31st August 1915 (Tuesday)

War!

DIED TODAY: Europe’s first ever parachutist (in 1913), Adolphe Celestin Pegoud – shot down by his former student, Unteroffizier Kandulski.

http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/france/pegoud.php

BORN TODAY: Hauptmann Adolf Vogt of the German Wehrmacht, Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Vogt

An update from Cairo:  Intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence writes home to his family:  he has heard that the weather in Britain has been terrible; he sends a request for a book search for him at Blackwell’s bookshop; and, today being his mother’s birthday, he speculates that “For the next one there will probably be peace”. 

http://www.telstudies.org/writings/letters/1915-16/150831_family.shtml

29th July 1915 (Thursday)

DIED TODAY: Major-General Henry Newport Charles Heath, son of Major-General Alfred Heath, (Royal Artillery): Heath Jr was born in 1860 and attended Clifton College and Sandhurst Royal Military College before fighting in the Anglo-Egyptian War (1882); taking part in the Anglo-Egyptian expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum (1884-85); fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902); and leading a command in the first world war before falling ill and dying today, aged 54.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Heath_(British_Army_officer)

 

 

27th July 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Amsterdam – Wilhelmus Johannes Maria (Willem) Hofhuizen, Dutch expressionist painter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_Hofhuizen

War!

A bored expat writes: T. E. Lawrence (later – “of Arabia”), stationed as an intelligence officer in Cairo, writes home to his family:

“There is of course, nothing happening here, or likely to happen. Reports, and ciphering and drawing maps all day. The Dardanelles show will end soon:- Syria is quite quiet, though the Armenian villages in the North have been broken up, and the people scattered to various districts. No massacres, however, as yet. I can’t think of anything else to say:- The hot weather, as Father is interested in it, will end at the end of September. It’s not very hot now – and besides I am never more than about 5 minutes in the open air.”

http://www.telstudies.org/writings/letters/1915-16/150727_family.shtml

 

4th July 1915 (Sunday)

A shrinking world

Early flight: William E Boeing takes his first ever flight. Or does he?

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=367

Early motor traffic: The automobile is conquering the mountains of the North-West…

http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/kiehl/id/195

Global postal services: … and postcards are bringing the Sphinx to Brisbane.

http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/ww1/2014/09/22/winifred-corkling-postcard-album/

18th May 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: Among the Onondaga Indians of the Iroquois confederacy – Leon Shenandoah, elected Tadodaho (spiritual leader) in 1968, and – in his spare time – a custodian at Syracuse University.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadodaho

War!

The (French) Home Front: An American writes from her retirement home in the Marne Valley of the hardening of French attitudes after the introduction of chemical weapons and the sinking of the Lusitania: “I have seen grow up among these simple people [her French neighbours] the conviction that the race which planned and launched this great war has lost the very right to live; and that none of the dreams of the world can ever be realized while Prussia exists, even if the war lasts twenty years, and even if, before it is over, the whole world has to take a hand in it”

[Mildred Aldrich: “A Hilltop on the Marne”]

Gallipoli: Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges, aged 54 and originally from Renfrewshire in Scotland, but more recently the first Australian to reach the rank of Major General, dies of his wounds inflicted by a Turkish sniper three days ago. A veteran of the Boer War, Bridges becomes “one of only two Australians killed in action in the Great War to be interred in Australia” [Wikipedia].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bridges_%28general%29

The (Australian) Home Front – In Melbourne, Australia – Sister Edith Wilson Yeaman of the Australian Auxiliary Nursing Service embarks on the SS Mooltan, heading for service at the No 3 Australian General Hospital. She will serve for 4 years in Egypt, France and England before returning home to Australia in May 1919.

http://nurses.ww1anzac.com/y.html

20th April 1915 (Tuesday)

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

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Aurora+Miranda+da+Cunha+Richaid&biw=992&bih=513&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Q30yVaLBLsqxygP2kYDYCw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&dpr=2.5#imgrc=juLuhVPQfVVP4M%253A%3BST7ncRLcj40yHM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fupload.wikimedia.org%252Fwikipedia%252Fcommons%252F5%252F5c%252FAurora_Miranda_Tres_Caballeros.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fen.wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FAurora_Miranda%3B480%3B360

War!

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

http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/5environment/timelines/100-events-gallipoli-campaign/april-may-1915.html

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Van_%281915%29#City_under_siege.2C_20_April

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”.

http://www.telstudies.org/writings/letters/1915-16/150420_hogarth.shtml

7th April 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Philadelphia, Pa – Eleanora Fagan, later better known to the world as Billie Holiday.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Holiday

War!

