The heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, were assassinated at Sarajevo, in Servia, on June 28, 1914. As Austria was anxious for war with Servia, owing to the latter being in the way of Austria’s ambition, which was to expand southwards, Austria made these murders a pretext for declaring war on Servia. Germany had also been preparing for war and many people are positive that the Sarajevo murders were instigated by Germany.
Hostilities against Servia commenced on July 28, 1914.
When war was declared on August 4 1914, the excitement was intense and the colonies immediately responded to the call of the Empire. The first body of New Zealanders which was formed, left for and took possession of Samoa. The main body for active service was then formed, and I fully intended to join, but as a friend of mine couldn’t go then, we joined up with the second reinforcements. We enlisted with the 3rd Auckland mounted regiment. All was excitement when leaving Auckland for Wellington. We went into camp in October 1914, and put in some hard training, but we were anxious to be off to the front.