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1st July

Explosion at Bomb Making Factory in England

At a bomb making factory in Nottinghamshire, eight tons of T.N.T. accidentally exploded. Out of the one hundred and thirty-four killed only thirty-two people were positively identified.

Advertisements for Cures for Influenza

About this time the first ads appeared in papers all over Ireland offering cures for illnesses. ‘Why not try Genasprin? Once you have tested ‘Genasprin,’ you will realise the advantages of taking a really pure depress the heart or upset the digestion. It instantly relieves headache, toothache, neuralgia, sciatica, neuritis etc., and is also widely prescribed for rheumatism gout, lumbago, etc.

‘Gelsemium Pillules’ were described as ‘a homeopathic remedy for adults and children.’ ‘Formamint’ were described as ‘germ killing throat tablets. ‘Also available was ‘Taylor’s Influenza Mixture.’

Funerals of ‘Flu Victims in Derry, Derry Journal Reports

In the first week of July there were about fifty funerals of victims of influenza in the city. Horse-drawn hearses would be seen queuing at the cemetery gates on Lone Moor Road and extra gravediggers were employed.

Strike of Riveters and Platers Ends in The City

On 27th June riveters, platers and caulkers went on strike. This directly involved over three hundred workers.

2nd July

Article in Medical Journal on Influenza

Writing in the Medical Press, a Dr. Speares of the Royal academy of Medicine in Ireland referred to influenza.’ The onset in many cases has been sudden and cases which seemed to be on the way to recovery took a bad turn, leaving doctors to justify initial favourable diagnosis to angry, grief-struck families.’

He continued.’ The speed of the disease and the transient nature of the epidemic is depriving doctors the opportunity to try different remedies and to extensively examine the disease before it abates. The evolution of the illness is too rapid to allow of satisfactory vaccine treatment, which takes time. Also, many of the victims have complications and secondary infections such as internal swelling and inflammation.’

3rd July

Message from Urals to Moscow on Romanov Executions

The plan for the execution of the Romanovs was taken to Moscow. At the Central Executive meeting only seven of the twenty-three members were present and one of these was Lenin.

Lord French Bans Republican Organisations

Public assembles arranged in protest against conscription were banned. Among these banned organisations were Sinn Fein, the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan and the Gaelic League. Sports and cultural events were also prohibited and if any organisation wished to hold a function they had to receive a permit from the Royal Irish Constabulary.

General Strike in the Isle of Man


There had been a growing campaign on the island for direct taxation on the island in order to secure old age pensions. The campaign for pensions was diverted into a campaign to get the Manx Government to grant bakers on the island a flour subsidy similar to that given to English bakers. There was the wish to have the price of a loaf of bread reduced from one shilling to nine pence. A committee of inquiry agreed to a subsidy which was to last six months.

On 28th June it had been announced by The Isle of Man Government that the bread subsidy was to be terminated. Protest meetings were held across the island and a general strike was called. The strike committee was well organised and took command of trade and industry across the island. The governor of the island complied with the strike committee’s request that all of the military on the island were confined to barracks.

4th July

Isle of Man Governor Holds Meeting with Island Strikers

Facing the paralysis on the island, the governor held a meeting with the strike committee and offered a ten and a half pence loaf but this was refused. The governor then called a meeting of the island’s legislative council. When this concluded, this notice was posted outside all government buildings, ‘Arrangements have been made for the immediate restoration of the ninepenny loaf. The Lieutenant Governor trusts that business will be resumed as early as possible and that no person be victimised for participating in the strike.’

Recipient of Victoria Cross

Thomas Axford was born in Western Australia in 1894 and in July 1915 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. During the Battle of Hamel he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery. His citation reads, ‘On 4th July 1918 during the attack at Vaire and Hamel Woods, France, when the advance of the adjoining platoon was being delayed in uncut wire and machine-gun fire, and his company commander had become a casualty, Lance-Corporal Axford charged and threw bombs amongst the enemy gun crews. He then jumped into the trench, and charging with his bayonet, killed ten of the enemy and took six prisoners. He threw the machine-guns over the parapet and the delayed platoon was able to advance. He then re-joined his own platoon and fought with it during the remainder of the operations’

5th July

Dublin Middle Classes Flee the City

It was reported that many of the capital’s middle classes were leaving the city and going to their seaside home. A number of doctors at this time put forward the idea that the fresh air at the seaside was good for all kinds of lung problems. Some also suggested that ‘sunshine ‘offers nature’s method of disinfection.’ When the people fleeing Dublin arrived at places such as Bray and Balbriggan they found to their horror that influenza had arrived there before them.

