26th March, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Brooklyn, NY – Joseph Edward Filipelli, better known as “Flip Phillips” American jazz tenor saxophone and clarinet player.



On the “North West Frontier” of the British Raj, the Indian army is defending Miranshah, on the Tochi River in North Waziristan (now part of Pakistan), from a large force of “insurgents” (Lashkars, from Southern Afghanistan).



6th August 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Tipperary, Ireland – George Moulson, professional footballer.



Serbia declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia

In Belgium, the German Zeppelin airship L-Z drops thirteen bombs on the City of Liege, killing 9 people.

The Battle of the Frontiers opens when German troops cross from Luxembourg into France and take the town of Longwy.

In Britain, 80,000 troops, 30,000 horses and over 315 field guns are assembling on the south coast for the British Expeditionary Force crossing of the Channel / La Manche.

In West Africa: In Togoland and Cameroon, French forces seize German territory and outposts.

(sources: Almanac of World War 1; The Guns of August)

Shipping News: The SS Rohilla, (“named after Afghan tribes who had sought refuge in India during the 18th Century. They were annihilated by the Nawab of Oudh, with the unauthorised help of British troops”), is requisitioned as a hospital ship and renamed the HMHS Rohiila.



Thirty-one year old diarist Franz Kafka is having a bad day:“I am an empty vessel… Full of lies, hate and envy. Full of incompetence, stupidity, thickheadedness. Full of laziness, weakness and helplessness.”


14th June 1914 (Sunday)


~ in Korostienie in the Zhitomir region, Ukraine, Imperial Russia – Piotr Kozachenko, graduate of the Odessa Military Air College (1936) who fought with the Chinese forces against the Japanese in 1937 and for the Soviet Union against Finland in the Winter War in 1939-1940. On the first day of the Great Patriotic War against Germany (in 1941) he claimed his first successes against German aircraft, and in 1942 was fighting on the North Caucasus front. After receiving the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin in May 1943 he began operating over the Crimea area on the 2nd Ukrainian Front. He died during a mission over Danzig, Germany (now Gdansk in Poland) in March 1945, aged 30.


~ in Nagutskaya, in the Caucasus region of  Imperial Russia, Yuri Andropov: orphan; loader; telegraph clerk; sailor on the Volga; young communist; local and then national activist; Soviet Ambassador to Budapest during the Hungarian uprising; Chairman of the KGB; Politburo member; interrogator; invader of Afghanistan; and General Secretaty of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. {Wikipedia].


World Affairs: Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who has been taking a holiday in Russian Crimea, visits the Romanian King, by sea, in Constanta, Romania, along with the Russian foreign Minister, Sazonov. On the agenda is the tenuous balance of power in the Balkan’s in recent years, where  Ottomans, Habsurgs, Russians and Italians have been vying for position.


Extreme Weather: In South West London, England a freak thunderstorm causes death and flooding. Among the dead are three young children sheltering under a lightning struck tree in an area known as “The Frying Pan” on Wandsworth Common.


Arts and Literature: Publisher A.C MClurg of Chicago publishes the first book edition of Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Tarzan of the Apes”


9th May 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY:   Louis Denham Fouts, “male prostitue and outstandingly and handsomely in demand literary muse”



World Affairs: The “Morning Post” reports the killing of three Britons and three “native constables” on the North West frontier, in Waziristan on the North West Frontier of British India (now on the Pakistan/ Afganistan border). Major Dodd, the “political agent” and two military colleagues (plus the three “natives”) are shot dead by a “native orderly”, who also dies in the attack [Spectator, 16th May 1914].


Sport: In Louisville, Kentucky, John McCabe, riding “Old Rosebud”, wins the 40th Kentucky Derby, by eight lengths. “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” [Wikipedia]


Social research: the Polish anthropologist and Somerville College (Oxford) student Marya Czaplicka applies for funds for an expedition to Siberia, which are granted to her later this month. Three days later the trilingual student leaves for Sibeia to study the social anthropology of Northern Asia, “her subject being shamanism in the tribes of Siberia” [Somerville College, Oxford – some.ox.ac.uk]



~ one day after his twenty fifth birthday, Arthur Cumming, British figure skater and Olympic silver medalist, dies from tetanus contracted in a recent motor cycle accident.


