15th May 1915 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Hilda Schwarz (later Bernstein), journalist, author, artist, activist, communist and exile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilda_Bernstein

War!

The Dardanelles: Senior British Admiral Sir John Fisher resigns in protest at what he perceives to be Churchill’s misplaced obsession with forcing the Dardanelles, a strategy which has so far yielded nothing but many thousands of deaths [Burg & Purcell].

The Western Front: After a 60 hour bombardment by 433 artillery pieces   firing about 100,000 shells, British General Sir Douglas Haig launches his British, Indian and Canadian  army against the German defences on the first day of the Battle of Festubert.  After 10 days and over 20,000 casualities the Allies will have gained approximately 3 kilometres. Overall losses for the Second Battle of Artois (of which this forms part) are in the order of 200,000 German, French, British, Indian and Canadian men, including over 100,000 Frenchmen [Wikipedia].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Festubert

Revolution!

The Reuters News Agency files unconfirmed reports (from the Spanish government) of a revolutionary coup in Portugal, where all communications (railway, telegraph etc) have been cut and there are (unfounded) rumours that the ex-Premier, Afonso Costa, has been assassinated.

http://www.cphrc.org/index.php/documents/firstrepublic/475-1915-05-15-commune-in-portugal

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11th May 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Luanda, Angola – Aníbal da Fonseca Paciência, Portuguese footballer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An%C3%ADbal_Paci%C3%AAncia

War!

The (English) Home Front: In Liverpool, which has experienced several days of riots targetting german, and alleged german, businesses and homes after the sinking of the Lusitania, a crowd of 2000 intent on rioting – or perhaps looting – in the Wallasey district has to be turned back by a cordon of police. With much german owned property already destroyed the xenophobic crowd directs its attention to other groups – Scandinavians, Italians, Russians and Chinese. The rioting also spreads to Manchester.

http://www.hssr.mmu.ac.uk/mcrh/files/2013/01/mrhr_02ii_panayi.pdf

The Eastern Front: Tsar Nicholas writes home to his wife, Alexandra. After explaining to her the current difficulties of the Russian Army in the face of the German and Austrian advance, and giving his assessment of the performance of various Russian commanders, he concludes:  “For the last few days the weather has been magnificent, the woods smell so delightfully and the birds sing so loudly. It is a veritable rustic idyll – if only it were not for the war I drive about in a car, look at new places, get out and walk.”

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/letters/may15.html

19th October 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Greenwood, Mississippi – Juanita Moore, American film, television, and stage actress who died earlier this year in Los Angeles, aged 99.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juanita_Moore

War!

Western Front: In Belgium, German forces are converging for an attack at Ypres, a vital transport and communications centre, with the intention of taking control of the Channel ports [Burg and Purcell].

After several gruelling days battling death on hospital trains, an anonymous British nursing sister manages a short respite in Rouen:

“This is the most glorious old city, two cathedrals of surpassing beauty, lovely old streets, broad river, hills, and lovely hot baths and hair shampooing, What with two cathedrals, a happy hour in a hot bath, a shampoo, and delicious tea in the town, we’ve had a happy day.” [from the “Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915”].

In the Middle East: T.E, Lawrence, held back at the War Office in London in case his special regional knowledge and language skills may yet be put to use, writes to the wife of the British consul in Aleppo, in the Ottoman Empire: “Turkey seems at last to have made up its mind to lie down and be at peace with all the world… I’m sorry because I wanted to root them out of Syria, and now their blight will be more enduring than ever” [Scott Anderson: “Lawrence in Arabia, War, Deceit, Imperial Folly  and the Making of the Modern Middle East”].

In South West Africa:  a German military column crosses the border from (German) South West Africa and enters [Portuguese] Angola without authorization from the Portuguese authorities. The column is intercepted by Portuguese forces and conducted to Fort Naulila, where a dispute results in the death of three German officers. [Wikipedia]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naulila

 

 

30th June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Chaves, Portugal – Francisco da Costa Gomes, 15th President of the Portuguese Republic, 1974-1976.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_da_Costa_Gomes

World Affairs: The Austrian foreign minister informs Germany that the Serbia government is responsible for the assassination of the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand. [Almanac of World War 1]

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Almanac-World-War-David-Burg-ebook/dp/B0078XFMK0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402765250&sr=8-1&keywords=almanac+of+world+war+1

Accidents: In Manitoba, the bridge spanning the Winnipeg River collapses, plunging a train into the river and killing engineer George Wrighton.

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/pageant/22/bridgethatwas.shtml

 

 

29th December 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: 

~ Near Lille, in France – Luxemburger Pierre Werner: husband, father, Doctor of Law, civil servant, Minister of Finance and of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, author of the “Werner Plan” which anticipated Maastricht, Prime Minister,  and Chairman of television and satellite companies.

http://www.gouvernement.lu/817424/bio_eng1.pdf

~ Also, in Funchal, Madeira – The Britannic Lodge of Madeira, lodge number 3683 under the numbering system introduced in 1894.

http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/lane/record.php?ID=6497

World Affairs: In Adelaide, South Australia, “The Register” reports the latest news from Calcutta (now Kolkata) and South Africa on “The Indian problem”.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/4484295

Holidays over: New Zealand farmer and diarist George Adkin is parted from his loved one, and heads back, starry eyed, to reality.

http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/theme.aspx?irn=4498