31st August 1915 (Tuesday)


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


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


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”. 



22nd August 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Brantford, Ontario – James Hiller, co-developer of the electron microscope.



The (Russian) Home Front: The Tsar takes over supreme command of the army, and leaves St Petersburg in the dangerous hands of the Tsarina and her trusted advisor, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, a peasant and mystical faith healer.


The (French) Home Front: in the streets of Paris, young boys and girls play at being soldiers and nurses.


The (Scottish) Home Front: in Aberdeen, 26,000 pay sixpence each to attend the “Gala and Heather day” in Duthie Park, in support of the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.


The (Irish) Home Front: In Dublin, at a “Celebration of gaelic and athletic events”, Patrick Pearse addresses the crowd of several thousand on his subject: “The Resurrection of Erin”.


4th August 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Berlin – Eleonore “Loni” Nest, German child star actress who ended her career after more than 40 movies at the age of 13, before retiring to the south of France [Wikipedia]



Adriatic skullduggery: The Triple Alliance  (Britain, France and Russia) reneges on its secret commitment to Italy (that control of parts of the Adriatic coast should only be decided after the war) by sending an official note to Serbia confirming the post-war territorial claims of Serbia and Montenegro. [Wikipedia].



3rd August 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: Roman Fischer, an Austrian fencer, and  Arthur Birch, an Australian chemist.




On the Italian Front: After 91,000 casualties the Second Battle of Isonzo on the Italian/ Austrian border (now the Soca valley in north west Slovenia) draws to a close because both sides have run out of ammunition, both for small arms and for artillery. [Wikipedia].


On the (Belgian) Home Front: British nurse Edith Cavell, who has been based in Brussels for many years, is arrested by the German authorities on suspicion of helping British, French and Belgian soldiers and citizens to escape from German occupied Belgium.



26th July 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Nidubrolu in Andhra Pradesh, British India – Pragada Kotaiah, freedom fighter and parliamentarian.



Socialism in Italy: a “rising star” of the Italian socialist party, one Benito Mussolini, expresses the view that “Italian workers should give ‘not a penny’ to the cause of war, nor spill ‘one drop of blood’ for a cause that had ‘nothing to do with it’. If the government failed to declare neutrality, the proletatriat would force it to do so”. [Mark Thompson: “The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919”].

Fire in Constantinople:  A great fire in Istanbul, later attributed to Russian areoplane bombing, destroys over 3000 buildings.


Submarines in the Dardanelles: the French submarine “Mariotte” is sunk by the Ottoman Navy, and its crew taken as prisoners of war.


Discipline on the Western Front: in the largest single judicial execution by the British during the war, 5 members of the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment are executed on the ramparts of Ypres.



18th July 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: to Robert Francis Le Bailly and Ida Gaskell Le Bailly (née Holland) – Vice Admiral Sir Louis Edward Stewart Holland Le Bailly, KBE, CB.  “In retirement he was appointed Director-General of Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence… Later he became vice chairman of the Institute for Study of Conflict, and chairman of the Civil Service Selection Board”. [Wikipedia]


World Affairs: US President Woodrow Wilson sends US forces to Haiti in an attempt to prevent Germany or France from taking it over. Haiti controls the Windward Passage to the Panama Canal and is seen as strategically critical. The Haitian government is near insolvency at this time and is significantly in debt to foreign corporations. German companies control almost 80 percent of Haitian trade. US forces will occupy the country until 1934.



War at Sea: the Austrian submarine U4 torpedoes  the Italian armoured cruiser “Guiseppe Garibalidi”. which sinks in 3 minutes.




21st June 1915 (Monday)

Midsummer on the home front…

On the English home front: at Maidstone barracks, in Kent, a concert raises funds for wounded servicemen.


On the Scottish home front: the SS Carisbrook, a British merchant steamer carrying wheat from Montreal, Canada, to Leith in Scotland, is captured and sunk by German submarine U-38 off the north east coast of Scotland.


On the Alsatian home front: the town of Metzeral in Alsace (formerly and more recently in France) is destroyed at the end of six days of intense fighting.