Saturday, April 25, 2015

On the centennial of Armenian massacres, Turkey commemorates a WWI battle

On the same day as Armenians around the world marked the centennial of the start of what is known as the Armenian genocide, the Turkish government embarked on its own somber commemoration. But this had nothing to do with the massacres triggered after Ottoman officials ordered the mass deportation of ethnic Armenians a century ago, and led to the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians. (Successive Turkish governments have refused to acknowledge the events as a "genocide.")
Rather, Turkish officials and foreign dignitaries observed another event that took place 100 years ago: the start of the Gallipoli campaign, one of the bloodiest and most futile episodes of World War I, a conflict which is often described as a tragic, maddening mistake.
On April 25, 1915, the British launched an amphibious assault on the Gallipoli peninsula, with the goal of capturing Istanbul, the Ottoman capital. What followed were a series of brutal engagements over a period of nine months that ended after Allied forces eventually withdrew. It was a calamitous blunder for the British, and came at a steep price for all: 86,000 Ottoman soldiers and some 45,000 Allied troops died.
"I had two rifles smashed in my hands," wrote one Australian soldier, describing the days of vicious, sometimes hand-to-hand combat that continued after Anzac troops landed on Turkish soil. "The piece of ground opposite us was literally covered with dead bodies, our own boys and Turks. God knows what our losses were, must have run into thousands." Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has played a conspicuous role in the remembrance of Gallipoli. On April 20, his government released a stirring, cinematic video (see above) hailing the Ottoman martyrs of Gallipoli. In the video, Erdogan himself narrates a nationalist poem steeped with religious overtones. The clip ends with an image of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of the Turkish republic, who was at the battle himself.
Critics have panned the video as propaganda for Erdogan's ruling party, with general elections slated for June. Some also are uncomfortable with its Islamist edge, especially considering Ataturk's staunchly secularist legacy, which many fear Erdogan is unraveling. Erdogan was joined by the families of veterans and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his New Zealand counterpart John Key and Britain's Prince Charles.
But the shadow of the Armenian massacre still hung over proceedings. In a statement read out at a ceremony at an Armenian church in Istanbul, Erdogan said that he and his government "are cognizant of the sorrowful events experienced in the past by the Armenian community" and "share your pain." But he maintained Turkey's long-held position of not recognizing the events as a "genocide," and stressed the suffering experienced by all.
"In World War I, which ranks among humanity's major catastrophes, millions from all nations also perished within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire," said Erdogan in his statement. "Today, we are working and striving together with all our citizens and friends, regardless of their ethnic or religious identities, to attain a better future on the basis of peace, harmony and fraternity."
That sort of commitment, Erdogan said, could be seen at Gallipoli, where his government now hosted "the grandchildren of those who had arrived from all over the world a century ago to invade our shared homeland."

Australia and New Zealand remember Anzac World War soldiers - WWI

Australia and New Zealand remember Anzac World War soldiers

Events are being held in Australia and New Zealand to remember soldiers who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One, a hundred years ago. As many as 120,000 people appeared in the Australian capital.
Erster Weltkrieg Schlacht bei Gallipoli 1915
Events to mark the centenary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One are being held across the two countries, and in Turkey, on Saturday.
A rally of 120,000 people gathered at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Chief of Army David Morrison said during his address: "They loved and were loved in return, were prepared to fight for their beliefs, were, like us, prey to fears and human despair." 
A crowd of 85,000 came to Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance and up to 30,000 people attended the main Sydney dawn service in Martin Place. There were 10,000 people at the dawn service in Darwin.
Up to 20,000 people gathered at the State War Memorial in Adelaide for a dawn service and a march. "In respect of the Gallipoli campaign we also acknowledge the service of our allies and the support of the women of our nursing services," Vietnam War veteran and Anzac Day committee chairman Bill Denny said.
In New Zealand, a dawn service was held for the first time at the newly-opened Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington attended by more than 20,000 people.
Governor-General Jerry Mateparae was joined by his Australian counterpart Peter Cosgrove. Mateparae said Anzac Day affirmed "the qualities we prize: courage, compassion and comradeship, qualities which were displayed by our troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula and by our armed forces in subsequent conflicts." 
He added that Gallipoli was "the beginning of an eight-month ordeal, an experience which was to be a turning point in the history of this nation".
A further 30,000 people attended the dawn service at Auckland Museum.
Dawn service at Gallipoli
In Turkey, on the Gallipoli peninsula, an estimated 10,000 people met at Anzac Cove for the dawn service to mark 100 years since the first Australian and New Zealand troops came ashore directly into Turkish fire.
A total of 131,000 troops died during the campaign from 1915 to 1916, including 86,000 Turkish soldiers, 25,000 British, 10,000 French, and 10,000 Anzac troops.
It began with a naval assault, followed by months of shelling, sniper fire and sickness but the Allied forces were not able to advance more than a few kilometers inland. After eight months, the assault was abandoned.
jm/bk (AFP, dpa)


