29th July 1915 (Thursday)

DIED TODAY: Major-General Henry Newport Charles Heath, son of Major-General Alfred Heath, (Royal Artillery): Heath Jr was born in 1860 and attended Clifton College and Sandhurst Royal Military College before fighting in the Anglo-Egyptian War (1882); taking part in the Anglo-Egyptian expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum (1884-85); fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902); and leading a command in the first world war before falling ill and dying today, aged 54.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Heath_(British_Army_officer)

 

 

18th May 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: Among the Onondaga Indians of the Iroquois confederacy – Leon Shenandoah, elected Tadodaho (spiritual leader) in 1968, and – in his spare time – a custodian at Syracuse University.

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

War!

The (French) Home Front: An American writes from her retirement home in the Marne Valley of the hardening of French attitudes after the introduction of chemical weapons and the sinking of the Lusitania: “I have seen grow up among these simple people [her French neighbours] the conviction that the race which planned and launched this great war has lost the very right to live; and that none of the dreams of the world can ever be realized while Prussia exists, even if the war lasts twenty years, and even if, before it is over, the whole world has to take a hand in it”

[Mildred Aldrich: “A Hilltop on the Marne”]

Gallipoli: Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges, aged 54 and originally from Renfrewshire in Scotland, but more recently the first Australian to reach the rank of Major General, dies of his wounds inflicted by a Turkish sniper three days ago. A veteran of the Boer War, Bridges becomes “one of only two Australians killed in action in the Great War to be interred in Australia” [Wikipedia].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bridges_%28general%29

The (Australian) Home Front – In Melbourne, Australia – Sister Edith Wilson Yeaman of the Australian Auxiliary Nursing Service embarks on the SS Mooltan, heading for service at the No 3 Australian General Hospital. She will serve for 4 years in Egypt, France and England before returning home to Australia in May 1919.

http://nurses.ww1anzac.com/y.html

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

27th April 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Alexandropol in the Russian Empire (now Gyumri in western Armenia, near the Turkish border)  – Hovhannes (Onik) Tadevosi Karapetyan, poet.

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

War!

War at Sea: In the Straits of Otranto, between Italy and Albania, where the French are attempting to blockade the Austro-Hungarian navy inside the Adriatic (ie preventing access to the wider Mediterranean), the Austrian submarine U-5 torpedoes and sinks the cruiser Leon Gambetta, sending 547 sailors to their death. [Burg & Purcell].

 Africa: At Gibeon Station in German South West Africa (now Namibia)  – 41 German and South African soldiers die in battle.

http://www.trenchfighter.com/41815/205801.html

Western Front: GAS!

The 3rd and 4th [gas] attacks took place on 26-27 April 1915 at Steenstrate-Lizerne, near Ieper, in which British, Sikhs and French were the victims. To the left of the Sikhs were French Colonial troops with essentially North Africans and at their right were the British. The Ferozepur Brigade, and the French colonial troops to the left of them, were the worst hit. More gas attacks followed on 27-29 April and 01-02 May 1915 and the victims were again British, Sikhs, Pathans, French and Algerians. [http://www.sikhiwiki.org/].

http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Menin_Gate_and_the_Sikhs

21st April 1915 (Wednesday)

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

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

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?”

War!

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

http://www.worldwar1luton.com/event/second-battle-ypres

16th February 1915 (Shrove Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Klerksdorp in the Transvaal – Elisabeth Françoise Eybers, South African poet, awarded “The Order of Ikhamanga in Gold” for “breaking through the gender barriers and exceptionally contributing to the literature genre of poetry, especially reflecting on gender issues, and raising awareness about the evils of the apartheid system”.[South African government website].

http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/pebble.asp?relid=7844

War!

Western Front: In the English Channel/ French La Manche, Squadron Commander Ivon Courtney is leading his squadron in the combined landplane and seaplane operations against German submarine bases in the Bruges – Ostend – Zeebrugge region.

http://www.flyingmarines.com/biographies/1911-1920/Courtney.htm

Society and Culture:  Clementine Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill, aged 30, wife of Sir Winston Churchill, poses for a photographic portrait.

 

 

2nd February 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY:

~ In Cape Town, South Africa – Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban, migrant, polymath, intelligence officer, propagandist, politician, polyglot, amabassador, author and TV narrator; of whom Henry Kissinger once said: “I have never encountered anyone who matched his command of the English language. Sentences poured forth in mellifluous constructions complicated enough to test the listener’s intelligence and simultaneously leave him transfixed by the speaker’s virtuosity.” [Wikipedia].

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

~ in Hadali, in the Punjab region of British India (now Pakistan) – Khushwant Singh, “Indian novelist, lawyer, politician and journalist” and self proclaimed agnostic. [Wikipedia].

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