BORN TODAY: in Sialkot, in British India (now in Pakistan) – Rajinder Singh Bedi, Urdu playwright and later a Hindi film director and screenwriter. “In his memory, the Government of Punjab has started a “Rajinder Singh Bedi Award” in the field of Urdu Literature”. [Wikipedia]
BORN TODAY: in Calcutta, in British India – Shaista Akhtar Banu Suhrawardy, better known as Begum Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah – Pakistani politician, diplomat and author, and the first muslim and Asian woman to receive a doctorate from the University of London [wikipedia].
Public Transport: In the City of Exeter, in England, the citizens are “bickering” about the cost of tram fares:
“The discussion at the Exeter City Council meeting on tram fares will have enlightened many people, and at least one journalist in the city. I ventured to suggest, when the matter was under discussion some time ago, that the halfpenny fares, which are the cause so much bickering, should be withdrawn altogether. It was affirmed that this could not done. But it can be, because under Act of Parliament the lowest fare which the Council need accept is one penny. And I am still of the opinion that the wisest and fairest plan all round would be charge the penny. Under the present arrangement there are many who reap mean advantage, and large numbers who should benefit before others are prevented from doing because they have clean, instead of dirty, clothes. The distances which people are carried thoroughly merit a minimum charge one penny. Besides, the trams are a business, and not a charitable, concern, and should yield more profit than they do to the city.”
[Exeter and Plymouth Gazette].
~ in Kempen in Posen, in Prussia (now Kępno in Poland) – Fritz Gromotka, German Luftwaffe Ace.
~ in Saratoga, Minnesota – Ramon Felipe San Juan Mario Silvio Enrico Smith Heathcourt-Brace Sierra y Alvarez-del Rey y de los Verdes, aka Lester del Rey, writer of science fiction and fantasy and founder of Del Rey books.
~ In Wandsworth, London – William Lionel Murton, English-Canadian character actor.
~ in Quetta in the British Raj (now in Pakistan) – Sir David Clive Crosbie Trench GCMG MC DL, British Army Officer and 24th Governor of Hong Kong.
BORN TODAY: in Brooklyn, NY – Joseph Edward Filipelli, better known as “Flip Phillips” American jazz tenor saxophone and clarinet player.
On the “North West Frontier” of the British Raj, the Indian army is defending Miranshah, on the Tochi River in North Waziristan (now part of Pakistan), from a large force of “insurgents” (Lashkars, from Southern Afghanistan).
~ in Ismailkhel, Bannu, North-West Frontier Province, British India (now Pakistan) – Ghulam Ishaq Khan, President of Pakistan from 1988 to 1993.
~ In the village of Blakeney, on England’s north Norfolk coast – Tony Wright, cub-scout, paper boy, shop assistant, delivery boy, post office clerk, sub-postmaster, mussel-man, and sailing club bosun.
~ In Groningen, Netherlands – Johan Fredrik Eykman, a Dutch chemist.
~ in Ontario – Thomas Keefer, a civil engineer.
~ in the Tochi Valley, Waziristan, on the North West Frontier – Eustace Jotham, VC, an English soldier.
~ In Union County, Illinois – Anna Rebecca Scheetz, an American daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother.
BORN TODAY: In Lahore in British India (now in Pakistan) – Munawar Hussain, Pakistani cricket umpire.
In Belgium, three of the forts which have been holding out under sustained shelling from giant German guns surrender.
In St Petersburg, Alfred Kattner – an employee in the German embassy – is killed when an angry Russian mob ransacks and torches the building.
In Istria, Croatia, the steamship “Baron Gautsch”, strikes an underwater mine and sinks near the town of Rovinj, where it now protected by the Croatian authorities and considered to be “among the best known and most attractive diving locations in Europe and in the world“.
BORN TODAY: in Barisal, in East Bengal, British India (later East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) – Anil Biswas, film music composer with a prolific output in a career stretching from 1935 to 1965.
World Affairs: The Austro-Hungarian Council of Joint Ministers debates (for 7 hours) the best course of action against Serbia. “The Joint War Minister is of opinion that a diplomatic success would be of no value. Such a success would only be interpreted as a weakness. From the military point of view he must emphasize the fact that it would be better to wage the war now, rather than later, as the balance of power would move disproportionately against us later on… All present, excepting the Hungarian Premier [who fears drawing Russian into a conflict], hold that a purely diplomatic success, even if ending in a startling humiliation for Serbia, would be without value, and that, therefore, the demands to be put to Serbia must be so far-reaching as to pre-suppose a refusal, so that the way would be prepared for a radical solution by means of military intervention”.