Department of State Records Relating to Turkish Atrocities Against theArmenians During World War I

Department of State Records Relating to Turkish Atrocities Against the Armenians During World War I

by  on April 23, 2015

Records on Turkish atrocities against the Armenians during World War I can be found in a number of different records groups holding records of the Department of State.
(1) RG 59: General Records of the Department of State contains significant documentation relating to Turkish persecution of the Armenians.  The primary source is the 1910-29 segment of the Central Decimal File (NAID 302021).  File “867.4016” (Internal Affairs of Turkey. Social Matters. Race problems.) contains the most important documentation.  This file consists of approximately 6000 pages of documentation.  Additional documentation that may provide useful context will be found in other files, particularly file “867.00” (Internal Affairs of Turkey. Political Affairs.).  This file consists of approximately 16,000 pages of documentation.
There is also documentation relating to Armenia during the short period of time that it was an independent country before incorporation into USSR.  File “860j.4016″ (Internal Affairs of Armenia. Social Matters. Race problems.) contains about 2000 pages of documentation.  There are also about 100 pages of documentation in File “860j.00″ (Internal Affairs of Armenia. Political Affairs.)
These records are available on microfilm:
  • 867.00 National Archives Microfilm Publication M353 rolls 4-19
  • 867.4016 National Archives Microfilm Publication M353 rolls 43-48
  • 860j.00 National Archives Microfilm Publication T1192 roll 1
  • 860j.4016 National Archives Microfilm Publication T1192 rolls 4-7
Records relating to Reparations from Turkey after World War I, the so-called “Turkish Gold” file, are in file “467.00R29″.  These records are not on microfilm.
Additional materials may be found in RG 59: Unindexed Retired Office Files, 1910-1944 (NAID 1079774).  Some of this material duplicates that in the Central Decimal File.  The 1919 file contains a copy of the “Report of the American Military Mission to Armenia” by MGEN James G. Harbord and “The Armenian Question: Before the Peace Conference.”  The 1920 file contains documentation relating to the U.S. attitude toward independent Armenia and includes a May memorandum entitled “America and the Armenians.”  The 1922 files contain the “Report of the Activities of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia, 1918-1922” and “A Memorandum . . . by American Committee for the Independence of Armenia Against the Proposal of an ‘Armenian Home’ in Turkey.” The 1928 files contain an August 1928 memo on “President Wilson’s Armenian Boundary Award.”  None of these records are on microfilm.
(2) Additional documentation can be found among the files of American diplomatic and consular posts in RG 84: Records of Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State.  The records for the period 1912 into the 1940s are arranged according to a decimal filing scheme and bound into one or more annual volumes.  File “800” covers Internal Affairs/Political affairs, and File “840.1” covers Social Matters/People, including race problems, racial disturbances and their suppression, and massacres.  The records of the American embassy in Turkey, including the files of the post-World War I High Commissioner, for the period 1914-1925, include 23 volumes or parts of volumes for file “800” and 15 volumes parts of volumes for file “840.1”.  The records of the various consular posts in Turkey may contain additional documentation.  None of these records are on microfilm.
It is important to note two things, however.  First, some files on the Armenian issue were destroyed when the U.S. entered World War I.  In January 1919, the American Commissioner in Turkey reported that the embassy’s extensive files covering the Armenian deportations were destroyed upon the break in relations with Turkey to prevent any compromise of the identities of persons who provided information.  (see Despatch #19, January 9, 1919, file “800”, Embassy Turkey (Istanbul), RG 84.)
Second, the files in RG 59 and RG 84 contain significant overlap.  In addition to the reporting from diplomatic and consular posts and the Department’s replies thereto, the RG 59 files include internal Department of State documentation, as well as inter-agency communications, and communications with the public.  The post files, in addition to communications back and forth with the Department, may contain additional background documentation and communications with local officials and the local public.
(3) Another source of documentation is RG 256: Records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, organized to represent the United States at the post-World War I Paris Peace Conference.  Included are the records of The Inquiry, a group of experts called on to collect and report data on various issues relating to peacemaking.  There are approximately 35 documents relating to Armenia among the records of The Inquiry.  They are listed on pages 88-90 of the inventory of RG 256.  They are available on National Archives Microfilm Publication M1107.  The General Records of the ACNP may also contain documentation relating to Armenia.  Documentation relating to the American Military Mission to Armenia (“Harbord Mission” is in File 184.021.  Those records have been microfilmed as National Archives Microfilm Publication M820.

