3rd September 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Kusminki, in the Oryol Governorate of Western Russia – Ivan Pereverzev, Russian actor whose career started “in the Donbass” (now the Donets region of Eastern Ukraine) and ended with a Very English Murder. [Wikipedia].



Eastern Front: Russian troops occupy the (formerly Austrian-ruled) city of Lemberg/ Lvov/ Lviv in Galicia (now in Ukraine).

Western Front: German troops, sweeping south to the east of Paris, reach the river Marne.

War at Sea:

~ In the German “concession” area of Jiaozhou Bay off China’s Shandong peninsula, the Japanese destroyer “Shirotaye” is itself destroyed by the German gunboat “Jaguar”.


~ British HMS “Speedy”, a torpedo gunboat and the sixth of nine Royal Navy vessels christened “Speedy”, is not fast enough to avoid the mine which sinks it, in the Humber Estuary on England’s east coast.



In Rome: the College of Cardinals chooses 59 year old Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa as the new Pope – Benedict XV.

2nd September 1914 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in London, England – Baron George Brown: city clerk; fur salesman for John Lewis; ledger clerk for the Transport and General Workers Union; then District Organiser; Labour MP in the landslide victory of 1945; Minister and later Deputy Prime Minister in the Labour government of the 1960s.



Eastern Front: The Austro-Hungarian army abandons the city of Lemburg in Galicia (Lvov in Polish, now Lviv, in Ukraine) under pressure from the Russian advance westward.

Western Front: The French Government leaves Paris, relocating to Bordeaux. In Germany, today is Sedantag, a semi-official memorial holiday commemorating King Wilhelm of Prussia’s victory over the French in the Battle of Sedan in 1870.

The Asia Pacific Theatre:   More than 20,000 Japanese troops land on the Shandong peninsula in North East China. Their target is the German port of Tsingtao (now Qingdao).



25th August 1914 (Tuesday)


~ in Jyväskylä, Finland – Ilmari Vartia, olympic fencer who died of a fencing wound in 1951.


~ In Okawa District, Kagawa, Japan – “The Queen of Boogie-Woogie, Shizuko Kasagi


“Tokyo Boogie-Wookie” 1947 – C’est La Chanson du Siecle!


Eastern Front: Austrian troops take 6000 prisoners in their victory over the Russians at the Battle of  Krasnik (in Galicia, in present day Poland).


Southern (Balkan) Front: The Serbians are mopping up after the complete defeat of the Austro-Hungarians, who have retreated behind their own borders, leaving Serbia bloodied, but not bowed.

Western Front: German troops take Namur, Louvain and Sedan.

A French soldier writes to his mother (in anticipation of an imminent move to the front line):

“…Know that it would be shameful to think for one instant of holding back when the race demands the sacrifice. My only part is to carry an undefiled conscience as my feet may lead”

[Letters of a Soldier, 1914-1915]



22nd August 1914 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in London – Trevor Pryce Leggett, judo teacher, author, translator, diplomat, war time internee, spy, Buddhist, 6th dan, Head of the BBC’s Japanese service for 24 years, Order of the Sacred Treasure and much, much more. [Wikipedia].



! Austria-Hungary declares was on Belgium!

In St Petersburg, the imperial Russian government prohibits the sale of alcohol for the duration of the war!

In Le Havre, an anonymous British nursing sister, waiting with her colleagues to be moved nearer to the front, describes the day in Le Havre with almost school-girl excitement:

“There is any amount to see – miles of our [ie British forces] transport going through the town with burly old shaggy english farm-horses, taken straight from the harvest, pulling the carts; French Artillery Reservists being taught to work the guns; French soldiers passing through; and our R.E. [Royal Engineers] motor-cyclists scudding about. And one can practise talking, understanding and reading French.” [Anon: “Diary of a Nursing sister on the Western Front, 1914-1915”].

On this one day, 22nd August 1914, around 27,000 French soldiers die during the confusion of the Battles of Ardennes and Charleroi, both battles being just parts of the larger “Battle of the Frontiers”.


The view of the war from (Nationalist) Ireland: Meanwhile, writing under the headline “On German Militarism” the “Irish worker” newspaper shares its views:

Finally, as a word of warning. Do not let anyone play upon your sympathies by denunciation of the German military bullies. German military bullies, like all tyrannies among civilised people need fear nothing so much as native (German) democracy. Attacks from outside only strengthen tyrants within a nation. If we had to choose between strengthening the German bully or the Russian autocrat the wise choice would be on the side of the German. For the German people are a highly civilised people, responsive to every progressive influence, and rapidly forging weapons for their own emancipation from native tyranny, whereas the Russian Empire stretches away into the depths of Asia, and relies on an army largely recruited from amongst many millions of barbarians who have not yet felt the first softening influence of civilisation. German thought is abreast of the best in the world; German influences have shaped for good the hopes of the world, but the thought and the hopes of the best in Russia was but the other day drowned in blood by Russia’s worst.

To help Britain is to help Russia to the dominance of Europe, to help the barbarian to crush the scientist. That is the reflection of the wise revolutionist of today.

Meanwhile the Orange enemy of Irish freedom wisely stays at home and conserves his forces, and the Irish Nationalist is encouraged by his leaders to rush abroad and shed his blood in a quarrel not his own, the simplest elements of which he does not understand.”


14th June 1914 (Sunday)


~ in Korostienie in the Zhitomir region, Ukraine, Imperial Russia – Piotr Kozachenko, graduate of the Odessa Military Air College (1936) who fought with the Chinese forces against the Japanese in 1937 and for the Soviet Union against Finland in the Winter War in 1939-1940. On the first day of the Great Patriotic War against Germany (in 1941) he claimed his first successes against German aircraft, and in 1942 was fighting on the North Caucasus front. After receiving the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin in May 1943 he began operating over the Crimea area on the 2nd Ukrainian Front. He died during a mission over Danzig, Germany (now Gdansk in Poland) in March 1945, aged 30.


~ in Nagutskaya, in the Caucasus region of  Imperial Russia, Yuri Andropov: orphan; loader; telegraph clerk; sailor on the Volga; young communist; local and then national activist; Soviet Ambassador to Budapest during the Hungarian uprising; Chairman of the KGB; Politburo member; interrogator; invader of Afghanistan; and General Secretaty of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. {Wikipedia].


World Affairs: Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who has been taking a holiday in Russian Crimea, visits the Romanian King, by sea, in Constanta, Romania, along with the Russian foreign Minister, Sazonov. On the agenda is the tenuous balance of power in the Balkan’s in recent years, where  Ottomans, Habsurgs, Russians and Italians have been vying for position.


Extreme Weather: In South West London, England a freak thunderstorm causes death and flooding. Among the dead are three young children sheltering under a lightning struck tree in an area known as “The Frying Pan” on Wandsworth Common.


Arts and Literature: Publisher A.C MClurg of Chicago publishes the first book edition of Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Tarzan of the Apes”


3rd May 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: in Korea – Itsuo Tsuda, philosopher, and practitioner and teacher of Aikido and Seitai.


MARRIED TODAY: George Bernard Krumbholz of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, aged (nearly) 19, and Harriet Marie Hathaway, of Mansfield, Massachusetts, aged 18.


REBELLING TODAY: in New Zealand – Territorial (reservist) soldiers.


DIED TODAY: In Paris, France – Élisabeth Arrighi Leseur, mystic.