30th March 1915 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Barcelona – Francisco Sabaté Llopart (known as ‘El Quico’), Spanish resistance fighter, French resistance fighter, anti-Franco rebel and bandit, Spanish “public enemy No 1”, “Anarquista”. Shot and killed by the Spanish civil guard in January 1960, aged 44.



The Home Front: In Britain, “after Lloyd George [the ‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’ or Finance Minister] denounces drinking as an enemy of the war effort, George V declares the royal household’s willingness to abstain from consumption of alcoholic beverages for the duration of the war” [Burg & Purcell].

29th October 1914 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Oreshak in the Balkan mountains in Bulgaria – Marin Naydenov Minkov, later better known as Patriarch Maxim, the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church from 1971 until his death in 2012.



War at Sea: In Odessa on the Black Sea in Russia (now in Ukraine), the former German battleship and cruiser – Geoben and Breslau – now flying Turkish flags, stage a surprise attack, sinking the Russian gunboat Donetz, and also complete raids on the coastal cities of Sevastapol and Novorossiysk, causing significant damage.  Officially Turkey is still a neutral country, because there has been no previous declaration of war.


Society and Culture: In London, “Admiral His Serene Highness” Prince Louis of Battenberg, Austrian by birth, is forced to resign as Britain’s “First Sea Lord” (Chief of Naval Staff). The papers report that “though he is closely connected by birth or marriage with most of the great reigning houses of Europe – German, Russian, Spanish and Italian – he has won his present rank by ability, not by any exercise of influence”.



13th July, 1914 (Monday)


~ In Leuk, Switzerland – Franz Xaver Baron von Werra, fighter pilot and flying ace shot down and captured over Britain. Incarcerated in a Canadian POW camp, and “generally regarded as the only Axis POW  to succeed in escaping from a Canadian prisoner of war camp and returning to Germany”.  He arrived back in Germany in 1941, via the US, Mexico, South America and Spain. [Wikipedia].


~ In Surrey, England – Squadron Leader Wilfrid Thomas Page, mentioned in despatches, June 1942, shot down and killed in the English Channel, November 1943.


World Affairs:  From Sarajevo, the Austrian investigators of the Archduke’s assassination report that “there is nothing to prove or even to suppose that the Serbian government is accessory to the inducement for the crime, its preparations, or the furnishing of weapons. On the contrary, there are reasons to believe that this is altogether out of the question” [Fromkin – “Europe’s Last Summer – Why the World went to War in 1914].


Crime: In the village of Camerata Cornello in Northern Italy,  56 year old Simone Pianetti shoots and kills seven people who have ruined his life and reputation, including the town clerk, the priest and the doctor. He escapes to the mountains, and is never brought to justice.


Society and culture: In London, at the Kensington Registrar’s office, Novelist D.H.Lawrence marries Frieda Weekley (nee von Richthofen), the former wife of his erstwhile modern languages professor at University College, Nottingham.


~ In Milwaukee, Senators are busy investigating the causes of prostitution in Wisconsin (“Prostitutes testimony”),  and “committee staff questioned several madams and prostitutes about how they got into ‘the sporting life’ and what caused men and women to engage in it”


3rd March 1914 (Tuesday)


~ in Zaragoza, Spain – Maria Mombiola, Spanish anarchist and member of the Maquis (resistance) against Franco.

~ In India, “”Pandit” Puttaraj Gawai, musician in the classical Hindustani tradition

~ In Brooklyn, New York  – Charlotte Henry, US actress who lost her identity as Alice in Wonderland.

~ In Vejrum, in the northwest corner of Jutland, Denmark – Asger Oluf Jørgensen, political artist, essayist and founding member of the Situationist International.





Extreme weather: In the USA, Philadelphia is buried under 6 to 10 feet of snow.


15th February 1914 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: location unknown – Rosamund Greaves,11th Countess of Dysart and Lady Huntingtower – daughter of Wenefryde Agatha Scott (the 10th Countess) and Major Owain Edward Whitebread-Greaves.


