A CENTURY AGO IN WHITAKER'S
EVENTS OF THE YEAR 1918–19
The following constitutes selected extracts from the Events of the Year chapter as recorded in the 1919 and 1920 editions of Whitaker's Almanack, published a century ago. The text has been reproduced in its original form, along with its idiosyncrasies of style and archaic spellings of names. The information in parentheses following the date is the name of the sub-section the extract was taken from.
4. (The King and Court) Their Majesties, with both Houses of Parliament, attended St. Margaret's, Westminster, at the Special Service of Thanksgiving and Intercession on the fourth anniversary of the war. 5. (Diary of the War) Five German airships over the East Anglian coast: no bombs dropped, and one, the most valuable of the German Zeppelins, brought down in flames, and their best commander, Capt. Strasser, killed. 7. (Imperial Dominions) Mr. Lloyd George’s “Hold fast!” message published in over 100 newspapers throughout Australia. 13. (Diary of the War) French took Belval, S. of Lassigny; severe fighting for the Bois des Loges. 13. (Diary of the War) Return of King George to England after a nine days’ visit to the front. Czecho-Slovaks recognised as an Allied nation by the Government. 17. (Diary of the War) Arrival of U.S. troops at Vladivostok. 18. (Labour) Strike of London women tramway and omnibus workers to enforce their demands for the same bonus as that given to the men.
1. (Diary of the War) Enemy in retreat on almost his whole front from S. of Ypres to Soissons, except between La Bassée and Lens. 7. (Other Countries) Hsu Shi-Chang elected President of the Chinese Republic by a large majority. 12. (Diary of the War) Union Castle liner Galway Castle, with over 1,000 on board, including many women and children, torpedoed without warning: 154 passengers and crew missing. 16. (Crimes) Mrs Villiers-Stuart sentenced at the Old Bailey to 9 months’ imprisonment, without hard labour, for bigamously marrying Capt. Villiers-Stuart. 24 (United States) House of Representatives approved the measure making national prohibition effective from on July 1, 1919: measure already passed the Senate. 30. (Diary of the War) Surrender of Bulgaria: Allied terms accepted.
1. (Diary of the War) Resignation of Count Hertling, German Imperial Chancellor, and all German secretaries, announced. Damascus entered by British: 7,000 prisoners. 7. (Ecclesiastical) Dr. Yeatman-Biggs, Bishop of Worcester, to be first Bishop of Coventry. 8. (United States) Full text of Pres. Wilson’s reply to the German Peace Note published. 11. (Other Countries) Earthquake in San Juan de Puerto Rico: 150 killed. 17. (Diary of the War) Germans in retreat on the whole of the Flanders front, and south as far as Douai; Ostend evacuated; Vice-Adm. Sir Roger Keyes landed from the Fleet, and Belgian troops entered; visit of King and Queen of Belgians. 23. (Diary of the War) The House of Commons, voting on non-party lines, by 274 votes to 25 affirmed that a Bill should be passed forth with that women should be eligible as M.P.’s. 25. (Drama and Music) Centenary of the “Old Vic.” celebrated by a matinée at which the Queen was present. 27. (Diary of the War) Mr. Lloyd George and Air. Balfour with their naval and military advisers, and Col. House, U.S., in Paris for Conference of Allies. 28 (Diary of the War). Conference, at Versailles, of Allied Chiefs. 29. (Art) “The Triumph of the Innocents,” by Holman Hunt, presented to the nation by Mr. J. T. Middlemore, M. P. 30. (Diary of the War) Czecho-Slovak State proclaimed at Prague: independence of Croatia and all the Southern Slav territories proclaimed in Agram Diet. Surrender of Turkish army on the Tigris. Turkey out of the war: unconditional surrender: armistice signed to take effect from noon next day.
