6th August, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Budapest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now the capital of Hungary) to American heiress Gladys Virginia Steuart and her husband, Count Gyula Apponyi de Nagy Appony – “The “White Rose of Hungary”, Countess Géraldine Margit Virginia Olga Mária Apponyi de Nagy-Appony, who worked as a shorthand typist and shop assistant, and later as Queen Geraldine of the Albanians, the Queen Consort of King Zog I, who reigned from 1928 to 1939.

After more than 60 years of wandering refugee life (including spells at the Ritz and at Ascot), Geraldine was permitted to return to communist Albania in 2002, where she died 5 months later in a military hospital, still insisting that her son, Leka Zogu, was the legitimate King of the Albanians. [Wikipedia].


1st March 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Solesmes, in northern France – Gustave Choque, mathematician.



Southern Europe: Stirred in part by the belief that the Allies are making progress against Turkey in the Dardanelles, and therefore might overwhelm Turkey before the Italians have created a negotiating position fror themselves, the Italian general staff puts the army on a “red alert” for mobilisation. A secret proposal is presented in London whereby Italy’s reward for joining the Allies would be significant gains in the South Tyrol, Trieste, Gorizia and Istria, Dalmatia, Kotor (in modern Montenegro) and Albania, effectively turning the Adriatic into an Italian fjord. [Mark Tompson: “The White War, Life and Death on the Isonzo Front, 1915-1919″].

In the Dardanelles:  British fishing trawlers, equipped as minesweepers and with largely civilian crews, begin a two week attempt to clear the straits of mines.


The Home Front: in London, on St David’s Day, the newly formed Welsh Guard (part of the British Guards Division) mounts its first “Kings Guard” at Buckingham Palace.


4th February, 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: In London – Norman Joseph Wisdom, OBE, flyweight boxing champion, magician’s sidekick, Charlie Chaplin’s “favourite clown”, cult figure in Albania, granted the freedom of the city of Tirana.

“I was born in very sorry circumstances. Both of my parents were very sorry.” [Wikipedia]



Middle East: The British Viceroy of India, Charles Hardinge, Lord Penshurst (who is responsible for overseeing British policy and interests in the Middle East) arrives in Basra for a tour of inspection of the British  and (mainly) Anglo-Indian troops there [Roger Ford: “Eden to Armageddon: World War 1 in the Middle East”].

War at Sea: Germany publicly declares a war zone encircling the British Isles in which all merchant ships, regardless of their origin or purpose, may be sunk by submarines without warning. [Burg & Purcell].



Accident at the quayside: At dock in Great Yarmouth, on England’s east coast, E-class submariner and Petty Officer First Class, Albert George Hodder, is returning from  a shopping trip into the town when he slips from a gangplank into a strong cold current and is drowned.


24th November 1914 (Tuesday)


~ in Lushnjë, Albania – Fahredin Nuri, hydraulic engineer.


~ in London – Lynn Russell Chadwick, architect turned semi-abstract sculptor.



Ernest Shackleton’s antarctic expedition photographs the Head of Moraine Fjord, South Georgia, in a silver bromide print which will later be presented to Britain’s King George V,


16th July 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: Henoch Raberaba – Australian landscape artist.



World Affairs: from her chosen retirement retreat, a cottage overlooking the Marne Valley, east of Paris, American Mildred Aldrich writes “ It is all the fault of that nasty affair in (sic) Servia… It is  nasty outlook. We are simply holding our breaths here.” [Mildred Aldrich: “A Hilltop on the Marne”]


Migration and displacements:  Harry Lamb, the British delegate on the International Control Commission (overseeing the administration of the new Albanian state, on behalf of the Great Powers) writes to Sir Edward Grey, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, highlighting the plight of displaced Chams (Greek muslims from the region known to Albanians as Chameria, but considered by Greeks to be a part of Epirus, recently taken (or reclaimed) by Greece. The Cham refugees are in the southern Albanian seaport of Vlora.




19th May 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Vienna in the Austro-Hungarian Empire – Max Ferdinand Perutz, OM (Order of Merit); CH (Order of the Companions of Honour); CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire); FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society); emigree from Nazi Austria; accidental expert on glaciers; internee in Canada on the orders of Winston Churchill; molecular biologist; Nobel prize winner; founder and Chair of the Medical Reseach Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge (England).