Friday, April 24, 2015

John Paul Jones Comes Home to the U.S. Naval Academy

John Paul Jones Comes Home to the U.S. Naval Academy
Casket containing the body of John Paul Jones is lowered to the after deck of the Tug Standish, during its transfer from USS Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser # 3) in Annapolis Roads, off the U.S. Naval Academy, July 23, 1905.
Casket containing the body of John Paul Jones is lowered to the after deck of the Tug Standish, during its transfer from USS Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser # 3) in Annapolis Roads, off the U.S. Naval Academy, July 23, 1905.
From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division
Legendary Continental Navy Capt. John Paul Jones was famous for his retort, “I have not yet begun to fight,” upon being asked to surrender his sinking and burning Bonhomme Richard to HMS Serapis. At the end of the fight, it was Jones who was victorious.
Jones struggled to find relevancy following the end of the American Revolution, with a less-than-stellar stint as an admiral in the Russian Imperial Navy. He begged the United States to give him an appointment, but that young republic had disbanded its navy. When he died in 1792 of lung and liver diseases, he was jobless and nearly penniless, buried and forgotten. Yet more than one hundred years later, the thrice-buried Jones would rise – and rise again – putting sort of an after-life twist on his famous quote: “I have not yet begun to be buried.”
Painting of John Paul Jones by George Bagby Matthews
Painting of John Paul Jones by George Bagby Matthews
Following the naval hero’s death at age 45, it fell to the American minister to France, Gouverneur Morris, to figure out what to do with the Scottish native who had fought so bravely for American independence. Unfortunately, Morris barely tolerated Jones. He was afraid the cost of the funeral would fall on his shoulders so he left instructions with Jones’ landlord that Jones was to be buried as inexpensively as possible.
A local politician, M. Pierre François Simonneau, could not bear to have the former naval hero buried like a pauper; he ensured Jones received a funeral befitting his status. Simonneau believed that one day the body of Jones would be returned to the United States so he arranged to have the body preserved in alcohol and placed in a lead coffin. Jones was buried in a Protestant cemetery at a total cost of 462 francs.
Luckily for Jones, his legend and fame outlived him. John H. Sherburne published the earliest biography (1851) of the naval hero: “The Life and Character of John Paul Jones.” He tried to find Jones’ body for a year and finally gave up the search.
In 1897, Brig. Gen. Horace Porter, a former Civil War officer and the American ambassador to France, hired historians and researchers and spent his own money to find Jones’ cemetery and the grave.
Six years later, Porter’s team located the cemetery, which had been closed for many years and had mostly turned into an overgrown pet cemetery. Porter employed dozens of workmen who sank shafts and dug trenches looking for the relatively-rare lead coffins. The workmen found three lead coffins, the first two being unidentified civilians, and then the third being a well-preserved corpse.
In what would be fitting for a 19th century episode of CSI Paris, Porter hired anthropologists and France’s foremost pathologist to make the formal identification. They discovered the body had been preserved with alcohol and they noted the long hair was brown, with a touch of gray and was covered in a linen cap monogrammed with the letters “P” and “J”.
Additionally, the investigators compared the head to that of a bust of Jones, which had been made using calipers and rulers to obtain the exact measurements of Jones’s facial features. The ear lobes were also compared to those on the bust for even further accuracy. The pathologist concluded that the body in the casket was indeed the one Porter had been seeking.
Photograph showing automobiles arriving as a military band awaits them. Relates to the re-interment of John Paul Jones at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
Photograph showing automobiles arriving as a military band awaits them. Relates to the re-interment of John Paul Jones at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
John Paul Jones’ body was then placed back in the lead coffin, which in turn was put into a mahogany casket for transit back to the Unites States on board USS Brooklyn following a French-American funeral procession. After arriving at Annapolis in July 1905, the casket was transferred to the tug USS Standish and taken ashore to the U.S. Naval Academy where it was placed in a brick vault at the Academy’s Bancroft Hall.
U.S. Naval Academy personnel escorting the body of John Paul Jones to a temporary brick vault at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on April 24, 1906. Library of Congress photo
U.S. Naval Academy personnel escorting the body of John Paul Jones to a temporary brick vault at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on April 24, 1906. Library of Congress photo
President Theodore Roosevelt gave the eulogy for Jones during an April 24, 1906 commemorative ceremony. Roosevelt, ever the politician, used the pulpit as an opportunity to announce the expansion of the Navy. The grand ceremony was attended by thousands, a far cry from Jones’ first internment.
President Theodore Roosevelt took the opportunity to announce the expansion of the U.S. Navy while giving the eulogy for John Paul Jones’ commemorative reburial ceremony April 24, 1906.
President Theodore Roosevelt took the opportunity to announce the expansion of the U.S. Navy while giving the eulogy for John Paul Jones’ commemorative reburial ceremony April 24, 1906.
It wouldn’t, however, be his last.
Gen. Porter, who had been awarded $35,000 to reimburse him for his costs in finding the naval hero’s body, requested it be applied to the cost of a marble crypt for Jones’ final re-burial in January 1913.
The crypt of John Paul Jones as it appears today at the U.S. Naval Academy
The crypt of John Paul Jones as it appears today at the U.S. Naval Academy

