8th July 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Lviv (Lwów”, “Lvov”, or “Lemberg”, depending on your linguistic roots) – the Army of the Bug, known to its friends as the “Armeeoberkommando Bug”.



On the British Home Front:

~ At Aldershot, Lance Corporal Benjamin Burnley, a collier from  Pontefract, overstays his authorised leave by 9 hours and 35 minutes, for which he is severely reprimanded and forfeits a day’s pay.


~ In the personal column of the London “Times”, Ethel M shames Jack F.G:

“Jack F.G. If you are not in khaki by the 20th I shall cut you dead. Ethel M.”.


22nd June 1915 (Tuesday)

EXPLORATION: Members of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition celebrate mid-winter with a dinner on board HMS Endurance.


DIED TODAY: at  Bukovina (now split between Romania and Ukraine) – Ferenc Istvan Dénes Gyula Békássy, Cambridge graduate, Hungarian bi-lingual poet and Imperial Hussar. Killed in action, aged 22.



Eastern Front: Austro-Hungarian forces recapture the city of Lemberg (Lwow/ Lviv) from the Russians.


Africa: On the shores of Lake Victoria in German East Africa, the British 25th (Frontiersmen) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and others have launched an amphibious attack on Bukoba (“The Battle of Bukoba”) with the objective to destroy the German wireless station.


20th June 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Hamburg – SM UC-6, a German  minelayer submarine.  In just over two years she will sink over 50 ships before herself being destroyed in September 1917.



Eastern Front: At the Battle of Lemberg, German & Austro-Hungarian forces lauch an attack to re-take the city and the Austrian fortress lost to the Russians in 1914 (later Lwów in Poland, now Lviv in Ukraine).


Across Empires: in St John’s on the Island of St. Pierre et Miquelon ( a vestige of the colony of New France off the Atlantic coast of Canada) 242 Canadian recruits of “F” company embark on HM Troopship Calgarian, bound for Liverpool and the war in Europe, including Inuit and Métis volunteers from Labrador.


8th June 1915 (Tuesday)


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


~ 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.


~ 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.


2nd June 1915 (Wednesday)


~  in Kempen in Posen, in Prussia (now Kępno in Poland) – Fritz Gromotka, German Luftwaffe Ace.

~ in Saratoga, Minnesota – Ramon Felipe San Juan Mario Silvio Enrico Smith Heathcourt-Brace Sierra y Alvarez-del Rey y de los Verdes, aka Lester del Rey, writer of science fiction and fantasy and founder of Del Rey books.

~ In Wandsworth, London – William Lionel Murton, English-Canadian character actor.

~ in Quetta in the British Raj (now in Pakistan) – Sir David Clive Crosbie Trench GCMG MC DL, British Army Officer and 24th Governor of Hong Kong.





10th May 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Sir Denis Thatcher, 1st Baronet, MBE, TD, english businessman who married Margaret Doris Kempson, a businessman’s daughter, in 1941, and later (1951) Margaret Hilda Roberts, a grocer’s daughter and chemist he had met at a social function of the Paint Trades Ferderation in 1949. Already a millionaire, he finances his new bride’s training as a barrister, and buys a house in Chelsea. [Wikipedia]. The rest, as they say, is history…


Peace:   In Washington, President Wilson, responding to journalists after the sinking of the Lusitania with its American passngers, sets out the US position [quoted in Burg & Purcell]:

“Americans must have a consciousness different from the consiciousness of every other nation in the world. The example of America must be the example not merely of peace because peace is the healing and elevating influence of the world and strife is not… There is such a thing as a nation  being so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right”.


Eastern Front: In the decisive battle of Gorlice-Tarnow in Austria-Hungary (now in Poland) the Russian Third Army collapses, with the Austrians and Germans having captured 140,000 men and 100 guns. The Austrians force their way across the river San at Sanok, and begin to advance towards the fortress of Przemysl.


