25 July

Serbia annonces a general mobilization.

30 July

Russia annonces a general mobilization.

31 July

Austria-Hungary annonces a general mobilization.

1st August

France annonces a general mobilization.

Germany declares war on Russia.

3 August

Germany declares war on France.

4 August

German Army invades Belgium.

Great Britain declares war on Germany.

5 August

New Zealand declares war on Germany.

12 August

Arrival of the British expeditionary force in Boulogne-sur-Mer (France, Pas-de-Calais).

Start enlistment to form a New Zealand expeditionary force.

29 August

New Zealand Army captures German Samoa.

6-9 September

Battle of the Marne (France).

14 October

Departure of the expeditionary force from New Zealand.

23 October

First mining operations at Vermelles (France, Pas-de-Calais) by the French sappers.

18 November

Early French mining actions in Argonne (France, Lorraine).

15 December

John Norton-Griffiths, a Member of Parliament and civil engineer, sends an offer to create Tunnelling Companies in United Kingdom.

20 December

10 German mines of 50kg explode beneath the British trenches at Festubert (France, Pas-de-Calais).


26 January

20 German mines destroy British frontline at Cuinchy (France, Pas-de-Calais).

19 February

British Government accepts John Norton-Griffiths' offer to raise British Tunnelling Companies.

21 February

Early mining operations of the 170th Tunnelling Company at Hill 60, near Yper (Belgium).

25 April

Landing of Australia and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli (Turkey).

25 May

A New Zealand mine explodes at Quinn's Post which start the underground warfare at Gallipoli.

24 July

British Tunnellers of the 174th Tunnelling Company relieves French sappers at Carnoy, Fricourt, Maricourt and La Boisselle (Somme).

10 September

British Government sends an appeal to Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to raise Tunnelling Companies in the Dominions.

17 September

New Zealand is the first Dominion to announce formation of a Tunnelling Company.

Early enlistment to form the New Zealand mining corps.

11 October

Start of the New Zealand Tunnellers' training on the Avondale Racecourse, near Auckland (New Zealand).

18 December

The New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company leaves Auckland on board the S.S. Ruapehu.


8-10 January

Ruapehu call in at Montevideo (Uruguay).

End of January

Ruapehu call in at Dakar (Senegal).

3 February

Arrival of the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company at Plymouth (Great Britain).

Start of the last training before departure to France.

10 March

Arrival of the New Zealand Tunnellers in Le Havre (France, Normandie) becoming the first New Zealand soldiers ont the Western Front.

15 March

The New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company relieves the French 7/1 compagnie d'ingénieurs territoriaux in the Labyrinth sector, between Roclincourt and Ecurie (France, Pas-de-Calais).

29 March

The New Zealand Tunnellers exchange their position with the 185th Tunnelling Company and fight henceforth at Chantecler, a kilometer South of their old sector.

7 April

First German underground offensive against the New Zealand Tunnellers.

5 May

Four New Zealand mines explode becoming the first New Zealand Tunnellers' underground action.

4 June

Explosion of four German mines near and beneath the British frontline whose three form craters on the surface.


Development of the New Zealand underground system creating an effective underground defense at Chantecler.

5 November

Exploration of the first underground quarries located in Saint-Sauveur and Ronville faubourgs in Arras.

15 November

End of the underground warfare for the New Zealand Tunnellers.

Early New Zealand connexion works in the underground quarries in Ronville (Pas-de-Calais, Arras).

25 November

Early connexion works of the men of the 184th Tunnelling Company in Saint-Sauveur (Pas-de-Calais, Arras).

9 December

43 Māoris of the Māori Pioneer Batallion reinforce the New Zealand Tunnellers.


4 January

Start putting in electricity in the quarries.


End of the connexion works in the entire underground system in Arras.

24 January

Installing direction signs in the underground system.

25 January

Early works to organize a tramway line in Ronville and Saint-Sauveur systems.

14-16 March

German withdrawal on the Hindenburg line making it impossible to attack from the Ronville System.

3 April

Electricity is installed and tested in the whole system beneath Arras.

9 April

Beginning of the Battle of Arras.

Opening of the three tunnels located at the end of Saint-Sauveur system allowing infantrymen to appear suddently in the German trenches.

5 May

Early development beneath trenches located between Gavrelle and Roeux, East of Arras by the New Zealand Tunnellers.


Digging dug-outs beneath British trenches by the New Zealand Tunnellers.

5 November

Explosion of a damage ammunition stock at Wanquetin by the New Zealand Tunnellers.


Continuing constructions beneath trenches by the New Zealand Tunnellers.


21 March

Large German offensive at Arras.

Start of trenching South-West of Arras for the New Zealand Tunnellers.


Back to digging underground constructions beneath trenches for the New Zealand Tunnellers.

14 July

Departure of the New Zealand Tunnellers from Arras.

15 July

Arrival of the New Zealand Tunnellers at Marieux (France, Somme).

17 July

Early digging dug-outs beneath trenches at Marieux.

20 August

End of the underground works for the New Zealand Tunnellers.

28 September

Start construction of a military bridge at Havrincourt (France, Nord).

5 October

End of the Havrincourt bridge construction becoming the longest bridge erected on the Western Front.


Erection of various military bridges.

11 November

Signing of the Armistice in the Compiègne Forest (France, Oise).

Early December

Demobilization of the first New Zealand Tunnellers.


21 January

Demobilization of the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company.

30 January

Arrival of the New Zealand Tunnellers in Great Britain.

14 March

Departure of the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company from Great Britain.

23 April

Arrival of the last New Zealand Tunnellers in Auckland.

24 April

Dissolution of the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company.