BORN TODAY: in Portsmouth, England – Alice Jessie Fawsitt: teenager with dreams of flying; private pilot frustrated by wartime restrictions; WW2 Civil Air Guard; secretary and later Senior Public Relations Officer for the British Overseas Airways Corporation.
Midsummer on the home front…
On the English home front: at Maidstone barracks, in Kent, a concert raises funds for wounded servicemen.
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.
On the Alsatian home front: the town of Metzeral in Alsace (formerly and more recently in France) is destroyed at the end of six days of intense fighting.
Gallipoli: Australian soldier Herbert Reynolds from Victoria records in his diary one of war’s quieter days, for him at least:
“A T.B.Destroyer went in close to Kaba Tepe this morning and shelled the enemy tranches from a while, she returned again this afternoon and shelled the enemy away inland, on this occasion the enemy fired at her with their field gun from behind Kaba Tepe but did not succeed in hitting her. I managed to buy 3 tins of milk one shilling each from some sailors on the beach, we get very little here other than our rations which are bully beef, biscuits, cheese and bacon, so anything is very welcome as change. The sea has been rather rough today. At about 11pm some of us sat and watched heavy action down at Cape Helles from the top of the ridge above our camp, the flash of guns and explosion of the shells proved that the artillery on both sides was very heavily engaged and the start shells and flares illuminated the whole ridge from Achi Baba to the Cape”.
[Australian War Memorial blog – the diary of H.V. Reynolds]
Strike! The Chicago Livestock World (“The world’s greatest farm newspaper”) reports the “Street Car Men on Strike”
“The general strike order for all union employes of the surface and elevated railway lines in Chicago became effective at I2 o’clock last night. Since 4 o’clock this morning not a wheel has turned on the 1200 miles of elevated and surface tracks within the city limits. The decision to make the strike order effective was reached shortly before midnight after a day spent by the officers of the unions and officials of the railway companies ln a vain exchange of notes and parleys looking to arbitration. Half a million men and women, upon business bent, found themselves without their usual means of transportation this morning.”
BORN TODAY: in New York, New York: Herman Wouk – Pulitzer Prize winner.
Happy Centenary, Mr Wouk!
On the (industrial) front: “Commercial Motor Magazine”, introducing a review for its readers of the very latest model of Dennis Ambulance, as delivered to the Wimbledon Fire Brigade, reflects (by way of preamble) on the heavy demand for ambulances to serve on the Western Front:
“There have been hundreds of first-class ambulances sent out to the Front, but there have additionally been many more despatched which were very ill suited for the strenuous work, for which they were intended. This has been a golden opportunity for many people to dispose of second-hand chassis of pleasure-car types of doubtful age and record. The casualties amongst ambulances have been very serious indeed. Then again, there has been a good deal of seeking after publicity by individuals who have been anxious to identify themselves with the sending out of the Zebediah or the Mord-D.11’1y ambulances. We have had very little to say of all this activity, preferring rather not to throw cold water on all this endeavour which, in spite of its shortcomings, has included much well-meant kindness.”
BORN TODAY: Walsall Corporation’s public bus service: Walsall to Hednesford via Cannock.
Rome: The Italian government declares war on Austria-Hungary, but not on Germany or Turkey. [Burg & Purcell].
In response, the Austro-Hungarian fleet bombards the city of Ancona, in the Marche region, on Italy’s east coast.
Railway Accident: At Quintinshill, near Gretna Green, on the Scottish-English border, a railway crash involving five trains turns to an inferno when the gas lamps in one of the trains, carrying troops bound for Gallipoli, ignite. With the destruction of the Regimental records the exact number of deaths is never fixed with certainty, but certainly exceeds two hundred. [Wikipedia].
War – from above, from beneath, and from within…
BORN TODAY: in Brno, in Austria-Hungary (now part of the Czech Republic ) – Vilem Goth, Czechoslovakian exile who joined the RAF 310 squadron at Duxford, England, and died in action over Kent fighting for the Allies in 1940 .
The Western Front: At the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans secure an initial advantage by releasing poison gas onto a favorable wind, which totally surprises French colonial troops – Algerian and Zouaves, with many collapsing and dying while trying to flee. [Burg & Purcell].
War at Sea: In Washington DC, the German Imperial Embassy issues the following public notice addressed to US citizens:
Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on the ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.