3rd June 1915 (Thursday)


~ in Ribeirão Preto – Argemiro Pinheiro da Silva, Brazilian footballer.

~ in Santa Clara – Mario Inchausti Goitia, Cuban footballer.

~ In Australia – Norm Hillard, (Australian rules) footballer.




20th April 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Rio de Janeiro – Aurora Miranda da Cunha Richaid, Brazilian entertainer, and sister of Carmen.



Dardanelles: More than 200 ships are now assembled in the harbour at Mudros, Lemnos, in preparation for the British and French invasion of Turkey.


Turkish Armenia: In Van, in Eastern Turkey, during an incident between Armenian citizens and the Turkish authorities, two Armenians are shot dead, escalating to reprisals, and then to the “siege” of the City by Turkish troops and a corresponding insurgency by Armenian resistance forces.


The view from Cairo: T.E.Lawrence writes to a colleague about his frustrations and experiences as an Intelligence Officer in Egypt:

“It’s very dull: but of course I haven’t any training as a field officer, and I don’t know that I want to go fighting up to Constantinople. It would be bad form, I think. The only place worth visiting is A [Alexandretta – on the modern Syria/ Turkey border] and they are all afraid of going there, for fear of hurting the feelings of our allies. [ie the French, who have designs on Syria].

“The [Suez] Canal is still holding out, and we are forgetting all about it. Turkey, if she is wise, will raid it from time to time, and annoy the garrison there, which is huge, and lumbersome, and creaks so loudly in the joints that you hear them eight hours before they move…

… I bought you a seal the other day. It’s probably the only one you’ll get from us this year, which is almost its only virtue. One wouldn’t have bought it anywhere else, but in Cairo it was refreshing. For Leeds, I am sending a mediaeval dagger pommel – or piece of horse-trapping – bought in Jerusalem lately.

Poor old Turkey is only hanging together. People always talk of the splendid show she has made lately, but it really is too pitiful for words. Everything about her is very very sick, and almost I think it will be good to make an end of her, though it will be very inconvenient to ourselves. I only hope that Aleppo and Damascus will escape a little the fate that has come upon Cairo. Anything fouler than the town buildings, or its beastly people, can’t be”.


28th February 1915 (Sunday)


~ in Petropolis, Brazil – Sir Peter Brian Medawar, Nobel winning biologist.

~ in Sedlčany, Bohemia, in the Austro-Hungarian empire (later Czechoslovakia, now in the Czech Republic) – Jiri Jaromir Machacek, fighter pilot with the Czech airforce, and later the French airforce, who joined the (British) RAF in 1940. Shot down and lost at sea while flying a spitfire in July 1941, aged 26.



28th January, 1915 (Thursday)


~ in Inskip, in Lancashire, England – Albert Long, palaeobotanist, naturalist and teacher.

“Education is no good if it makes people greedy or selfish or unjust. It should cure these evils. All the certificates in the world therefore cannot be compared to a kind Spirit.” [Royal Society website]


~ Also, Sir John Colville “knight and civil servant”, son of the Honourable George Colville and Lady Cynthia Colville, educated at Harrow and  Trinity College, Cambridge, and later the Assistant Private Secretary to three British Prime Ministers. “Although he should not have done so, Colville kept a diary from 1939 – 1957, parts of which have been published”.[The Janus library project in Cambridge].


~ and in Beijing – Nien Cheng, “Chinese writer scarred by the Cultural Revolution” [Guardian newspaper obituary].



The Dardanelles: In London, the War Council is split over the planned Dardanelles operation, but with help from Kitchener and Asquith (the Prime Minister) Churchill’s will prevails and the plan will proceed. [Burg & Purcell]

War at Sea: Off the coast of Brazil, the American cargo ship, the William P. Frye, a four-masted steel barque heading for England with a cargo of wheat, has been intercepted by a German cruiser. When the crew fails to fulfill orders from the German captain to jettison its cargo, the ship is sunk, inciting indignation in the US.



5th January 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Iguatu, in the Brazilian state of Ceara – Humberto Teixeira – flautist.



In the Middle East: From Cairo, a British military intelligence officer – probably T.E.Lawrence – writes “we have been informed from two good sources that the Germans in command in Syria dread nothing as much as a landing by us in the north of Syria [which] would be followed by a general defection of their [that is the Ottoman’s] arab troops. There is no doubt that … a general arab revolt…would be the immediate result of our occupation of Alexandretta”. 

[Scott Anderson: “Lawrence in Arabia: War Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East”]

On the Western Front: Corporal A Letyford of the (British) 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers notes in his diary: “Spend the morning trying to dry out our clothes. we are all covered in mud from head to foot. at 6pm I go with Captian Reed to the trenches and fix six pumps. Wading about in water to our waists until 2am.” [ Lyn Macdonald: “1915: The Death of Innocence”].