3. (Diary of the War) Surrender of Austria, accepting all conditions: armistice signed by Gen. Diaz, Italian Comm.-in-Chief, to take effect at noon, Nov. 4. 9. (Diary of the War) “Abdication” of the Kaiser announced. Revolution in Berlin: flight of King of Bavaria: Bavaria, Württemburg, Saxony, the Mecklenburgs, Brunswick, Hesse, and other countries reported to be suppressing their Governments. Mr. Lloyd George; at the Lord Mayor’s banquet, announced the abdication of the Kaiser, and said “Germany’s doom was sealed.” Flight of the Kaiser to Holland. 10. (Diary of the War) French captured Hirson, surrounded Mézières and crossed the Meuse: few German troops remaining on French soil. U.S. troops pushed forward towards Montmédy and the Briery basin. Death of Herr Ballin, Director of the Hamburg-Amerika Line. 11. (Diary of the War) Mons entered at dawn by Canadians. Armistice signed by German plenipotentiaries. 11 A.M. firing ceased on all fronts. Allies’ terms included the giving up of 6 battle-cruisers, 10 battleships, 8 light cruisers, 50 destroyers, and all submarines, specified number of military guns, &c., immediate evacuation of all invaded countries, release of British prisoners, and the occupation by Allies of the left bank of the Rhine. Messages of congratulation and appreciation sent by the King to the Navy, Army, and Air Force. Scenes of great rejoicing in London and the provinces. 11. (The King and Court) Their majesties were enthusiastically greeted by enormous crowds outside Buckingham Palace on Armistice Day. 14. (Imperial Politics) Mr. Bonar Law stated that the Prime Minister had advised the King to dissolve Parliament and that a general election would be held.
2. (Crimes) Westminster Coroner opened inquest on Billie Carleton, the actress, after attending Victory Ball. Jury, after protracted enquiry, found she died from overdose of cocaine self-administered by misadventure. 12. (Aviation) Maj.-Gen. W. G. H. Salmond arrived at Delhi by air from Cairo, distance of 3,233 miles in 47 hrs. 21 mins. of actual flying. 14. (Imperial Politics) Polling took place throughout the United Kingdom for the election of 584 members, women exercising the franchise for the first time. 26. (The King and Court) President and Mrs. Wilson arrived in London as the guests of the King and Queen. 28. (Imperial Politics) Votes were counted after interval to allow soldiers to send their votes by post. Result (including unopposed returns) Coalition 478 (U. 334, L. 133, Lab. 11), Labour 63, Unionists 48, Liberals 28, Independents 10, Sinn Feiners 73, Nationalists 7.
1. (Accidents) Naval steam yacht Iolaire, with 300 seamen on leave, wrecked outside Stornoway Harbour with loss of 174 lives. 6. (United States) Mr. Roosevelt died in his sleep at Oyster Bay. King George, Queen Alexandra, Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Wilson sent messages of condolence to Mrs. Roosevelt. 6. (Labour) Admiralty decided to adopt 47-hour week in Royal dockyards. 9. (Imperial Dominions) Largest strike in India began at Bombay, 100,000 mill hands demanding an increased bonus. 9. (Other Countries) General Strike at Buenos Ayres followed by severe street fighting. 18. (The King and Court) Prince John died at Sandringham. 23. (Labour) Coal Controller conceded 20 minutes "dead stop" for meals to Yorkshire miners and settled strike involving 150,000 men and boys. 27. (Labour) Unauthorised strike of Clyde workers for 40 hours at old 54 hours pay. 28. (Crimes) Home Secretary advised release as act of clemency of Alfred George Mason and Winifred Mason, convicted of conspiracy to murder Mr. Lloyd George. 30. (Labour) Cabinet refused to intervene in Clyde strike; disorders followed and strike leaders arrested.
1. (Imperial Dominions) Bombay cotton strike ended. 3. (Labour) Surprise strike of motormen on London Tube railways, men demanding meal time in 8 hour day. 4. (Accidents) H. M. S. Penarth, mine sweeper, struck mine off Yorkshire coast and sank. 6. (Labour) By applying D.O.R.A. [Defence of the Realm Act] Government averted strike of London electricians intended to force Government intervention in other disputes. 8. (Aviation) Giant Farman aeroplane for service between Paris and London flew to London in 3¼ hours with 14 on board. 9. (United States) Memorial Services for Mr. Roosevelt held throughout States and at Westminster Abbey. 9. (Labour) Traffic resumed on London Tubes, men's unions securing new temporary agreements governing working hours. Executive of Amalgamated Society of Engineers decided to suspend secretaries of London, Belfast and Clyde districts as result of unauthorised strikes. 18. (Imperial Dominions) Renewed strikes in Bombay, involving some 15,000 workers. 23. About 100.000 persons thrown out of work at Barcelona by strike of employees of power station.