7th July

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

David S. Gilfillan served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

8th July

New Commandant in Charge of Russian Royal Family

With a new man in charge of the Royal compound in the Urals, the guards were replaced by about sixteen men from Lithunia.

10th July

First Battalion Irish Guards and Influenza

About this time the Second Battalion of The Irish Guards travelled to Henecourt to relieve the 15th Highland Light Infantry. Diaries and letters reveal that ‘they were a sick people and that ‘all battalion headquarters except the commanding officer and all the officers of No. 2 Company, besides officers of other companies, were down with ‘Spanish fever’ on going into the line. A third of the men were also sick at one time, and apparently the enemy too, for they hardly troubled to shell by day and let the night-reliefs go without attention. The only drawbacks were furious summer thunder-storms which, from time to time, flooded the trenches and woke up more fever. The front line held there by the guards was badly knocked about and battered, and instructions ran that, in the event of serious attack, it would not be contested.’

10th July

A Local Man Lose His Life in the Great War

James Cassidy served as a private in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Orbituary In Local paper

William Thornton served as a lance corporal in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and he was killed on 10th July 1916. In 1918 his wife Ellen Thornton of Mountjoy Street placed the following lines in a local newspaper.

‘We mourn our loss, we think with pride
For Freedom’s right our hero died.’

11th July

Newspaper Claims Link Between the Military and The Spread of Influenza

An article in the King’s County Chronicle claimed that there was a connection between the presence of the military in the locality and the spread of influenza.’ The epidemic has been brought to the area by troops from the west. There is no doubt that the first cases were among soldiers.’ A few days earlier an official of the Dublin Metropolitan police said that ‘flu cases in the city were sudden and severe.’

12th July

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

Thomas Walker served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

13th July

The War on The Western Front, Comment from Irish Newspaper

On the massive death toll in Europe the Connacht Tribune declared,’ The slaughter in Europe has been on a scale unpresented in human history. Since the dead bodies have remained over ground longer than was desirable, infection has spread, proving a lesson that nature always brings its nemesis.’

Disturbances outside The Russian Royal Family in The Urals

There were street disturbances adjacent to the property in which the Russian Royal family were being held. This was exploited by the Bolshevicks as a monarchist rebellion which was crushed.

14th July

Final Plans for Executions of Romanovs

These were put in place and plans were also laid out for what was to be done afterwards to destroy as much evidence as possible.

15th July

Food Shortages in Germany

Ration books were introduced in Great Britain for foodstuffs including lard, margarine, meat, butter, milk and sugar. In Germany civilians were being affected by the blockade and at this time about 20% of the population was being provided with a daily meal from a soup kitchen. In cities in Germany parks were being used to grow vegetables and keep animals such as pigs. Rationing in some form continues in Germany until the early 1920s and it has been estimated that over three quarters of a million Germans died from malnutrition and its effects.

Second Battle of Marne Begins, Germany Now on the Offensive

This was the last major offensive by the Germans in the First World War. In the second Battle of Marne Germany now had the difficulty of exhausted soldiers and a depleted army. Allied counter-attacks inflicted irreplaceable German casualties. The defeat here led to the cancellation of the planned German invasion of Flanders and German forces were now on the defensive.

Royal Navy Sloop Sunk Off Malin Head

HMS Anchusa was attacked and sunk by U-54 off Malin Head. Seventy-eight of a crew of one hundred were lost. The German submarine was based in Zeebrugge and in six patrols sank fourteen ships for a total loss of 7200 tons. U-54 was sunk in the North Sea later that year by three Royal Navy ships with the loss of all thirty-eight crew.

Swedish Ship Sunk Off Tory Island

The Swedish vessel Vanlock was attacked and sunk off Tory Island by U 92. This submarine took part in five patrols and sank five merchant ships for the loss of 16,000 tons. U92 was lost in a minefield on 9th September 1918.

