30th August 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: In Swansea, Wales – Lillian May Davies, fashion model, and later Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland, after her marriage into the Swedish Royal Family in 1976.

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Princess_Lilian,_Duchess_of_Halland

DIED TODAY:

~ On the Thames Estuary in Purfleet, Essex – 16 cadets and their training officer on His Majesty’s Training Ship “Cornwall” when it is struck by a government tug.

https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/news/museum-and-heritage/marking-great-war-disaster-at-purfleet

~ in Mardin, near (what is now) the Turkish/ Syrian border, Ignatius Abded Mshiho II, the 61 year old Patriarch of Antioch, Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignatius_Abded_Mshiho_II

~ At Gallipoli – Brigadier General P.A.Kenna VC DSO, 21st Lancers, 3rd Mounted Brigade and Lewis Leonard Grant, a labourer from Allansford, Victoria, Australia… and many others.

http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/lala_baba_cemetery.htm

https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=116811

28th August 1915 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Boston, Massachusetts – Starling Burgess, better known as Tasha Tudor, illustrator and writer of children’s books.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasha_Tudor

War!

On the (Turkish) home front: In the town of Cizre, near the Syrian border, the authorities execute Philippe-Jacques Abraham, an ethnic Assyrian Bishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church, and Flavianus Michael Malke, the Syrian Catholic eparch, before having their bodies dragged through the streets of Cizre.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe-Jacques_Abraham

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavianus_Michael_Malke

1st August 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in the skies over the Western Front – The Fokker Scourge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fokker_Scourge

Ireland: At the funeral of exiled Irish Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rosse, Pádraig Pearse gives “one of the most famous speeches of the Irish independence movement stirring his audience to a call to arms” [Wikipedia].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_O%27Donovan_Rossa

The Funeral of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, 1st August 1915.

Some, at least, in Ireland, do not forget the call to arms:

https://www.facebook.com/therising2016

War!

In the Near East: the new (and incomplete) Germany to Baghdad railway begins transporting Armenians out of Anatolia and into Aleppo, now a (still troubled) city in Syria. Within 3 weeks, 20,000 are deported, and tales of abuse and atrocities are multiplying. [a report quoted in: “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916”, by Bryce et al]

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=H0mfmdThGLAC&pg=PA556&lpg=PA556&dq=1st+august+1915&source=bl&ots=GIrjbyYxWc&sig=qQZGkXxAI0jTTVWfwZmdIsnB6Yc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBTh4ahUKEwiXs7zx7oDHAhVBkBQKHTvmA64#v=onepage&q=1st%20august%201915&f=false

27th July 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Amsterdam – Wilhelmus Johannes Maria (Willem) Hofhuizen, Dutch expressionist painter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_Hofhuizen

War!

A bored expat writes: T. E. Lawrence (later – “of Arabia”), stationed as an intelligence officer in Cairo, writes home to his family:

“There is of course, nothing happening here, or likely to happen. Reports, and ciphering and drawing maps all day. The Dardanelles show will end soon:- Syria is quite quiet, though the Armenian villages in the North have been broken up, and the people scattered to various districts. No massacres, however, as yet. I can’t think of anything else to say:- The hot weather, as Father is interested in it, will end at the end of September. It’s not very hot now – and besides I am never more than about 5 minutes in the open air.”

http://www.telstudies.org/writings/letters/1915-16/150727_family.shtml

 

24th May 1915 (Monday)

Turkey’s war!

Gallipoli: a brief truce is arranged between the warring nations so that the thousands of dead on both sides can be buried.

http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/pt/digitalnz/record/1206500

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/34113/gallipoli-armistice

Anatolian atrocities: In response to growing tales of forced marches and massacres of Armenians in Anatolia by the Turkish government, the foreign ministers of the Triple Entente (France, Russia and Britain) issue a proclamation vowing that Young Turk (party) leadership would be held responsible for “these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization”.  In response, the Turkish cabinet three days later approves the “Provisional Law of Relocation” by which the army is “authorised and compelled to crush in the most severe way any sign of resistance or aggression among the population… including to transfer and relocate the populations of villages and towns, either individually or collectively in response to military needs or…any signs of treachery or betrayal”  

“By best estimate, some 800,000 of the Armenian deportees were to perish – starved, shot, or beaten to death – en route [to the] “barren reaches of northern Syria”.

[Scott Anderson: “Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East”]

http://www.armenian-genocide.org/Affirmation.160/current_category.7/affirmation_detail.html

20th April 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Rio de Janeiro – Aurora Miranda da Cunha Richaid, Brazilian entertainer, and sister of Carmen.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Aurora+Miranda+da+Cunha+Richaid&biw=992&bih=513&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Q30yVaLBLsqxygP2kYDYCw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&dpr=2.5#imgrc=juLuhVPQfVVP4M%253A%3BST7ncRLcj40yHM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fupload.wikimedia.org%252Fwikipedia%252Fcommons%252F5%252F5c%252FAurora_Miranda_Tres_Caballeros.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fen.wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FAurora_Miranda%3B480%3B360

War!

Dardanelles: More than 200 ships are now assembled in the harbour at Mudros, Lemnos, in preparation for the British and French invasion of Turkey.

http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/5environment/timelines/100-events-gallipoli-campaign/april-may-1915.html

Turkish Armenia: In Van, in Eastern Turkey, during an incident between Armenian citizens and the Turkish authorities, two Armenians are shot dead, escalating to reprisals, and then to the “siege” of the City by Turkish troops and a corresponding insurgency by Armenian resistance forces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Van_%281915%29#City_under_siege.2C_20_April

The view from Cairo: T.E.Lawrence writes to a colleague about his frustrations and experiences as an Intelligence Officer in Egypt:

“It’s very dull: but of course I haven’t any training as a field officer, and I don’t know that I want to go fighting up to Constantinople. It would be bad form, I think. The only place worth visiting is A [Alexandretta – on the modern Syria/ Turkey border] and they are all afraid of going there, for fear of hurting the feelings of our allies. [ie the French, who have designs on Syria].

