13th February 1915 (Saturday)

 BORN TODAY: in Natmauk, in British Burma (now Myanmar) to lawyer U Pha and his wife Daw Suu – Bogyoke (General) Aung San, revolutionary, nationalist, founder of the modern Burmese army and of the Communist Party of Burma. Considered also to be the “father” of modern-day Burma [Wikipedia]. Father of Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner. Aung San was assassinated in 1947 in a military putsch, at the ege of 32.

A sculpture of Aung San will go on display this month in his home town of Natmauk, to commemorate his 100th birthday.




Crime and punishment: In Wellington, New Zealand, German internee Arthur Rottman is found guilty of murdering farmer Joseph McCann and his wife and baby son at their farm in Ruahine (“the Ruahine axe murders”), and is sentenced to death by hanging.



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]


16th June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Berwick-upon Tweed, near the English/Scottish border – Austen Young, ear, nose and throat specialist, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and “inveterate golfer”.


World Affairs: In Mandalay, Burma – Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Indian Nationalist (“The Father of Indian Unrest”) is released from prison after serving a six year sentence, including transportation from his home state of Maharashtra, imposed by the British authorities for sedition.



Society and Culture: “Teddy” Roosevelt, big game hunter, explorer and ex-US President, visits the Natural History Museum in London, England.


Music and entertainment: Thirteen year old Louis Daniel Armstrong is released from Reform School after serving a sentence of nearly 18 months for a fire-arms offence on New Year’s Eve, 1912. While in Reform School he has learned to play cornet and bugle in the school band.



2nd January 1914 (Friday)


~ In Berlin, Germany – Volkhard Eitner, a highly decorated Oberstleutnant in German Wehrmacht during World War 2.

~ In Schwedt, Germany – Karl Heinz-Becker, another highly decorated Oberst (colonel), this one as a paratrooper.

~ In Kiel, Germany – Horst Schunemann, U-boat commander




~ In Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon in Myanmar) – Violet Vivian Finley, later Vivian Rushton, then Gooch, and finally Vivian Stuart – mother of twin Vary and Valerie. Author of romantic novels, military sagas and historical romances.


~ In Shreveport, Louisiana – Pirkle Jones, documentary photographer


~ In Marrickville, New South Wales – Max Ruddock, Australian politician.


16th December 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: At WIgston Barracks, Leicester, England – Reg Twigg, author of “Survivor on the River Kwai, the Incredible Story of Life on the Burma Railway”, who died in May this year – one of the last survivors of the Death Railway.



World Affairs: In Blomfontein, South Africa, the “Women’s Monument” is unveiled, commemorating the death of around 27,000 Boer women and children who died in British concentration camps during the Boer War (1899-1902).


Natural Disasters: in the Rio Blanco valley in Patagonia, Chile the Rio Blanco Glacier breaks out of its natural dam and sends a huge flood of water, earth and rocks down the valley below.

Click to access igs_journal_vol02_issue013_pg172-175.pdf

Accidents: – A bad day for the global mining industry…

~ At the Radium Mine in South Australia, 22 year old miner, K Lively, loses a foot in an underground explosion.

~ On the same day, at the Mainsforth coal-mine in County Durham, England, Joseph Aspey, colliery driver,  loses an arm in an accident.

~ And at the Vulcan  Mine in Colorado an explosion kills “thirty-eight men practically all Americans”.




5th May 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Cincinatti, Ohio – larger than life swashbuckling Zorro, Tyrone Edmund Power. Son of Patia and Tyrone Snr, husband of Annabella (1939), Linda (1949) and Deborah (1958); lover of Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Thelma Ruby and Mai Zetterling; father of Romina (1951), Taryn (1953) and (posthumously) Tyrone Power IV (January 1959). Died in Madrid, while filming, in September 1958, and buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Immortalised on the album cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Balkan Wars: Serbia and Greece sign a secret pact to fight against Bulgaria, their recent ally in the First Balkan War which is slowly being resolved at the London Peace Conference. The continuing bone of contention is the competing claims for parts of Macedonia which have been “recovered” from the Ottoman Empire, including access to the Mediterranean at (Thes)Salonica.

Arms Race: In Kiel, the German Imperial Navy launches the SMS Grosser Kurfurst, a battleship scuttled in 1919 to prevent her being taken into service by the British.

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”.


6th February 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, in Newark, New Jersey – Robert Seedlock, who led construction of the Burma Road in WW2, and later – in civilian life – supervised the building of Jeddah International Airport in Saudi Arabia.

Transportation: At the Trevose Head lighthouse on the North Cornish coast (UK) a new fog signal enters service for the first time. The experimental form of a huge rectangular trumpet 36 feet wide, with an aperture 18 feet high, is designed to provide a wide horizontal spread of sound. It stays in service for fifty years.

Society and culture: At a committee meeting of the St Andrew’s Golf Club in Scotland, a Mr Dixon complains about the caretaker’s conduct and the cleanliness of the club. Another member points out that the state of the windows “gives one the idea the place is uninhabited” . The secretary is asked to advertise for a caretaker “married (with no encumbrances preferred)” at a salary of £40 per annum, together with a free house, coal and gas. The proposed treatment of the outgoing (?) caretaker is not minuted.

In Shahpur, Ahmedabad, India, Sir Chinubhai Madhowlal Ranchhodlal,  son of the the cotton baron Madhavlal Rachhodlal, becomes the first Runchoreal Baronet and the first Hindu Baronet of the United Kingdom.