10th September, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in New York City – Edmond O’Brien, actor.


Local journalism, 100 years ago today:  in England, the Western Times provides its readers with an update:

“Cycle accident     – On enquiry at the Royal Devon and Hospital last evening we were informed that the youth, Albert Madge, who met with a  serious accident on Wednesday through colliding, while cycling, with a taxi-cab in Queen-street, Exeter, had passed  a comfortable day.”



Crime and punishment: At the Tower of London, at 6.00AM, Ernst Waldemar Melin, a Swedish national, is executed by firing squad for the crime of spying on behalf of the German government.


7th August 1915 (Saturday)


~ In Aachen, Germany – Herman P Schwan,  the “founding father of biomedical engineering“.


~ In Brooklyn, New York City – Gary Underhill, a CIA agent who perhaps knew too much for his own good. Found shot dead in May 1964, and officially ruled as a suicide.



Gallipoli: At the small, but disastrous, “Battle of the Nek”, Australian casualties include 234 out of the 300 men of the 8th Light Horse Regiment (154 killed) and 138 out of 300 from the 10th (80 killed).


30th October 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Lanchester, County Durham, England – John Wilson, inside-right (soccer player) for West Bromwich Albion, Port Vale, Wigan Athletic and Shrewsbury Town.



War at Sea: His Majesty’s Hospital Ship (HMHS) Rohilla stikes a reef off the Yorkshire coast, and sinks with the loss of 86 lives.


Espionage: In London, the court martial of the German spy Carl Hans Lody begins. Lody is “charged with two offences of war treason concerning the two letters he had sent from Edinburgh on 27 September and Dublin on 30 September. In both letters, the charge sheet stated that Lody had sought “to convey to a belligerent enemy of Great Britain, namely Germany” information relating to the UK’s defences and preparations for war.” [Wikipedia].




5th May 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: In Harbin, China – to Russian parents, Eugenia Fomenko. Daughter of a suspected (Russian) US agent; architect in Harbin; dancer in Shanghai (with new name of  Jeanne LeGon); emigrant to the US; successful department store worker in Brooklyn; sportswear executive in Dallas, and briefly in California; suspected communist spy; divorcee; spouse of a Russian nobleman emigre with dubious connections (now Mrs Jeanne de Mohrenschildt); adventurer in Mexico and Central America; supporter of Russian emigres and refugees in Dallas; expatriate with interesting connections in Haiti; witness at the Warren Commission into the assassination of John Kennedy; widow of a man whose exact role (if any)  in the assassination remains unclear to this day. [Spartacus Educational]


29th March 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Ambala, Punjab, in the British Raj – Harry Chapman Pincher, journalist and historian whose bibliography runs from “Breeding Farm Animals” (Penguin, 1946) to “Treachery: Betrayals, Blunders, and Cover-ups: Six Decades of Espionage Against America and Great Britain” (Random House, 2009).


Also, in Castlemain, Ontario, Canada – John Greer Boyle, Candian airman who joined the British Royal Airforce in 1937 and was shot down and killed over Kent during the Battle of Britain in 1940, aged 26.


~ and in Galveston, Texas – Camille Howard, American R&B pianist and singer.



Accidents and disasters: At Upper Hutt, in the Wellington region of New Zealand, eight men die as a result of a mystery  explosion at the Benge & Pratt’s store.


14th March 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY, in Queens, New York City – William Casey, Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency from 1981 to 1987.

Society and Culture:  John D Rockefeller donates $100 million to the Rockefeller Foundation.

In South Africa, a judge rules that only christian marriages are legal under south african laws, thereby effectively invalidating the marital status of most of the british indians residing there.

Shipping Accidents: At Stanley, in the Falkland Islands, the “Lady Elizabeth” en route from Vancouver to Mozambique with a cargo of timber, arrives in distress, hits a local shipping hazard, the “Uranie Rock” and is holed, with a six foot break along her keel. Later used as a storage hulk in Stanley Harbour she will finally break free of her moorings in February 1936 and find her final resting place in nearby “Whalebone Cove”, where she can still be seen one hundred years after her unfortunate accident.