The World at War 1914 - 1919
A month after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife in June 1914, Austria/Hungary declared war on Serbia and so activated a whole series of European Alliances leading to World War 1.
In August 1914 the 4th Battalion landed in France and went on to take up position on the canal bank at Mons in Belgium. Two VCs, the first of the War, were won at Mons by Fusiliers, Lieutenant M J Dease and Private S F Godley.
The 2nd Battalion of the Fusiliers, together with four Territorial Fusilier battalions, landed at Gallipoli in April 1915. The landing and following few months were a disaster. By the end of November, the Battalion numbered only 11 officers and 105 other ranks. In January 1916 the remnants of the 2nd Battalion left 'W' beach - they had arrived crammed into a troopship; they left in a trawler with room to spare.
Of the 235,476 Fusiliers who took part in the war, 21,941 were killed. Countless others were wounded or taken prisoner. There were 838 decorations for gallantry and 842 Fusiliers were mentioned in dispatches for gallant service. Two Fusiliers won the last two Victoria Crosses of the Great War - in North Russia assisting White Russian Forces.