The United Kingdom in History (Part 13)

Historical Events

Events 1201 - 1,300 of 2,236

  • 1939-06-01 British submarine "Thetis" sinks in Liverpool Bay with all 99 aboard
  • 1939-08-23 John Cobb (Britain) drives 365.85 MPH (593.48 KPH) at Bonneville Flats
  • 1939-09-03 German submarine U-30, commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp, sinks British passenger ship SS Athenia; 117 people die, among them 28 Americans
  • 1939-09-03 World War II: Britain declares war on Germany after invasion of Poland. France follows 6 hours later quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Canada

Historic Event

1939-09-05 New Zealand Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage declares New Zealand's support for Britain in the war with Germany; Savage famously told the nation 'where she goes, we go. Where she stands, we stand'

  • 1939-09-06 1st German air attack on Great Britain in WW II
  • 1939-09-11 British submarine Triton torpedoes British submarine Oxley
  • 1939-09-14 British fleet attacks German U-39 boat
  • 1939-09-17 German U-29 sinks British aircraft carrier Courageous, 519 die
  • 1939-09-19 British Expeditionary Force reaches France
  • 1939-09-20 British navy captures German U-27 boat
  • 1939-09-30 Britain first evacuates citizens in anticipation of war.

Historic Event

1939-10-06 Adolf Hitler denies he intends to go to war against France and Britain

  • 1939-10-14 German U-47 sinks British battleship HMS Royal Oak, 833 killed
  • 1939-12-02 British Imperial Airways & British Airways merge to form BOAC
  • 1939-12-13 Battle of the River Plate - 3 British cruisers vs German pocket battleship Graf Spee
  • 1940-01-08 Britain's 1st WW II rationing (bacon, butter & sugar)
  • 1940-02-14 British merchant vessel fleet is armed
  • 1940-02-16 British search plane finds German supply ship Altmark, used to accommodate allied sailors from vessels sunk by the Graf Spee off Norway
  • 1940-02-17 Altmark Incident: Crew of the British destroyer "Cossack" board German "Altmark" in Jøssingfjord, Norway, releasing 299 British prisoners after hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and the last recorded Royal Naval action with cutlass
  • 1940-03-16 German air raid on British fleet base Scapa Flow

Agreement of Interest

1940-03-18 Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler meet at Brenner Pass where the Italian dictator agrees he will, in due course, join Germany's impending war effort in the west

  • 1940-03-19 Failed British air raid on German base at Sylt
  • 1940-04-08 German battle cruisers sink British aircraft carrier Glorious
  • 1940-04-15 British troops land at Narvik, Norway
  • 1940-05-13 British bomb factory at Breda, Netherlands
  • 1940-05-14 British Local Defence Volunteers forms, an armed citizen militia designed to support the British Army during the Second World War. It is later renamed the Home Guard.
  • 1940-05-14 Lord Beaverbrook appointed British minister of aircraft production
  • 1940-05-20 German General Guderian's tanks reach the English Channel (British expeditionary army)

Miracle of Dunkirk

1940-05-27 British and Allied forces begin the evacuation of Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) during WWII