The Dardanelles: the first Australian and New Zealand units based in Egypt leave Alexandria, headed for the Dardanelles. [Burg & Purcell].

2nd April, 1915 (Good Friday)

BORN TODAY: Gică Petrescu, “prolific Romanian folk music composer and performer.” [Wikipedia].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gic%C4%83_Petrescu

War!

Society and Culture: In common with service colleagues and many, many others today, Private George Potter Bagshaw and his colleagues in the Derbyshire Territorials, currently stationed in Northern France, attend an early morning Good Friday service.

https://derbyshireterritorials.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/on-this-day-2nd-april-1915/

The (Egyptian) Home Front: At what became known as the “Battle of Wazzir” in Cairo a large body of (over 2000) mainly Australian and New Zealand troops participate in a drunken riot  in an area known as “Haret el Wasser, an area of Cairo where there were a large number of brothels and drinking establishments”. The troops are reported “to have had an assortment of complaints, including recent price increases, poor quality drinks, and concerns about the spread of venereal disease.” [Wikipedia]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Wazzir

http://ww100.govt.nz/masseys-tourists-new-zealands-expeditionary-force-in-egypt

16th March 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In the US of A – the Federal Trade Commission, “Protecting America’s Consumers”. Happy Centenary, FTC!

https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/our-history

War!

Irish British: The 1st Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers departs from Avonmouth in the west of England, bound for the Dardanelles and Gallipoli.

http://www.irishfamilyroots.com/royalmunsterfusiliers.html

Society and culture:

~ In England’s west country the Exeter and Plymouth gazette runs a short piece advertising the attractions of the “City Palace” (cinema):

“The City Palace, Exeter, has again a splendid selection of pictures for the first half of this week. The star film, “The Swan Song,” is a thrilling drama in two acts, the battle scene connected with it being of a most realistic character. Pathe’s Animated Gazette” again delights everyone. It depicts the Canadians second draft at drill, and the inspection of the Australians in England, showing what physically fit men our Colonies are loyally sending to the defence of the Motherland. The “Gazette” also gives an illustration of the Australians in Egypt in training by the Pyramids. “The Rescue” and ‘”The Love of Pierre Lacrosse” are both very fine dramas. The comic side of the programme provided for by “A Coat’s Tale” and “She Married for Love,” each of which is enough by itself to keep one merry and bright.” [www.exetermemories.co.uk]

http://www.exetermemories.co.uk/em/_events/1915-this-week.php

~ In France, the Government outlaws both the production and the retail sale of absinthe, declaring it a “toxic product”. (Protecting France’s consumers?).

http://www.absinthes.com/themag/absinthe-history/banning-absinthe-1714

4th March, 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade: “Shipped to Egypt without horses where it was broken up 26 August 1915″. [http://www.diggerhistory.info/].

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-a-l-horse/4th_lh_bde.htm

War!

Counting chickens: The Allied “Triple Entente” nations – Russia, France and Britain – begin secret talks on how to divide up the lands of the Ottoman Empire (The “Constantinople Agreement”, agreed two weeks from today on 18th March 1915). In the event, the agreement is never implemented because: firstly, the British and French campaign in the Dardanelles fails; and secondly, the Russian empire collapses (temporarily at least) with the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, which takes Russia out the war (and the subsequent peace) completely.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantinople_Agreement

In the Dardanelles: HMS Agamemnon spends the day with its 9.2 inch Mk XI guns trained relentlessly on the Turkish forts at Sedd el Bahr (“Walls of the Sea”).

Across Turkey’s north west frontier, in Bulgaria (its recent foe in the second Balkan War): The Bulgarian Armenian Committee telegraphs to London confirming a force of 20.000 Armenian Volunteers who want to fight against the Turks and await British assistance to assist them to Iskenderun province (the ancient greek city of Alexandretta on the borders of Turkey and what is now Syria).

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=80c_1416808936

Peace:

Life on the land: In Connecticut, USA – farmer Frank Seger records his day in his diary:

“8 Above” [that is,  8 Fahreneit – well below freezing]

“Clear & cold as Hell and Damnation. Began to warm up after noon. Heman took the milk. Lewis dug load of dirt down in the little meadow for box stall was 8 inches of frost. Cleaned out barn to load of munare [sic] up to Comestocks. Boys cut some stalks. I went up and helped Rubin Wolf saw down trees.”

http://www.onsegermountain.org/seger/march1915.html