zealanders heavily involved in the Action.
16 HMS Philomel sailed from New Zealand as part of the escort of the main body, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
December 23 The Australian Imperial Force and the Main Body of the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force arrive in Cairo.
January 24 Battle of Dogger Bank – German ships attack the RN patrols protecting the fishing fleet. SMS Blucher sunk and two other battlecruisers damaged. HMS Lion [Beatty’s flagship] and Tiger damaged. HMS New Zealand was in the Battle Cruiser Force. Both sides claim a victory.
February 8 HMS Philomel landed an armed party at Alexandretta (now Iskenderun), in Southern Turkey.  A large force of Turkish soldiers was encountered, resulting in one seaman killed and five wounded. Able Seaman William Knowles dies of his wounds the next day. He is the second New Zealander to be killed in action during the war.
April 25 Lieutenant Bernard Freyberg RNVR wins DSO at Gallipoli.
25 70,000 Allied troops land on Gallipoli – the Australian and New Zealanders at Anzac Cove, the British and French at Cape Helles.
May 7 HMS Maori sunk by mine near Zeebrugge.
19 ANZACS repulse the Turkish attack at Gaba Tepe.
July 4 An attack by Turkish forces against the RN Division and 29th Division is repulsed with heavy losses to the Turks as they try to dislodge the British and French forces off Gallipoli. New Zealander Sub-Lieutenant Oscar Freyberg RNVR is killed in action serving with the Collingwood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division on Gallipoli during the August offensives.
 August 6 Battle of Sari Bair – attack by the Anzacs on Chanak Bair – New Zealanders reach the top but it is lost when they are relieved. This is the last major offensive effort by the Anzacs on Gallipoli. It’s failure provided a reason for the British High Command to consider evacuation.
September 2 Australian troops are rescued from the sunken troopship HMT Southland off Lemnos.
24 National Registration Act passed in New Zealand – beginning of the conscription process.
October 26 British transport Marquette torpedoed in the Aegean – a number of New Zealand nurses going to Salonika are killed.
26 National Registration ordered for all eligible males in New Zealand.
November 4 Turkish attacks at ANZAC repulsed – the last attacks the ANZACs face before evacuation.
December 19 Evacuation of ANZAC and Suvla beachheads begins at Gallipoli.
January 8 Final forces are evacuated from Cape Helles ending the Gallipoli campaign.
February 1 Germany opens its unrestricted submarine warfare campaign against merchant shipping supplying Britain.
March 28 2nd ANZAC Corps formed in Egypt including the New Zealand Division which will be sent to the Western Front – the mounted rifles will stay in the Desert.
April 22 The battlecruisers HMAS Australia and HMS New Zealand collide – the Australian ship is at fault and misses Jutland and never fired a shot in anger.
25 First anniversary of Gallipoli is commemorated in NZ.
May 31 Battle of Jutland. HMS New Zealand participates in the battle suffering slight damage with HMS Indefatigable in the 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron as part of the Battlecruiser Force, under Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty.
June 1 Battle of Jutland continues through the early morning. By day’s end the RN lost three Battlecruisers, three Cruisers, eight Destroyers and 6784 killed. The German High Sea Fleet lost a Battleship, Battlecruiser, four Cruisers and five Destroyers and 3058 killed. The German fleet was battered that it could not put to sea and remained in port.
2 Friedrichshafen F.33a seaplane from SMS Wolf captures Union Steamship Company Ship SS Wairuna at Raoul Island. Capture was made by dropping a weighted bag with instructions to “Steer south to German Cruiser do not use wireless”, If not obeying orders you will be shelled by bombs.”  A bomb was dropped to emphasise the point this was the first use of Naval combat aircraft in the Pacific.
17 Union Steamship Company Ship Wairuna scuttled after cargo and coal was transferred to Wolf.
July 1 Battle of the Somme begins as 750,000 French and British men attack the German trenches. At the end of the day 58,000 British troops were killed or wounded the heaviest loss suffered by the BEF in a single day.
September 1 Commander Armstrong RNVR was sent by the Admiralty to New Zealand in 1916 to recruit men for the RNVR.  Specifically the Royal Navy sought to expand the RNVR to provide crews for the 500 Motor Launches to serve with the Coastal Command.
15 The New Zealand Division undertakes its first attack on the Western Front at Flers-Courcelette. Mark I Tanks also go into action for the first time
21 The New Zealand Division makes a second attack on the Somme.
October 1 The New Zealand Division is withdrawn from the Somme.
December 16 Temp Lt-Colonel Bernard Freyberg 63rd, RND is awarded a VC for his actions on the Somme leading a battalion in the final attacks of the offensive.
January 19 Submarine HMS E36 lost in the North Sea, New Zealander PO Stoker H. Coney is serving in her when she is lost.
25 HMS Laurentic sunk by a mine off the Irish coast  – New Zealander Engineering Lt Commander G R Rutledge killed serving in her.
March 10 SS Otaki, Union Steam Ship Company, sunk by disguised German Raider SMS Mowe.  Captain of Otaki, Lieutenant Archibald Bisset Smith RNR awarded a posthumous VC for gallantry, Officer in Charge of 4-inch gun Sub Lt G. Formby awarded DSC.
 April 16 HMS Philomel paid off following first New Zealand commission.
17 HMS Philomel commissioned as depot ship at Wellington.
21 New Zealander Stoker Charles Williams RNR receives a DCM for his actions in the destroyer HMS Broke in an action against German destroyers in the Dover Strait overnight who were bombarding Dover. Two German destroyers G42 and G85 were sunk.
