~ on the River Mersey – HMS Constance, a “C” class light cruiser for the (British) Royal Navy’s 4th light cruiser squadron of the Grand Fleet. She will take part in the Battle of Jutland (1916), and visit China in the late 1920s before being sold for scrap in 1936, aged 21.
~ In Lannelly, in South Wales – the idea of converting an existing factory for the production of six inch shells. The plan is approved by the Ministry in two days, and the first shell is produced in just 5 weeks.
War at Sea: The German submarine U-24 sinks the White Star Liner, “Arabic”, with the loss of 44 lives. In retaliation the British Royal Navy’s “HMS Baralong” tricks another U-boat, U-27 by flying a US flag and feigning the rescue of passengers from another British steamer, and then shelling and destroying the submarine. The 12 surviving crew of U-27 take refuge on the steamer they were about to destroy, but are summarily executed by a boarding party from the Baralong. (“the Baralong incident”).
DIED TODAY: Leo Frank, factory superintendant convicted in 1913 of the murder of an employee, Mary Phagan, aged 13. Sentenced to death by hanging in 1913, later commuted to life imprisonment. Abducted from prison on 16th August 1915, and lynched today, by the “Knights of Mary Phagan”, a vigilante group specifically formed for the abduction and lynching. A superior court judge is photographed among the spectators.
“Leo Frank was posthumously pardoned in 1986 by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles , which said that it was done without attempting to address the question of guilt or innocence. The consensus of researchers on the subject is that Frank was wrongly convicted”. [Wikipedia].
BORN TODAY: in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand –RNZAF pilot Tame Hawaikirangi Thomas Waerea, who died in Europe in 1943, aged 28, and was buried in the Hanover War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany, a long way from home, but is remembered at the Auckland Museum online cenotaph.
War at Sea: the British steamer “Iberian” is shelled, torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland by the German submarine U28. The U-boat’s skipper, Georg-Günther Freiherr (Baron) von Forstner, and five of his crewmen see a sea-monster, “a gigantic sea-animal, writhing and struggling wildly… [which shoots] out of the water to a height of 60 to 100 feet.”
All six of the sub-mariners then forget to report this strange incident until 18 years have elapsed, in 1933.
Socialism in Italy: a “rising star” of the Italian socialist party, one Benito Mussolini, expresses the view that “Italian workers should give ‘not a penny’ to the cause of war, nor spill ‘one drop of blood’ for a cause that had ‘nothing to do with it’. If the government failed to declare neutrality, the proletatriat would force it to do so”. [Mark Thompson: “The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915-1919”].
Fire in Constantinople: A great fire in Istanbul, later attributed to Russian areoplane bombing, destroys over 3000 buildings.
BORN TODAY: to Robert Francis Le Bailly and Ida Gaskell Le Bailly (née Holland) – Vice Admiral Sir Louis Edward Stewart Holland Le Bailly, KBE, CB. “In retirement he was appointed Director-General of Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence… Later he became vice chairman of the Institute for Study of Conflict, and chairman of the Civil Service Selection Board”. [Wikipedia]
World Affairs: US President Woodrow Wilson sends US forces to Haiti in an attempt to prevent Germany or France from taking it over. Haiti controls the Windward Passage to the Panama Canal and is seen as strategically critical. The Haitian government is near insolvency at this time and is significantly in debt to foreign corporations. German companies control almost 80 percent of Haitian trade. US forces will occupy the country until 1934.
~ In Australia – the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service, now operating as Lighthouses of Australia Inc, providing “an extensive network of aids to navigation around the coastline… comprising nearly 490 aids at approximately 380 sites”
BORN TODAY: in five schools in north east Surrey and (what is now) south west London – the Croydon War Hospital, under the command of Colonel Morris and staffed by 80 nurses, “many of whom were members of the local Voluntary Aid Detachments. (However, at one time, the entire nursing staff consisted of nurses from Australia.) “
Gallipoli: Australian soldiers, pinned to their positions for many weeks since the initial Gallipoli landing, are praying for rain. Herbert Reynolds records in his diary: “At about 9pm a thunder storm passed over but we got very little rain, a good fall of rain now would be welcome as we are depending on the water from the boats for our supply, the holes in the gullies are all dry and there is no water other than that in our vicinity except salt sea water.”
Turkish Armenia: In the city of Tarsus in the south east of Turkey, a foreign resident confides in a diary: “Half the town want to ‘store’ things here, to be ours if they [ie – Armenian deportees] never return; rugs, coppers, etc.—but we may be blown up, who knows?”
On the Scottish home front: the SS Carisbrook, a British merchant steamer carrying wheat from Montreal, Canada, to Leith in Scotland, is captured and sunk by German submarine U-38 off the north east coast of Scotland.