23rd June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Ireland – Iris Frances Mary Combe, collie lover, border, rough and smooth.


World Affairs: In Mexico, in the fourth year of the revolution, at the Battle of Zacatecas, Pancho Villa’s forces defeat the troops of General Luis Medina Barron, which leads (on July 15th) to the resignation of General Huerta.


Arms Race: After having been widened to take larger ships, the Kiel Canal, linking the North Sea with the Baltic, is re-opened by Kaiser Wilhelm II. In Britain, well informed observers have believed for many years that this event will bring the naval arms race to a climax and signal the start of the long expected Anglo-German naval war.


Law and Order: In Taradale in victoria, South Australia the “desperate ruffian” Charles Sanger, better known as the “Fryerstown bushranger’, is arrested while trying to rob Gorman’s, the bakers.




In Gloucestershire, in England’s West Country, a young poet is unexpectedly delayed for a few minutes on a train, and manages to immortalize the moment:


Yes, I remember Adlestrop–
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express- train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop – only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

EDWARD THOMAS 1878 – 1917  (killed in action on the Western front, April, 1917)

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