Society and Culture: In New York the “Sun” newspaper runs the headline: “United States – Most Drug Afflicted of Nations” above an article highlighting “Cocaine’s Deadly Action”.


Shipwrecks: At Chesil Beach on the Dorset Coast in southern England, the steamer Dorothea, from Rotterdam, runs aground carrying iron ore from Spain to Holland.


11th January 1914 (Sunday)


~ in the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald in Germany –  Günther Heydemann, U-boat commander and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.


~ location unknown – Bernice Gordon, American crossword constructor.


~ in Boca de Huérgano, in Spain – Dora del Hoyo, domestic servant with a difference.


Labour Relations: In South Africa, the white railway workers strike spreads as the Typographical Union and the Bakers Union walk out.

Click to access Ann_O’Quigley_-_The_1914_Strike.pdf

5th January 1914 (Monday)


~ In Santander, Spain – German Gomez, Spanish professional footballer

~ In Fairland, Oklahoma – Chuck Bond, American rules footballer in the NFL.

~ location unknown – George Bates, Australian rules footballer in the VFL.




Labour Relations: The Ford Motor Company introduces an eight hour working day and a minimum day’s pay of $5.


Accidents: In Adelaide, South Australia, Fireman Herbert Hedger sustains serious injuries while fighting a fire at a furniture factory, dying of his injuries several days later.

27th November 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in New York City – Walter Benjamin Garland, Brooklyn college mathematics student, communist party and National Negro Congress activist, volunteer fighter with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. US Army volunteer in World War 2 whose request to serve overseas was denied. Post war activist against discrimination and police brutality, co-founder of the United Negro Allied Veterans Association.


Crime and punishment: At Pentonville Prison, in London, England – Frederick Robertson is hanged by the neck for the double murder of his relatives – Nellie and Beatrice Robertson.


Transport and gallantry: In the village of Liss in Hampshire, England, Percy Norwood sustains serious head injuries while rescuing blacksmith Harry Rasell from the path of an oncoming train. Harry’s pony had bolted, crashing into the crossing gates and throwing him onto the rails ahead of the train.


Thanksgiving: In the US State of New Mexico, Governor William C McDonald proclaims this Thursday, the fourth Thursday in  November, as a day of thanksgiving:  “I urge upon all that this day be observed as one of prayer and praise to God for the many blessings enjoyed by our people. At the same time may we not forget the poor and needy, making the day what its name implies for all”.


Journalism, society and culture: The National Geographic magazine publishes an article with ethnographic plates entitled “The Non-Christian Peoples of the Philippine Islands”.


2nd November 1913 (Sunday)


~in St Louis, Missouri  – Harry Babbitt, the voice of Woody Woodpecker.

~ In Manhattan, New York City – Burton Stephen “Burt” Lancaster, circus acrobat, and later the voice (and more) of the Bird Man of Alcatraz.

~ In Barcelona, Spain – to a gypsy family – Carmen Amaya, “one of the greatest and most influential flamenco performers of the 20th century” [iTunes]




4th October 1913 (Saturday)

BORN TODAY: In St Petersburg (later Petrograd, now St Petersburg again), Russia – Anatol Kagan: exiled with his father to Berlin in 1922, but unable (as a foreigner) to work there after obtaining his architecture qualification . Emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1939, where he pursued a career in both the private and the public sectors until his retirement in 1973.


Science and technology: Mallorca, Spain, inaugurates it first electric tram line.


Society and Culture: “Captain” W.E.Johns, a sanitary inspector from the sleepy town of Swaffham in Norfolk, England, joins the Territorial Army as a Private in the King’s Own Royal Regiment (Norfolk Yeomanry). After fighting on the Macedonian front and joining the Royal Flying Corp during World War 1, his 46 year writing career will include 160 books, most of which (over 100) will feature the fictional James Bigglesworth – “Biggles” – pilot, hero and adventurer.