1. (Imperial Dominions) Government report on influenza epidemic in India issued showing 6,000,000 deaths. 4. (Other Countries) Great fire at docks at Santos, Brazil, estimated damage over £2,000,000. 17. (Art) Whistler's painting "La Princesse du Pays de la Porcelaine" sold for £10,000 in New York. 20. (Labour) In Commons Mr. Bonar Law announced Government's decision on Coal Commission's report. Cabinet offered 2s a day increase, a seven hour day at once and six hour day in 1921, £1,000,000 a year for miners' houses, and effective vote for miners in direction of mines. 22. (The King and Court) The King and Queen and Princess Mary witnessed the Victory March of the Guards in which the Prince of Wales took part. 28. (Sport) Grand National won by Mrs. Hugh Peel's Poethlyn.
7. (Crimes) Raoul Reginald de Veulle acquitted at Central Criminal Court of charge of manslaughter of Billie Carleton, but sentenced to eight month's imprisonment in second division for conspiring with another to procure cocaine. 14. (Imperial Dominions) Grave riots in various places in India. Troops fired on mob and order was restored in most centres within few days. At Amritsar four Englishmen killed. 17. (Aviation) Restrictions on civil flying were temporarily raised for Easter. 21. (Aviation) Famous French airman, Vedrines, and his mechanic killed during flight from Paris to Rome, machine collapsing. 22. (Imperial Dominions) Viceroy announced further rioting in Punjab, but other parts quiet. 22. (United States) Marriage of Mr. Carnegie's daughter to Ensign Miller at New York.
1. (Labour) Prime Minister announced that Government accepted in principle proposals for 48-hour week and minimum rates of wages for all trades. 8. (Imperial Dominions) India Office announced armed bodies of Afghans had crossed Indian frontier at several points near Khyber Pass. 12. (Drama and Music) Royal Opera House opened for the first time since outbreak of war, King and Queen and Queen Alexandra being present at performance of La Bohéme with Melba and Thomas Burke. 14. (Imperial Dominions) British troops occupied Dakka Fort within Afghan frontier. 15. (Imperial Dominions) General Strike declared at Winnipeg for 44 hour week and principle of collective bargaining, 25,000 leaving work and city becoming paralysed. 16. (Imperial Dominions) Afghans attacked British forces at Dakka but were beaten off, and later were driven out of their positions. 27. (Aviation) NC4 arrived at Lisbon, this completing the first crossing of the Atlantic by air. 30. (Imperial Dominions) Afghans began offensive in Tochi and Gumal Valleys. General strike called at Toronto after Government's unsuccessful effort at mediation.
2. (Imperial Dominions) Viceroy announced receipt of message from Amir asking for honourable peace, and saying he had ordered cessation of fighting. 3. (Imperial Politics) The Speaker's place in the scale of precedence was appreciably advanced. 11. (Imperial Dominions) Investigation of Winnipeg strike showed Industrial Workers of the World planned to induce all Canadian unions to join the "One Big Union" movement for ultimate purpose of proletarian dictatorship. 29. (The King and Court) The King and the Prince of Wales met Mr. Lloyd George at Victoria on his return from the Peace Conference. 14. (Aviation) Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Whitten Brown left St. John's Newfoundland, in their Vickers-Vimy-Rolls Royce, and landed in fog at Clifden, County Galway, on the following morning, thus crossing the Atlantic direct in 16 hours 12 mins., and winning the £10,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail. 20. (Aviation) Mr. Churchill presented the two aviators with the prize and announced the conferment upon them by the King of the K.B.E., with which they were invested at Windsor on the following day. 21. (Imperial Politics) Mr. G. H. Roberts announced that the control of food would continue through the coming winter.
1. (United States) Prohibition came into force. 2. (Aviation) The British Airship R34 (Major G. H. Scott) left East Fortune for her double trip across the Atlantic. 5. (Sport) At Wimbledon, Mlle. Suzanne Lenglen won ladies lawn tennis championship, beating Mrs. Lambert Chambers, and Mr. G. I. Patterson the men's championship, defeating Mr. Norman Brookes. 5. (Aviation) After sighting Newfoundland she ran into a violent electrical storm, and United States vessels were despatched to stand by. 6. (Aviation) With her fuel nearly expanded the R34 landed safely at her destination at Mineola, Long Island, having flown 3,130 sea miles in just over 108 hours. 9. (Aviation) Return journey was started. 13. (Aviation) She landed at Pulham, Norfolk, after flight of 73 hours 3 mins. 21. (Other Countries) General strike in Italy a failure and similar demonstrations in Paris called off. 26. (Imperial Dominions) Peace Conference with Afghan delegates opened at Rawal Pindi.