12th May 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Canada – Doris Edna Gray, BSc, MSc, PhD and research fellow at the University of Western Ontario, and later Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Hong Kong. Later still, a retiree in Dunblane, Scotland, where she bequeathed “a sum of money to the Women’s Engineering Society to encourage women in Scotland to become professional engineers. Part of this sum of money was allocated to provide £1,000 per year for women studying in Scotland” (the Doris Gray Scottish Scholarships).



14th July 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Panama, Kenneth B Clark – psychologist who studied the effects of racial prejudice on children.


World Affairs: In a telegram to the German Kaiser, Baron Tschirschky (the German Ambassador to Vienna) confirms that Hungarian premier, Count Tisza, has been brought around to the idea of war, and that the Austro-Hungarian authorities have decided to send an ultimatum to the Serbian government. The text will be ready by 19th July, but a decision has been made to delay issuing it until after the French President, Poincare, finishes his state visit to Russia, to reduce the likelihood of a quick and well coordinated reponse from Russia and France.


Exploration: In London’s docklands, the SS “Montcalm” arrives from Manitoba, Canada with a cargo of 99 “endurance dogs”. Each dog has travelled first by freight train from Winnipeg to Manitoba and each is caged individually. They are part of the preparations for Ernest Shackleton’s trans-Antarctic expedition. The “Endurance” will leave Plymouth, bound first for Buenos Aires, on 8th August.


Mysteries: The German cargo ship “Werner Kunstmann” founders on the Goswick Sands in England’s northern waters. “Reputed to have been scuppered following reports that she was on route to supply her cargo of iron ore to German factories which had been building up in their preparations for the start of World War 1. All 17crew were saved when the ship ran aground in fine weather on the Goswick sand ridge and was lost”. [The Berwick Advertiser].


Womens’ Suffrage: Militant suffragette Maude Edwards is released from Perth prison on the grounds that “excitement is injurious to [her] health”.



10th July 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Singapore: the Old Boys Association  of the Anglo-Chinese School (established 1886). School mission: “To be a beacon of truth and light, a world class institution through the holistic development of our students”.


World Affairs: In Belgrade, Serbia, Nicholas Genrikhovich Hartwig, the Russian Ambassador to Serbia – a “Pan-Slavist” said to be “more Serbian than the Serbians” – collapses and dies of a massive heart attack while visiting Baron von Gieslingen, the Austrian Ambassador in Belgrade. The Serbian press immediately publishes several inflammatory articles accusing the Austrians of poisoning Hartwig while he was a guest at their legation. The very first fatality of World War 1?


Society and culture: In Halifax, Nova Scotia, the local police force poses for photographs during a general inspection.  The followng day the Halifax Herald reports that “The policemen were out in full force with the exception of one or two who are on the sick list”.

Science and technology: in Tambaroora, New South Wales, a telephone is installed at the post office and public telephone facilities become available for the first time.





17th June 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Tientsin, China – to missionary parents – John Hersey, journalist, author, lecturer and professor.


Society and Culture:

~ Mary Dorothy Lyndon of Athens, Georgia, becomes the first woman ever to be awarded a degree by the Univeristy of Georgia.


~ In London, 26 year old Marcus Mosiah Garvey boards the steamship “Trent” to return home to Jamaica after two years studying law and philosophy at London’s Birkbeck College, and working for the “African Times and Orient Review.”  [Wikipedia}   ” I read ‘Up From Slavery’ and then my doom – if I may so call it – of being a race leader dawned on me”. [Barbados Underground].



Sport: In England, the Western Times newspaper reports that the Exeter City football (soccer) team have played their first match (a few days ago) in a tour of South America, against a team representing North Argentina. The final score is reported at 1-0, but the cablegram received is unclear about which team was victorious.

“The cablegram received by Mr. Sid Thomas, the Secretary of the club yesterday, gives the score 1-0. According to the usual rule of the home teams score coming first, North Argentina won. On the other hand it is argued that the message means that the City were victorious. Supporters will have to possess themselves in patience.” [Western Times – Wednesday 17 June 1914]




9th June 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in Northern England – Adam Wakenshaw, VC, Private, 9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, who died from “acts of conspicuous gallantry” manning his anti-tank gun in Mersa Matruh, Egypt, on 27th June 1942, aged 28.


Society and education: In Kalamazoo, Michigan, maths student Claire Wright is studying for an exam tomorrow: “Oh if I can only pass it but I don’t see how its possible because I haven’t studied it all term“. [Kalamazoo Valley Museum]



9th February 1914 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Crisp, Texas – Ernest Dale Tubb, the Texas Troubadour.


Law and order: At the Bluecoat school in Bath, England, Gilbert Mullins is awarded a “good conduct certificate”  for “good conduct… and as an earnest that he will learn and labour truly to get his own living, and to do his duty in that state of life unto which it shall please God to call him”. 


Society and culture: New Zealand farmer and diarist, George Adkin, is poorly all day but struggles on with the labours of the farm.


Early flight: in San Diego, California, Lieutenant Henry B. Post of the First Aero Corps, considered one of the most skillful US Army aviators, plunges to his death in San Diego Bay when the right wing of his hydro-aeroplane crumples.


21st November 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Bray, England – the Boulting Brothers – John Edward and Roy Alfred Clarence, English film-makers and identical twins. Their classics included Brighton Rock; Private’s Progress; I’m Alright Jack (John) and  Carlton-Browne of F.O.; The Family Way;  and There’s a Girl in My Soup (Roy). Their elder brother, Sydney, was the original director of the “Mousetrap”, still running in London after 51 years.


Society and culture: At Northenden school in Manchester, England, the school log for the day reflects the local community’s health concerns:

“The attendance this week has been very low indeed.  Many parents refuse to send their children so long as there is any danger of contracting Scarlet Fever.”