19th February, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in University College Hospital in Bloomsbury, London, to comedy double act parents Callan and Emery – Richard Gilbert “Dick” Emery, English comedian and actor, who in the early 1940s created comedy character “Vera Thin”, explaining “I was better in drag than combat gear” [Wikipedia].



In the Dardanelles: An Anglo-French force of 18 (mainly British) battleships, together with cruisers, minesweepers and other vessels (the largest fleet ever so far assembled in the Mediterranean), including Ark Royal, a sea-plane carrier, begins its long range bombardment (from over 6 miles off-shore) of the Turkish forts guarding the strategically vital Dardanelle Straits, which restrict sea-borne access to the Turkish capital of Constantinople. [Burg & Purcell]

In the Middle East: Meanwhile the Anglo-Indian force in Ottoman southern Mesopotamia (now Iraq) encounters a larger than expected Turkish force and is forced to retreat to Basra. [Roger Ford: Eden top Armageddon, World War 1 in the Middle East].

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