12th September 1915 (Sunday)

BORN TODAY:

~ 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Constance_(1915)

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

http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/National_Filling_Factories

~ 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.

http://www.llanellich.org.uk/files/297-shell-and-rectification-factories

19th August 1915 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Chicago – Ringgold Wilmer Lardner Jr., journalist and screenwriter blacklisted in post-war Hollywood for his un-american activities, who later wrote the screenplay for M*A*S*H.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_Lardner,_Jr.

War!

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”).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baralong_incidents

17th August 1915 (Tuesday)

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].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Frank

Extreme Weather: Galveston, Texas is rocked by a category 4 hurricane, with winds of 135mph. Port Arthur is flooded.

http://antonk.com/august-in-history/august-17-on-this-day-in-history-2/

http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth221876/

War!

War at Sea: The German submarine U-38 sinks 10 vessels, 9 British and 1 Spanish, in a single day, on its voyage to become the third most successful U-boat of the first world war.

https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=17th+august+1915&start=10

 

16th August 1915 (Monday)

War  from the sea!

~ On England’s north-west coast, near Whitehaven, a German submarine surfaces in the early morning hours and shells an explosives factory, followed by local villages.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cumbria-28668657

2nd August 1915 (Monday)

(RE)-BORN TODAY: The 2nd (Royal Naval) Brigade of the British Royal Navy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_(Royal_Naval)_Brigade

Society and Culture:

~ for the British Summer Bank holiday, not yet moved from the beginning of August to the end, trippers from the industrial west Midlands are enduring a dismal day in Worcestershire:

But Monday, surely it was about the dreariest day that holiday makers had ever known! Perhaps it was the beautiful weather of Sunday after the early morning rain) which prompted so many thousands of visitors to come to Worcester, ( between 20,000 and 30,000 people were despatched from the Black Country districts during the last few days.) Kidderminster, Stourport, and the Severn Valley from Birmingham and the Black Country. They must have belonged to the Blue Sky School, hoping that despite the torrential downpour of the early morning the weather would clear as it cleared on Sunday. Unhappily they were disappointed, and their condition as they walked through the Worcester streets or motored through the Worcester charabancs was pitiable. Such was the exodus from the Black Country that the platforms at Old Hill, Rowley, Cradley Heath, Langley, etc., were crowded with passengers from an early hour, but train after train ran into the stations filled from end to end, and hundreds of the excursionists remained on the platforms for a period of four and five hours before special relief trains were put on. Many became tired of waiting, and the railway officials refunded the money to them”. [www.ww1worcestershire.co.uk]

http://www.ww1worcestershire.co.uk/key-dates/1915/08/worst-bank-holiday-weather/

~  In Auckland, New Zealand, the Opera Hinemoa opens, with Merekotia Amohau from Rotorua playing Tupa in the Maori opera production.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/4a11/amohau-merekotia

By the wonder of the internet, you can still hear her at:

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/speech/111/mere-amohau-singing-aroha-pumai

31st July 1915 (Saturday)

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.

http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C23803

War!

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.

http://blogs.forteana.org/node/93

26th July 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in Nidubrolu in Andhra Pradesh, British India – Pragada Kotaiah, freedom fighter and parliamentarian.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragada_Kotaiah

War!

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.

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=WC19150825.2.49.3

Submarines in the Dardanelles: the French submarine “Mariotte” is sunk by the Ottoman Navy, and its crew taken as prisoners of war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_July_1915

Discipline on the Western Front: in the largest single judicial execution by the British during the war, 5 members of the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment are executed on the ramparts of Ypres.

http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/shot_at_dawn

18th July 1915 (Sunday)

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]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Le_Bailly

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.

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=haiti_538

War!

War at Sea: the Austrian submarine U4 torpedoes  the Italian armoured cruiser “Guiseppe Garibalidi”. which sinks in 3 minutes.

http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/sunk15.htm

 

12th July 1915 (Monday)

BORN TODAY: in the Pavlovsk Palace, the 18th-century Russian Imperial residence built by Paul I in Saint Petersburg  – Princess Catherine Ivanovna of Russia, great-great-granddaughter of Tsar Nicolas I and niece of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia: the last member of the Russian Imperial Family to be born before the fall of the dynasty, and ultimately the last surviving uncontested dynast of the Imperial House of Russia. She died in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 2007, aged 92.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Catherine_Ivanovna_of_Russia

War!

Gallipoli: Allied forces make a final attempt to take the hill of Achi Baba which overlooks the places where many allied soldiers have been pinned for weeks.

“As was the norm with operations from Helles casualties were inordinately high.  The Allies incurred 4,000 casualties and the Turkish force rather more, 10,000.  For all that the Turkish force suffered twice as heavily the encounter nevertheless ended with possession of Achi Baba remaining in Turkish hands.”

http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/achibaba_jul.htm

War at Sea: Off England’s east coast, the German submarine SM-UB6 has a productive day destroying four English fishing boats.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_July_1915

History, not fresh, but preserved and recycled: On the Western Front, Ulstermen from Northerl Ireland  and the Orangemen diaspora celebrate the Battle of the Boyne (1690)…

“We (the Canadians) all gathered together with a good many Ulstermen to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne. The procession started from “Shrapnel Square” and was headed by an old scout mounted on a white horse with its mane and tail plaited with Orange and Purple ribbon. Next came the fife and drums well decorated with Orange Lilies and “No Surrender” was painted on the flag we carried“.

http://www.grandorangelodge.co.uk/history.aspx?id=99487#.VZQZzBOqqko