25th May 1914 (Monday)


~ In Vancouver, Canada – Frederick Howard Buller, aeronautical engineer.


~ In London, England – Bernard Raymond Fink, physician.


Arms Race: In Cowes, on Britain’s Isle of Wight, the shipbuilder J.S. White launches the destroyer Almirante Goñi, built for the Chilean Navy, but destined to be purchsed by the British Admiralty (Navy) and renamed HMS Broke after outbreak of World War 1.


Empire: The “Colac Herald” in Victoria, Australia, reports “enormous attendance” at the Empire Day celebrations which have taken place over the weekend:

“Patriotism reigned supreme on Saturday in Colac in common with other places throughout the British Empire.It is not many years since Empire Day was brought into being, but in a short space of time it has become one of the leading days in the year, when the people have an opportunity of making a display of that love of country which is such an important factor in nation building. Upon patriotism depends the very existence of an empire, for immediately this sense is weakened, so do the foundations upon which nations are built begin to crumble and sooner or later the superstructure will topple down. The sentiment of patriotism is a grand thing in its many aspects. It is through it that the people band together and make enormous sacrifices to keep the land of their fathers safe from attack.” [The Colac Herald, 25th May 1914].


Ireland: For the third time, the British House of Commons passes the “Government of Ireland Bill”  (the “Third Home Rule Bill”) which has on two previous occasions been overturned by the Upper House (the House of Lords – rejecting the first and second bills in 1912 and 1913).


27th March 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: In Litherland, Lancashire – Squadron Leader William Hubert Rigby ‘Nits’ Whitty DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross).


~Also, in Siam (Thailand) – The Siam Army Air Corps, later to be renamed the Royal Thai Air Force.


Science and technology: In Belgium, Doctor Albert Hustin conducts the first successful non-direct blood transfusion, using a combination of (not so new) anti-coagulant technology (sodium citrate ) and refrigeration.


27th February 1914 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Copenhagen, Denmark – Dyre Trolle, Qualified Medical Doctor in 1939, specialist in gynaecology in 1950, and Professor in gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Copenhagen from 1962.


Arms Race: In the”London Gazette”, the official British journal of aristocratic and military affairs: “His Majesty the King [George V] has been graciously pleased to approve the formation of a cyclist battalion by the Territorial Force Association for the County of Huntingdon. to be designated ‘The Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion’. “


Journalism: In Exeter, in England’s West Country, the Western Times reports a domestic “near-miss” incident:  “Yesterday, Exeter Brigade were summoned to a house in the Mint, where some clothes had been put in front the fire and caught alight, but the flames were extinguished with a couple of buckets of water, and the assistance of the firemen was not needed.” (Phew!).


Exploration: in the city of Caceres, on the Banks of the RIo Paraguay in Brazil, an expedition which includes the ex US President Theodore Roosevelt begins a mysterious investigation into the Rio da Duvida (River of Doubt), “a mysterious river hidden in the tropical forest of which no one knew the exact location of its sources and also its mouths”.


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.”


26th October 1913 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: In Bangkok, Thailand – the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, founded in response to the death of the Princess Momchaoying Banlusirisarn Diskul from Rabies in 1911. Originally named the “Pastura Sabha” after Louis Pasteur, but later renamed to commemorate the Princess’s grandmother, who donated funds for the purchase of medical equipment and facilities.


~ Also, in Tuncurry, NSW, Australia – the Tuncurry Afforestation Camp, with its stated purpose: “to provide prisoners with a modified form of prison life and the opportunity to acquire skills which could be used on release“.

(QUOTE: “An area of 6,000 acres was selected and twenty prisoners, plus four officers, commenced work in November 1913. Various preparations, such as fencing, levelling and grass-planting were undertaken. Tree-planting began in May and in the next few months the number of trees planted by prison labour was 121,896.” UNQUOTE).  [NSW Government State Records]


Accidents and disasters: Seven Milwaukee firemen die when the Goodyear Tyre Company building collapses after an explosion caused by the fire.



27th September 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: in Pittsburgh PA – Albert Ellis, menswear, gift and novelty salesman turned psychologist. PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia in 1947. Famous quotes included: “neurosis is just a high-class word for whining” and “Freud was full of horseshit”.


World Affairs: at the Balmoral show-ground in the north of Ireland, Sir Edward Carson reviews a massive parade of the “Ulster Volunteers” (estimated at 12,000 men). Also today, a provisional loyalist government is proclaimed for the counties of Ulster.


Meanwhile, further south, in Dublin, the SS Hare arrives from Salford with its famous cargo of foodstuffs for the City’s strikers, a gift from the British Trades Union Congress.


Society and Culture: The SS MInnehaha of the Atlantic Transport Line sails from Liverpool bound for New York. Captain “Congenial” Claret is supported by Chief Engineer “Blonde”, Chief Steward “Old” and Surgeon “Noisy”. The first class passenger list includes such notables as “The Holy Terror”  “The Frog”  “The Early Victorian”  “the Beauty” “The Angel” “Very Stout” and Mr John G Rollins, a “weapons exporter based in London”.

You couldn’t make it up… or could you?


Sport: At Manchester United’s “Old Trafford” football (soccer) ground in Britain, the visitors Oldham Athletic play in front of their largest crowd for a league fixture – 55,000 spectators. The record will not be broken until 1975 when the “Latics” are once again visiting the Old Trafford ground.


Medicine: The “Lancet” medical journal publishes an article from the recent joint session of the sections of Dermatology and Syphilography and of Forensic Medicine at the Seventeenth International Congress of Medicine, London – “Syphilis: Its dangers to the community, and the question of state control”.