30th April, 1914 (Thursday)


~ In Johannesburg, South Africa – Kitty Black, “The Queen  of British pirate radio”.



~ On England’s Isle of Wight – Sir Christopher George Rhodes, soldier, actor, Baronet.


~ In Sofia, Bulgaria – Sijka Petrova, soprano.


28th April 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Stoke, near Plymouth, in England’s west country – Mary (Molly) Isolen Fergusson OBE, a British engineer and the first female member of the UK’s Institution of Civil Engineers, elected in 1957, aged 43.


Accidents & disasters: At Eccles, in West Virginia, a methane explosion rips through Eccles No 5 mine, killing at least 180 men.


Women’s suffrage: In Felixstowe, on England’s east coast, the Bath Hotel burns down as a result of an arson attack by suffragettes Hilda Birkett and Florence Tunks, for which offence they will both receive prison sentences on 29th May.




27th April 1914 (Monday)


~ in Florence, South Carolina – USAF Lieutenant General Joseph Harold Moore, who led “Operation Rolling Thunder”, the three and a half year US mission to bomb North Vietnam into submission, thereby compelling Hanoi to end its aggression against South Vietnam.



~ (today? or possibly earlier?)  In Tunapuna, Trinidad – Winifred Atwell, boogie-woogie and ragtime pianist.


World Affairs: Sir Henry McMahon, working on behalf of his British masters at the Shimla  border-treaty conference in British India, finalises the border demarcation treat between india and Tibet, which to this day is known as the “McMahon Line”.


Railway accidents: in South Kortright, Delaware County, New York State, Mrs. Rebecca White, the proprietor of the South Kortright Inn, is killed when she steps in front of an Ulster and Delaware coal train at a local crossing.


Society and culture: New Zealand farmer and diarist, George Adkin, is busy with the mundane business of life: skinning dead sheep and making plans to furnish his new marriage home.


26th April 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Paris, France – Lilian Vera Rolfe, secret agent who died in the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany in February 1945, aged 30.


Global Finance: The London stock market is “demoralised” by events (the US Invasion) in Mexico.


25th April 1914 (Saturday)


~ At Colwyn Bay in North Wales – Sergeant 741779 John Stuart Jones, “Jonah” to his friends in the Guinea Pig Club.


~ On the Isle of Wight in Southern England – Sergeant 563427 C W Cooke, Royal Air Force, lost without trace in a Bristol Blenheim aircraft on 8 September 1940 aged 26.


Crime and punishment: In the town of Three Bridges in the South of England, Herbert Brooker stabs his 29 year old girlfriend, Ada Stone, and then cuts her throat, for which murder he will hang at nearby Lewes in three months from now.


Sport – At London’s Crystal Palace soccer ground, Burnley football team beat Liverpool 1-0 in front of a crowd of 80,000 spectators to win the Football Association (FA) Cup.



24th April 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Łódź (Poland) – at the time one of the most densely populated industrial cities in the world –  Jan Kozielewski (later Jan Karski), pre-war Polish diplomat; captured by the Soviet Red Army and later handed over to the German forces; escapee and resistance fighter in Europe; rapporteur at large in Poland for the Allied authorities in the later stages of the World War 2; and later a  professor of history at Georgetown University in the USA.


Society, culture and migration: The “Register” (newspaper) in Adelaide, Victoria, publishes a piece by a traveller recently returned from England – “In Memory of Yemmerra-Wannie”, one of the earliest aboriginal migrants to England who passed away in Kent, “The Garden of England”, in May 1794, and whose neglected grave the traveller has visited during his visit to the home country.


22nd April 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in  Vogelthal near Oberpfalz in Bavaria – SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Michael Wittmann, “the most successful and famous tank commander of World War II”. He died in battle on 8th August 1944, after the D Day landings, aged 30. 


World Affairs: during its invasion and occupation of Veracruz in Mexico, the US opens its military roll of honour by awarding what will – in two days of fighting – become the highest ever number of Medals of Honour for a single US action.


Society and culture: In Southampton, on the south coast of England, a crowd of 100,000 people gather to witness the unveiling of a memorial to commemorate the engineers of the steam ship “Titanic” lost to an iceberg two years previously.




21st April 1914 (Tuesday)


~ In Iowa – Howard Dimsdale, screenwriter whose work included “Planet of the Apes”


~ and in Capilla Del Senor, Buenos Aires Province,  Carlos Garcia, pianist, bandleader and composer.


World Affairs: The USA invades Mexico.


Arms Race: The good people of Exeter, in the West of England, are entertained with a cinema documentary on the life of the British soldier. Quote: “So long is the film that the first half is being screened for the first three; days, the latter part being shown for the remainder of the week”. [Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 21st April 1914].


Society and culture: Twenty two year old Alfred Edgar Stokes, the youngest of eleven children of Essex blacksmith Thomas Stokes, signs up for 12 years with Britain’s Royal Navy – “killed in action when H.M.S. Hogue was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boat U-9. on 22nd September 1914 in the North Sea along with her sister ships H.M.S. Aboukir and H.M.S. Cressy”.


Twenty year old Henry Albert Wishart, the fourth son of Walter Wishart an engineering works storekeeper in Newcastle, is promoted in his position in the Royal Navy and assigned to HMS Black Prince.  “Along with Henry, 37 officers, 814 other men and 5 civilians were killed” when the ship was “fired on at short range by [a] German battleship” in June 1916.