22 MARCH 1935, Page 6

It is odd that there should be any doubt at

this time of day about when this country went to war in 1914. But being rather hyper-conscientious in such matters I turned a day or two ago to a reference-book to make quite sure that the state of war began at midnight., and not 11 o'clock, on August 4th. The volume in question, issued under the auspices of the then Ministry of Information, gave under August 4th " British ulti- matum and state of war at 11 p.m." (Midnight in Berlin is 11 p.m. in London.) Not satisfied with that I went back to original authorities and turned up the official " British Documents." There I find that at 2 p.m. on August 4th Sir Edward Grey instructed the British Ambassador in Berlin to ask that a reply to his demand for assurances " be received here by 12 o'clock tonight." (British time or .German time ?) Later in the day Sir Edward informed the German Ambassador in London that " His Majesty's Government consider that a state of war exists between the two countries as from today at 11 p.m." In his Twenty-Fire Years, written in 1925, Lord Grey ends his seventeenth chapter with the .dramatie words ." Midnight. came: We were at war." So midnight I suppose it was..