© National Portrait Gallery, London
by James Craig Annan Click on the links below to find out more
sepia platinotype, 1912
5 1/2 in. x 4 in. (139 mm x 101 mm)
Purchased with help from the Dame Helen Gardner Bequest, 2007
The Royal Flying Corps is established. During the Great War, planes and balloons were used mainly for reconnaissance and observation before technological advances made them fast enough and manoeuvrable enough to attack enemy positions and fight in the air. Arthur (Bomber) Harris won distinction as a pilot destroying five enemy aircraft in the war. In the Second World War he became Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
Art and science
George Bernard Shaw writes Pygmalion
. Charles Babbage's invents the Analytic Machine. Considered to be the forerunner to the modern computer, the machine was able to make automatic mathematical calculations. Edward Bulwer-Lytton publishes his hugely popular, but now largely neglected, novel Last Days of Pompeii
, set in the Italian city at the time of Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79AD.
Scott leads the British Expedition to the South Pole reaching it in January 1912 only to discover that the rival Norwegian party had beaten them by a month. All members of Scott's team perished on the return journey. Captain Oates' famous last words were immortalised in Scott's diary: 'I am just going outside and may be some time.'The 'unsinkable' Titanic
strikes an iceberg and goes down on its maiden journey between Southampton and New York.