17th March 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: location not known  – James Duncan “Smudger” Smith, RAF pilot shot down and killed in action over Libya, in 1941, aged 27. Buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetary, Acroma, Libya.


Migration: In Madras (now Chennai) In India, mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan boards the steamship SS Nevasa to begin his month long voyage to London, and ultimately to Cambridge University, where in October 1918 he will become the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College.


Shipwrecks:  in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the SS Sydney, carrying passengers and coal, runs aground on Shag Rock, at the entrance to Halifax harbour. Fortunately, all 11 passengers and 50 crew are rescued.


16th May 1913 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Woodrow (Woody) Charles Herman, jazz musician and big band leader.

Also, in Rosa, in the Veneto in Italy –  Sebastiano Baggio –  Italian Cardinal and President of the Vatican city State in 1984.

World Affairs: In a continuation of the hostilities between Italy and the Ottoman Empire in Libya (Italo-Turkish War, or Guerra di Libia) which was officially concluded during 1912, the Italians suffer a serious defeat by bedouin tribesmen at Sidi Garba, near Derna, in Tripoli. General Mabretti attacks what he believes to be a force of 2000 bedu, but is actually an army ten times larger armedwith cannons. An estimated 2000 Italian  lives are lost as the Italian army retreats in disarray, abandoning its dead and injured.

Science, technology and the weather:  In Falmer, Sussex, UK – the Race Hill Windmill, built in 1861, is blown down in a storm.