War from the air: At 45 Ashburnham road, Southend, on England’s south east coast, Mr and Mrs May escape with their baby after a German Zeppelin drops a bomb into their back bedroom. Sixty year old Mrs Whitwell, at 120 North Road, is less fortunate.


4th May 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Gorzyce in Eastern Prussia (now part of Western Poland) – Florian Marciniak, Polish scoutmaster murdered by the gestapo in 1944, aged 28.



Crime and punishment: 14780 Acting Corporal Chisholm, of the 20th Fortress Company British Royal Engineers, serving on the Western Front, “feloniously, wilfully and of malice aforethought, kill[s] and murder[s] No. 348 Lance-Corporal Robert Lewis, 1st Glamorgan (Fortress) Company, Royal Engineers’, a crime for which he is court-martialled on 10th May and hanged on the 17th May at 6.10AM.


2nd May 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: In Leigh-On-Sea, Essex – Margaret Rose “Peggy” Mount, OBE, english actress best known for her “battleaxe” portrayals.



The Eastern Front: After a huge artillery bombardment along a 19 mile front, the German 11th Army retakes the city of Gorlice in the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia from the Russians. The city (now in Poland) is largely in ruins [Burg & Purcell].

The Western Front: During the second week of fighting at the second Battle of Ypres the death of 22 year old Canadian Lieutenant Alexis Helmer inspires Doctor and Major John McCrae to set down the first draft of his poem ‘In Flanders Fields’

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
          Between the crosses, row on row,
       That mark our place; and in the sky
       The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.
    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
       Loved and were loved, and now we lie
             In Flanders fields.
    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
       The torch; be yours to hold it high.
       If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
             In Flanders fields.

McCrae died of pneumonia in January 1918, “while still commanding No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) at Boulogne”. [Wikipedia]



29th April, 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: Three knights and two aces:

~ In Haynau in eastern Germany (now Chojnów in western Poland) – Hans Karl Bunzel, Oberleutnant and Knights Cross of the Iron Cross.

~ In Rehhof in East Prussia (now Ryjewo in northern Poland) – Paul Brandt, Luftwaffe Ace and Knights Cross of the Iron Cross.

~ In Altenburg, in the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg (now part of Thuringia in Germany) – Heinrich-Wilhelm Ahnert, Luftwaffe Ace and Knights Cross of the Iron Cross.





War from the air: Just before midnight the German Zeppelin LZ.38 crosses the Suffolk coast of eastern England, bombing the towns of Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds during the early of hours of April 30th.


West Africa: From Kamerun a German force raids the town of Gurin just over the border in British Nigeria.


28th April 1915 (Wednesday)


Arms makers: in the US, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation issues its shipping note for “1,248 cases of three-inch calibre shrapnel shells, filled”, due to be carried across the Atlantic (from neutral USA) in the cargo hold of the passenger liner “Lusitania” to the (British) Royal Arsenal at Woolwich. The weapons do not appear in the ship’s final manifest.


Peace makers: The International Congress of Women convenes at The Hague, Netherlands, with more than 1,200 delegates from 12 countries—including Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Poland, Belgium and the United States—all dedicated to the cause of peace and a resolution of the war. “With mourning hearts we stand united here….We grieve for many brave young men who have lost their lives on the battlefield before attaining their full manhood; we mourn with the poor mothers bereft of their sons; with the thousands of young widows and fatherless children, and we feel that we can no longer endure in this twentieth century of civilization that government should tolerate brute force as the only solution of international disputes”.



News makers: The New York Times reports a recent explanation in Russia’s Duma [Parliament} explaining the presence of Russian troops in Persia:

“The presence of our troops in Persian territory by no means involves a violation of Persian neutrality. Our detachments were sent to that country some years ago for the definite purpose of establishing and maintaining order in districts contiguous to our possessions, of high economic importance to us, also to prevent the seizure of some of these districts by the Turks, who openly strove to create for themselves there, especially in the district of Urumiah, a convenient base for military operations against the Caucasus. The Persian Government, not having the actual power to maintain its neutrality, met the Turkish violation of the latter with protests, which, however, had no results.”