Amundsen wins Pole race

December 14. The British hero, Captain Robert Scott set out for the South Pole in November and been out of contact for a month when news came through that he had lost the race.

Amundsen at the PoleCaptain Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, became the first man to the pole. On the return journey Scott and his companions would run into the full fury of Antarctic blizzards and be hopelessly stuck. While Amundsen enjoyed the adoration of his nation, there was nothing left for Scott and his team but to die nobly.

August 10. The House of Lords finally surrendered its conviction that peers of the realm had a divine right to rule. By a narrow majority the House of Lords voted to accept the Liberal government's Parliament Bill which effectively did away with the Lords' right to veto legislation. From then on, the Lords would have the power to comment on, amend and delay legislation drawn up by MPs. But they could no longer scrap it.

August 22. In one of the most daring art thefts of all time, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris. It was safely recovered later.

February 11. Ronald Reagan, future President of the United States, was born. He was to enter politics via a career in the movies.

August 8. It was the year of riots. Fifty thousand armed troops were on standby in London while in Liverpool two rioters were shot dead on the streets during widespread disturbances. A nationwide strike by transport and dock workers brought the country to a grinding halt. Famine was feared in some of the big cities and three warships were anchored in the Mersey to underline the Government's determination to keep control.

January 3. More than 1,000 troops and armed police engaged in a gun battle with anarchists in the East End of London. The armed anarchists, believed to have killed three police officers in Houndsditch, were besieged for seven hours in a house in Sydney Street. The house eventually caught fire. The bodies of two men were found in the ruins. A third anarchist was believed to have escaped.


In brief

July 1.
New Territorial Army drill hall was opened at Park Road East as the new headquarters of 4th Squadron Staffordshire Yeomanry and 4 (Staffordshire) Battery, Royal Field Artillery.

July 23.
At St John's church, Wednesbury, a new stained glass window was unveiled in memory of the late Alderman R Williams.

August 8.
The "intense heat of the sun" through the glass covers of wreaths was blamed for a fire which damaged one acre of the Old Cemetery, Queen's Cross, Dudley.

August 24.
An inquest at Cradley Heath recorded a verdict of accidental death on Albert Smith, of Providence Street, who slipped under a train at Cradley Heath station.

September 27.
Walsall teachers objected to being docked pay for taking absence which had been agreed in advance.