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The first world war scientists who gave their lives to defeat poison gas

hemical warfare made its deadly debut a century ago, at a time when science was still in the era of personal experimentation. Scientists routinely used their own bodies as a laboratory; systematic animal experimentation, while growing in use, remained controversial. The urgency in the first weeks and months after the introduction of chemical weapons was such that many scientists repeatedly exposed themselves to extremely dangerous substances, even to the point of unconsciousness and permanent injury; some ultimately gave their lives.
When the German army released 150 tonnes of chlorine gas near Ypres on 22 April 1915, the specialist engineers wore oxygen breathing apparatus, but the infantry were equipped only with simple masks, nicknamed “Riechpäckchen” or “stink pads”. The French soldiers against whom the gas was released had no protection whatsoever, despite a deserter having shown them his mask several days before the attack, and about 1,000 lost their lives.
Soldiers with knowledge of chemistry immediately recognised chlorine gas from the powerful smell which spread for miles around, and knew that simple measures could be taken to protect against it, and that various solutions, including water, would serve to neutralise it, provided a permeable cloth was available. Readily available were sodium bicarbonate, sodium hyposulphate (used for fixing photographs) and even urine.
Two days later, when the Germans released more chlorine gas, some of the Canadian troops on the flank of the gas attack had basic protection, thanks to Sergeant Harry Knobel, whose understanding of chemistry, had led him to arrange for buckets of water to be available for soaking cloths. 
Others had protection provided by nuns at a convent close behind the lines, who had sewn tapes to 3,000 strips of lint to be tied over the mouth. Provided the chlorine had become diluted while drifting from the German lines, breathing through a damped cloth could and did make the difference between life of death. George Pollitt, a chemist working as an intelligence officer at GHQ, drafted the first instructions suggesting wetted cloths while respirators could be prepared in Britain. The foremost expert on gas poisoning, Professor John Scott Haldane, was summoned to the War Office. Haldane, the physiologist who had discovered the cause of decompression sickness (or “the bends”), was shown a cotton wool pad used to protect against smoke, which had been suggested by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty. Despite Haldane pointing out it would be of no value, the War Office took up Churchill’s idea of using the Daily Mail to appeal to women to make them for the troops. The appeal was published on 28 April and resulted in tens of thousands of masks being made. They were worse than useless: when wet, cotton wool cannot be breathed through.
Haldane managed to prevent the War Office despatching any to France, but many were sent privately and may have cost the lives of soldiers who tried to use them in place of officially-issued pads. Haldane’s own stop-gap proposals, however, which included using loose earth in a handkerchief or a beer bottle with the bottom knocked off, will not have inspired confidence. 

