1st September 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Sialkot, in British India (now in Pakistan) – Rajinder Singh Bedi, Urdu playwright and later a Hindi film director and screenwriter. “In his memory, the Government of Punjab has started a “Rajinder Singh Bedi Award” in the field of Urdu Literature”. [Wikipedia]

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

26th July 1915 (Monday)

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

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

War!

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.

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=WC19150825.2.49.3

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_July_1915

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.

http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/shot_at_dawn

22nd July 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Calcutta, in British India – Shaista Akhtar Banu Suhrawardy, better known as Begum Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah – Pakistani politician, diplomat and author, and the first muslim and Asian woman to receive a doctorate from the University of London [wikipedia].

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

Public Transport: In the City of Exeter, in England, the citizens are “bickering” about the cost of tram fares:

“The discussion at the Exeter City Council meeting on tram fares will have enlightened many people, and at least one journalist in the city. I ventured to suggest, when the matter was under discussion some time ago, that the halfpenny fares, which are the cause so much bickering, should be withdrawn altogether. It was affirmed that this could not done. But it can be, because under Act of Parliament the lowest fare which the Council need accept is one penny. And I am still of the opinion that the wisest and fairest plan all round would be charge the penny. Under the present arrangement there are many who reap mean advantage, and large numbers who should benefit before others are prevented from doing because they have clean, instead of dirty, clothes. The distances which people are carried thoroughly merit a minimum charge one penny. Besides, the trams are a business, and not a charitable, concern, and should yield more profit than they do to the city.”

[Exeter and Plymouth Gazette].

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

8th June 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY:

~ In Jorhat in the British Raj (now in Assam in India) – Sonaram Chutia – fighter against casteism.

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

~ in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, in British Ireland (now part of Northern Ireland) – Sean McCaughey, metal worker, gaelic teacher and fighter against the British in Ireland.

http://republican-news.org/current/news/2015/05/sean_mccaughey.html#.VXMbq1yqqko

~ In Lwow (caught at the time between Russian and Austrian forces, later in Poland, and now in Western Ukraine) – Witold Lanowski,  fighter pilot against the Nazis in the Polish, British and US air forces.

http://witoldlanowski.com/early-career.html

31st May 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Canberra – Judith Wright, poet, environmentalist and campaigner for aboriginal land rights.

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

War!

In Turkish Mesopotamia (now Iraq, allegedly) – British and Indian troops are pushing back the Turks as the Allied forces advance northward in an amphibious operation on the River Tigris. [Burg & Purcell]

On the Austrian Isonzo river in the Julian alps (now the Soca River in Slovenia), Italian forces are attempting to push back Austrian troops and to advance eastward into the province of Carnolia (northern Slovenia). [Burg & Purcell]

15th May 1915 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Hilda Schwarz (later Bernstein), journalist, author, artist, activist, communist and exile.

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

War!

The Dardanelles: Senior British Admiral Sir John Fisher resigns in protest at what he perceives to be Churchill’s misplaced obsession with forcing the Dardanelles, a strategy which has so far yielded nothing but many thousands of deaths [Burg & Purcell].

The Western Front: After a 60 hour bombardment by 433 artillery pieces   firing about 100,000 shells, British General Sir Douglas Haig launches his British, Indian and Canadian  army against the German defences on the first day of the Battle of Festubert.  After 10 days and over 20,000 casualities the Allies will have gained approximately 3 kilometres. Overall losses for the Second Battle of Artois (of which this forms part) are in the order of 200,000 German, French, British, Indian and Canadian men, including over 100,000 Frenchmen [Wikipedia].

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

Revolution!

The Reuters News Agency files unconfirmed reports (from the Spanish government) of a revolutionary coup in Portugal, where all communications (railway, telegraph etc) have been cut and there are (unfounded) rumours that the ex-Premier, Afonso Costa, has been assassinated.

http://www.cphrc.org/index.php/documents/firstrepublic/475-1915-05-15-commune-in-portugal

1st May 1915 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In England, Laura Maud Dillon: President of the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club, graduate of St Anne’s (women’s) College, Oxford; later Laurence Michael Dillon, a Medical student at Trinity College Dublin, and officially a graduate of Brasenose (men’s) College, Oxford, after a difficult gender journey including a double masectomy and the world’s first transgender phalloplasty. (In 1946) the author of Self: A Study in Endocrinology and Ethics; and later still a Buddhist monk in Ladakh in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, after a scandal caused by Debretts Peerage and Burke’s Peerage listing him inconsistently in gender terms. [Wikipedia]

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

Society and Culture: the RMS [Royal Mail Steamship] Lusitania, nicknamed the “Greyhound of the Seas”, leaves New York bound for for Liverpool, carrying  1,266 passengers and 696 crew, a total of nearly 2000 souls.

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

War!

The (Italian) Home Front – Sidney Costantino Sonnino, the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, calls on the Italian cabinet to repudiate the Triple Alliance (with Germany and Austria-Hungary) so that Italy can negotiate an agreement (secretly, already agreed) with the Triple Entente (France, Russia and Britain). [ Mark Thompson: “The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919”].

27th April 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Alexandropol in the Russian Empire (now Gyumri in western Armenia, near the Turkish border)  – Hovhannes (Onik) Tadevosi Karapetyan, poet.

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

War!

War at Sea: In the Straits of Otranto, between Italy and Albania, where the French are attempting to blockade the Austro-Hungarian navy inside the Adriatic (ie preventing access to the wider Mediterranean), the Austrian submarine U-5 torpedoes and sinks the cruiser Leon Gambetta, sending 547 sailors to their death. [Burg & Purcell].

 Africa: At Gibeon Station in German South West Africa (now Namibia)  – 41 German and South African soldiers die in battle.

http://www.trenchfighter.com/41815/205801.html

Western Front: GAS!

The 3rd and 4th [gas] attacks took place on 26-27 April 1915 at Steenstrate-Lizerne, near Ieper, in which British, Sikhs and French were the victims. To the left of the Sikhs were French Colonial troops with essentially North Africans and at their right were the British. The Ferozepur Brigade, and the French colonial troops to the left of them, were the worst hit. More gas attacks followed on 27-29 April and 01-02 May 1915 and the victims were again British, Sikhs, Pathans, French and Algerians. [http://www.sikhiwiki.org/].

http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Menin_Gate_and_the_Sikhs

21st April 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: on the island of Sandøy in Norway – Oddmund Myklebust, Norwegian fisherman and politician.

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

Society and culture: Speaking at a reception in Madras in British India [now Chennai in India] Ghandi praises the Madrassis for their fortitude during the long civil disobedience campaign in South Africa:

“It was the Madrassis who of all the Indians were singled out by the great Divinity that rules over us for this great work. Do you know that in the great city of Johannesburg, the Madarasis look on a Madrasis as dishonored if he has not passed through the jails once or twice during this terrible crisis that your countrymen in South Africa went through during these eight long years?”

War!

Western Front: the second Battle of Ypres commences in Belgium.

http://www.worldwar1luton.com/event/second-battle-ypres