17th April 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Batavia in the Dutch East Indes, the  Bataviasche Kunstkring, the building to house the Fine Arts Circle of the Dutch East Indes, and recently (2013) re-opened in Indonesia as the Tugu Kunstring Paleis Hotel.



World Affairs: after 70 years of colonisation, and taking advantage of the weakness of its eastern neighbour, China, Imperial Russia declares the region of Tannu Tuva (approximately  Tannu  Uriankhai in northern Mongolia) a Russian “protectorate”.


Women’s suffrage: At Great Yarmouth in England, the pavilion on the seaside pier mysteriously burns down soon after the suffragettes have been refused permission to hold a meeting in it.


Society and Culture: In England, the Daily Mail newspaper, a bastion of ‘right’ thinking folk, reports that the National Union of Teachers has agreed to a resolution granting every teacher (ie not just Head Teachers) the right to cane pupils. “It [the Union] further urged that, failing the agreement of the Board of Education, the certificated members of the union should have the authority of the union in regard to their position to enforce discipline, when necessary, to the extent which the law allowed, all local rules to the contrary notwithstanding” (Daily Mail, 17th April 1914).


Road accidents: Meanwhile, Reggie Rooke, an Exeter lad, becomes an early road traffic accident statistic.





5th November 1913 (Wednesday)


~ In Darjeeling in the Bengal Presidency of British India – Vivien Leigh (later Lady Olivier), British stage and film actress and archetypal “southern Belle”, who was Gone With the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire etc.


~ Also, in Frome, Somerset, England – Guy Green OBE, film director who helped found the British Society of Cinematographers before moving to Hollywood in 1962.


Arms Race: In the English Channel (or La Manche for French readers, Mor Breizh to Bretons and Mor Bretannek to the Cornish), the British Royal Navy’s first ever submarine (which was launched in 1902 but is now obsolete) sinks off the Eddystone lighthouse while it is being towed to the breakers yard in Wales.


World Affairs:

~ Ludwig III is crowned King of Bavaria after invoking a new clause in the constitution (inserted yesterday) permitting him to depose his cousin, Otto, on grounds of mental incapacity.


~ In Peking (now Beijing) Chinese-Russian accord recognises that China has suzerainty over Mongolia, while China acknowledges the internal autonomy of Outer Mongolia. 

Click to access 1913Russo-ChineseAgreeement.pdf

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.