12th February, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: ~ Camouflage. [guinessworldrecords.com].


~ in Ottawa, Canada, to Russian Jewish immigrants – Lyon Himan Green, better known as Lorne Green, and even better known as Ben Cartwright, patriarch of the fictional Ponderosa Ranch in Nevada.



Western Front: Thirty four British navy airplanes launch a major air raid on German occupied towns in Belgium in an effort to disrupt supply lines and communications supporting the German submarine offensives.


In the Middle East: A small combined Egyptian and Ghurka (Nepalese) force under British command lands at Tor on the Gulf of Suez and begins to restore order by destroying Arab raiding parties in the Sinai region, which have been allied with the recent unsuccesful Turkish attack on the canal.


9th February 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Paddington, London – Lennard Pearce, theatre and later television actor best known (in England, but perhaps no wider) as Edward Kitchener “Ted” Trotter (“grandad”).




22nd August 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Trevor Pryce Leggett, judo teacher, author, translator, diplomat, war time internee, spy, Buddhist, 6th dan, Head of the BBC’s Japanese service for 24 years, Order of the Sacred Treasure and much, much more. [Wikipedia].



! Austria-Hungary declares was on Belgium!

In St Petersburg, the imperial Russian government prohibits the sale of alcohol for the duration of the war!

In Le Havre, an anonymous British nursing sister, waiting with her colleagues to be moved nearer to the front, describes the day in Le Havre with almost school-girl excitement:

“There is any amount to see – miles of our [ie British forces] transport going through the town with burly old shaggy english farm-horses, taken straight from the harvest, pulling the carts; French Artillery Reservists being taught to work the guns; French soldiers passing through; and our R.E. [Royal Engineers] motor-cyclists scudding about. And one can practise talking, understanding and reading French.” [Anon: “Diary of a Nursing sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915”].

On this one day, 22nd August 1914, around 27,000 French soldiers die during the confusion of the Battles of Ardennes and Charleroi, both battles being just parts of the larger “Battle of the Frontiers”.


The view of the war from (Nationalist) Ireland: Meanwhile, writing under the headline “On German Militarism” the “Irish worker” newspaper shares its views:

Finally, as a word of warning. Do not let anyone play upon your sympathies by denunciation of the German military bullies. German military bullies, like all tyrannies among civilised people need fear nothing so much as native (German) democracy. Attacks from outside only strengthen tyrants within a nation. If we had to choose between strengthening the German bully or the Russian autocrat the wise choice would be on the side of the German. For the German people are a highly civilised people, responsive to every progressive influence, and rapidly forging weapons for their own emancipation from native tyranny, whereas the Russian Empire stretches away into the depths of Asia, and relies on an army largely recruited from amongst many millions of barbarians who have not yet felt the first softening influence of civilisation. German thought is abreast of the best in the world; German influences have shaped for good the hopes of the world, but the thought and the hopes of the best in Russia was but the other day drowned in blood by Russia’s worst.

To help Britain is to help Russia to the dominance of Europe, to help the barbarian to crush the scientist. That is the reflection of the wise revolutionist of today.

Meanwhile the Orange enemy of Irish freedom wisely stays at home and conserves his forces, and the Irish Nationalist is encouraged by his leaders to rush abroad and shed his blood in a quarrel not his own, the simplest elements of which he does not understand.”


19th June 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Overton County, Tennessee – Lester Raymond Flatt, bluegrass guitarist and mandolinist, and one half of the Foggy Mountain Boys (“Flatt and Scruggs”), possibly best known for the “Ballad of Jed Clampett”, the theme music to the 1960s TV sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies”.


Mining Accidents: The Hillcrest Mine in Alberta, Canada is destoyed by multiple explosions which kill 189 miners, leaving 130 widows and 400 fatherless children in a community of around 1000 souls. It is (still) the worse mining accident in Canadian history, and at the time the third worst in the world.



5th June 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in London, England – Rose Lilian Hill, scholarship winner to the presitigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama; operatic soprano, actress, and member of the Royal Shakespeare Company; “who remains best known [!?] for her role as Madame Fanny La Fan in the British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo! “ [Wikipedia].



1st June 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Vienna, Austria-Hungary – Franz Kraemer, Canadian broadcaster, and “pioneer of opera on TV”.


Society and Culture: In Vienna, Generalmajor Viktor Weber von Webenau becomes a member of the “Supreme Military Court”, quickly rising to the position of Vice President in July.


World Affairs: On a quiet Monday evening in the Balkans, 19 year old Gavrilo Princip and 18 year old Trifun Grabež, two young men with dreams of a better world, cross over the Drina River from Serbia to Bosnia with assassination on their minds.


Women’s suffrage: In the village of Wargrave in central England, suffragettes are suspected of starting the blaze which destroys the village church. (more dreams of a better world?).


Irish suffragettes: In Belfast, in British Ireland, suffragettes stage a “counter demonstration” when large numbers of mill-girls turn out to welcome the Unionist leader, Sir Edward Carson. In the ensuing fracas, “the [mill] girls caught one of the militant women, and, stripping her of nearly all clothing, spanked her with her own shoes. It was only with difficulty that the police,who were stopped by the mill hands, rescued the suffragette from her painful predicament.”  [The Melbourne Argus, 3rd June 1914]

(multiple dreams of a better world…)


14th March 1914 (Saturday)


~ in London, England – William John Owen Rowbotham, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire  (“MBE”), better known to British TV viewers of a certain age as “Compo”.

~ In Vyborg on the Karelian Isthmus in Russia – Unto Kalervo Eskola, better known to Finnish cinema goers of a certain age as Olavi Reimas.

~ In St Etienne, France – Lucien Montet, better known to his colleagues in  the Free French wing of the British Royal Air Force as “Christian Martell”.




20th February 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Johannesburg, South Africa – John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly, Jr., game-show host.


Society and culture: In Frankfurt, Germany, Rosa Luxemburg stands trial for encouraging public disobedience by making anti-war speeches in which she called on young German men to refuse to take up arms against their French brothers. She is given a one year prison sentence.


Shipping accidents: The Fethard lifeboat is destroyed in a storm off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 9 of its 14 crew while attempting to rescue the crew of the cargo ship “Mexico” with a cargo of South American mahogany.


19th January 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Calverley, Near Leeds, in Northern England – Barry Colehan, pioneer British TV producer who brought TV classics to an unsuspecting world: “The Good Old Days”; “Top of the Pops” and “It’s a Knockout”. [from “My Yorkshire: Celebrating all that’s best in God’s own county”.]


DIED TODAY: In Sefton Park, Liverpool, Northern England – Margaret Downey, aged 19, “in delicate health and despondent” drowns herself in the Park’s Lake.