12th September 1915 (Sunday)


~ 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.


~ at Whitmore Park on the outskirts of Coventry in the English Midlands – National (artillery shell) Filling Factory number 10.


~ 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.


30th August 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: In Swansea, Wales – Lillian May Davies, fashion model, and later Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland, after her marriage into the Swedish Royal Family in 1976.



~ On the Thames Estuary in Purfleet, Essex – 16 cadets and their training officer on His Majesty’s Training Ship “Cornwall” when it is struck by a government tug.


~ in Mardin, near (what is now) the Turkish/ Syrian border, Ignatius Abded Mshiho II, the 61 year old Patriarch of Antioch, Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church.


~ At Gallipoli – Brigadier General P.A.Kenna VC DSO, 21st Lancers, 3rd Mounted Brigade and Lewis Leonard Grant, a labourer from Allansford, Victoria, Australia… and many others.



30th July, 1915 (Friday)

BORN TODAY: in Brighton, England – Rachel Amos (later Bromwich), “Celtic scholar celebrated for her masterly dictionary of Welsh and British legend” [The Independent].



Western Front: At one of the narrowest sections of no-man’s land, at Hooge in Belgium, German soldiers surprise British defenders with six of their new Flammenwerfer (flamethrowers) to capture the Hooge crater. [Burg & Purcell: Almanac of World War 1].


Australia: WIth a growing sense of unity among the Australian states, the nation holds its first “National Day”.


In Gosford, New South Wales, Miss McCabe appears as “Britannia”, holding a trident. transported in a  Chrome Yellow Renault garlanded with flowers. [Flickr].

Britannia tableau, Australia Day parade, Gosford, Friday 30 July 1915

While in New Zealand, farmer and diarist George Adkin “levelled heaps in [his] Cow p[addock] all day”.


14th July 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY: in Vilnius (in the Russian Empire, but occupied at the time by Germany) – Harold Pupkewitz, Lithuanian emigre and Namibian businessman.


Society and culture: at Penantigi Uchaf, Dinas Mawddwy in North Wales, today is a sheep-shearing day.


16th June 1915 (Wednesday)

BORN TODAY – in a summer-house in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychchwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – the UK branch of the Women’s Institute.



Western Front: Over 1000 die in 12 hours today at the Battle of Hooge (aka Bellewaarde).


Home Front: William “Chalky” White, suffering with spinal injuries, and recovering at the Queen Mary’s Royal Naval Hospital in Southend (formerly the “Palace Hotel”) writes home proudly to his mum after he gets a visit today from Queen Mary herself.

Click to access william-white-part7.pdf

4th April 1915 (Easter Sunday)

BORN TODAY: In Quarrybank, Staffordshire – Ronald Bird, English cricketer.



The Western Front:

~ Command of the German second army passes from Field Marshal Karl von Bulow to General Fritz von Below.


~ Private George Potter Bagshaw of the Derbyshire Territorials celebrates in his diary: “EASTER SUNDAY I had one of the best breakfasts that I have had in France – eggs and bacon.”


The (Welsh) Home Front: Two German officers, prisoners of war, escape from Dyffryn Aled, Llansannan, Denbighshire. When they are re-captured in Merionethshire, a week from now, they will smile for the photographer outside Blaenau Ffestiniog Police Station, before later being sent [back?] to prison for 28 days.


The (English) Home Front: The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral reads Rupert Brooke’s poem “The Soldier” from the pulpit during the Easter Service. Three weeks from today Brooke will be dead, dying ingloriously from septicaemia following a mosquito bite on a hospital ship in the Aegean.


15th March 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Cardiff – Wilfred Abse, Welsh psychiatrist and brother of poet, Dannie.



War at Sea: Five seamen and stewardess Nellie McPherson are lost when the steamer SS Fingal is torpedoed south of Coquet Island, off the Northumberland coast.


14th March 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY: In Cardiff, Wales – Richard ‘Frank’ Trott, rugby union footballer and honorary secretary of Cardiff RFC.



War at Sea: The British destroy the German cruiser “Dresden” off the coast of Chile. Or, to be more exact, the Germans destroy Dresden, “under close British supervision.”


27th October 1914 (Tuesday)

BORN TODAY: in Swansea, Wales – Dylan Marlais Thomas, Welsh poet who wrote exclusively in English.



War at Sea:  Twenty miles fromTory Island, on Ireland’s North West coast, American tourists on the liner “Olympic” snap pictures  of the British Dreadnought class battleship “Audacious”  after it is seriously damaged by striking a mine.  Later in the day, despite efforts to tow it to safety, Audacious blows up and sinks in the Atlantic. All of the crew are safely evacuated before the explosion, but an officer on another vessel is killed by a stray piece of armour plating blown half a mile by the blast.

Today she lies on the sea bed 17 miles from Tory Island. Public announcement of her destruction was postponed for over 4 years, until shortly after the end of the war.

[Burg and Purcell, and Wikipedia].


Thoughts of eternity: An anonymous French soldier writes to his mother from the front:

“Let us eat and drink to all that is eternal, for tomorrow we die to all that is of the earth. We acquire an increase of love in that moment when we renounce our mean and anxious hopes”.

[Letters of a Soldier, 1914-1915]



New Zealand farmer Goerge Adkin spends a hot day at the local cattle market, including dinner (lunch) at the Jubilee Hotel and photographing the main street and Town Hall.