28th February 1914 (Saturday)


~ In Marseilles, in the south of France, Madame Bayol is giving birth to a future racing driver.


Society and culture:

~ New Zealand farmer George Adkin is besotted – and confides to his diary : “And she is mine – surely I’m a ‘darling of fortune.’  She took my arm on the way home + I fairly trod the air.”


~ Musician Max Reger is having a breakdown:  after a concert in Hagen, Germany,  he cancels all performing engagements and checks into a sanitorium.


~ in Motueka, South Island, New Zealand – Ann Boyce, Australian born mother of 13 and New Zealand’s herbal pioneer, is dying, in her 87th year.


27th February 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Copenhagen, Denmark – Dyre Trolle, Qualified Medical Doctor in 1939, specialist in gynaecology in 1950, and Professor in gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Copenhagen from 1962.


Arms Race: In the”London Gazette”, the official British journal of aristocratic and military affairs: “His Majesty the King [George V] has been graciously pleased to approve the formation of a cyclist battalion by the Territorial Force Association for the County of Huntingdon. to be designated ‘The Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion’. “


Journalism: In Exeter, in England’s West Country, the Western Times reports a domestic “near-miss” incident:  “Yesterday, Exeter Brigade were summoned to a house in the Mint, where some clothes had been put in front the fire and caught alight, but the flames were extinguished with a couple of buckets of water, and the assistance of the firemen was not needed.” (Phew!).


Exploration: in the city of Caceres, on the Banks of the RIo Paraguay in Brazil, an expedition which includes the ex US President Theodore Roosevelt begins a mysterious investigation into the Rio da Duvida (River of Doubt), “a mysterious river hidden in the tropical forest of which no one knew the exact location of its sources and also its mouths”.


26th February, 1914 (Thursday)


~ At the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland – HMHS (His Majesty’s Hospital Ship) Britannic, larger sister of HMS Titanic (already in her watery grave for nearly two years now). Built as transatlantic passenger liner, she (Britannic) will be overtaken by the war, and taken over by the Royal Navy. In November 1916, while in use as a hospital ship,  she will become the largest maritime casualty of the first world war, claiming her own watery grave, far from her sister (but with far fewer lives lost) after she strikes a mine off the Greek island of Kea.


~ At the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, at Govan on the Clyde, in Scotland – – HMS Lydiard, a torpedo boat destroyer of the Royal Navy. She will survive the first World War before facing an ignominious end at the scrapyard in 1921.


World Affairs: In the British Houses of Parliament, the First Lord of the Admiralty (Sir Winston Churchill)  is asked to clarify whether certain cruisers have “been equipped with quick-firing guns by co-operation of the owners and the Admiralty; … do the vessels carry passengers; and, if so, what would be their legal rights if the liners should ever be engaged in a naval action to their injury? “


25th February 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Basingstoke, Hampshire – Leslie Thomas John Arlott, OBE, journalist, author, poet, wine connoiseur and doyen of cricket commentators.


Society and culture: New Zealand farmer and diarist George Adkin is re-united (temporarily) with his beloved Maud.


24th February 1914 (Tuesday)


~ in London, England – David Langdon, cartoonist.


~ In Tasmania – the Tasmanian Band Association, forerunner of the Tasmanian (brass and pipe) Bands League.


~ In Sydney  – Douglas Neil Gillies, Australian Medic, Japanese Prisoner of War,  and later a Medic again – this time in Borneo.


Ireland: Edward Carlson, leader of the Ulster Unionists in Ireland, who are resisting steps by the UK Government to grant Home Rule to Ireland, issues a poster seeking to reassure Catholic communities about the objectives of the Ulster Volunteer Force”

“I desire that it should be made plain on all occasions that the sole object of the ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE is to make it impossible for the Government to compel us to submit to a Home Rule Parliament in Dublin. Our quarrel is with the Government alone, and we desire that the RELIGIOUS and POLITICAL views of our opponents should be everywhere respected. We fight for equal justice for all under the Government of the United Kingdom.”


23rd February 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Ballinderry Bridge, Cookstown, Ireland – John McGuckin, apprentice tailor who served as an able seaman and died while serving on HMS Jupiter, which struck a mine and sank during the Battle of the Java Sea 4 days after his twenty eight birthday, in 1942.


Arms Race: At the Pembroke dockyard in Wales, Britain’s Royal Navy launches HMS Cordelia, a light cruiser.


22nd February 1914 (Sunday)


~ in Catanzaro, in Italy’s deep south – Renato Dulbecco, virologist, Italian world war 2 conscript, emigrant to the USA, and Nobel Prize winner.

~ in Padua, in Italy’s far north – Otello Toso, Italian film and stage actor who died in a car accident, aged 52.



Human Rights: On her sixteenth birthday, Thillaiyadi Valliammai, a South African Tamil woman who has just served three months hard labor in Maritzburg prison for her small part in the Satyagraha protest movement led by Mahatma Ghandi, dies from an illness contracted during her imprisonment.


Accidents: At the beach at Manley in New South Wales, 16 year old William Overton and 14 year old Ronald Starkey are swept out to sea while swimming, and are drowned.


21st February 1914 (Saturday)


~ In Kiel, Germany – at the Germaniawerft shipyard – SMS (“HIs Majesty’s Ship”) Kronprinz, a Konig class battleship of the Imperial German Navy.

~ In Philadelphia, USA – at the shipyard of William Cramp and Sons – USS Sacramento, a US Navy gunboat.



World Affairs: In Russia, Tsar Nicholas concludes a special conference of military and other advisers to discuss the possibility of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles being forced open so that the Russian Navy could be released from the Black Sea if needed. (Since the Treaty of Berlin in 1878 Russia had been banned from sending warships through the Dardanelles, even in times of peace).


20th February 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Johannesburg, South Africa – John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly, Jr., game-show host.


Society and culture: In Frankfurt, Germany, Rosa Luxemburg stands trial for encouraging public disobedience by making anti-war speeches in which she called on young German men to refuse to take up arms against their French brothers. She is given a one year prison sentence.


Shipping accidents: The Fethard lifeboat is destroyed in a storm off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 9 of its 14 crew while attempting to rescue the crew of the cargo ship “Mexico” with a cargo of South American mahogany.


19th February, 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: at Begles, Aquitaine, France – Jacques Dufilho, comic actor.


World Affairs: In Epirus on the fault line between orthodox Christian Greece and Muslim Albania, relief worker Raymond Duncan sends his third telegram to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Sir Edward Grey, reporting on atrocities committed against the local Muslim community.