1914 : Going to war

The Thunder of Guns

On Boulevard Lambermont: Alerted by the noise of the canons, the population of Schaerbeek tried to follow the artillery battles which were going on outside the city. The capture of Brussels, on 20 August 1914, was but one step in the German advance. The same day, in order to avoid the encirclement which threatened his troops, King Albert ordered the retreat toward Antwerp. Helped by the belt of fortifications surrounding it, the harbour-city was to serve as “national recess”. Despite being the last rampart of the nation, Antwerp nevertheless fell on 9 October. The Belgian army retreated toward the sea and established its position behind the Yser on 16 October. It would remain there for almost four years.