Edward Harrison
 Colonel Edward Harrison, inventor of the Small Box Respirator. Photograph: whatsthatpicture

Soon afterwards, a workable design of pad respirator was put into production, designed by Herbert Baker, Professor of Chemistry at Imperial College, and based on a specimen found on a German prisoner. Baker had already been involved with chemical warfare trials at Imperial College before the German chlorine attack. During these trials, a particularly tall War Office representative had been unaffected by a tear gas in the experimentation trench. Baker’s colleague Jocelyn Thorpe, Professor of Organic Chemistry, resorted to a variation of self-experimentation: he gave a small boy a shilling to stand in the trench. The agent was duly adopted and code-named ‘SK’ after South Kensington.
Baker enclosed a wad of cotton waste in a length of black veiling, commonly worn by women in mourning, which could be tied around the mouth. He devised a mixture of sodium hyposulphite, sodium carbonate and glycerine with which to soak it and tested it against chlorine, bromine, sulphur dioxide and nitrous fumes by liberating the gas into a basin and leaning over it wearing the masks.
At the front, a chemistry graduate serving in the trenches, Leslie Barley, was so alarmed at receiving one of the Daily Mail pads that he got permission to develop a workable respirator in a school science laboratory in Armentières. He devised a similar mask to Baker’s and was able to clear a room filled with chorine using a hand operated crop sprayer. In a few days, 80,000 of his masks were made up in villages and convents behind the lines and issued along with crop sprayers. 
Barley was soon sent to join a small team of young scientists, all serving in the forces, who had been rushed from the trenches to another school laboratory near GHQ in St. Omer. JBS Haldane, son of Professor Haldane, made light of their constant exposure to chlorine:“some had to go to bed for a few days, and I was very short of breath and incapable of running for a month or so.” Baker implored his former assistant professor at Imperial, Bernard Mouat Jones to “take care of yourself for everybody’s sake”. 
One of their number, Cluny MacPherson, a Newfoundland physician, devised a cloth helmet with a rectangular mica window which completely enclosed the head. The cloth was soaked in the neutralising solution and could be put on in seconds. Professor Haldane, however, objected to it on the grounds that the wearer would be asphyxiated by his own exhaled carbon dioxide, a fear that was disproved by the scientists running around the school buildings wearing the helmet. 
While this work was going on, the Germans made nine further attacks with chlorine against troops protected by the most basic measures. They captured a disputed hill, causing heavy casualties to the Dorsetshire Regiment, but in other attacks were halted by desperate British troops wearing the rudimentary cloth strips. Some urinated on the cloths, but mostly they used specially prepared solutions. 
One month after the first attack, the Germans attempted a massive release of gas on a 4.5 mile front against troops equipped with Baker’s Black Veiling Respirator. The masks only worked for about five minutes before they needed to be re-dipped and carefully squeezed out; officers had to ensure that each man carefully carried out this procedure without succumbing to the clouds of chlorine gas.
The problem facing scientists of the various armies was vast and complex. Chlorine was simple to protect against compared to more lethal gasses, especially phosgene and hydrogen cyanide. A single design of gas mask was needed to protect against these and a host of other agents, be capable of rapid mass production and be simple and easy to put on by a soldier in a state of terror. 
The army insisted on persisting with the hood principle, adding more chemicals to the fabric of the helmet. Research was carried out at army medical laboratories at Millbank in London, in which each new chemical solution was tested on rats, pigs and then a human volunteer. The key discoveries were not made at Millbank but by individuals carrying out self-experimentation: Baker working at his home, Bernard Mouat Jones and Professor Stanley Auld, formerly of Reading University, both working separately behind the lines in France. In late 1915 the head of the Millbank research was removed, after testing using rats was found to be faulty, and in 1916 a research establishment was built for both defence and offense at Porton near Salisbury Plain.
The work of co-ordinating the complex design, testing, and production of a successful gas mask is credited to one man, still little-known. Edward Harrison was a painstaking research chemist who before the war had exposed a series of quack remedies for the British Medical Association. Realising the limitations of the fabric hoods, Harrison used an army water bottle to stack layers of different filter materials, dubbed ‘Harrison’s Tower’, but the authorities opposed a bulky and complex mask. However, Harrison’s abilities led to the development of a compact version, the Small Box Respirator, adopted in 1916. 
All combatant nations claimed their own gas masks as superior but eventually the consensus was that the British type was the best gas mask of the war. Harrison died in London on 4 November 1918 of influenza, weakened by two and a half years of constant work and the gas inhaled during the early stages. The Pharmaceutical and Chemical Societies both still award prize medals in his memory.
The work in the St Omer school laboratory was put under William Watson, Professor of Physics at Imperial College and author of a series of text books. He presided over a rapidly expanding team of scientists which moved to a purpose built complex of huts close to GHQ and was responsible for analysing German gas shells for every new chemical agent. The urgency of this work continued until the end of the war and Watson himself ventured into no man’s land under shellfire to dig up vitally important unexploded German shells. Even less well-known than Harrison, William Watson died as a result of cumulative gas poisoning in March 1919.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boston Marathon winner who died century ago in WWI honored - UT SanDiego

