Capt. Liddell Lands Aircraft Despite Leg Wound, Receives VC

Capt. Liddell pictured before he became a pilot (despite his scarf).

July 29 1915, Ostend–Capt. John Liddell had volunteered at the outbreak of war, “not wishing to be a slacker.”  He had commanded a machine gun detachment in Northern France before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps and training as a pilot.  On July 29, he flew an RE5 reconnaissance plane over German-occupied Flanders when he was hit by a bullet from a machine gun in his right thigh.  Despite a momentary loss of consciousness, he was able to recover (mostly) controlled flight of the aircraft, despite losing several thousand feet of altitude.  He then continued the rest of the scheduled patrol before landing behind Allied lines.  The plane had suffered slight damage to its controls, but the rest of the plane and his (understandably-shaken) observer were fine.

Unfortunately, the wound to his leg was severe enough that it had to be amputated.  On August 23, he was awarded a Victoria Cross from his actions, one of the first VCs of the war awarded for aerial actions–and preceding the first awarded for air-to-air combat by one day.  Liddell would die of his wounds on August 31.

Today in 1914: The Willy-Nicky Telegrams

Sources include: Randal Gray, Chronicle of the First World War.


Images of Canadian heroism during the first World War were a selling feature for newspapers. These two images, printed 15 July and 20 July of 1915, feature recent battle activity by Canadian soldiers, explained in brief below the drawings. The artwork above was exhibited in large panels on the front page of the Winnipeg Tribune, and was also featured in the London Sphere and New York Herald newspapers.

29 July 1915 -  DIED TODAY: Major-General Henry Newport Charles Heath, son of Major-General Alfred Heath, (Royal Artillery): Heath Jr was born in 1860 and attended Clifton College and Sandhurst Royal Military College before fighting in the Anglo-Egyptian War (1882); taking part in the Anglo-Egyptian expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum (1884-85); fighting in the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902); and leading the 48th (South Midland) Division in the first world war before falling ill and dying today, aged 54.

On 14 October 1911, the Trustees of the British Museum gave the Director permission to prepare a scheme for the sale of postcards in the Museum. One of the earliest specimen copies of postcards available is ‘Wood Carvings from the Waddesdon Collection’, dated to c. 1914–1915, from which choices for purchase could be made. By 10 February 1912, the Director had made proposals for contracts for the supply of picture postcards to be sold in the Museum and it was agreed that there would be three saleswomen on the stall. Just a few months later, in April 1912, financial provision for a counter for the sale of photographs and postcards had been approved and this was to be the first Museum shop. However, not everyone was happy to see the opening of the postcard stall: in 1912, a notice appeared in the literary magazine ‘The Athenaeum’ submitted by ‘An Old Reader’. They described the stall as ‘large and obtrusive… surrounded by a chattering throng of young schoolgirls.’ This image above shows the postcard stall, located in the entrance hall, in 1929.

The postcard stall has been in various locations since then, including the corridor where the cloakroom now is (see the photograph above from 1963). Today you can find a large selection of souvenir postcards in the Great Court.

Kittyinva: 1924 Marion Davies “Life Story” in “Screenland” magazine. Two nice early photos of her in the 1915 Ziegfeld Follies and in 1916′s “Oh, Boy!” on Broadway.