Neha Patil (Editor)

1917 in the United Kingdom

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1917 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1917 in the United Kingdom. This year is dominated by World War I.



  • Monarch - George V
  • Prime Minister - David Lloyd George (coalition)
  • Events

  • January - J. R. R. Tolkien, on medical leave from the British Army at Great Haywood, begins writing The Book of Lost Tales (the first version of The Silmarillion), starting with the "Fall of Gondolin"; thus Tolkien's mythopoeic Middle-earth legendarium is first chronicled in prose.
  • 19 January - Silvertown explosion: a blast at a munitions factory in London kills 73 and injures over 400. The resulting fire causes over £2M-worth of damage.
  • 25 January - Armed merchantman SS Laurentic (1908) is sunk by mines off Lough Swilly with the loss of 354 of the 475 aboard.
  • 26 January - The sea defences at the village of Hallsands, Devon are breached, leading to all but one of the houses becoming uninhabitable.
  • 1 February - Atlantic U-boat Campaign (World War I): Germany announces its U-boats will resume unrestricted submarine warfare, rescinding the 'Sussex pledge'.
  • 2 February - Bread rationing introduced.
  • 21 February - Elder Dempster Line troopship SS Mendi is accidentally rammed by SS Darro off the Isle of Wight, killing 646, mainly members of the South African Native Labour Corps.
  • February - Formation of the Women's Land Army, superseding the Women's National Land Service Corps.
  • March - Establishment of the Imperial War Cabinet, a body composed of the chief British ministers and the prime ministers of the Dominions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa) to set policy.
  • 11 March - World War I: British forces led by Sir Stanley Maude capture Baghdad, the southern capital of the Ottoman Empire.
  • 26 March - World War I: First Battle of Gaza - British cavalry troops retreat after 17,000 Turks block their advance.
  • 28 March - The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps founded.
  • 5 April - Food Hoarding Order issued to prevent households from hoarding food in short supply.
  • 6/7 May - World War I: Bomb dropped on London by a fixed-wing aircraft (one death).
  • 25 May - World War I: First daylight bombing raid on the UK by fixed-wing aircraft: 95 killed in Folkestone area.
  • 4 June - The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is established as an order of chivalry by George V under letters patent.
  • 7 June - World War I: Battle of Messines in Flanders opens with the British Army detonating 19 ammonal mines under the German lines, killing 10,000 in the deadliest deliberate non-nuclear man-made explosion in history, which can be heard in London.
  • 13 June - World War I: Daylight bombing raid on London by fixed-wing aircraft: 162 killed.
  • 9 July - HMS Vanguard is blown apart by an internal explosion at her moorings in Scapa Flow, Orkney, killing an estimated 843 crew with no survivors.
  • 17 July
  • King George V issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British Royal Family will bear the surname Windsor.
  • Winston Churchill is appointed Minister of Munitions.
  • July - First Cottingley Fairies photographs taken, apparently depicting fairies; a hoax not admitted by the child creators until 1981.
  • 1 August - Women's Forestry Service under Miss Rosamond Crowdy instituted under the Timber Supply Department of the Board of Trade.
  • 2 August - Squadron Commander E. H. Dunning becomes the first pilot to land his aircraft on a ship when he lands his Sopwith Pup on HMS Furious in Scapa Flow but is killed five days later during another landing on the ship.
  • 17 August - One of English literature's most important and famous meetings takes place when Wilfred Owen introduces himself to Siegfried Sassoon at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh. Owen's war poems "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and "Dulce et Decorum est" are written at this time.
  • 21 August - Most provisions of Corn Production Act 1917 come into force. This guarantees minimum prices for wheat and oats and specifies a minimum wage for agricultural workers.
  • 5 October - Sir Arthur Lee donates the country house Chequers to the nation.
  • 2 November - Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour makes the Balfour Declaration proclaiming British support for establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.
  • 7 November - World War I: Third Battle of Gaza ends — British forces capture Gaza from the Ottoman Empire.
  • 16 November - British troops occupy Tel Aviv and Jaffa in Palestine.
  • 17 November - People's Dispensary for Sick Animals established by Maria Dickin.
  • 20 November - World War I: Battle of Cambrai begins — British forces make early progress in an attack on German positions but are soon beaten back.
  • 29 November - Women's Royal Naval Service established.
  • 11 December - World War I: Battle of Jerusalem — General Edmund Allenby leads units of the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force into Jerusalem on foot following the Ottoman Empire's surrender of the city.
  • 31 December - World War I: British government imposes rationing of sugar (8 oz per person per week).
  • Undated

