30th November 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: In Sydenham, Kent, England – David Curwen, a man whose love of all things mechanical has brought pleasure to generations of children* (and their parents) in parks and gardens in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia, and which continues to do so a century after his birth. He died in May 2011, aged 97,  having brought sunshine to many. May he rest in peace.

* including mine



28th November 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Sheffield, England – Eveline, daughter of Harry and Eveline Simpson. Eveline junior was “born 28th November 1913 and died a few months later”.

Not long enough even to make a small mark in the sands of time… except perhaps through the love of others.


27th November 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in New York City – Walter Benjamin Garland, Brooklyn college mathematics student, communist party and National Negro Congress activist, volunteer fighter with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. US Army volunteer in World War 2 whose request to serve overseas was denied. Post war activist against discrimination and police brutality, co-founder of the United Negro Allied Veterans Association.


Crime and punishment: At Pentonville Prison, in London, England – Frederick Robertson is hanged by the neck for the double murder of his relatives – Nellie and Beatrice Robertson.


Transport and gallantry: In the village of Liss in Hampshire, England, Percy Norwood sustains serious head injuries while rescuing blacksmith Harry Rasell from the path of an oncoming train. Harry’s pony had bolted, crashing into the crossing gates and throwing him onto the rails ahead of the train.


Thanksgiving: In the US State of New Mexico, Governor William C McDonald proclaims this Thursday, the fourth Thursday in  November, as a day of thanksgiving:  “I urge upon all that this day be observed as one of prayer and praise to God for the many blessings enjoyed by our people. At the same time may we not forget the poor and needy, making the day what its name implies for all”.


Journalism, society and culture: The National Geographic magazine publishes an article with ethnographic plates entitled “The Non-Christian Peoples of the Philippine Islands”.


26th November 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Epsom, Surrey, England – Rosebery Public Park – a gift to the people from Lord Rosebery, a former British Prime Minister. “Fishing is not permitted on either pond”. 


Arms Race: At the Devonport dockyard in England, the British Royal Navy launches HMS Warspite, a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship, the seventh warship of the Royal Navy to carry the name.


25th November 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: at the Rotunda Rink in Dublin, Ireland – The Irish Volunteers , a Nationalist force supporting Home Rule.



Society and culture: At the White House, in Washington, Jessie Woodrow Wilson, daughter of the President, marries Francis Bowes Sayr, Sr, a Harvard Law School graduate, in the 13th White House wedding ceremony.


24th November 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Greystones, County Wicklow, in British Ireland (now the Republic of Ireland) – Geraldine Fitzgerald, Irish theatre actress (Dublin, 1932) and London film actress (Twickenham, 1934-1937), Broadway theatre actress (1938) and award winning Hollywood star by 1939.


Early Flight: In San Diego, California – two young US army officers die when their airship crashes to the ground from a height of 80 feet.


Sales and marketing: In Ithaca, New York, the Modern Method Laundry is experimenting with some modern advertising:  “If we were not pretty good, we would not be as large” (Eat your heart out, Madison Avenue).


Society and Culture: At Blundells school in the West of England, 18 year old Lionel Harding from Westward Ho! in North Devon applies to join the Woolwich Military Academy.  In a little over 18 months from now, he will be posted to France (15th June, 1915), injured multiple times the following day and die two days later from  his injuries, never to reach 20 years old.


23rd November 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Sydney, Australia – Raymond Chalres Hanson, classical composer.


World Affairs: In Lahore in British India (now Pakistan) a celebratory meeting of muslims takes place in the Ahmadiyya Buildings. The meeting unanimously resolves to  send a telegram of congratulations on behalf of the Muslims of Lahore to the Right Honourable Lord Headley, through Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din of the Woking Mosque, England, on his acceptance of Islam, and also to launch a campaign for funds among the Indian Muslim population for the Islamic mission of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din centred in Woking, England.


Empire: In Reunion, the overseas department of France, Pierre Louis Alfred Duprat is appointed as the island’s governor,  succeeding Hubert Auguste Garbit and preceding Victor Jean Brochard. The current governor (2013) is Jean-Luc Marx, and the President of the Regional Council is Didier Robert. Vive La France!


22nd November 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In Lowestoft, Suffolk, England – (Edward) Benjamin Britten – ” central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces” [Wikipedia].


Troubled times on the playing fields of Eton:

~Britain’s “Spectator” reports on Oxford University’s attempt to fix its sporting rules so that true Oxford “freshmen” (for example, Old Etonians) are not disadvantaged by having to compete against foreigners who have come to Oxford from other parts of the Empire. The Spectator, and the Daily Mail, clearly disapprove:

“Oxford would seem to be guarding her own English-born alumni against the invaders from oversea, while accepting the help of those invaders against the sister University.”


~ Several pages later the Spectator explores what the impact of Civil War will be on the “United” Kingdom if -as is widely expected- the imminent partitioning of Ireland brings war to the Kingdom:

Civil war is an unspeakable evil, but the evil that comes next to it, or is, perhaps, equally great and dangerous, is disaffection in the Army. Anything which approaches mutiny, that is, the refusal of soldiers to obey orders given them by a competent authority, tends to shatter the whole fabric of society. In the last resort society is held together and saved from anarchy by force, and that force is again in the last resort the rifle and the bayonet of the soldier’.


Arts and literature: Collier’s, the American weekly  magazine, publishes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 46th Sherlock Holmes story: “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”. British readers will have to wait until next month to read the story in the Strand magazine, published in London.


21st November 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Bray, England – the Boulting Brothers – John Edward and Roy Alfred Clarence, English film-makers and identical twins. Their classics included Brighton Rock; Private’s Progress; I’m Alright Jack (John) and  Carlton-Browne of F.O.; The Family Way;  and There’s a Girl in My Soup (Roy). Their elder brother, Sydney, was the original director of the “Mousetrap”, still running in London after 51 years.


Society and culture: At Northenden school in Manchester, England, the school log for the day reflects the local community’s health concerns:

“The attendance this week has been very low indeed.  Many parents refuse to send their children so long as there is any danger of contracting Scarlet Fever.”