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British History
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A look at daily anniversaries in the history of Britain...
A look at daily anniversaries in the history of Britain...

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RMS Carpathia sank off the coast of Ireland after being torpedoed by a German U-boat on this day in history, 17 July 1918. Carpathia made her maiden voyage in 1903 and became famous for rescuing the survivors of RMS Titanic after it struck an iceberg and sank in April 1912. Carpathia was used during World War I to transport American and Canadian troops across the Atlantic.

On the summer morning of 17 July 1918 she was torpedoed in the Celtic Sea by the Imperial German Navy U-boat, U-55. Of three torpedoes fired at the ship, one impacted the port side while another penetrated the engine room, killing two firemen and three trimmers. All 57 passengers and 218 surviving crew members boarded lifeboats as the vessel sank. U-55 surfaced and fired a third torpedo into the ship and was approaching the lifeboats when the Azalea-class sloop HMS Snowdrop arrived on the scene and drove away the U-boat with gunfire before picking up the survivors from Carpathia.

#RMSCarpathia   #OnThisDay   #history   #WWI  
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The initial phase of the Battle of Britain began on this day in British history, 10 July 1940. The early stages of the battle took place over the English Channel in what the Germans called the “Kanalkampf.” These early engagements saw German fighters and bombers test the RAF defenses and the Luftwaffe often prevailed in the Kanalkampf. #history   #OnThisDay   #WWII   #BattleofBritain  
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The inaugural Wimbledon Championship tournament began on this day in British history, 9 July 1877. The 1877 Wimbledon was the world’s first official lawn tennis tournament and was held at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in London. The final, which was delayed three days due to rain, took place on Thursday, 19 July in front of about 200 people. The spectators paid an entry fee of one shilling each, and the prize money for the winner was 12 guineas, plus a silver challenge cup valued at 25 guineas donated by the sports magazine The Field. The tournament made a profit of £10. Spencer Gore, a 27-year-old rackets player from Wandsworth, won the first Wimbledon title, after defeating William Marshall in the final in a match that lasted 48 minutes. #history   #OnThisDay   #Wimbledon  
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It was on this day in British history, 8 July 1822, that English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned off the coast of Italy. Shelley died after his boat, the Don Juan, sank while he sailed with two of his friends. Shelley’s body was washed ashore and later, in keeping with quarantine regulations, was cremated on the beach near Viareggio. Shelley’s ashes were interred in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome, near an ancient pyramid in the city walls. His grave bears the Latin inscription, Cor Cordium (“Heart of Hearts”), and, in reference to his death at sea, a few lines of “Ariel’s Song” from Shakespeare's The Tempest: “Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange." #history #OnThisDay #PercyShelley  
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King Edward I died on this day in British history, 7 July 1307. In 1306, the English were taken by surprise when Robert the Bruce seized the Scottish throne and encouraged the Scots to fight for independence. The English were initially successful in quelling the rebellion, but Bruce emerged again in 1307 and raised more support. In spite of his failing health, Edward assembled English forces to march north and confront Bruce. On the march to Scotland, an already ill Edward developed dysentery, the infection that ultimately claimed his life on 7 July 1307. He was buried in Westminster Abbey and succeeded by his son, Edward II. #history #OnThisDay #EdwardI  
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It was at noon on this day in history, 10 April 1912, that RMS Titanic departed Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage. The ship’s whistle blew 3 times to mark the start of the journey. It’s next destinations were Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, to pick up further passengers before turning to cross the Atlantic Ocean. #history   #OnThisDay   #Titanic  
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On 23 January 1909, RMS Republic issued the first recorded CQD distress signal after its collision with the Lloyd Italiano liner SS Florida. Republic was navigating through a thick fog off Nantucket when it collided with the Florida, resulting in the death of six passengers. Republic began to take on water and gradually sink, but she was equipped with the new Marconi wireless telegraph system, and became the first ship in history to issue a CQD distress signal, sent by Jack R. Binns.

At the time of Republic's sinking, ocean liners were not required to have a full capacity of lifeboats for their passengers, officers and crew, so the distress signal probably saved many lives. The Florida was able to take many of the passengers from the stricken ship, but the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service cutter Gresham responded to the distress signal as well and was able to take on several hundred passengers that couldn't fit on the Florida.

RMS Republic would founder for 39 hours before sinking to the ocean floor. Thanks to the CQD signal over 1200 passengers were saved, but there are many rumours that Republic was carrying gold and/or other valuables when she went down.

#history   #OnThisDay   #RMSRepublic  
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Elizabeth Tudor was crowned Queen Elizabeth I on this day in British history, 15 January 1559. She became queen at age 25 following the death of her sister, Mary I. Elizabeth would be the fifth and last Tudor monarch. #history   #OnThisDay   #QueenElizabethI  
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English author Lewis Carroll died in Guildford, England, at the age of 65 on this day in British history, 14 January 1898. Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He is most remembered for his pair of ‘Alice’ stories, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, What Alice Found There. Carroll spent most of his life as a mathematics lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, and as a gentleman-photographer in some of England’s upper social circles.
#history   #OnThisDay   #LewisCarroll   #AliceinWonderland  

Read more about Lewis Carroll's life here....
http://todayinbritishhistory.com/2014/01/lewis-carroll-dies-guildford-age-65-14-january-1898/

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The last surviving troops of the 1842 retreat from Kabul made a final stand near the village of Gandamak on this day in British history, 13 January 1842. Following an uprising in Kabul, Major General Elphinstone negotiated an agreement with Akbar Khan by which his army was to withdraw to the British garrison at Jalalabad, more than 90 miles away. During the retreat, Afghan tribes continually attacked the army. In the end, out of more than 16,000 people from the column commanded by Elphinstone, only one European (Assistant Surgeon William Brydon) and a few Indian sepoys reached Jalalabad. A few dozen British prisoners and civilian hostages were later released. The painting above is a depiction of Brydon’s arrival at Jalalabad and is entitled ‘Remnants of an Army.’

Read more about ‘The Massacre of Elphinstone’s Army’ here…

http://todayinbritishhistory.com/2014/01/survivors-the-massacre-elphinstones-army-reach-safety-13-january-1842/
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