  • Gay Crusader wins the English Triple Crown by finishing first in the Derby, 2,000 Guineas and St. Leger.
  • Announced 12 November 1918; presented 1 June 1920 - Charles Glover Barkla wins the 1917 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his discovery of the characteristic Röntgen radiation of the elements."
  • Publications

  • The anthology of British war poetry The Muse in Arms.
  • Joseph Conrad's novella The Shadow Line (in book form).
  • Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes short story collection His Last Bow.
  • T. S. Eliot's poems Prufrock, and other observations.
  • Robert Graves' poems Fairies and Fusiliers.
  • Ivor Gurney's poems Severn and Somme.
  • Daniel Jones's An English Pronouncing Dictionary.
  • Siegfried Sassoon's The Old Huntsman, and Other Poems.
  • Edward Thomas's posthumous collection Poems (including "Adlestrop").
  • Alec Waugh's controversial semi-autobiographical novel of life in a boys' school The Loom of Youth.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's short story collection The Man with Two Left Feet.
  • W. B. Yeats's poetry collection The Wild Swans at Coole.
  • Births

  • 19 January - Graham Higman, mathematician (died 2008)
  • 25 February - Anthony Burgess, author (died 1993)
  • 2 March - John Gardner, composer (died 2011)
  • 12 March - Googie Withers, actress (died 2011)
  • 20 March - Vera Lynn, actress and singer
  • 22 March - Paul Rogers, actor (died 2013)
  • 24 March - John Kendrew, molecular biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (died 1997)
  • 6 April - Leonora Carrington, surrealist painter and fiction writer working in Mexico (died 2011)
  • 14 May - W. T. Tutte, English-born mathematician and cryptanalyst (died 2002)
  • 10 June - Ruari McLean, Scottish typographer (died 2006)
  • 29 June - Mary Berry, canoness, choral conductor and musicologist (died 2008)
  • 1 July - Humphry Osmond, psychiatrist (died 2004)
  • 10 July - Reg Smythe, cartoonist (died 1998)
  • 30 August - Denis Healey, politician and author (died 2015)
  • 3 September - Anthony Robert Klitz, artist (died 2000)
  • 2 October - Christian de Duve, biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (died 2013)
  • 8 October - Rodney Robert Porter, biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (died 1985)
  • 22 October - Joan Fontaine, film actress in Tokyo (died 2013 in the United States)
  • 22 November - Andrew Huxley, scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (died 2012)
  • 22 November - Shabtai Rosenne, English-born Israeli diplomat and recipient of the Israel Prize (died 2010)
  • 16 December - Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction author and inventor (died 2008)
  • Deaths

  • 2 January - Edward Burnett Tylor, anthropologist (born 1832)
  • 19 March - Samuel Pasco, United States Senator from Florida from 1887 to 1899 (born 1834)
  • 25 March - John George Will, Scottish international rugby player (killed in action) (born 1892)
  • 2 April - Bryn Lewis, Wales international rugby player (killed in action) (born 1891)
  • 9 April - Edward Thomas, poet (killed in action) (born 1878)
  • 18 May - John Nevil Maskelyne, stage magician (born 1839)
  • 31 July
  • Ellis Humphrey Evans ("Hedd Wyn"), Welsh-language poet (killed in action) (born 1887)
  • James Llewellyn Davies, Victoria Cross recipient (killed in action) (born 1886)
  • James Young Milne Henderson, Scottish international rugby player (killed in action) (born 1891)
  • Francis Ledwidge, Irish poet (killed in action) (born 1887)
  • 15 August - Thomas Crisp, Victoria Cross recipient (born 1876)
  • 30 August - Alan Leo, astrologer (born 1860)
  • 8 November
  • Colin Blythe, cricketer (born 1879)
  • Arthur Matthew Weld Downing, astronomer (born 1850)
  • 14 December - Phil Waller, Wales and British Lions rugby player (killed in action) (born 1889)
  • References

    1917 in the United Kingdom Wikipedia

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