18th January 1915 (Monday)


~ in Trikala, Greece – Vassilis Tsitsanis – songwriter and bouzouki player. “One of the leading Greek composers of his time and widely regarded as one of the founders of modern Rebetika” [Wikipedia].

~ Also, in Poznan, Poland – Kazimierz Wichniarz, actor.




War from the air: After dark, two German zeppelins successfully bomb the towns of Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn on England’s east coast, returning undamaged to their base near Hamburg [Burg & Purcell].

War at Sea: His (British) Majesty’s submarine E10 sinks in the North Sea.


Asia-Pacific:  In what “westerners” call “the Far East”, the Japanese government issues its “twenty-one demands” to the Republican government of China in an attempt to build on its gains in Manchuria and Northern China during the first sino-Japanese war (1894-95) and the Russo-Japanese war (1904-05).



Railway accident: In Colima-Guadalajara Mexico, a train crash kills around 600 people.

(some sources place this event a day or two later).

16th July 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: Henoch Raberaba – Australian landscape artist.



World Affairs: from her chosen retirement retreat, a cottage overlooking the Marne Valley, east of Paris, American Mildred Aldrich writes “ It is all the fault of that nasty affair in (sic) Servia… It is  nasty outlook. We are simply holding our breaths here.” [Mildred Aldrich: “A Hilltop on the Marne”]


Migration and displacements:  Harry Lamb, the British delegate on the International Control Commission (overseeing the administration of the new Albanian state, on behalf of the Great Powers) writes to Sir Edward Grey, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, highlighting the plight of displaced Chams (Greek muslims from the region known to Albanians as Chameria, but considered by Greeks to be a part of Epirus, recently taken (or reclaimed) by Greece. The Cham refugees are in the southern Albanian seaport of Vlora.




3rd July 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Leueen MacGrath, London and Broadway actress.


~ Also Marmaduke Pattle, South African and Royal (British) Air Force fighter pilot shot down and killed in action near Athens, Greece, in April 1941, aged 26.


World Affairs: At the Simla conference in India, where the British are attempting to separate China and Tibet, the Chinese representative refuses to sign the final accord, which is signed only by Britain and Tibet.


Women’s suffrage: In Edinburgh’s Sheriff Court there are “stormy scenes” as suffragette Maude Edwards is charged with slashing a portrait of the King in the Royal Scottish Academy. Later in the day she is admitted to Perth Prison.



6th June, 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In Chelmsford, England – Jack Fisk, son of George, a journeyman plasterer, and his wife, Martha, both originally from Norfolk, and more recently from Braintree. Mr Fisk Senior will die from bronchio-pneumonia in November 1918 in the unhealthy climate of Salonika, Greece, leaving Martha to manage alone with four year old Jack and his seven siblings.


Arms Race: The Imperial Russian Navy launches the battleship “Imperatritsa Ekaterina Velikaya”, renamed the “Svobodnaya Rossiya” in April 1917.





20th May 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY:  in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire (England) – John ‘Ted’ Edward Dickinson, left-handed cricketer.


World Affairs: In Athens, the Ottoman Ambassador to Greece proposes to the Greek Premier Venizelos a “population exhange” whereby the muslim communities of Macedonia (including Salonica – now Thessaloniki) will be “swapped” for the Greek communities  in and around Smyrna (now Izmir) on the Anatolian coast.


Global oil: The British government and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) sign an agreement for the British Government to become a majority (51%) shareholder in APOC. The agreement gives the British government the right to appoint two directors on the Board who have the power of veto on any questions relating to British national interests. Also on the same day, a contract is signed between APOC and the British Admiralty by which APOC guarantees the supply of oil to the British Admiralty for 30 years at fixed prices.


Exploration: In St Petersburg (later Petrograd, then Leningrad, now St Petersburg again) Sergei Fedorovich Oldenburg leaves for his second Russian Turkestan expedition, accomapnied by the  artist V. S. Bikenberg, topographer N. A. Smirnov, photographers Dudian and Romberg, seven Kazakh guards, and a Chinese interpreter. The expediton will take 3 months to reach its final destination  –  the ‘caves of a thousand Buddhas’ at Mogao, near Dunhuang.


Society and culture: In a village south of Lyon in France, Monsieur Falour accepts a wager to eat 50 eggs and a pound of bread at a single sitting. Sadly, he drops dead after the 45th egg.

Men, eh?




25th March 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: Among the ashes of two Balkan Wars, In Salonica,  (until just before that time, in the Ottoman province of Macedonia, but just recently becoming Thessaloniki in newly expansionist Greece) – Aris Football Club, named after the God of War.


~ Also, in Cresco. Iowa – Norman  Borlaug, “The Man Who Saved a Billion Lives”



26th February, 1914 (Thursday)


~ At the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland – HMHS (His Majesty’s Hospital Ship) Britannic, larger sister of HMS Titanic (already in her watery grave for nearly two years now). Built as transatlantic passenger liner, she (Britannic) will be overtaken by the war, and taken over by the Royal Navy. In November 1916, while in use as a hospital ship,  she will become the largest maritime casualty of the first world war, claiming her own watery grave, far from her sister (but with far fewer lives lost) after she strikes a mine off the Greek island of Kea.


~ At the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, at Govan on the Clyde, in Scotland – – HMS Lydiard, a torpedo boat destroyer of the Royal Navy. She will survive the first World War before facing an ignominious end at the scrapyard in 1921.


World Affairs: In the British Houses of Parliament, the First Lord of the Admiralty (Sir Winston Churchill)  is asked to clarify whether certain cruisers have “been equipped with quick-firing guns by co-operation of the owners and the Admiralty; … do the vessels carry passengers; and, if so, what would be their legal rights if the liners should ever be engaged in a naval action to their injury? “