His parents hoped that he would become a lawyer” [Wikipedia]


World Affairs: Essad Pasha Toptani,  a wealthy Albanian landowner who is also the minister of war and of the interior for the new Albanian state, and who is suspected of fomenting the Peasant’s Revolt, (later) records in his memorandum on Albania (1919) how a group of “Austrophile” gendarmes, led by a Dutch officer, attempt to take him prisoner:

“At the time, I was Minister of War and of Internal Affairs, and was interim Prime Minister. I consented, but on condition that the Italian Minister to the Albanian Court take charge of me. Under such circumstances, I was obliged to leave my country and take refuge initially in Rome and then in Paris”.


Science and technology: On New Zealand’s North Island, after centuries of going its own way, the Rangitāiki River (the longest river in the Bay of Plenty region) is from today re-channelled through a different, man-made, course so that a swamp can be drained and turned into farmland.


19th February, 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: at Begles, Aquitaine, France – Jacques Dufilho, comic actor.


World Affairs: In Epirus on the fault line between orthodox Christian Greece and Muslim Albania, relief worker Raymond Duncan sends his third telegram to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Sir Edward Grey, reporting on atrocities committed against the local Muslim community.


17th February 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Newcastle, northern England – George Mathwin Forrester – RAF Hurricane Pilot who died during the Battle of Britain in July 1940, aged 26.


Arms Race: In the British Parliament, the First Lord of the Admiralty (Winston Churchill) declines to answer a question from a member about comments in the German Parliament regarding proposals for mutual reductions in naval construction.


World Affairs: Hjalmar Hammarskjöld replaces Karl Albert Staaf as Prime Minister of Sweden.


Aftermath of the Second Balkan War: In Northern Epirus (previously part of the Ottoman Empire, but recently granted to newly formed Albania under the Protocol of Florence), Greek forces lead an armed rebellion to declare the Independence of Norther Epirus from the Albanians.


Society and Culture: The National Opera Company of Canada collapses after just one season amid accusations and scandal.


Science and technology: the New York “American” magazine reports on US senate intentions for formally inquire into the use of babies and infants for vivisection experiments.


Shipwrecks: In Massachusetts, USA – the Italian cargo ship “Castagna”, laden with guano from Uruguay, runs aground on Cape Cod. Five of the thirteen crew perish of cold before lifesavers are able to reach them.

Click to access CAHOONSHOLLOW.pdf

13th February 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Warsaw, Poland – Tadeusz Sawicz, Polish Airman who joined the 303 squadron in Britain in October 1940. Attached to the US 9th Air Force in 1944, and later to 61 Squadron USAAF, before being finally released from the Polish Air Force in 1947, and emigrating to Canada in 1957.


World Affairs: Under the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne, the “Great Powers” inform Greece that following its evacuation of Northern Epirus, which has been awarded to Albania, Greece will take sovereignty of the Aegean Islands previously under Ottoman control.

Click to access grecia1.pdf

27th January 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Imperial Russia – Anna Larina, revolutionary. Later, Mrs Bukharin. Enemy of the Stalinist regime – internally exiled; imprisoned; informed of her husband’s death by a fellow inmate tapping on the prison walls. Released 21 years after her imprisonment, after Stalin’s death. She lived to see her husband “rehabilitated”, 50 years after his death.


~ Also, in Chicago, Illinois – William Edward McManus, Catholic Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana.


World Affairs: The Austro-Hungarian consul in Prizren in Serbian Kosovo (previously part of the Ottoman Empire) reports back to his government about Serbian discrimination against muslims and catholics, and on how the Serbians fear an attack from nearby Albania.


Society and culture: Catholic missionaries from South Africa cross the border and begin their work in Mbabane, in Swaziland.


Women’s rights: In Manitoba, Canada, activist and writer Nellie McClung is rebuffed by the Manitoban Premier, who tells her he believes that “woman suffrage would break up the home and send women to mix up in political meetings”.

Meanwhile, black women in South Africa protest at their inclusion in Pass legislation (restricting rights of movement) previously reserved for African men only.