14th January 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in a hostel for fallen women, Edith.


World Affairs: A young(ish) Winston Churchill is the subject of a a “Punch” magazine cartoon as his proposals for funding the British Navy in its maritime arms race with Germany receive the approval of his former Conservative party opponents.

Society, culture and migration: In Mombasa, Kenya – Karen Dinesen arrives from Denmark and on the same day marries her second cousin and fiance, Bror Flixen-Finecke, before taking up residence at their newly acquired coffee plantation. Later she wrote: “Here at long last one was in a position not to give a damn for all conventions, here was a new kind of freedom which until then one had only found in dreams!” [Wikipedia].



3rd September 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Hot Springs, Arkansas – Alan Walbridge Ladd, aka the cowboy “Shane”


World Affairs


~ The Zionist Congress meets in Vienna to discuss its aim to colonise Palestine


~ Negotiations begin between Turkey and Bulgaria which will eventually (late September) lead to the Treaty of Constantinople, whereby Turkey regains Adrianople (Edirne), its ancient capital taken by the Bulgarians earlier in the year.


Arms Race: the Dreadnought battleship “Reshadieh “, built by the Vickers Company in Britain as part of an order for the Ottoman Navy,  is launched by the daughter of the Turkish Ambassador to Britain, using rose-water instead of the customary champagne. She (the battleship, that is) will be “requisitioned” (confiscated from the Turks while still in final fit out in Britain) by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill in August 1914, and renamed HMS Erin, causing a diplomatic furore, indignation in Istanbul, and increasing the likelihood that Turkey enters WW1 on the side of the Central Powers.


Empire: In a remote part of the British East Africa “Protectorate” (Northern Kenya) where British forces are conducting a continuing campaign against desert raiders and intruders from across the Abyssinian border, Lieutenant William Lloyd-Jones leads a small party which attacks and kills a party of raiders, and sustains serious injuries which require him to be stretchered back to Nairobi, a journey taking over 6 weeks. Later he is awarded the “last Distinguished Service Order to be awarded before the Great War broke out”.


Exploration: In the Arctic Circle, the archipelago named “Emperor Nicholas II Land” (now Severnaya Zemlya) is discovered, the last archipelago (so far) to be discovered anywhere on the planet.


1st May 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, in Andhra Pradesh, India – Puchalapalli Sundaraiah, founding member of the Communist Party of India and leader of the Telengana Rebellion (peasants’ revolt) in Hyderabad between 1946 and 1951.

Also Felicity Watts (later Felicity Hanbury, and later still Air Commandant Dame Felicity Peake, DBE  – Dame of the British Empire), founding director of the UK’s (second) Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) in 1949. An earlier WRAF existed briefly between 1918 and 1920, and the name was revived in 1949.

World Affairs: Montenegro agrees to end its occupation of Skadar (Scutari) in northern Albania if it is compensated with land elsewhere.

In a border skirmish in the remote region where Kenya and Abyssinia share an ill defined border, Kenyan Political Officer Leycester Aylmer and two of his soldiers are shot and killed by Abyssinian outlaws after a failed attempt to parley.

Transport: In London, England, a committee on London traffic accidents publishes its findings after investigating the sharp increase in serious accidents in recent years involving motor buses. Recommendations include fitting buses with gongs (they are too quiet when compared to horse drawn vehicles) and using “street orderly boys” to clear away mud more quickly. And (of course) “rules should be circulated widely by way of education and warning”.

Mysteries: Six miles north of the Seal Rock off New South Wales, Mr Thomas Brown, a passenger on the steam ship “Fitzroy” who has been locked in his cabin by the captain because of his strange behaviour, escapes while the captain is bringing him tea, and throws himself overboard. The vessel is stopped and a search undertaken, but Mr Brown is not found.

25th March 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY, in Gronau, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany – Otto Gustaf Veenstra, originally a Dutch citizen, but later a German Citizen. Crew member on the Battleship Bismarck. Perished 27th May 1941 (aged 28) with the sinking of the Bismarck.

Extreme Weather: In Dayton, Ohio, 400 drown in (at that time) the worst flood event in US history, on the Great Miami River and the aptly named Mad River, in the Ohio River Valley. Elsewhere there is also widespread flooding in Indiana and Illinois.

Exploration: From Falmouth, UK – William Scoresby Routledge and his wife Katherine set sail in their 90 foot schooner “Mana”, bound for Easter Island where, from March 1914, they will initiate a survey of the island. The Routledges have previously (1910) published a book “With a Prehistoric People”, based on their time living with the Kikuyu people in “British East Africa” between 1906 and 1910.

Society and Culture: The town of Red Deer, in Alberta Canada is incorporated as a city as its population rises towards 2800.