  • 1940-05-28 British-French troops capture Narvik, Norway
  • 1940-06-03 Last British and French troops evacuated from Dunkirk
  • 1940-06-04 British complete the "Miracle of Dunkirk" by evacuating 338,226 allied troops from France via a flotilla of over 800 vessels including Royal Navy destroyers, merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and even lifeboats
  • 1940-06-07 British/French troops evacuate Narvik
  • 1940-06-08 Last British troops leave Narvik, Norway
  • 1940-06-10 Italy declares war on France and Great Britain as part of its Axis alliance with Nazi Germany
  • 1940-06-11 World War II: British forces bomb Genoa and Turin in Italy
  • 1940-06-21 The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage begins at Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1940-07-03 British Royal Navy damages the French fleet in Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, to prevent Germany seizing it
  • 1940-07-04 British destroys French battle fleet at Oran, Algeria, 1267 die
  • 1940-07-05 Diplomatic relations broken between Britain and Vichy government in France
  • 1940-07-10 Battle of Britain begins as Nazi forces attack shipping convoys in the English Channel
  • 1940-07-11 British & German dogfight above Lyme Bay
  • 1940-07-19 Adolf Hitler orders Great Britain to surrender - they decline
  • 1940-08-03 Italian troops invade British Somalia
  • 1940-08-03 Seaplane Clare makes 1st British passenger flight to the US
  • 1940-08-07 Largest amount paid for a stamp ($45,000 for 1 1856 British Guiana)
  • 1940-08-11 German air raid on British ports Portland and Weymouth
  • 1940-08-12 Luftwaffe bombs British radar stations, loses 31 aircraft
  • 1940-08-17 Adolf Hitler orders a total blockade of Great Britain
  • 1940-08-18 Battle of Britain: The air battle known as "The Hardest Day" occurs; Luftwaffe lose approximately 69 aircraft and the RAF lose 68 in one of the largest ever air battles
  • 1940-08-20 1st Polish squadrons fight along allies in the Battle of Britain
  • 1940-08-20 British PM Churchill says of Royal Air Force, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"
  • 1940-08-25 First British night bombing of Germany (Berlin)
  • 1940-09-03 US gives Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for Newfoundland base lease
  • 1940-09-15 Battle of Britain Day: climax of the Battle of Britain, tide begins to turn as the Royal Air Force repulses a major Luftwaffe attack, losing 29 aircraft to the Germans' 57-61
  • 1940-09-23 -27] French/British assault on French fleet in Dakar, flees
  • 1940-10-02 British Council receives Royal Charter
  • 1940-10-02 British liner Empress, loaded with refugees for Canada, sunk
  • 1940-10-31 Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends with a British victory
  • 1940-11-11 British Fleet Air Arm attack destroys half of Italian fleet at Taranto
  • 1940-12-07 North Africa: British counter offensive under general O'Connor
  • 1940-12-09 British assault on Benghazi, Libya: first major allied offensive in North Africa
  • 1940-12-10 British anti-offensive in Libya (Sidi Barrani)
  • 1940-12-12 British troops conquer Sidi el-Barrani
  • 1940-12-16 British air raid on Mannheim
  • 1940-12-17 British troops occupy Sollum, Egypt
  • 1941-01-05 British Australian troops conquer Bardia, Libya
  • 1941-01-09 Maiden flight by Canada's British-built Avro Lancaster military plane
  • 1941-01-18 World War II: A counter-offensive is launched by the British against the Italians in East Africa
  • 1941-01-19 British offensive in Eritrea
  • 1941-01-19 British troops occupies Kassalaf, Sudan
  • 1941-01-21 Australian and British troops attack Tobruk, Libya
  • 1941-01-21 British communist newspaper "Daily Worker" banned
  • 1941-01-22 British and Australian troops capture Tobruk from Italians
  • 1941-01-24 British troops march into Abyssinia
  • 1941-01-31 British army Layforce commando units set sail
  • 1941-02-04 British tanks occupy Maus, Libya
  • 1941-02-06 British troops conquer Bengazi, Libya
  • 1941-02-09 British troops conquer El Agheila
  • 1941-02-22 Arthur "Bomber" Harris becomes British Air Marshal
  • 1941-02-28 British-Italian dogfight above Albania
  • 1941-03-04 The United Kingdom launches Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands, during World War II.
  • 1941-03-07 50,000 British soldiers land in Greece during WWII
  • 1941-03-07 British troops invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia)

Historic Event

1941-03-11 FDR signs Lend-Lease Bill, allowing US to provide material support to Great Britain's war effort in return for future use of land for US military bases in England