4th October 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Curitiba, in the State of Paraná in Brazil – Moysés Goldstein Paciornik, physician, obstretrician and founder and director of the Paranaense Center for Medical Research, which was dedicated to the prevention of cancer and provider of gynecological services to Indian reservations in southern Brazil. Advocate of squatting births and founder of the Chair of Prenatal care at the Federal University of Paraná. [Wikipedia].



In Germany: Ninety-three German intellectuals publish a manifesto protesting “to the civilized world against the lies and calumnies with which our enemies are endeavoring to stain the honor of Germany in her hard struggle for existence — in a struggle that has been forced on her.”



In a remote corner of the world: On the tiny island British colony of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean (then administered by Mauritius, but now operating as a US airfield and communications link for the American military under an ongoing agreement between the UK and the US), the German cruiser SS Emden, which has been raiding commerical shipping, arrives for cleaning and coaling. The local British subjects are that unaware that Britain and Germany have been at war for two months. [Burg and Purcell – “Almanac of World War 1”].

16th September 1914 (Wednesday)


~ Josef Peters – German racing driver: “He participated in one Formula One World Championship Grand Prix, on August 3, 1952. He failed to finish, scoring no championship points” [Wikipedia].


~ Euclydes “Tatu” Hatem – “short, thick and deadly [he] defeated Braziian Jiu-Jitsu legend Jorge Gracie” [Wikipedia].


~ Leonard Thompson, businessman [who] “rose to his position in 1929 after the death of his wife’s father, William Bean”  [aged 15?] [Wikipedia].



9th September 1914 (Wednesday)


~ In Memphis, Tennessee – Marjorie Lee Browne, “one of the first Black women in the United States to obtain a Ph.D”,  and Chair of Mathematics at North Carolina Central University throughout the 1950s and 1960s.


~ in Nymphenburg Castle, Munich, Bavaria – Her Imperial Highness Princess Dona Maria d’Orleans-Bragança, the widow of Prince Dom Pedro Henrique d’Orleans-Bragança, Head of the Brazilian Imperial Family and Pretender to the Brazilian Throne between 1921 and 1981.



Eastern Front/ Russian North West Front: – At the first Battle of the Masurian Lakes in East Prussia the German 8th Army is gradually pushing the Russian First army back, expelling it from German territory. By the end of the battle (over the coming few days) the Germans will have lost 10,000 men, killed, wounded or missing in action, and the Russians a staggering 125,000, including 45,000 taken prisoner. [Wikipedia]


In Dublin, Ireland, a group of revolutionary nationalists meet to discuss the circumstances arising from the outbreak of war, and agree to appeal to Germany for its support in an insurrection.


21st July 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Blois, France – Philippe Ariès, French medievalist and social historian of the family.


World Affairs: In a telegram to the German Kaiser, his ambassador in Constantinople (Istanbul) expresses confidence that Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey will join the Triple Alliance of Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy if the Austrians decide to administer a severe lesson to Serbia.  The Kaiser annotates the telegram: “We shall remind these gentlemen of this at the right moment”


Ireland: Unionist (pro-British) and Nationalist (anti-British) leaders are brought together for the “Buckingham Palace Conference on Ireland”. It is the first such organised attempt to find a solution to the deadlock over the Northern Counties. After one day, the British Prime Minister writes privately: “I have rarely felt more helpless in any particular affair, an impasse with unspeakable consequences, upon a matter which to English eyes seems inconceivably small and to Irish eyes immeasurably big.” The conference breaks up after three days without agreement. [Wikipedia]


Migration: In Vancouver, British Columbia, where the SS Kamagata Maru carrying Indian migrants is resisting efforts to send her away, HMCS Rainbow arrives and trains her six inch guns on the recalcitrant ship to show that the Canadian authorities are serious in their intentions NOT to welcome the migrants.


Sport: In South America, the soccer team from Exeter, in England’s West Country, which has been touring South America, loses 2-0 in a match against Brazil “in what became known as the Brazilian national team’s first fixture’ [Western Morning News]. A centenary rematch is organised, which features the same kit and the original ball…




1st May 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Broken Hill, New South Wales – Colin Andrew Huddleston, Australia’s “most well known [square dance] caller”.


World Affairs 

~ In China, dictator Yuan Shikai convenes a body of 66 men from his cabinet who produce a “constitutional compact” that effectively replaces China’s provisional constitution.


~ In Bucharest, on International Labour Day, Romanian socialists march, and then “feast” (picnic?).


Science and technology: The UK’s official meteorological service officially adopts metric measurement of rainfall – a change which has not prevented routine re-conversion back to inches for the British public benefit for the last 100 years!


Exploration: On the River of Doubt in Amazonia, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt records the life threatening, life claiming, and  historic achievements of the party’s efforts to map over 1500 kilometres of previously unmapped waterways.