“The [Suez] Canal is still holding out, and we are forgetting all about it. Turkey, if she is wise, will raid it from time to time, and annoy the garrison there, which is huge, and lumbersome, and creaks so loudly in the joints that you hear them eight hours before they move…

… I bought you a seal the other day. It’s probably the only one you’ll get from us this year, which is almost its only virtue. One wouldn’t have bought it anywhere else, but in Cairo it was refreshing. For Leeds, I am sending a mediaeval dagger pommel – or piece of horse-trapping – bought in Jerusalem lately.

Poor old Turkey is only hanging together. People always talk of the splendid show she has made lately, but it really is too pitiful for words. Everything about her is very very sick, and almost I think it will be good to make an end of her, though it will be very inconvenient to ourselves. I only hope that Aleppo and Damascus will escape a little the fate that has come upon Cairo. Anything fouler than the town buildings, or its beastly people, can’t be”.

http://www.telstudies.org/writings/letters/1915-16/150420_hogarth.shtml

4th March, 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade: “Shipped to Egypt without horses where it was broken up 26 August 1915″. [http://www.diggerhistory.info/].

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-a-l-horse/4th_lh_bde.htm

War!

Counting chickens: The Allied “Triple Entente” nations – Russia, France and Britain – begin secret talks on how to divide up the lands of the Ottoman Empire (The “Constantinople Agreement”, agreed two weeks from today on 18th March 1915). In the event, the agreement is never implemented because: firstly, the British and French campaign in the Dardanelles fails; and secondly, the Russian empire collapses (temporarily at least) with the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, which takes Russia out the war (and the subsequent peace) completely.

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

In the Dardanelles: HMS Agamemnon spends the day with its 9.2 inch Mk XI guns trained relentlessly on the Turkish forts at Sedd el Bahr (“Walls of the Sea”).

Across Turkey’s north west frontier, in Bulgaria (its recent foe in the second Balkan War): The Bulgarian Armenian Committee telegraphs to London confirming a force of 20.000 Armenian Volunteers who want to fight against the Turks and await British assistance to assist them to Iskenderun province (the ancient greek city of Alexandretta on the borders of Turkey and what is now Syria).

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=80c_1416808936

Peace:

Life on the land: In Connecticut, USA – farmer Frank Seger records his day in his diary:

“8 Above” [that is,  8 Fahreneit – well below freezing]

“Clear & cold as Hell and Damnation. Began to warm up after noon. Heman took the milk. Lewis dug load of dirt down in the little meadow for box stall was 8 inches of frost. Cleaned out barn to load of munare [sic] up to Comestocks. Boys cut some stalks. I went up and helped Rubin Wolf saw down trees.”

http://www.onsegermountain.org/seger/march1915.html

5th January 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Iguatu, in the Brazilian state of Ceara – Humberto Teixeira – flautist.

http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humberto_Teixeira

War!

In the Middle East: From Cairo, a British military intelligence officer – probably T.E.Lawrence – writes “we have been informed from two good sources that the Germans in command in Syria dread nothing as much as a landing by us in the north of Syria [which] would be followed by a general defection of their [that is the Ottoman’s] arab troops. There is no doubt that … a general arab revolt…would be the immediate result of our occupation of Alexandretta”. 

[Scott Anderson: “Lawrence in Arabia: War Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East”]

On the Western Front: Corporal A Letyford of the (British) 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers notes in his diary: “Spend the morning trying to dry out our clothes. we are all covered in mud from head to foot. at 6pm I go with Captian Reed to the trenches and fix six pumps. Wading about in water to our waists until 2am.” [ Lyn Macdonald: “1915: The Death of Innocence”].

23rd October 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in London, England – Ian Clifford Henry, a “right-handed batsman who bowled leg break…  made a single first class  appearance in 1937, in a match which Oxford University won [and Henry’s team lost] by ten wickets. This was his only first-class appearance”. [Wikipedia]

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

War!

Eastern Front: In Poland, Russian troops recapture the town of Jarosław. [Burg & Purcell].

Western Front: The first Indian soldiers arrive in the trenches around Laventie, in the region of Allœu to the west of Lille, to provide support to the British units and the French Cavalry Corps.

http://www.remembrancetrails-northernfrance.com/history/nations-in-war/indian-troops-on-the-artois-front.html

In the Middle East: Having left Bombay (now Mumbai) a week ago, the Indian 16th Brigade reaches Bahrain and is immediately ordered to move up towards the Shatt-Al-Arab waterway (at the head of the Persian / Arabian gulf) in order to protect British interests in the Gulf. Turkey is still, theoretically at least, a neutral country, with significant – but weak – imperial outposts stretching across (what is now) Modern Syria and Iraq, as far as the Gulf.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eden-Armageddon-World-Middle-East-ebook/dp/B002U3CBAC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1413911310&sr=1-1&keywords=eden+to+armageddon

War at Sea: In the South Atlantic, the British refrigerated cargo ship “Hurstdale” is captured by a German light cruiser. The merchantmen are taken as prisoners of war and the vessel is sent to the ocean floor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_October_1914

Peace:

In New Zealand, farmer George spends his leisure time re-reading Sir Arthur Coan-Doyle’s “The hound of the Baskervilles”.

http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/topic/4797

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