19th May 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Renee Asherson, English actress.


Volcano! – At Lassen Peak in California the first of two huge eruptions is observed from a safe distance after dark, including “incandescent boulders rolling down its west side around sunset”.



Gallipoli: At the “Third Attack on ANZAC cove” the Turkish Army suffers 3000 dead and another 7000 injured in a vain attempt to drive Australian and New Zealand invaders back into the sea.


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”).




23rd December 1914 (Wednesday)


~ Alfred Dompert, German steeple-chaser.


~ Dr. Hildegard Bartels, economist, and the first woman to be head of a federal authority in the Federal Republic of Germany.


~ Begum Qudsia Zaidi, “a writer, social worker, and theatre practitioner… best remembered for her pioneering role in establishing the Hindustani Theatre in Delhi in the 1950s”



War at Sea: The British trawler “Ocana” strikes a mine in the North Sea and sinks with the loss of nine of her crew.


The Western Front:  “A German soldier, Karl Aldag, reports that both sides had been heard singing hymns in the trenches. German troops coming into the lines bring Christmas trees. Some men begin to place them on the parapets of the fire trenches. Local truce on the front of 23rd Brigade” [The Christmas Truce/ http://www.1914-1918.net/ ].


Your Country Needs You! In England’s west country, the Exeter and Plymough Gazette is offering advice to those who delaying signing-up until after Christmas:

Recruits are being obtained from Devon at the rate of about 25 to 30 a day, but evidently there are still young men who are , hanging back. In all probability, they are waiting until after Christmas, but it cannot be too insistently pointed out to them that the call is urgent. Those who desire to enlist, but want to spend Christmas with their friends, can, by a special arrangement, already recorded in the “Gazette,” meet, their personal wishes socially and, at the same time, prove their patriotism. The arrangement is those who sign on now can have leave over Christmas and draw Army pay. The fact that they are serving their country will, doubtless, enable recruiting agents among other young men of their acquaintance, who may be still hesitating whether to take their place in the ranks, or remain at home with their friends.”


3rd December 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in London, England – Tanya Moiseiwitsch, theatre designer.



The Balkan Front: At the Battle of Kolubara, the Serbs launch their counter-attack against the Austro-Hungarian forces.


In the Middle East: At the juncture of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Turkish Mesopotamia (now Southern Iraq), an Anglo-Indian force is advancing on the town of Al-Qurnah


The Western Front: at Hazebrouck in the arrondissement of Dunkirk, near the French border with Belgium, Britain’s King George V  and Belgium’s King Albert attend a “march past” of Belgian troops.



20th October 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Stockwell, London – Maudie Joan Littlewood, “The Mother of Modern Theatre” [Wikipedia].



War at Sea: Off the Norwegian coast, the British cargo ship SS Glitra becomes the first merchant vessel ever to be sunk by a submarine when the crew of German U-boat U-17 board her, evacuate the crew and open the ship’s sea cocks. [Burg and Purcell].

Western Front: fighting is intensifying around Ypres, with the arrival of the British 1st Corp and the forward push of the German fourth army.


In the (British) Empire: The SS Geelong leaves Hobart in Tasmania, carrying 36 officers and 898 troops bound for Egypt.





24th July 1914 (Friday)

BORN  TODAY: in Colonial Beach, Virginia, USA, the son of Lithuanian/ Austrian immigrants, – Edwin “Honest Ed” Mirvish, Canadian businessman, philanthropist and theatre impresario.


Labour Relations: In Saint John, New Brunswick, striking street (trolley) car workers supported by 10,000 sympathisers rampage and riot on the city’s streets.


Arts and Literature: In Cornwall, in England’s West Country, Forence Munnings (nee Carter-Wood) aged 26, the muse and wife of the artist Alfred Munnings, takes her own life by cyanide poisoning.



6th July, 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Halifax Nova Scotia – Viola Davis (later Desmond), Canadian black activist  wrongly convicted for tax evasion as a result of a protest over segregation in a New Glasgow theatre, and pardoned posthumously, in 2010, forty five years after her death [Wikipedia].


World Affairs: In St Petersburg, the Russian government warns Austria not to make unreasonable demands of the Serbians in response to their alleged involvement in the Archduke’s assassination.

Society and Culture: In Kiel, Germany, where the German and British navies have been jointly celebrating “Kiel Week” together, the Kaiser sets off on his annual holiday cruise, heading for Norway. {Almanac of World War 1].



30th May 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in London, England – Betty Violet Marie Baskcomb, Stalwart of stage, screen and the glory days of radio drama” [The Independent].


Restless Earth: In California, the Lassen Volcano stirs after 27,000 years dormant, with a steam explosion which will prove to be the first in 8 years of increasingly violent activity.


Shipping News: The Cunard Line’s “RMS Aquitania” sets out on her maiden voyage from Britain to New York, just one day after the loss of over a thousand lives on the RMS Empress of Ireland in the St Lawrence River.


Sport: At Indianapolis, the  fourth 500 mile sweepstake race is won by a Frenchman – M. René Thomas


11th April 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Concordia, in the province of Entre Rios in Argentina – Hector Alaya, composer and guitarist.


World Affairs: In Newcastle, in northern England, the UK’s anarchists hold their national conference.


Arms Race: Surveying the curious position of the British Army after the recent “Curragh Mutiny” (the refusal of some British Officers to follow orders in suppressing para-military unionist activity in Ireland), the “Spectator” magazine contrasts the situations in the UK and Germany:

“The difficulty here is to get the Army to use the sword and the bayonet, the rifle and the machine gun upon the civilian. In Germany the difficulty is to prevent the Army using them”.


Labour Relations: “Industrial Workers of the World”, the international revolutionary industrial labor organisation, stages a rally in New York City.


Theatre: At Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” receives its London premiere, having previously opened in a German language version in Vienna (October 1913) and in New York (March 1914).


22nd March 1914 (Sunday)


~ in the city of Nukha in the south of Imperial Russia (now Shaki in northern Azerbaijan) – Lutfali Amir oglu Abdullayev, Azeri theatre and film actor.


~ in the bilingual city of Oberglogau (variously in Bohemia, Prussia and Poland, now Głogówek in Poland) – Josef Niemietz, highly decorated Hauptfeldwebel (Company Sergeant Major) in the German Wehrmacht.


~ place unknown – John Alexander Elphinstone, prisoner of war in Colditz, and later the 17th Lord Elhpinstone.


~ In Aranmula temple village in Kerala, British India – Aranmula Ponnamma, award winning Malayalam film actress widely known as the mother figure in Malayalam cinema.


Women’s suffrage: In London, the East London Federation of Suffragettes  choose today, Mothering Sunday,  to march from East London to Westminster Abbey to pray for Votes for Women and those on hunger strike.