30 Q-Ship HMS Prize in action with German submarine U-93 120 miles South West of Fastnet. New Zealander Acting Lieutenant W.E. Sanders RNR is awarded the VC as the Commanding Officer.
June 9 Battle of Messines – the New Zealand Division takes part in a successful attack.
12 Lieutenant Commander W.E. Sanders VC awarded DSO.
25 German raider SMS Wolf lays mines between Three Kings, North Cape.
27 German raider SMS Wolf lays mines Cook Strait.
July 31 Passchendaele Campaign beings around Ypres – it was designed to capture U-boat bases on the Belgian coast.
August 14 Q-Ship HMS Prize [aka First Prize Q21], Lieutenant Commander W.E. Sanders VC, DSO, RNR Commanding, was sunk by UB-48 northwest of Ireland.  Lieutenant Commander W.E. Sanders and all the ship’s company are killed in action.
September 26 PC61 rammed and sank UC-33 in the South Western Approaches; Captain Frank Worsley earned DSO for his actions.
 October 4 The NZ Division enters the Passchendaele campaign with a successful bite & hold attack.
12 The NZ Division makes a disastrous attack suffering the single greatest loss of life in one day in New Zealand’s military history.
 November 17 Cruiser action off Heligoland as RN Battle Cruisers attack German Minesweepers and covering heavy ships. 1st Cruiser Squadron, 1st & 6th Light Cruiser Squadrons supported by 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron which included HMS New Zealand – posthumous VC awarded to Ordinary Seaman J.H. Carless on HMS Caledon.
December 21 Captain Count Felix Von Luckner, formerly of the German Raider SMS Seeadler, recaptured by the Cable Ship Iris after escaping from a POW Camp on Motuihe Island.
 February 11 Q-Ship HMS Westphalia [aka Cullist] sunk by U-97 in the Irish Sea – New Zealander Engineering Acting Lieutenant L V Gully is killed.
 March 23 RNAS squadrons alongside RFC squadrons carry out ground attacks against German forces causing great disruption in the rear. Raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend a number of New Zealanders took part.
April 1 RNAS and RFC combined to become Royal Air Force.
22 On the night of 22-23 April RN forces attack Ostend and Zeebrugge which were German Naval Bases and blockships were attempted to be sunk in the Channel. A number of New Zealanders, most serving in Motor Launches participated, several being decorated for gallantry.
 May 10 Second attack on Ostend. The cruiser HMS Vindictive is sunk in the harbour entrance blocking its use by German cruisers and making it difficult to use by other shipping. A number of New Zealanders involved in the attack.
 October 18 New Zealander Engineering Sub-Lieutenant W G McKay RNR is killed serving in RFA Industry torpedoed by a U-boat.
19 New Zealander Lieutenant G. Drummond RNR is killed when his minesweeper HMS Plumpton strikes of a mine off Ostend. He was the Commanding Officer.
 November 4 The NZ Division captures Le Quesnoy on the Western Front in its last combat action.
21 Operation ZZ – Surrender of the German High Seas Fleet off May Island [70 vessels] known as Der Tag [“The Day”] and arrives at Rosyth enroute for internment at Scapa Flow. “Didn’t I tell you they’d have to come out?’ (Beatty) – The German ensign is to be hauled down at Sunset today and will not be hoisted again without permission.
 December 2 SS Maunganui departs Britain as an Ambulance Transport for New Zealand.
3 SS Tahiti departs Britain for New Zealand with the first men demobilised from England after the Armistice.
8 SS Ruahine departs Britain as an Ambulance Transport for New Zealand.
13 The German Armistice is extended for a month by mutual agreement.
15 SS Malta departs Egypt for New Zealand with the first men demobilised from the NZMRB – Rarotongan Pioneer Company departed as a complete unit on this vessel.
19 HMHS Marama departs Britain for New Zealand.
12 The Paris Peace Conference starts William Massey attends at the NZ representative.
18 SS Zealandic departs Britain as an Ambulance Transport for New Zealand.
25 SS Port Melbourne departs Britain as an Ambulance Transport for New Zealand.
28 SS Westmoreland departs Britain for New Zealand carrying the Maori Pioneer Battalion – this is the only unit of the NZEF to be returned as a full formation.
March 10 In her last voyage as a hospital ship HMHS Maheno departs Britain for New Zealand.
 May 6 The German colonies are disposed of and NZ is given a mandate over Western Samoa.
7 The Treaty of Versailles is drafted and presented to the German delegation who balk at signing it due to the harsh terms.
June 19 In her last voyage as a hospital ship HMHS Marama departs Britain for New Zealand carrying 689 personnel.
21 German High Seas Fleet scuttled at Scapa Flow 1 x  Dreadnought, 3 x Cruisers 18 x Destroyers and a few Torpedo Boat Destroyers are beached and saved from sinking. 10 x  Battleships 5 x Cruisers and 32 x Destroyers are sunk.
28 The Treaty of Versailles is signed between the Allied Powers and Germany.  This document officially ends the First World War and sets out German reparations.  (The arduous reparations were one of the direct cause of the Second World War).
 July 28 SS Hororata departs Egypt for New Zealand – this is the last vessel to bring demobilised men home from the Middle East.
August 20 HMS New Zealand, with Admiral of the Fleet, Viscount Jellicoe embarked, arrived at Wellington.
November 27 The Treaty of Neilly is signed by Bulgaria and the Allied Powers.
January 10 The Treaty of Versailles takes effect.
March 31 HMNZT Ionic departs Britain for New Zealand – this is the last transport for demobilised men to leave Britain and the last ship to take men home.
March 14 New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy formed.