  • 1941-03-24 British troops defeat Italians in Somaliland
  • 1941-03-27 Britain leases defense bases in Trinidad to US for 99 years
  • 1941-04-06 British major general Michael Gambier-Parry captured in North Africa
  • 1941-04-06 Italian forces holding Addis Ababa surrender to British & Ethiopian forces
  • 1941-04-07 British generals O'Connor & Neame captured in North Africa
  • 1941-04-17 British troop land in Iraq
  • 1941-04-24 British army begins evacuation of Greece
  • 1941-04-28 Last British troops in Greece surrender
  • 1941-05-07 British House of Commons votes for Winston Churchill (477-3)
  • 1941-05-12 British forces march into Alexandria, Egypt
  • 1941-05-15 1st British turbojet flies
  • 1941-05-15 British attack Halfaya-pass & Fort Capuzzo in Egypt and Libya
  • 1941-05-16 Italian army under Aosta surrenders to Britain at Amba Alagi, Ethiopia

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1201 - 1,300 of 2,384

  • 1934-05-21 Phillip King, British sculptor, born in Tunis, French Tunisia
  • 1934-06-05 Gwen Swire, British social worker (BASW) (d. 1961)
  • 1934-06-09 Michael Mates, British politician (C) resigned during Asil Nadir scandal, born in Brentford, Middlesex
  • 1934-06-18 Carl de Winter, sect-gen (Federation of British Artists)
  • 1934-06-19 Terence Clark, British diplomat
  • 1934-06-20 Brian Barder, British high commissar (Australia)
  • 1934-06-26 Jeremy Wolfenden, British journalist and spy, born in England (d. 1965)
  • 1934-07-07 Robert McNeill Alexander, British zoologist (estimated speed of dinosaurs, born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland (d. 2016)
  • 1934-07-15 Simon Gournlay, president (British National Farmer's Union)
  • 1934-08-12 Kenneth Eaton, Controller (British Navy)
  • 1934-08-14 Robin McLaren, British ambassador (China)
  • 1934-08-18 Ronnie Carroll, British singer (Walk Hand in Hand), born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 2015)
  • 1934-09-28 Janet Munro, British actress (d. 1972)
  • 1934-10-02 Richard Scott, Baron Scott of Foscote, British high court judge, born in Dehradun, India
  • 1934-10-27 David Barclay, British hotel magnate (The Ritz) and multi-billionaire, born in Hammersmith, London (d. 2021)
  • 1934-10-27 Frederick Barclay, British hotel magnate (The Ritz) and multi-billionaire, born in Hammersmith, London
  • 1934-11-01 William Mathias, Welsh composer, born in Whitland (d. 1992)
  • 1934-12-30 Nicolas Coster, British actor (Our Private World, Ryan's Four), born in London
  • 1935-01-03 David Vine, British sports broadcaster (BBC Match of the Day, World Snooker C'ships, Olympics coverage), born in Newton Abbot, England (d. 2009)
  • 1935-02-14 David Wilson, Scottish administrator and 27th Governor of Hong Kong (1987-92), born in Alloa, Scotland
  • 1935-04-04 Lord Ichayra, secretary-general (British Banking Association)
  • 1935-04-05 Donald Lynden-Bell, British theoretical astrophysicist, born in Dover, Kent (d. 2018)
  • 1935-05-08 Viscount Falkland, British peer (Lib-Dem)
  • 1935-05-15 Gordon Mills, British songwriter (Tom Jones - "It's Not Unusual"), born in Madras, India (d. 1986)
  • 1935-05-23 Juliet Campbell, British ambassador (to Luxembourg)
  • 1935-05-26 Sheila Steafel, South African-British actress (The 10th Kingdom), born in Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 2019)
  • 1935-06-15 Fernand Schokweiler, British judge
