The Battle of Tannenburg begins. The battle between the Russian 2nd Army and the German 8th Army lasts until 30 August; the Germans are victorious.
The Battle of Le Cateau ensues as Germany attacks retreating French and British forces. The Allies are successful in their retreat.
The French towns of Cambrai and Douai are occupied by German forces
The French towns of Noyon and Longwy are taken by German forces
The Russian army is defeated at Masurian Lakes in Poland
Russian prisoners of war after the Battle of Tannenberg. “Russian prisoners tannenberg” by website: Ray Mentzer (firstname.lastname@example.org); photographer unknown – Photos of the Great War. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
The Battle of Mons begins, a phase of the Battle of the Frontiers. The British Army attempts to secure the Mons–Condé Canal against the advancing Germans. The British were eventually forced to retreat. The Battle of Mons constitutes the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force.
The Battle of Tannenberg starts. The fighting lasts until 30 August; the Russian army is decimated by the Germans: 92,000 Russian troops are captured, 78,000 killed or wounded. In contrast, the Germans suffer just 12,000 casualties.
The beginning of the Battle of Lemberg. The Russians capture the Ukranian town of Lviv.
Battle of Kraśnik, a phase of the Battle of Lemberg. The Austro-Hungarian First Army defeats the Russian Fourth Army. This is Austria-Hungary’s first victory.
Austro-Hungarian troops rest during the Battle of Krasnik. Image courtesy Wikimedia.
Edmund Thomas Cornish. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Edmund Thomas Cornish was born in London, the first of three boys born to Phillip and Frances Cornish. The family emigrated to Australia when Edmund was 16.
21-year-old Edmund was one of the first men to enlist in Orange. He was living at 90 March Street and working as a labourer at Dalton Brothers’ mill at the time. He embarked from Sydney in October 1914 aboard HMAT A8 Argyllshire.
Edmund joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in April 1915, and proceeded to Gallipoli, where he survived a gunshot wound to his back. He received several promotions during his war service, from Gunner to Bombardier, then Corporal and later Sergeant.
In June 1917 Edmund was transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade in Etaples, France, and in August to the Reserve Brigade Australia Artillery in England. Edmund returned to France in May 1918, only to be killed in action during the Battle of the Somme in August.
Edmund was well-liked by his comrades; one of them declared: “He was a very good fellow.”
Edmund’s name appears on the St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll, alongside those of his brothers Walter and Thomas. Walter and Edmund’s names appear on the memorial plaque in Newman Park, along with 14 others who had 16 pin oak trees planted in their honour in August 1919 by East Orange Public School principal Mr AT Caldwell.
Edmund’s name also appears on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte E Cornish”; it was donated by WJ Eadey. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
Edmund’s brothers, Walter and Thomas also served in WWI; Walter died of wounds in Belgium in September 1917.
Jack Earls’ headstone, Bedford House Cemetery, Belgium. Image courtesy Sharon Hesse.
John Arthur Earls was born in Warrnambool in 1893, the son of John Alexander and Edith Burchell Earls.
‘Jack’, as he became known was working as a railway clerk in Orange when war was declared; he was among the first men in Orange to enlist. Jack proceeded to the Expeditionary Camp at Queen’s Park in Waverley with fellow railway clerks Thomas Henry Nicholson and Claude Bertie West. Tom wrote a letter his colleagues in Orange describing their experiences in camp, and adding “Jack Earls is still a clerk, but does not like it owing to the hours being too long, which are anything from 6 a.m. to 1a.m.”
Jack and his mates embarked from Sydney in October 1914 aboard the Euripides. Jack served in Egypt, France and Belgium, and was hospitalised several times during the course of his service, suffering from gastritis, pneumonia and influenza.
In July 1916 Jack was wounded in action, but recovered from his injuries. On 12 October that year he was killed in action in Belgium.
Jack Earls’ name appears on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll, the Orange Railway Ambulance and Rifle Club Honour Roll and the Orange East Public School Honour Roll. He is also remembered in Newman Park in Orange, where his name appears on a plaque commemorating former Orange East Public School students who were killed in action.
He is also commemorated on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.
On 25 April 1917 the second ever Anzac Day service in Orange was held at the Orange Public School. Mayoress McNeilly placed a laurel wreath on the Union Jack for each fallen soldier who had attended the school, including Jack Earls.
In July 1917 a tree was planted at Orange Public School in Jack’s memory. It was one of 26 trees planted in honour of fallen soldiers who had attended the school.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Sgt JA Earls”; it was donated by his mother, Edith. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
During his war service Jack found the time to write many letters to his friends and family in Orange, often with evocative descriptions of his surrounds. One such letter, written from camp in Mena on Christmas Day 1914 describes his visit to the pyramids. He also mentions Dr Neville Howse’s new moustache and gives an account of his Christmas dinner.
The Battle of Charleroi begins, a phase of the Battle of the Frontiers. The French plan an attack across the Sambre River, when the Germans launch an attack of their own. The Germans are victorious.
German forces begin to attack Namur in Belgium
German forces from German South-West Africa cross the frontier of British South Africa
The British Government issues orders for the raising of the first New Army of six Divisions
The Battle of the Ardennes begins, a phase of the Battle of the Frontiers. The battle takes place over three days in the Ardennes forest in France. There are many casualties and losses of both German and French soldiers. Germany is victorious.