16th December 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: At WIgston Barracks, Leicester, England – Reg Twigg, author of “Survivor on the River Kwai, the Incredible Story of Life on the Burma Railway”, who died in May this year – one of the last survivors of the Death Railway.



World Affairs: In Blomfontein, South Africa, the “Women’s Monument” is unveiled, commemorating the death of around 27,000 Boer women and children who died in British concentration camps during the Boer War (1899-1902).


Natural Disasters: in the Rio Blanco valley in Patagonia, Chile the Rio Blanco Glacier breaks out of its natural dam and sends a huge flood of water, earth and rocks down the valley below.

Click to access igs_journal_vol02_issue013_pg172-175.pdf

Accidents: – A bad day for the global mining industry…

~ At the Radium Mine in South Australia, 22 year old miner, K Lively, loses a foot in an underground explosion.

~ On the same day, at the Mainsforth coal-mine in County Durham, England, Joseph Aspey, colliery driver,  loses an arm in an accident.

~ And at the Vulcan  Mine in Colorado an explosion kills “thirty-eight men practically all Americans”.




15th December 1913 (Monday)

LAUNCHED TODAY:  At the John Brown shipyard, in Clydebank, Scotland – the British Royal Navy launches HMS Tiger, its most heavily armoured battlecruiser, costing 2.5 million British pounds. Tiger fought at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. she was decommissioned and sold for scrap in 1932.



Animal Rights: At Kensington Town Hall in London, author John Galsworthy delivers a speech protesting against cruelty to performing animals.


Extreme Weather: The English are busy reflecting on their extremely mild (“unseasonable”) weather. “The heat of the sunshine was hardly less extraordinary for the time of year, and it was possible to sit writing out of doors until the sun had set and it was too dark to see” [The Spectator, 27th December 1913].


14th December 1913 (Sunday)

LAUNCHED TODAY:  At the Kawasaki shipyard in Kobe, Japan, the Imperial Japanese Navy launches Haruna, a Kongo class warship designed by the British naval engineer George Thurston. Haruna fought in almost every major naval action in the Pacific during World War II. She was sunk at her moorings on 28 July 1945. [Wikipedia].


World Affairs: The Irish City of Cork establishes its own Corps of the Irish Volunteers, a nationalist organisation recently founded in Dublin.


Leisure: George Adkin, New Zealand farmer, spends a relaxing summer Sunday enjoying his photography hobby.


13th December 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Belgravia, London, England, to Major-General Richard Pope-Hennessy and Dame Una – Sir John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire  (CBE), Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (FSA), scholar of Italian Renaissance Art, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Director of the British Museum, Head of European Painting at the  New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Professor at the New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, honorary citizen of Florence and owner of a “large porphyry table” [Wikipedia].


12th December 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Battersea, South London – David Gommon, British painter.


World Affairs: Menelik II, the Emperor of Ethiopia and “the first black African king in modern history to engage in slavery of white European (Italian) war captives held as slaves”, dies, aged 69 years.


Accidents and disasters: In Manly, Iowa – eight miles north of Mason City – a fire threatens to destroy the entire town before it is brought under control by firemen rushed in on a special train for Mason city.


Science and technology: In Chicago, Vol 3, issue 12 of the “Electric Vehicles Magazine” features on its cover the Ohio Electric Motor Car Company’s Brougham Model.


Infamous Crimes: In the second of three “Brides in the Bath murders”, George Smith’s new (second) wife, Alice Burnham, is found dead in her bath.


30th October 1913 (Thursday)


~ In Berlin, Germany – Hans Berndt, International Footballer

~ In Stockton-On-Tees, England – Michael “Micky” Fenton, International Footballer

~ In Ellendale, North Dakota, USA – Bob Pylman, American Footballer.




Arms Race: On the River Medway in Kent, England, the British Royal Navy Launches its latest submarine – HMS E8.


Society and culture: Ernest Jones establishes the London Psychoanalytical Society, which will be renamed the British Psychoanalytical Society in 1919.


29th October 1913 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in East Preston, Sussex, England – Oliver Louis Zangwill, influential British neuropsychologist and  Professor Emeritus at Cambridge, after whom the Oliver Zangwill Centre for specialist rehabilitation after brain injury (in Cambridge, England) is named.


Society and culture: V.I.Lenin publishes his paper, “Capitalism and Workers’ migration” in Pravda:  “Emancipation from the yoke of capital is impossible without the further development of capitalism, and without the class struggle that is based on it. And it is into this struggle that capitalism is drawing the masses of the working people of the whole world, breaking down the musty, fusty habits of local life, breaking down national barriers and prejudices, uniting workers from all countries in huge factories and mines in America, Germany, and so forth.”


