29th August 1915 (Sunday)


~ in Stockholm – Ingrid Bergman, orphaned at 12 years old.


~ In Greenock, Scotland – Archibald Macintosh Doak, architect.


19th September 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Oslo – Ada Buch Polak (née Andrea Buch), Norwegian art historian.



Western Front: In the city of Reims, in Eastern France, the Cathedral of Notre Dame is severely damaged by persistent German artillery fire, and quickly becomes a symbol of French resistance to German hostilities.


8th September 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: Sir Denys Louis Lasdun, English Brutalist architect whose work includes the Royal National Theatre on London’s South Bank and the “Norfolk Terrace” Halls of Residence at the University of East Anglia.



In Lancashire, in England’s North-West, the Accrington Observer & Times reports on the “Franco-British successes in Great Battle” (the Battle of the Marne) and the raising, locally, of a battalion of 1100 men, who will come to be known to history as the “Accrington Pals”.


Meanwhile, the “Daily Mail” reports: “A large firm of wholesale provision merchants, Messrs. Sainsbury, advertised for 200 single women to replace a portion of the 500 of the firm’s employees who have joined the colours”.


At Tournan-en-Brie, near the French front line – Thomas James Highgate, a farm labourer from Kent aged 19, becomes the first British soldier of World War 1 to be executed for desertion. (Posthumously pardoned with around 300 others in 2006). [Wikipedia]



The former White Star Line transatlantic ocean liner, the RMS Oceanic – recently re-commissioned as an armed merchant cruiser and renamed HMS Oceanic – runs aground off Foula in the Shetland Islands and (eventually) has to be scrapped.


4th November 1913 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Switzerland, Paul Irniger – fraudster, robber and murderer who became, at the age of 25, the second to last person judicially executed in Switzerland – guillotined on the 25th August 1939.


Crime and Punishment: In Wolverhampton, England, Josiah Davies murders his landlady, for which crime he will be convicted in December 1913 and executed (hanged) in March 1914.


World Affairs:

~ In Constantinople (now Istanbul) in Turkey, representatives of the Ottoman Empire and of Persia sign a protocol defining the boundary between Persia and the Turkish lands (which are now part of Iraq).


~ The Kingdom of Bavaria, which has been “annexed” by the German Empire since 1871 (when the crown was offered to King William I of Prussia) amends its constitution to include a clause specifying that if a regency for reasons of incapacity lasts for ten years with no expectation that the King will ever be able to reign, the Regent can proclaim the end of the regency and assume the crown himself. Bavaria’s most recent two kings have been Ludwig II (1864-1886) who “bankrupted the country building fairytale castles and hosting Wagner concerts”, before he was mysteriously drowned, and his younger brother and successor King Otto, who was declared insane in 1875. King Otto was “by some accounts not even aware that he had become King” [Colonel J’s Bavaria].


Natural Disasters: in the Apurimac region of Peru an earthquake kills 155 people.


A sign of the times?  The pre-dreadnought class steel armoured battleship launched in 1891 – HMS “Empress of India” is ignominiously used for target practice, presumably by her fully dreadnought class successors, and sent to a watery grave.


31st October 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Auburndale, Wisconsin, USA – Norma Budtke, farm worker, factory worker, domestic worker and hospital housekeeper, who died in Owen, Wisconsin, 35 miles from Auburndale, in 1995, aged 81.


Society and culture: In New York City, Chaya Kaufman, aged 15 – originally from Proskurov in the Russian Empire (now Khmelnytskyi in Ukraine) marries her 28 year old schoolteacher, Will Durant. In 1968 they jointly won a Pulitzer Prize and in 1977 were granted a Presidential Medal of Freedom for their services to historical study. They died within two weeks of each other in 1981.


~London’s “Building News” reports the opening of a grand new building on London’s Kingsway “Imperial House”, where slum clearance and “Hausmannisation” is being pursued by London County Council in order to rival the beauty of Paris.


26th September 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Zemmin, Western Pomerania – Berthold Beitz, German industrialist who saved 250 Jewish workers by falsely describing them as essential workers at an oil facility in Poland in the 1940s; head of the Krupp steel conglomerate in the 1950s; and awarded the title “Righteous Among Nations” by the Israeli Holocaust Society in 1973.


Society and culture: in Britain the periodical “Building News” publishes illustrations of the radical new concrete terraces (a small artificial “mountain range”) for the better enjoyment of bears, goats and deer at the Regents Park Zoological Gardens in London. One hundred years later the Mappin Terraces at London Zoo are used to display wallabies and emus.