18th February 1914 (Wednesday)

DIED TODAY: Frances (Fanny) Matilda Van de Grift Osbourne (later, Stevenson) – a life less ordinary. “The only woman in the world worth dying for”, is commemorated in the novel, “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” by Nancy Horan.


Agriculture and society: George Adkin, New Zealand farmer, is busy clearing (firing) the bush at the margins of his land. In the summer afternoon he attends a garden party organised by the ladies of the Methodist Church.


Society and culture: In England, Geoffrey Stewart, 35 year old Eton educated son of Major-General Sir Herbert Stewart, K.C.B., is promoted to the rank of Major in the Leicestershire Yeomanry. He previously joined the Coldstream Guards in 1898, and served with them through- out the South African (“Boer”) War, 1899-1902. From 1905-07 he served in the Egyptian Army and retired in 1910, joining the Reserve of Officers.

He will be killed while retiring from a reconnaissance he makes, alone, to the enemy’s trenches at Givenchy, in Flanders, on the 22nd December, 1914.

Today, he and others are commemorated in a memorial bus shelter, and the local Church, in Winwick, Northamptonshire. [www.roll-of-honour.com].


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.


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”.