1.2 What happened on 28 June 1914?

On 28 June 1914, a young Serbian man assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie. The film on this page shows Peter I of Serbia mobilizing his armies in response to the July Ultimatum issued by Austria in the aftermath of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination.

0 MINS 10 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914

The scene looks mundane, the film short. Yet according to records in the British Pathé archive, this seemingly uninteresting footage is from an episode in the run-up to a global conflict that cost the lives of millions. Peter I, the Serbian king, is pictured sitting with his ministers in a tent at the time of the mobilization decree at the very beginning of the First World War.

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