Herbert Henry Asquith, Premier of Great Britain When War Was Declared until December, 1916


Herbert Henry Asquith (1852–1928) was the British prime minister from April 1908 until December 1916. Britain entered the war on August 4, 1914, and in the words of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, “Asquith’s decision for war with Germany was the most important taken by a British prime minister in the twentieth century, and was more important than any prime ministerial decision of the nineteenth century.” All participants in the war suffered to some extent from shortages of heavy artillery shells. On April 20, 1915, Asquith gave a speech in Newcastle, in which he claimed that the army had sufficient ammunition. The following month, the Times newspaper attacked the inadequate supply of explosive shells and the scandal led to Asquith forming a new coalition government. This photograph is from the War of the Nations, a compilation of 1,398 rotogravure images with brief descriptive captions relating to World War I and its immediate aftermath. The book was published by the New York Times Company and includes images that appeared in the Mid-Week Pictorial, a weekly magazine of news photographs published by the New York Times Company between 1914 and 1937. The photographs depict the main military and civilian leaders from the countries involved in the war, battle scenes, major weapons systems, ruins and destruction wrought by the fighting, the return of troops after the war and victory celebrations in various countries, and scenes from the Paris Peace Conference. In addition to the Western front in France and Belgium, the pictures cover the other theaters of the war, including the Eastern, Italian, and Balkans fronts, the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaign, and the campaign in Mesopotamia and Palestine. Postwar developments covered include the revolutions in Germany and Russia and the intervention by Allied and American troops in Siberia. The book has a table of contents; 32 maps, including pictorial maps that illustrate fronts and campaigns; and a three-page appendix that provides a chronology of 1914‒19, statistics (including mobilized strength and the numbers of dead, wounded, and missing from all the belligerents), key wartime events, and the main provisions of the Treaty of Versailles that formally ended the war.


Date Created

Publication Information

New York Times Company, New York


Title in Original Language

Herbert Henry Asquith, Premier of Great Britain when war was declared until December, 1916

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : black and white ; 34-42 centimeters


  1. H.C.G. Matthew, “Asquith, Herbert Henry, first earl of Oxford and Asquith (1852–1928),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  2. Hew Strachan, “Shells Crisis of 1915,” in International Encyclopedia of the First World War, edited by Ute Daniel Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nason (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 2014).

Last updated: November 14, 2017