23rd November 1914 (Monday)


~ in Los Angeles – Emmett Ashford “Baseball’s first black umpire”.


~ in the Bharatpur District of Rajastan in Western India –  Krishan Chander, the urdu fiction writer who wrote “Lahore [then in British India now in Pakistan] is a place where I was born”


~ in Palmerston North, New Zealand – Eric Orgias, RAF pilot who died in a night time crash while flying a Blenheim in June 1940, aged 25.



In the Middle East: An Anglo-Indian force, having yesterday found that the city of Basra in Turkish Mesopotamia (now Iraq) is now empty of Turkish forces, marches into the city “with colours flying and bands playing” [Roger Ford: “Eden to Armageddon – World War 1 in the Middle East”].


22nd November 1914 (Sunday)


~ in Hadlow, Kent, England – Roy Albert Crowson, evolutionary biologist who specialised in the taxonomy of beetles. “The beetle family Crowsoniellidae is named in his honour” [Wikipedia]


~ In Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myannmar) – Group Captain Peter Wooldridge Townsend, “CVO, DSO, DFC and Bar”, World War 2 squadron leader, and later “Equerry” (personal attendant) to King George VI, King of the United Kingdom and Dominions of the British Commonwealth and the last Emperor of India (so far, at least) and later to Queen Elizabeth II, the constitutional monarch of 16 of the 53 commonwealth states and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

“Captain Townsend is best known for his romance with Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Imperial Order of the Crown of India, Royal Victorian Order, and Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem” [Wikipedia]


21st November 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Hanoi, in French Indochina (now Vietnam) – Henri Laborit, neurosurgeon and award winning medical researcher. “He pioneered the use of dopamine antagonists to reduce shock in injured soldiers”. [Wikipedia]



Caring for the wounded:

~ In Brighton, on England’s south coast, the local mayor receives a visit from Colonel Sir Walter Lawrence with a request from King George V for the use of the famous Royal Pavilion (a relic of an earlier King George) as a military hospital for the wounded Indian soldiers arriving from France. Agreement is reached immediately, and planning begins for the late eighteenth century palace to be converted to receive and care for Hindu, Muslim and Sikh soldiers.


~ In Brisbane on Australia,’s east coast the 1st Australian General Hospital (1AGH) unit, formed in Queensland in August, embarks on the vessel Kyarra, bound -in two separate teams – for Cairo, Egypt, and for Rouen in France.


20th November 1914 (Friday)


~  Henry Alexander Reginald Paget, the son of Lord Victor William Paget and Olive Mary Meatyard. “He married Sonia Chatoulenco, daughter of Count Paul Chatoulenco” in 1938 and “gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the Welsh Guards” [www.thepeerage.com]


~ In New York City – Charles Berlitz, grandson of Berlitz language lesson magnate Maximilian Berlitz. “He learned several languages as a child, studied language at Yale, and worked at Berlitz Publications until the family lost control of the company in 1967. During his time with the family business, he oversaw development of taped version of the famed Berlitz language courses, and wrote several books on language.” [nndb.com]


~ In Florence, Italy, into “one of Florence’s oldest noble families”  – Emilio Pucci, Marchese di Barsento, Italian fashion designer and politician. He “live[d] and work[ed] in the Pucci Palace in Florence for much of his life. He was a keen sportsman, who swam, skied, fenced, played tennis and raced cars” [Wikipedia].



in England’s West Country, the “Exeter & Plymouth Gazette” reports the following ‘tale’ under the headline “Tale from the front”:

“A novel battle has taken place, according to letter from P.C. Elford, who left the Exeter Police Force to rejoin his regiment. He has just sent home an interesting letter to the Chief-Constable of Exeter. He mentions that after a struggle with the Germans in the trenches they finished the battle with bare fists. They took 75 German prisoners, and nearly all had black, eyes and bleeding noses. The regiment was highly delighted to have, fight in the old English fashion. Constable Elford bears special testimony to the bravery of the English officers”.


17th November 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Londonderry in British Ireland (now sometimes referred to as Derry, a part of the UK but not a part of Great Britain) – Stephen McGonagle, plumber, trade unionist and northern ireland politician.



German  strategy: Following the conclusive failure of the Schlieffen plan at the Battle of Ypres, the German government begins to reassign forces from the Western front to the Eastern front. With France and the western allies undfeated, it is now forced to maintain two fronts. [Peter Chasseaud: “Mapping the First World War”].