On August 2, 1914 : Germany sends an ultimatum to Belgium demanding free passage for her troops.
On August 3, 1914 : Germany declares war on France ; Britain sends ultimatum to Germany to respect Belgian neutrality.
On August 4, 1914 : German troops invade neutral Belgium at 8:02 am (local time). Britain declares war on Germany for this violation of Belgian neutrality. This move effectively means a declaration of war by the whole British Commonwealth and Empire against Germany. The United States declares neutrality.
August 4 1914 is a pitch black day in the history of our small country and the start of unnumerable deaths, bestialities and atrocities. The senseless slaughter ended November 11 1918 at 11 am.
In my family, a relative of my maternal grandmother Eugeen De Doncker was killed in the war (Brussels 16.12.1886 - Calais France 20.1.1915)
Two brothers of my maternal grandfather fought on the IJzer river : Bernardus Karolus Neukermans survived the war but died of the sequels (gas) (Okegem 12.6.1883 - Okegem 13.8.1921) ; a younger volunteer survived : Joannes (Went) Amadeus (Okegem 31.12.1895 - 31.10.1976).
I do not have the comparable information on my fathers' side of the family, but one or two of my grandfather's brothers must have been in the army too.The soldier on the left is Bernardus Karolus Neukermans, on the right Eugeen De Doncker.