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28th October 1914 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

28th October 1914

On this day:

  • C squadron 2nd Life Guards heavily shelled   2nd Life Guards are half a mile North West of Zandvoorde. The left trenches of C squadron were heavily shelled, causing three troops of C squadron to be relieved by D squadron at 6 pm, the remaining troop of C squadron also B squadron remained in their trenches.

    War Diary

  • Battle of Penang 1914   The Battle of Penang occurred on 28 October 1914, during World War I. It was a naval action in the Strait of Malacca, in which the German cruiser SMS Emden sank two Allied warships.


    At the time, Penang was part of the Straits Settlement, a British Crown colony. Penang is an island off the west coast of Malaya, now the present day Malaysia. It is only a short distance from the mainland. The main town of Penang, George Town, is on a harbour. In the early months of the war, it was heavily used by Allied naval and merchant vessels. Shortly after the outbreak of the war, the German East Asia Squadron left its base in Tsingtao, China. The squadron headed east for Germany, but one ship, the light cruiser SMS Emden—under Lt. Commander Karl von Müller—was sent on a solitary raiding mission.


    At about 0430 on 28 October, Emden appeared off the George Town roads and attacked the harbour and vessels lying therein. Captain von Müller had disguised his ship by rigging a false smoke stack, which made Emden resemble the British cruiser HMS Yarmouth. Once he had entered the harbor, however, he ran up the German naval ensign and revealed what ship the newcomer actually was. Before any of the Allied naval vessels could respond, a torpedo was fired at the Russian protected cruiser Zhemchug, followed up with a salvo of shells which riddled the ship. A second torpedo, fired as Emden turned to leave, penetrated the forward magazine, causing an explosion that sank the Russian ship. Returning to the harbour from a patrol was the French destroyer Mousquet, under the command of a Lt. Théroinne, which then set off in pursuit of Emden, but was quickly sunk by the German ship. Casualties amongst Zhemchug's crew of 250 amounted to 89 dead and 143 wounded.


    The Zhemchug was tied up in a state of non-readiness while her captain, Cmdr. Baron Cherkassov, went ashore that night to visit his wife (some sources say mistress). The keys for the ship's magazine had been taken ashore and no lookouts had been posted. Cherkassov could only watch in helpless horror from the Eastern & Oriental Hotel as his ship sank to the bottom of the Straits. He was court martialled for negligence and sentenced to 3½ years in prison, reduction in rank and expelled from the navy. His deputy, Lt. Kulibin, was sentenced to 1½ years in prison. However, the Tsar changed both sentences to sending to the front as ordinary seamen. Both later distinguished themselves in combat and were decorated with the Cross of St. George. Lt. Théroinne was amongst the Frenchmen lost aboard the Mousquet. Thirty-six French survivors out of a crew of 80 from the destroyer were picked up by the Emden, three of whom later died from their injuries. They were buried at sea at the insistence of von Müller. Two days later, the Germans stopped the British steamer Newburn and transferred the remaining Frenchmen so that they could be conveyed to Sabang, Sumatra, then part of the neutral Dutch East Indies. Emden continued its raiding mission for another 10 days, before being severely damaged and run aground at the Battle of Cocos.

    John Doran

  • 1/6th West Yorks leave Strenshall   6th Battalion West Yorks left Strenshall in late October, moving to York.

  •    On the 28th October 1914, Major-General the Hon Sir Reginald Talbot, K.C.B. the honorary Colonel came down to bid the Regiment Godspeed, and on Friday 30th October it entrained by squadrons for Southampton, where it embarked on the s.s. Victorian. Sailing at 1:00am on the 31st October, 1914, the regiment arrived off Havre at 8:30pm, disembarked at 6:30 next morning, and marched up to the Rest Camp.

    History of the 3rd (Prince of Wales?s) Dragoon Guards 1914-1918? by Captain H P Holt

  • 28th Oct 1914 1st East Lancs shelled

  • Fields offered for training   It was stated in the Newcastle Chronicle that Colonel Ritson had offered the use of two fields behind Jesmond Gardens for the use of training. Each morning the Tyneside Irish battalion paraded on Eldon Square at 9am. Major Joseph Prior was always in command. By 28th October 1914 the Tyneside Irish had a strength of 303 men. On this day it was announced Colonel V.M. Stockley, late Indian army had accepted command of The Tyneside Irish Battalion.

  • 28th Oct 1914 Artists Rifles Land

  • 28th Oct 1914 Wounded Land

  • 28th Oct 1914 Wounded Land

  • 28th Oct 1914 A Game of Hide and Seek

  • 28th Oct 1914 Parade

  • 28th Oct 1914 Dark Cloud

  • 28th Oct 1914 Defences

  • 28th Oct 1914 Entrenching

  • 28th Oct 1914 Patrol

  • 28th Oct 1914 Reliefs

  • 28th October 1914 Ongoing Battle for Neuve Chapelle

  • 28th Oct 1914 Attack Made

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

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Killed, Wounded, Missing and Prisoner Reports published this day.

    This section is under construction and only available to subscribers of our Library

Want to know more?

There are:18 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. George Ernest Cantell. Kings Royal Rifles Corps Read their Story.
  • Drummer William Newland Hunt. Scots Guards 2nd Btn.
  • Pte. George Lamb. Durham Light Infantry 2nd Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. James McIntyre. East Yorkshire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Edmund Revely. Durham Light Infantry 2nd Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Evan Robert Sadler. Welsh Regiment 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Arthur Smith. South Staffordshire Regiment 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Alexander Wood. Durham Light Infantry 2nd Btn. Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.

  • Items from the Home Front Archive

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