April 26. British, French, Australian, and New Zealand
forces invaded the Gallipoli peninsula in souther Turkey. The
plan, promoted by Winston Churchill, was to break the deadlock
on the Western Front in France where the Germans had launched
the first poison-gas attacks of the war, by striking at the soft
underbelly of Germany's ally, Turkey.
But the underbelly turned out to be a tough old gut. The Allies'
"secret" attack was well known in advance and troops were mown
down in their thousands. The Lancashire Fusiliers suffered terribly
but won immortal glory by winning "six VCs before breakfast."
19. A German Zeppelin crossed the British coast to drop bombs
on Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn. About 20 people were killed,
including a small boy and his sister who perished when a line
of cottages took a direct hit. Until this night the British public
believed that wars were something that involved armies on battlefields
far away. It was a huge shock to find the terror of warfare suddenly
arriving from the skies.
May 7. The liner Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine
off Ireland. Although the Germans argued that the liner was loaded
with war munitions, nothing could excuse the slaughter of 1,198
innocents. The death toll included 124 American citizens and the
outrage tipped America closer towards joining the war against
April 23. From Greece came news that Rupert Brooke had
died, aged 27, while on active service.The young poet died of
blood poisoning and was buried on the island of Skyros. He left
behind some of the best loved poetry of the early days of the
Despite the growing popularity of Charlie Chaplin, notably
in his new film, The Tramp, a survey among British cinemagoers
showed that Mary Pickford and William S Hart were both more popular.
Town Clerk of Wolverhampton Horatio Brevitt was knighted
in the New Year's honours.
Fining a Bloxwich man for drunkenness, the Walsall magistrate,
Mr Gill, suggested that big wages paid to munitions workers
were to blame: "You are getting too much money, like some
of the rest of them."
Five VCs are awarded to officers with the Worcestershire
Regiment following the battle of Neuve Chapelle.
Councillor S K Slater suggests handing the derelict landscape
of Coseley over to the Afforestation Society to create "a
Dudley Council protested that 2,000 children allowed
to go hop-picking in the summer holidays had not yet been
released by the growers to return to school.