  • 1935-07-12 Barrie Wilson, British religious scholar (How Jesus Became Christian) (d. 1995)
  • 1935-07-16 Tom Rosenthal, British publisher and broadcaster, born in London (d. 2014)
  • 1935-07-28 Simon Dee, British television broadcaster
  • 1935-08-02 Brian Wolfson, British CEO (Wembley Stadium Ltd), born in Merseyside (d. 2007)
  • 1935-08-10 Jerrie Anthony Hulme, British major-general
  • 1935-08-19 Alan Baker, British Mathematician and winner of the Fields Medal (1970) for his work on transcendental number theory, born in London, England
  • 1935-08-23 Brendan Jackson, British air marshal, born in London (d. 1998)
  • 1935-10-09 Don McCullin, British photographer, born in London, England
  • 1935-11-05 Lester Piggott, English jockey (11 x British flat racing C'ship Jockey; record 9 x Epsom Derby; 30 x British Classic Race wins), born in Wantage, Berkshire, England (d. 2022)
  • 1936-01-08 Robert May, Baron May of Oxford, Australian-born British scientist, born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1936-01-28 Bill Jordan, British trade unionist
  • 1936-01-29 Patrick Caulfield, British painter and printmaker, born in London (d. 2005)
  • 1936-02-13 John Harris, British(?) cricket player
  • 1936-02-17 John Leyton, British actor and singer ("Johnny Remember Me"), born in Frinton-on-Sea, England
  • 1936-03-04 David Thompson, British food magnate
  • 1936-03-30 Mark Burns, British director (Juggernaut)
  • 1936-04-03 Reginald Hill, British crime author (Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe novels), born in West Hartlepool, County Durham (d. 2012)
  • 1936-04-05 Michael Livesay, British admiral, Royal Navy officer, born in Middlesbrough, North Riding, Yorkshire (d. 2003)
  • 1936-04-09 Michael Somare, British foreign affairs minister (Paupa & New Guinea), born in Rabaul, Territory of New Guinea
  • 1936-04-26 Edward Cazalet, judge of the High Court of England and Wales, born in Marylebone, London
  • 1936-05-02 Engelbert Humperdinck [Arnold George Dorsey], British pop singer ("Release Me"; "After The Loving"), born in Madras, British India
  • 1936-05-05 Patrick Gowers, British choral and film score composer (Viri Galilaei; Hamlet; Smiley's People), born in Islington, England (d. 2014)
  • 1936-05-08 Neville Purvis, British vice admiral (Chief of Fleet Support)
  • 1936-05-10 Anthony Mullens, British Lt-Gen (Deputy chief of defense)
  • 1936-05-15 Ralph Steadman, British cartoonist
  • 1936-05-27 Benjamin Bathurst, vice chief of British Defense Staff
  • 1936-05-27 Lord Holme, president British Liberal Party
  • 1936-05-30 Roy Harford, Fulham UK, British-born NZ cricketer
  • 1936-06-01 Gerald Scarfe, British illustrator (Pink Floyd's "The Wall"), born in London, England
  • 1936-06-10 Graham Carleton Greene, British publisher (Jonathon Cape), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 2016)
  • 1936-06-17 Ken Loach, British film director (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire
  • 1936-06-26 Robert Maclennan, Baron Maclennan of Rogart, born in Glasgow
  • 1936-07-25 Gerry Ashmore, British racing driver, born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire
  • 1936-08-14 Trevor Bannister, British actor (Are You Being Served?), born in Durrington, Wiltshire (d. 2011)
  • 1936-08-22 Anne Downey, British circuit judge
