War declared: crowd outside Buckingham Palace

Photograph of the crowd outside Buckingham Palace, London after the declaration of war against Germany, 4 August 1914.

When news of Germany's ultimatum demanding free passage through Belgium reached London on 3 August, the Asquith government acted decisively. It sent its own ultimatum to Berlin on 4 August, ordering Germany to stop its military campaign against Belgium and France. When the deadline for this ultimatum expired at 11 pm GMT, Britain declared war on Germany. Judging from the number of hats raised in the air in this photograph, many of the crowd gathered outside Buckingham Palace greeted this news with patriotic enthusiasm.
IWM Q 65496 (4 Aug 1914)
Crowd outside Buckingham Palace
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