~ In South Africa, as part of ongoing protests against the treatment of Indian labourers, Mahatma  Gandhi begins leading strikers (illegally) over the Transvaal border along the Durban/Johannesburg railway line.Hundreds of men, women and children led by Gandhi march from Newcastle into the Transvaal to purposefully defy the Immigrants Regulation Act of 1913.


~ In Wellington, New Zealand, as part of the ongoing “Great Strike”,  more than a thousand strikers brake through the gates of the Basin Reserve, where they hold a protest meeting.


Ancient migrations:  In Balreegan Quarry in Scotland, a Roman coin hoard is discovered in a small earthenware jug about 3 1/2″ high, consisting of 125 brass coins ranging from Constantine I to Decentines. The hoard is believed to have been concealed around 354 AD.


28th October 1913 (Tuesday)

all things english & ever so slightly eccentric…


BORN  TODAY: A brace of english exportable thespians:

~ In London, England – Douglas Seale, stage and film actor and Disney voiceover, who died in New York in  1999, aged 86.

~ In London, England – Peter Patrick Brabazon Browne, stage name Peter Grenville, stage and film actor and director, who died in New York in 1996, aged 82

Crime and punishment: At St Paul Walden in Hertfordshire, England – Albert Edward Fox, half of the infamous Fox twins of Stevenage, and brother of Edward Albert Fox, steals seven tame turkeys belonging to Harold Knight, for which crime he is later convicted and sentenced to 6 months hard labour.


Society and culture: In the City of Leicester, in England, the newly formed Wire Fox Terrier Association holds its first “show”. Mr George Raper judges the dogs and Mr Robert Vicary, the bitches.


Music and madness: Great aunt Bubbles (aka Diana Whishaw Benson) is born in the Lodge of Fiddington House, a lunatic asylum on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain in southern England, from where she will become an accomplished musician. In 1940 she divorced her husband after he refused to allow her to bring her grand piano to the Island of Malta, where has was stationed during the war. He later “described the experience as ‘not unlike standing on a rake in such a way that the handle leaps up and belts you in the face’. She subsequently converted to Catholicism and became a nun”.


27th October 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: Near Lodge Grass, Montana, USA  – Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird, tribal historian, anthropologist and author: “Born into [the] illustrious warrior tradition of the Crow, this dude had some pretty hardcore badasses to look up to as a young man” .

[Badass of the week: Quote: “This shit is so crazy you couldn’t even make it up”]


~ Also, in Prostějov, in Austria-Hungary (later Czechoslovakia, and later still the Czech Republic) – Otto Wichterle, chemist, inventor of sylon, and of soft contact lenses now worn by around 100 million people worldwide. No badass, he.


World Affairs: The Emir of Kuwait signs an agreement with Britain giving the British the right to to approve or deny any concessions for foreign powers to drill for oil in Kuwait.


Extreme Weather – the worst tornado in British history, with winds in excess of 160mph, kills 3 and injures scores more as it rips through South Wales on its way from Devon to Cheshire.


Women’s suffrage: In Bristol, England  the Suffragettes’ shop in Queen’s Road, is attacked and seriously damaged.


Society and culture: In New Zealand, young farmer George Adkin is “sickened” by the spring sight of “Foxgloves up in their thousands”.


25th October 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Godesberg (then  in Prussia, now Bad Godesburg, part of Bonn in Germany) – Nikolaus ‘Klaus’ Barbie, “The Butcher of Lyons”, son of a bitter, angry World War 1 veteran wounded at Verdun and taken prisoner by the French. After World War 2 Barbie junior worked first for the British until 1947 and then joined the 66th Detachment of the US Army counter intelligence corps, who refused to hand him to the French for war crimes. In 1965 he joined the West German foreign intelligence agency, later emigrating to Bolivia, from where he was extradited to France in 1983. Convicted to life imprisonment in 1987, aged 74, he died 4 years later, at 77, of natural causes.


Accidents: Three die and 20 are injured in a train collision at Waterloo junction in London.


Society and culture: In Britain the “Spectator” magazine, announces the creation (before today’s accident) of a Royal Commission “to inquire into the relation between the railway companies and the State in respect of matters other than safety of working and conditions of employment, and to report what changes, if any, are desirable”. [Spectator, 25th October 2013].


Crime of Passion: In California, Mrs. Elizabeth Amelia Drown, after failing twice to shoot herself in her jealous grief for her husband’s affair with another woman, finds that the shots have woken her husband. His last words may well have been “What if I do love her? Go away. I’m going to bed.”