3rd September, 1915 (Friday)


~ in Kristiania (formerly, and more recently, Oslo) – Knut Nystedt, Norwegian orchestral and choral composer.

~ In Cranz in East Prussia (now Zelenogradsk in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic) – Abel Ehrlich, Israeli composer.

~ In Memphis, Tennessee – John Len Chatman, better known as Memphis Slim, American blues pianist, singer and composer.




23rd July, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Vennesla, in Vest-Agder county in Norway – Olai Ingemar Eikeland, farmer and politician.



21st May, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY – in response to Italy’s decision to enter the war, threatening the Austro-Hungarian borders in the Alps – the deutsches Alpenkorps, under the command of Generalleutnant Konrad Krafft von Delmensingen, the former chief of staff of the Bavarian Army and a noted mountain warfare expert.


Law and Order: In Norway’s Oslofjorden, the Bastøy Boys are revolting.



On the (British) Home Front – Under pressure to form a new coalition government, the Liberal Leader, Asquith, is persuaded to remove Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty. (Burg & Purcell].


14th May, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Bergen – Olaf Sunde, Norwegian resistance fighter, lawyer and workers’ rights activist.



The politics of the arms race: The Times of London reports on the “shell crisis” facing British forces on the Western Front, thereby implicitly criticising the government for the supply chain failures:

“Need for shells: British attacks checked: Limited supply the cause: A Lesson From France… We had not sufficient high explosives to lower the enemy’s parapets to the ground … The want of an unlimited supply of high explosives was a fatal bar to our success”. [Wikipedia]


21st April 1915 (Wednesday)

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


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?”


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


20th February 1915 (Saturday)

World Affairs: In San Francisco, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition opens. “Much of the site [is] built in landfill that partly consists of debris from the [1906] earthquake.”




War at Sea: on a particularly bad day for British shipping a total of five vessels – four cargo ships and a Royal Navy trawler –  are lost to a combination of accidents and enemy actions (naval attacks, torpedos and mines). Norway also loses a cargo ship to north sea mines.


The boredom of war: from Cairo, young British archaeologist turned Intelligence Officer, T.E. Lawrence, writes home to his family in England:

The Seven Golden Odes of Pagan Arabia or The Moallakat: translated by Lady Anne Blunt, and put into English verse by Wilfred Scawen Blunt: published at the Chiswick Press 5/- in 1904 probably. Can you get me this book? I expect it is out of print:- but if so Blackwell would get a copy very easily, as it is a well known book. If you get it, please send it out to Intelligence Department, W.O. [ie the War Office]  as above. No news this week; we sit still, and maintain an appearance of miserly inactivity. ” [www.telstudies.org/]


9th December 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: In Copenhagen –  Max Manus, Norwegian-Danish migrant, ship-broker, seaman, adventurer, soldier, resistance fighter, escapee, wanderer, saboteur, guard to a Royal Family, recipient of Norwegian, English, Polish, American and Italian medals, and office machinery entrepreneur.



The Middle East: After a six day skirmish (the “Battle of Qurna”) Anglo-Indian forces take the city of Qurna, at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, from the Ottoman occupiers, thereby securing the British advance into Mesopotamia (now Southern Iraq).



Mining accidents: At the Scranton diamond mine in Pennsylvania, a lift carriage disintegrates and plunges several hundred feet into the shaft, killing 13 miners.