~ The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette reports the untimely death, late last month, of Charles Shute “son of a Naval petty officer, [who] was paddling in a stream near his home at Heavitree when he severely cut his foot. He was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital at 5.20 p.m., but it was 6.10 p.m. before a doctor could be found. He progressed favourably till the following Monday, when lockjaw  [tetanus] set in, and he died on Tuesday.”






7th April 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Yozgat, Central Anatolia – Ramela Carman, Armenian genocide survivor, clothing factory worker at 11, and emigrant to America in 1960.


Died Today: In Lahore in British India (now in Pakistan) – Ghazi Mohammad Ayub Khan, aka “The Victor of Maiwand” and “The Afghan Prince Charlie”. At various times, the Emir of Afghanistan, the Governor of Herat Province, and the leader of the Afghans in the second Anglo-Afghan War. Remembered today as an Afghan National hero.


Fire: In the district of Uttlesford in Essex, England, a passing traction engine on the London to Newmarket road releases sparks into the westerly wind which trigger a fire in the thatched cottages of the village of Little Chesterford. Before the fire is extinguished it destroys two farms, two public houses and nine homes, leaving forty-three people homeless – around 1 in 5 of the village’s population.


Crime, delinquency and punishment: In Exeter, England a twelve year old boy is found guilty of firing an air-gun in the street, and of threatening another boy with the weapon. The magistrates order the father to whip the boy.

The newspaper comments:   “It seems to be the fashion among a certain section of young men in the city to stand about the streets in gangs, blocking up the pavements, and when requested to make room for more orderly members of Society responding with language more forcible than polite. A general nuisance to others, and but little service to themselves, it is time these young hooligans were brought to book. The other evening I noticed a particularly abusive group take possess of part of the pavement in Fore-street. Several gentlemen accompanied by lady friends were obliged to step on to the road, and one of them, who remonstrated with the young men. was answered with very vile language. The same evening another gang took their stand in Fore-street, opposite the entrance to Market-street. Although they remained on the road they were quite as great a nuisance, and several cyclists were forced to dismount. as the gang refused to budge, and only laughed when one cyclist fell off in trying to avoid collision with one of the gang. Surely it is time the police dealt in a sharp manner with these pests.”  [The Western Times, 7th April 1914].




13th April 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY  – A miscellany of thirteen on the 13th.

> in Greenfield, Lancashire, UK – Basil Fanshawe (“Joe”) Jagger, father of Sir Michael Philip Jagger, the Duracell rock rabbit.

> in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan – Masatoshi Nakayama, internationally renowned master of Stotokan Karate.

> in St Paul, Minnesota, USA – Bill Sackter, mentally disabled son of Russian immigrants who helped bring attention to the plight of the mentally disabled.

> in Ilford, Essex, UK – Air Vice-Marshal Sir Bernard Chacksfield, who served on the North West Frontier and  in Burma, and was mentioned in despatches four times.

> In Worcester, UK – Ruth Kettlewell, film actress and self acknolwedged “character bag”, and a specialist in landladies and mothers-in-law.

> (Somewhere in Mexico?) – Leon Poullada, American diplomat son of an immigrant Mexican doctor who served US embassies in Togo, Ceylon, Pakistan  and Afghanistan and specialised in Afghan history.

> In Mislap, Texas, USA  – Jake Mooty, Major League Baseball pitcher in the later thirties and early forties.

> in Harrow, UK – Peter Robinson, Hurricane Pilot (56th squadron) who fought in and survived the Battle of Britain but was shot down and killed over the English Channel the following year (June 1941).

> in Grimsby, England – Walter (“Wally”) Ponting, professional footballer for Grimsby Town, Chesterfield and Lincoln City throughout the nineteen- thirties.

> in Coesfeld, North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany – Paul Eising, local politician and Minister of the Interior for the Land of North-Rhine Westphalia from 1959.

> in Oelwein, Iowa –  Kermit Tyler, US air-force officer who on 7th December 1941 was the officer in charge of the “Intercept Center” at Pearl Harbor. In April 1942 a Naval Inquiry Board cleared him of any wrongdoing for failures to identify the size of the incoming Japanese attack.

> Pastoe furniture store in Utrecht, celebrating 100 years of design innovation.

> Mangapapa Church, Gisborne on the East Coast of North Island, New Zealand, celebrating a century of worship “where the sun shines first in the world of every new day”.