5th October 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Cordele, Georgia – Perry Hunt Wheeler, designer of the White House Rose Garden.


World Affairs – al-Wasik Billah al-Majid Sayyid Taimur bin Faisal bin Turki becomes the new Sultan of Oman on the death of his father, Sayyid Faisal bin Turki.


Accidents and disasters: At the Dysart Pit (coal mine) in Scotland, miner David Duncan dies in a gas explosion, and two of his colleagues are injured.


Extreme Weather:

~ Flooding in Ratnapura, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) forces many to take refuge in trees and on roof-tops. Vincent de Hoedt is (later) awarded a Royal Human Society medal for saving twelve people from the floods.


~ A storm in Nome, Alaska, causes $1million of damages.



18th April 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) – Harold St. Elmo Bogaars of the famous (?) Bogaars family of Ceylon. His ancestor Henricus Ezechiel Bogaars  was born at Zierikzee in Holland (the Netherlands) and arrived in Ceylon in 1785, one hundred and twenty eight years before Harold’s birth.

Henricus Ezechiel died in 1811 and his son Hendrikus Marinus Bogaars who was born in 1789, died in 1838. Another Henricus Ezekiel Bogaars was born in 1832. A relative, Charles Llewellyn Bogaars was born  in 1848, and his son (another) Charles Llewellyn Bogaars (born 1873) was Harold St Elmo’s father. Unfortunately the internet does not divulge what all these Bogaars were doing in Ceylon.

Arms Race: HMS Nottingham, a town class light cruiser, is launched at Pembroke in Wales. She will survive for a little over 3 years until being sunk by German UBoat U-52 on 19th August 1916.

Also today, the French Navy lays down two Normandie class battleships: the “Normandie” in St Nazaire and the “Languedoc” in Lorient. Both will be scrapped during the late 1920s.

Society and culture: The first Indian (silent) feature film ““Raja Harishchandra” enjoys its premiere before its general release early in May.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that In Leeton, New South Wales,  “the heart of SunRice country”, author Sir Rider Haggard will officially open the new butter factory on Thursday 24th April.

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”.


31st January 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, at Govan on the Clyde, Scotland – HMS Valiant, Queen Elizabeth Class battleship. Launched November 1914, completed February 1916, collided and repaired in August and September 1916, severely damaged  by “human torpedos” in December 1941, and again by a collapsing dry dock in Ceylon in  1944. Retired in 1945 and sold for scrap in 1948.

Transport News: According to a news report (Norfolk News, 8th February 1913) in the sleepy North Norfolk (UK) seaside town of Sheringham, there are multiple witnesses, including a former army officer using binoculars, who see three mysterious aircraft heading west (towards central england) in the early evening darkness. At midnight a man hears an aircraft overhead…


…if this was the biggest news that day, then it must have been a VERY quiet end to January 1913 on planet earth.

24th January 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY – Professor Maurice Pryce, in Croydon, UK, the internationally respected authority on the peaceful uses of atomic energy, who spent much of his career considering what was becoming one of the most pressing issues of our time: the disposal of nuclear waste.

First Balkan War: A Greek seaplane flies over the Dardanelles dropping bombs (unsuccessfully) on the Turkish fleet – possibly the first use of aeroplanes for aggressive warfare (as opposed to simple reconnaissance).

The Catholic Archbishop of Skopje reports details back to Rome of the massacre of between 300 and 400 Albanian muslims at Ferizaj by the Serbian army after the Serbian commander has invited the men to return to their homes in peace. He also reports another massacre at Gjilan and the sacking of Gjakova.

Empire and Labour Relations: Reginald Edward Stubbs becomes the Colonial Administrator (Governor) of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) a position he will hold intermittently until 1918, during which time he achieves notoriety for his unsuccessful attempt to deport a white radical, Mark Bracegirdle, for attempting to incite insurrection among plantation workers.

Society and Culture: the “Boy Rangers of America” are established in Montclair, New Jersey, USA.