16th July

City of Cork and the Epidemic

Reported in the Cork Examiner, the corporation ambulance was a familiar sight in the city,’ almost continually conveying ‘flu patients to the various hospitals.’ It was also reported that ‘Cork District Hospital was unable to cope with demands made on it.’

A Local Man Loses his Life in The Great War

Maurice G. English served in the Royal Air Force.

17th July

Execution of the Romanovs

Security had been tightened for the Russian Royal family. An iron grill had been placed on the window of the Tzarina’s room but she refused the request not to stand close to it. The family’s rations were reduced and they had tea and black bread for breakfast. Their piano and phonograph had been removed from their apartment. However, their fate was imminent.

In the early hours the family doctor woke the Romanov family. They were taken to a basement room and in twenty chaotic minutes the family was executed. All the family pets were killed except for one spaniel. Almost twenty pounds of diamonds were looted from the corpses. Over one hundred and twenty gallons of petrol and four hundred pounds of sulphuric acid were used to destroy the remains.

Lenin described the Romanovs as ‘monarchist filth, a three hundred year disgrace’ and went on to describe Nicholas as ‘the most evil enemy of the Russian people, a bloody executioner, an Asiatic gendarme and a crowned robber.’

S.S. Carpathia Sunk in Western Approaches

In 1903 the 13,000 ton Carpathia which could accommodate over two thousand passengers and crew, sailed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Boston, Massassachutts. In 1912 the ship became famous for rescuing seven hundred and five survivors from the Titanic, arriving two hours after the sinking.

In the First World War the ship was used to transfer American and Canadian troops to the Western Front. On 15th July she sailed from Liverpool in a convoy bound for Boston with about two hundred on board. In the Western Approaches she was struck by torpedoes fired from U-55. Five of the crew were killed and the submarine was driven off by H.M.S. Snowdrop.

U-55 had taken part in fourteen patrols and sank sixty-four merchant ships of 26,161 tons. In 1918 the German submarine surrendered to the Japanese and served in their navy until 1921.

United States Destroyers in Escort Duty

The USS Beale and the USS Ammen escorted HMS Virginian from the south of Ireland to Avonmouth.

18th July

United States Army intervention

The Battle of Soissons began with the French being supported by the United States army. The Allies now were embarking on a counter-offensive against the Germans.

19th July

First Public Announcement of Killing of Romanovs

At an opera house in Russia it was announced that ‘Nicholas the bloody’ had been killed and that his family had ‘been taken to another place.’

Insurance Claims rise in Influenza Wave

It was reported in the Cork Examiner that the National Health Insurance Society was very busy ‘dealing with sick benefits to registered members who had been stricken down.’ The newspaper also reported that in Youghal ‘sickness claims on the Cork County Land and Labour Insurance Society had risen 700%’

A Local Man Loses His life in The Great War

John A. Tillie served as a 2nd lieutenant in the Black Watch.

20th July

Ship Sunk Off Malin Head

The S.S. Justica was a 32,000 ton passenger ship built by Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line. On 19th July she sailed from Belfast Lough bound for New York to bring American troops to Europe. The ship was attacked by UB -64 to the west of the island of Islay and was hit by four torpedoes. She was taken in tow with the aim of taking it to Lough Swilly. UB -64 was responsible for sinking over twenty ships in the First World War and surrendered in 1918.

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

Robert Moore served as a private in the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

21st July

Bolshevists Announce Assassination of Tzar

It was officially announced in Moscow that ‘the tzar has been executed under pressure because of the approach of the Czechoslovaks.’ In May 1979 the remains of most of the family were interred in St. Petersburg. One of those who attended the ceremony was a descendant, Prince Michael of Kent.

25th July

Cargo Ship Attacked Off Rathlin

The Indore was torpedoed and damaged by U-62 off Rathlin Island and two of the crew were killed. The ship was beached and later reflated. U-62 took part in seven patrols and sank eight merchant ships with a loss of 17,226 tons. The U-boat surrendered in November 1918 and was broken up in Swansea.

American Ships in Convoy Duty

The USS Conyngham and the USS Beale escorted the oil tanker Kanawha as the tanker sailed from Queenstown.

27th July

The Effect of Influenza in Galway

It was reported in the Connacht Tribune that in addition to many requiring treatments for influenza that in ‘Galway Hospital the nursing staff are among the victims of the epidemic.’

28th July

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

Patrick Craven served as a private in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.