VLAMERTINGE, Belgium (AP) — At the Vlamertinge Military Cemetery in Flanders Fields, the headstone of James Duffy usually stands unnoticed among the solemn rows.
But one century after his death and in the days leading up to Monday's Boston Marathon, Duffy's grave has been honored with a scattering of wooden memento crosses, the drawing of an athlete, and a running bib.
"Died fighting for liberty — Ex-long distance champion runner of Scotland" is chiseled in stone. Yet to his family, what stands out is Duffy's win in the 1914 Boston Marathon and his death one year later, almost to the day, amid some of the worst violence of World War I.
On Monday, Maureen Kiesewetter will don bib No. 23149 and run the Boston Marathon in honor of her great-great uncle.
"Last year we were able to celebrate his win. This year we will remember his passing and his sacrifice," she said.
Anyone with a love of running and a zest for living should consider the heroic and Olympian life and times of James "Jimmy" Duffy.
"He was quite a character," Kiesewetter said in a telephone interview from her home in Peoria, Illinois. She learned about Duffy from her grandmother when, at 27, she was preparing for her first marathon. "I was absolutely excited. Wow! How neat. I had no idea."
By that age, the whirlwind life of Duffy was already over. It started in Sligo, Ireland, before touching Edinburgh in Scotland, Canada and Boston before ending back across the ocean in the trenches of western Belgium, where shrapnel ripped his skull open.
"He was asking for his mother at the end," Kiesewetter said. During his 24 years he lived at full throttle, with running embedded in his blood.
After spending his youth in Ireland and Scotland, Duffy decided to try his luck in Canada where he quickly made a name for himself running. At 22 he was spearheading Canada's marathon effort at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
Because of the extreme heat that day, he set off too slowly and let the eventual medalists slip out of reach. He was still fresh when he crossed in fifth place, out of the medals but still good enough for some Olympic glory.
His best came at the 1914 Boston Marathon, with a performance that entered the lore of the race. In the closing stages of another sweltering day, Duffy was ahead with fellow Canadian Edouard Fabre, and the two exchanged the lead no less than four times before Duffy won by the smallest margin in the history of the race at the time, 15 seconds.
Famously, he asked for a beer and a cigarette after crossing the finish line. "That sounds like one of ours. He enjoyed a good time," Kiesewetter said.
Those 15 seconds still make it into the top 15 of tightest Boston Marathons ever. The road of professional racing lay open for him — but for the war.
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was killed in Sarajevo, and the whole world was sucked into the Great War, including Duffy. "Within six months, he joined the army," Kiesewetter said. Canada was part of the British Commonwealth and soon he was back on a boat to Europe, this time to fight the Germans.