  • 1936-09-27 Gordon Honeycombe, British broadcaster/author, born in Karachi, Colonial India (d. 2015)
  • 1936-10-25 Sir Martin Gilbert, British historian (Winston Churchill biography), born in London, England
  • 1936-11-23 Robert Barnard, British mystery writer, born in Burnham-on-Crouch, England (d. 2013)
  • 1936-12-22 James Burke, British science historian and broadcaster (Connections), born in Derry, Northern Ireland
  • 1937-02-14 John MacGregor, British MP
  • 1937-02-22 Noel Murphy, Irish rugby union player, born in County Cork, Ireland
  • 1937-02-24 Jerry Wiggin, British MP (cash for amendments scandal), born in Worcestershire (d. 2015)
  • 1937-03-20 Mark Saville, QC, British high court judge
  • 1937-04-09 Simon Brown, Baron Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Justice of the Supreme Court of the U.K.
  • 1937-04-09 Valerie Singleton, British broadcaster (Blue Peter), born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
  • 1937-04-17 Brian Sedgemore, British MP (Labour Party 1974-79 and 1983-2005), born in Exmouth, Devon (d. 2015)
  • 1937-04-18 Jan Kaplický, British architect of Czech origin, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2009)
  • 1937-05-08 Michael Simmons, Air Marshal (British Ministry of Defense)
  • 1937-07-24 Baroness Blatch, British minister of state for Education
  • 1937-07-27 Anna Dawson, British comedienne (Violet-Keeping Up Appearances), born in Bolton, Lancashire
  • 1937-08-11 Taki Theodoracopoulos, Greek-British journalist and multi-millionaire
  • 1937-08-14 Brian Curvis, Welsh boxer and British welterweight champion (1960-1964), born in Swansea, Wales (d. 2012)
  • 1937-08-20 Jim Bowen, British TV game show host (Bullseye) and comedian, born in Heswall, England (d. 2018)
  • 1937-08-27 Mark Potter, British court judge
  • 1937-09-02 Derek Fowlds, British actor (Yes Minister, The Basil Brush Show), born in London, England (d. 2020)
  • 1937-09-12 Wes Hall, West Indian cricket fast bowler (48 Tests, 192 wickets; Barbados, Queensland CA, Trinidad) and politician (Minister of Tourism & Sport, Barbados), born in Glebe Land, Station Hill, Barbados
  • 1937-09-24 Alan Grose, British vice-admiral
  • 1937-09-29 Barry Heywood, British director of the British Antarctic Survey (d. 2021)
  • 1937-10-04 Jackie Collins, British-American romance novelist (The Stud; The Bitch; Lucky), born in London, England (d. 2015)
  • 1937-11-09 Roger McCough, British poet (The Mersey Sound), born in Litherland, Lancashire
  • 1937-11-30 Tom Simpson, English road cyclist (World Road Race Champion 1965), born in Haswell, County Durham (d. 1967)
  • 1937-12-26 John Horton Conway, British mathematician (cellular automaton Game of Life), born in Liverpool, England (d. 2020)
  • 1938-01-01 Robert Jankel, British coachbuilder (d. 2005)
  • 1938-01-02 Ian Brady [Ian Duncan Stewart], British serial killer (Moors Murders), born in Glasgow (d. 2017)
  • 1938-01-21 John Savident, British actor
  • 1938-01-26 Margaret Daly, British MEP
  • 1938-02-15 Lord Justice Ward, British judge
  • 1938-03-12 Norman Hogg, British MP
  • 1938-03-18 Kenny Lynch, British entertainer, born in London
  • 1938-03-24 David Irving, British historian
  • 1938-03-29 Margaret Howard, British broadcaster (Letterbox)
  • 1938-04-06 Paul Daniels, British magician (The Paul Daniels Magic Show), born in South Bank, Yorkshire (d. 2016)
  • 1938-05-20 Alan Smithers, British professor