Society and culture:
~ On Guernsey, the British Island just off the French coast, the local government unveils a statue to Victor Hugo, who lived on the island for 15 years as a political exile from France after the coup of Napoleon III. The statue is a gift from the French government.
It has recently been given a good clean-up ahead of its centenary celebrations.
~ In Sunshine, Victoria (yes, really – now a suburb of Melbourne), the Sunshine Harvester Works Scottish Pipe Band welcomes Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, 1st Viscount Novar and sixth Governor General of Australia, and his wife, Lady Helen.
BORN TODAY: Louis Denham Fouts, “male prostitue and outstandingly and handsomely in demand literary muse”
World Affairs: The “Morning Post” reports the killing of three Britons and three “native constables” on the North West frontier, in Waziristan on the North West Frontier of British India (now on the Pakistan/ Afganistan border). Major Dodd, the “political agent” and two military colleagues (plus the three “natives”) are shot dead by a “native orderly”, who also dies in the attack [Spectator, 16th May 1914].
Sport: In Louisville, Kentucky, John McCabe, riding “Old Rosebud”, wins the 40th Kentucky Derby, by eight lengths. “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” [Wikipedia]
Social research: the Polish anthropologist and Somerville College (Oxford) student Marya Czaplicka applies for funds for an expedition to Siberia, which are granted to her later this month. Three days later the trilingual student leaves for Sibeia to study the social anthropology of Northern Asia, “her subject being shamanism in the tribes of Siberia” [Somerville College, Oxford – some.ox.ac.uk]
~ one day after his twenty fifth birthday, Arthur Cumming, British figure skater and Olympic silver medalist, dies from tetanus contracted in a recent motor cycle accident.
~ The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette reports the untimely death, late last month, of Charles Shute “son of a Naval petty officer, [who] was paddling in a stream near his home at Heavitree when he severely cut his foot. He was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital at 5.20 p.m., but it was 6.10 p.m. before a doctor could be found. He progressed favourably till the following Monday, when lockjaw [tetanus] set in, and he died on Tuesday.”
BORN TODAY: in Yozgat, Central Anatolia – Ramela Carman, Armenian genocide survivor, clothing factory worker at 11, and emigrant to America in 1960.
Died Today: In Lahore in British India (now in Pakistan) – Ghazi Mohammad Ayub Khan, aka “The Victor of Maiwand” and “The Afghan Prince Charlie”. At various times, the Emir of Afghanistan, the Governor of Herat Province, and the leader of the Afghans in the second Anglo-Afghan War. Remembered today as an Afghan National hero.
Fire: In the district of Uttlesford in Essex, England, a passing traction engine on the London to Newmarket road releases sparks into the westerly wind which trigger a fire in the thatched cottages of the village of Little Chesterford. Before the fire is extinguished it destroys two farms, two public houses and nine homes, leaving forty-three people homeless – around 1 in 5 of the village’s population.
Crime, delinquency and punishment: In Exeter, England a twelve year old boy is found guilty of firing an air-gun in the street, and of threatening another boy with the weapon. The magistrates order the father to whip the boy.
The newspaper comments: “It seems to be the fashion among a certain section of young men in the city to stand about the streets in gangs, blocking up the pavements, and when requested to make room for more orderly members of Society responding with language more forcible than polite. A general nuisance to others, and but little service to themselves, it is time these young hooligans were brought to book. The other evening I noticed a particularly abusive group take possess of part of the pavement in Fore-street. Several gentlemen accompanied by lady friends were obliged to step on to the road, and one of them, who remonstrated with the young men. was answered with very vile language. The same evening another gang took their stand in Fore-street, opposite the entrance to Market-street. Although they remained on the road they were quite as great a nuisance, and several cyclists were forced to dismount. as the gang refused to budge, and only laughed when one cyclist fell off in trying to avoid collision with one of the gang. Surely it is time the police dealt in a sharp manner with these pests.” [The Western Times, 7th April 1914].