See Related Sites: Find A Grave / CWGC Site with Documents

Charts ahoy!

History. A descendant of explorer Charles Robbins has shared rare maps from the 1800s, showing the mapping of parts of Circular Head.
Elynor Frances Olijnyk (nee Robbins) has always been passionately interested in family and colonial history.
Her publishing career began when researching family history and discovering that no maritime records had ever been established of the extraordinary deeds of young Acting Lieutenant Charles Robbins (Royal Navy), navigator, explorer, cartographer and Robbins family ancestor who mysteriously disappeared at sea in 1805.
After delving into the details of naval history and discovering Robbins’ rarely seen original charts, stored in the Hydrographic Office of the United Kingdom, her history book Charles Robbins RN, 1782-1805, His Place in Maritime History was published in 2004.
The chronicle, 25 years in research, was launched in Stanley and George Town for the Tasmanian Bicentennial Celebrations of settlement.
Elynor’s connection with the northern shores of Tasmania was like a dream come true for her when, in 2004 she dedicated two memorials to the young navigator.
One is located in George Town, with appreciation to the owners of ‘The Charles Robbins’ luxury accommodation and one on the shores of Robbins Passage, organised by John Hammond and the Circular Head Historical Society.
As guests of the Hammond family, Elynor and husband Leonid delighted in a visit to Robbins Island, travelling across the passage where Master Robbins once sailed the cutter Integrity 200 years before.
A pod of dolphins dived and chased the travellers across the passage adding to recollections of a perfect day.
Elynor’s second publication, Taking Possession, a Saga of the Great South Land, illustrated by John Sheard Grafton and formatted by Leonid, continues the exploits of young Charles Robbins and other navigators, explorers, surveyors and chart makers all involved in raising the Union Jack and taking possession of the land for England.
This book was produced in Australia with reproductions of three original charts by Robbins, Grimes and Oxley, charts by the French, Freycinet and Boulanger, the Norman Tindale map of Aboriginal occupation at the time of James Cook, as well as a copy of an ancient chart of the world by Abraham Orelius 1587.
These charts are available to purchase. For more information, visit
Chart of Hunter Isles by Freycinet, Commander of Casuarina, 1802
Louis Claude de Freycinet was ordered to investigate the islands to the south of King Island by Commander Nicolas Baudin on December 21, 1802 with “the greatest exactitude”.  However as can be seen on his chart, Freycinet made an inaccurate observation charting Robbins Island as an extension of the mainland.
King Island by Robbins and Grimes, 1802
This chart was created after Robbins had raised the Union Jack on King Island under the watch of the French. It was his first mission in the Colony as Governor King placed him in charge of the HM Schooner Cumberland to forestall the French who had set up camp on the island. Robbins put ashore with his company of Marines, raised the Union Jack in a large gum tree, fired a volley low over the French tents and claimed the island, the strait and Van Diemen’s Land for the Crown. In his haste, it was said that the English flag was raised upside down. A memorial on the shores of Elephant Bay, King Island records the historical event.
North West Van Diemen’s Land and Cape Albany Otway by Acting Lieutenant Charles Robbins (RN), 1804
Robbins was captain of the newly launched HM armed cutter Integrity at this time but was on loan from HMS Buffalo – hence the official name of H.M.S Buffalo on his chart.
Port Phillip Bay by Grimes and Robbins, 1803
After charting King Island in meticulous detail, Robbins and company sailed north to examine Port Phillip Bay for Governor King. The Surveyor Charles Grimes with two assistants began charting the coast while Robbins, using the jolly boat, sounded and recorded the depths. The men lived off the land, surviving on wild ducks, swan eggs and fresh water when found. On February 3, 1803 the party made a thrilling discovery that previous explorers – including Flinders – had missed. It was the mouth of the Yarra River flowing through reeds and swamps into the bay.

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