Famous Weddings


Famous Divorces


Famous Deaths

Deaths 1201 - 1,249 of 1,249

  • 2015-06-05 Richard Johnson, British stage and screen actor and producer (Never So Few, Restless, Beyond the Door), dies at 87
  • 2015-06-07 Michael Oliver, British cardiologist (linked cholesterol with coronary artery disease), dies at 89
  • 2015-06-11 Ron Moody [Moodnick], British stage and screen actor, singer (Oliver!; The Twelve Chairs), and composer dies at 91
  • 2015-06-20 Nazar Singh, British great-grandfather, believed to be Europe's oldest man, dies at 111
  • 2015-06-25 Patrick Macnee, British actor (The Avengers, Magnum, P.I., Sherlock Holmes), dies at 93
  • 2015-07-01 Sir Nicholas Winton, English Humanitarian ('British Schindler' - saved 600 children from Nazis), dies at 106
  • 2015-08-18 Roger Smalley, British-Australian pianist, conductor, and composer (Gloria Tibi Trinitas), dies at 72
  • 2015-08-22 Charles Tomlinson, British poet and translator, dies at 88
  • 2015-09-03 Adrian Cadbury, British confectionery manufacturer (Cadbury) and author of report on Corporate Governance, dies at 86
  • 2015-09-19 Jackie Collins, British-American romance novelist (The Stud; The Bitch; Lucky), dies of breast cancer at 77
  • 2015-09-27 John Guillermin, British film director (The Towering Inferno), dies at 89
  • 2015-10-08 Hugh Scully, British TV presenter (The Antiques Roadshow), dies at 72
  • 2015-10-09 Geoffrey Howe, British politician (Chancellor and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher), dies at 88
  • 2015-10-09 Gordon Honeycombe, British broadcaster/author, dies at 79
  • 2015-10-25 Lisa Jardine, British historian and writer, dies of cancer at 71
  • 2015-11-18 Jim Slater, British financier and writer, dies at 86
  • 2015-12-02 Anthony Valentine, British actor (Colditz), dies at 76
  • 2015-12-27 Stevie Wright, British-born Australian singer with the Easybeats ("Friday On My Mind"), dies at 68
  • 2016-01-09 Ed Stewart, British DJ and broadcaster (Crackerjack), dies of a stroke at 74
  • 2016-01-20 George Weidenfeld, British publisher (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), dies at 96
  • 2016-01-22 Anthony Simmons, British writer and film director (The Optimists of Nine Elms), dies at 93
  • 2016-01-22 Cecil Parkinson, British politician (C), dies at 84
  • 2016-01-31 Terry Wogan, British broadcaster (Eurovision Song Contest, Blankety Blank), dies of cancer at 77
  • 2016-02-22 Douglas Slocombe, British cinematographer (Kind Hearts and Coronets, Raiders of the Lost Ark), dies at 103
  • 2016-03-07 Michael White, British theater/film producer (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), dies at 80

George MartinGeorge Martin (1926-2016)

2016-03-08 British record producer (The Beatles), dies at 90

  • 2016-03-10 Ken Adam, British film production designer (James Bond sets), dies at 95
  • 2016-03-13 Adrienne Corri, British actress (River, Doctor Zhivago), dies at 85
  • 2016-03-14 Peter Maxwell Davies, British composer (Prolation, Taverner), dies at 81
  • 2016-03-17 Paul Daniels, British magician (The Paul Daniels Magic Show), dies at 77
  • 2016-03-21 Robert McNeill Alexander, British zoologist (estimated speed of dinosaurs), dies at 81
  • 2016-03-28 Peggy Fortnum, British Illustrator (first to draw Paddington Bear), dies at 96
  • 2016-03-31 Douglas Wilmer, British actor (Sherlock Holmes, Octopussy, El Cid), dies of pneumonia at 96
  • 2016-03-31 Ronnie Corbett, British comedian (The Two Ronnies), dies at 85
  • 2016-03-31 Zaha Hadid, British architect (London Aquatic Centre), dies at 65
  • 2016-04-10 Howard Marks, British drug dealer and author (Mr Nice), dies at 70
  • 2016-04-11 Emile Ford, Caribbean-born British singer and engineer (first black male singer to top UK charts), dies at 78
  • 2016-04-12 Alan Loveday, New Zealand and British violinist, dies at 88
  • 2016-04-12 Arnold Wesker, British playwright (Chips with Everything), dies at 83
  • 2016-04-20 Guy Hamilton, British director (Goldfinger), dies at 93
  • 2016-04-20 Victoria Wood, British comedian and actress, dies of cancer at 62
  • 2016-05-07 John Krish, British documentary filmmaker (Let My People Go), dies at 92
  • 2016-05-09 Dennis Nineham, British theologian, dies at 94
  • 2016-05-19 Angus "Alan" Young, British actor and voice actor (Mister Ed, Scrooge McDuck), dies of natural causes at 96
  • 2016-06-03 Dave Swarbrick, British folk fiddler, and songwriter (Fairport Convention; Martin Carthy), dies pneumonia at 75
  • 2016-06-11 Alberto Remedios, British opera and concert singer, dies at 81
  • 2016-07-02 Caroline Aherne, British comedienne, writer and actress (The Royale Family), dies of cancer at 52
  • 2016-07-05 Beatrice de Cardi, British archaeologist, dies at 102
  • 2016-07-09 Robert Nye, British novelist and poet (Falstaff), dies at 77