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.




6th April 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Lvov, Poland (now in Ukraine) – Michal Stefan Pienkowski: privileged Polish son; chemistry graduate; Polish Air Force conscript; internee in Romania; refugee in Yugoslavia, Italy and France; member of the Polish forces in exile (in  Britain); member of the Polish Air force under RAF command; interpreter and instructor; Derbyshire tailor and store-keeper; Duffield sub-postmaster; and Staffordshire smallholder. He died in 1985 from pneumonia originally contracted during World War 2.


Military matters: General  Sir Charles Whittingham Horsley Douglas, GCB (“Knight Grand Cross”), ADC (“aide de camp”), is appointed as the third (successive) Chief of the (British) Imperial General Staff (“CIGS”).  He has previously served as a British Officer in the second Anglo-Afghan War, The first Boer War, the Suakin Expedition (Sudan), and the second Boer War. He will die from strain and overwork later this year, less than three months after the outbreak of World War 1.


Accidents: Three passengers die when the Wabash passenger train plunges from a collapsing bridge near Attica, Indiana, USA.



Society and culture: In Dartford, South East London, Mr Samuel Bonmak, gravedigger, spends his day digging the first grave in the new Watling Cemetery, in preparation for the burial, tomorrow, of Mr James Duggan.





27th February 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY, at Bieliny in South Central Poland – Kazimierz Sabbat, President of the Polish Government in Exile (based in London) from 1986 to 1989. He died in London, aged 76, in 1989 – on the same day that the Parliament in Poland elected its first President since the 1950s (Wojciech Jaruzelski, who would be replaced in 1990 by Lech Walesa of the Polish second republic).

World Affairs: The Albanian Congress of Trieste convenes in Trieste, Austria- Hungary (now part of Italy). The objectives of the congress include the preparation of a request for Albania to be formally recognized as independent by the Great Powers, the delineation of its borders, and a treaty of friendship with neighboring Aromanian (Vlach) populations.

Natural disasters:  Ethiopia experiences the Asmara earthquake, a strong seismic event felt as far away as Kassala in Eastern Sudan.

Society & culture: In London, the first edition of the journal “Muslim India and the Islamic Review” is published. It will change its name to “The Islamic Review and Muslim India” in 1914 and to simply “The Islamic Review” in 1921.

Empire: In Windhoek, in the German Protectorate of German South West Africa (now Namibia), John Ludwig – pioneer tobacco farmer – dies and becomes (on 1st March) the first person to be buried in the Klein Windhoek cemetery. He is considered by many to be the founder of Klein Windhoek.