15th August 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: British General Sir Basil Oscar Eugster, KCB, KCVO, CBE, DSO MC, Commander in Chief of UK Land Forces from 1972 to 1974.



On the Western Front: In North-East France, the French high command receives news that 10,000 German cavalry have crossed the River Meuse and are attacking the town of Dinant. Belatedly, the French acknowledge that the main German attack is coming from the North-East through Belgium, and not directly East across the Rhine.

The French forces re-directed to countering the threat are wondering why the promised British forces have not yet arrived.

[Barbara Tuchman: “The Guns of August”]

On the Balkan Front:  the Battle of Cer begins between Serbian and Austro-Hungarian forces around the region of the Cer mountain in Serbia. Estimates of the dead over the next four days range from 9,000 to 15,000 from both sides combined.


Protest: In Glasgow, Scotland, the left wing press reports  a crowd estimated at 5000 gathers to protest against the outbreak of the war and the “exploitation of the people’s food supply by profiteers who pose as patriots“. [Headline – “Glasgow’s Peace Protest – boycotted by the Press].



In Wisconsin, USA, at the country home of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, cook Julian Carlton murders the architect’s wife and two children, sets fire to the house and kills four more with an axe as they try to escape, before himself swallowing acid in an (unsuccessful) suicide attempt. Carlton dies seven weeks later.




2nd October 1913 (Thursday)


~ In Pincano, Italy – Alberto Talegalli, actor.


~ in Rava-Ruska  (then in Austira-Hungary, now in Poland) – Haim Yosef Zadok, Israeli jurist and  politician.


~ In Potsdam, Germany – Harry Andree, Oberstleutnant in the German Wehrmacht.


~ In Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England – Margaret Mary Burns (later Jones), David Bowie’s mum.


~ In Adelaide, Australia – Dame Roma Flinders Mitchell, Australia’s first woman judge, Queen’s Counsel, chancellor  university chancellor and State Governor.


~ In Mysore (now Karnataka) State in South West India – the Bank of Mysore Ltd, now knwon as the State Bank of Mysore. Happy Centenary!


~ In Weybridge, Surrey, England – St George’s Hill Golf Club (opened today by Prince Alexander of Teck, the Club’’s first President)


~ In Sioux, South Dakota – the Orpheum Theatre  – a vaudeville house with a seating capacity of 900.


Arms Race: After sailing from England via the Cape of Good Hope, His Majesty’s Australian ships “Australia” and “Sydney” reach Jervis Bay in New South Wales, where they will be joined by other vessels of the Australian Navy before their official entry into Sydney Harbour.


The Royal Netherlands Navy launches is submarine “O5”.


Infamous crimes: in the Hopetoun Quarry case in Scotland, Patrick Higgins is hanged for the murder, two years earlier, of his two sons, aged seven and four, after the death of his wife left him to care for them alone.


22nd September 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Bedford, England – Hubert Horace Lamb, founder and first director of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia.


World Affairs: The “Edmonton Capital” newspaper, in Alberta, Canada, reports the situation in Albania: “Anarchy reigns in Albania… Essad Pasha has raised the Austrian flag and refuses to surrender… Foreign Minister summons partisans…Greeks have arrested and persecuted a number of Albanians until they promise to submit”.


Labour Relations: In strike bound Dublin, the (British) army begins regular strike breaking duties, taking over escorts for deliveries to state bodies and publicly funded institutions.


Crime and punishment: in Boggo Road Prison, Brisbane, Ernest Austin becomes the last man to be hanged in Queensland, for the rape and murder of 11 year old Ivy Mitchell.


5th September 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Auckland, New Zealand – Olga Berry, who passed away in February 2013, aged 99 years.

Infamous Crimes: In the Manganui river, on New Zealand’s North Island, the body of “Virgin” is discovered half a mile below a bridge from which he is believed to have thrown himself. He had been the prime suspect in the “Kaimata Tragedy”, a recent multiple murder case.


Society and culture: In Adelaide, South Australia, the Wondergraph Theatre opens its doors to the public for the first time.


4th September 1913 (Thursday)


~ In Osaka, Japan ~ Kenzo Tange, Pritzker Prize winning architect and designer of the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

~ In Brooklyn, New York – Meyer “Micky” Cohen, infamous Los Angeles gangster.


Infamous Crimes: The village of Muhlacker, in Baden-Wurttenberg, Germany, is terrorised during the night by a local resident teacher, who sets fire to parts of the village, kills his own wife and family, kills another ten villagers and injures a further sixteen.


9th July 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: At Kenardington in Kent, UK – Charlie Bridger, quarryman son of a farm labourer from a musical lineage. British folk music revivalist in the 1980s. (“Three maidens a-milking did go“)

World Affairs: China signs a treaty with Russia relinquishing its claims to Mongolia.

Second Balkan War: Serbian forces defeat a Bulgarian army at the Battle of Bregalnica (now part of  Macedonia).

Crime and Punishment: In the UK, Thomas Fletcher, jilted lover, is hanged at Worcester Gaol by Thomas Pierrepoint for the murder of his former fiance, Lilian (Lily) Wharton.

Royal Lancastrian Progress: On the third day of their royal tour, King George V and Queen Mary visit Accrington, Bacup, Shawforth, Whitworth, and also Rochdale, where they are treated to the opening recital of the new James J Binn’s organ which is the centrepiece of the Rochdale town Hall. The recital is performed by Herbert Walton, the organist of Glasgow cathedral.

Science and Technology: in Maadi, by the Nile, (now a suburb of Cairo) American Frank Shuman demonstrates his new invention – the solar panel power plant.

30th May 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Falls City, Nebraska – Pee Wee (George) Erwin, Jazz trumpeter.

World Affairs – in London, at the conclusion of the international conference which has lasted over 5 months, combatants of the First Balkan War sign the Treaty of London. The Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro), having defeated the Ottomans, successfully confirm the boundaries of the Turkish state in Eastern Thrace, substantially limiting Turkey’s territory in Europe. Issues relating to Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Thrace remain unresolved, thereby sowing seeds for later disputes – the earliest of which will re-emerge within weeks.

Crime and Punishment: Henry Brock is executed for murder in the State of Texas.