23rd June 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Mayfair, London – Robin “Monty” Montgomerie-Charrington, formula 1 racing driver.



The Isonzo Front: The Italian Third Army launches a mjor offensive against Austro-Hungarian forces along a 21 mile front stretching inland from the Adriatic. [Burg & Purcell].

East Africa: After British forces successfully destroy the German wireless station and arsenal at Bukoba, in German East Africa, “Brigadier General James Stewart grants his troops permission to loot Bukoba. The men, joined by their officers, go on a shameless, drunken orgy of vandalism, rape and pillage” [Burg & Purcell]…

…British papers reported the events differently…

As it was not intended to hold Bukoba, the force re-embarked on June 23rd, leaving the town “a sorry sight, and being plundered and looted by the local inhabitants who swarmed in to complete the enemy’s discomfiture”.


Spy!  at 6.00AM in the “miniature rifle range” at the Tower of London, German spy Carl Muller is executed by a firing squad of 8 riflemen.


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.


12th June 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: At Dunedin in New Zealand – Allen George Palmer, Inspector of Mines in Tanganyika from 1947 to 1962.


Volcano: At the Lassen Peak in California, a group of 5 climbers are treated to an unexpectedly close-up view of the volcano erupting.


2nd February 1914 (Monday)


~ in Amberg, Germany – Heiner Fleischmann, German motorcycle racer;

~ in Durban, South Africa – Hubert Freakes, English rugby union international



Leisure: In Fremantle, Western Australia – Billy Clare establishes the Freemantle Workers Club. Happy Centenary!

Railways and Empire: In Kigoma, in the far West of German Tanganyika on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the Zentralbahn (Central Line) railway arrives from Dar es Salaam, 800 miles away on the Indian Ocean coast.


11th November 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Skipton, Yorkshire, England, of Scottish parents – Iain Norman McLeod, Cambridge educated Royal Fusilier and professional bridge player who became (from 1959 to 1961) one of Britain’s last Colonial Secretaries (the Government minister responsible for the Colonies), overseeing the decolonisation of Nigeria, British Somaliland, Tanganyika, Sierra Leone, Kuwait and British Cameroon, before moving on to become Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) in 1970, a post in which he died from a heart-attack almost immediately after taking office. Perhaps he had seen the writing on the wall at Number 11 Downing Street.


World Affairs – in Athens, Greece, the governments of Greece and Turkey sign a peace treaty which finally brings to an end the Second Balkan war, restores diplomatic relations and attempts to resolve some of the issues of nationality facing the large numbers of muslim turks in Greece and orthodox greeks in European Turkey and Turkish Asia Minor (Anatolia).


Labour Relations: In Wellington, New Zealand, George Adkin seems to be enjoying his strike breaking duties. He records in his dairy:

“…Had hot pies + cakes en route.  City very quiet + I think our job was to keep the strikers off the Chinamen who were buying fruit from the steamers discharging.  At 2 pm fed + watered horses + had an excellent meal in a building off Waterloo Quay provided by some very nice ladies belonging to Red Cross Society.  Spent rest of afternoon reading, resting + smoking (free cigarettes + fruit provided by local shopkeepers)…Left for camp soon after 5 pm – refreshing shower-bath before tea.  At 7 pm foot parade + roll-call in Buckle St.  At 8 at kinomataograph entertainment was given in Garrison interspersed by songs + other items by Wellington gentlemen.” [Museum of New Zealand].


1st April 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY – Robert Adrian de Jauralde Hart, English horticulturalist – the “gardener with a vision of sustainable forests in the city” (the Guardian). Author, ecologist and conservationist.

“Obviously, few of us are in a position to restore the forests.. But tens of millions of us have gardens, or access to open spaces such as industrial wastelands, where trees can be planted. and if full advantage can be taken of the potentialities that are available even in heavily built up areas, new ‘city forests’ can arise…”

First Balkan War: The Turkish government accepts the peace terms for the end of the war, thereby losing 60,000 square miles of its previous European territory and retaining only a tiny foothold in Europe.

Philippe, Duke of Montpensier and pretender to the French throne, is proclaimed King of Albania – one of the former Ottoman provinces in Europe.

Arms Race/ Second Balkan War: The Romanian air-force is founded.

Science, technology and labour relations: Ford Motor company begins its first experiment with the assembly line method of manufacturing.

The Natural History Museum in London opens its Department of Entomology (the study of insects – I had to check).

Transport: In the village of Elsenham, Essex, UK – a branch railway line opens to the town of Thaxted, approximately 6  miles away. (It will survive until 1952).

In Tokyo, Japan, the Oji electric tramway station opens (now the Toden Arakawa line).

Womens’ Suffrage: At the Old Bailey (law court) in London, Emmeline Pankhurst (aged 53) is sentenced to three years penal servitude for “feloniously procuring and inciting a person or persons unknown to commit felony; unlawfully soliciting and inciting persons unknown to commit felony and certain misdemeanours”.

Society and culture: The first permanent force South African army comes into being under the terms of the South Africa Defence Act, 1912.

In German East Africa, the town of Bismarckburg (now Kasanga in Tanzania) on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, with around 3900 inhabitants, becomes the official seat of the District Office.

In Prague (then in Austria-Hungary, later Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic) the Jedlicka Institute for the Disabled is founded, specialising in the care of disabled children and adults.