On This Day - 24th January
1749The birth of Charles James Fox, the British Whig whom Sir George Macaulay Trevelyan described as ‘Our first great statesman of the modern school’. He was a great orator and as Foreign Minister he persuaded Prime Minister Pitt to abolish slavery.
1872 The death of the Reverend William Webb Ellis, the alleged creator of rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School. The story has become firmly entrenched in rugby folklore. See picture of his statue and plaque ( picture) outside Rugby school.
1901The birth of Edward Turner, English motorcycle designer. He sold his 4 cylinder engine to Aerial motorcycles when BSA rejected it. And thus it became the legendary 'Ariel Square Four'.
1915The First World War sea battle of Dogger Bank ended with a British victory when the superior speed and gunnery of the British fleet sank the German armoured cruiser Blucher. If it had not been for a British signalling mixup that enabled the German fleet to flee safely to port, German losses would have been considerably higher.
1928 The birth of Desmond Morris, British anthropologist. He first came to the public's attention in the 1950s as a presenter of the ITV television programme Zoo Time, but he achieved worldwide fame in 1967 with his book The Naked Ape.
1930The birth, in Norfolk, of Bernard Matthews, the poultry industry figure. He won a scholarship to the City of Norwich School, but found it difficult to settle, regularly failed his exams and left school with no qualifications. Nevertheless, when he died, aged 80, in November 2010 he had amassed a fortune estimated at over £300m and a motor yacht, a Cessna private jet and a Rolls-Royce motor car.
1942World War II: The Allies bombarded Bangkok, leading Thailand to declare war against the United States and the United Kingdom.
1965 Death of Sir Winston Churchill, aged 90, world famous soldier, politician, historian and Prime Minister of Britain. He was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of the battle of Dogger Bank (see above). He had correctly predicted that he would die on the same date as his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, who had died exactly 70 years previously. The graves of Winston Churchill (see picture) and his father (see picture) are in St Martin's Churchyard at Bladon, Oxfordshire
1969Students protesting at the installation of steel security gates at the London School of Economics went on the rampage, with crowbars, pickaxes and sledgehammers.
1972Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi was found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II. He was among the last three Japanese hold-outs to surrender after the end of hostilities in 1945, almost 28 years after the island had been liberated by allied forces in 1944.
1976Margaret Thatcher, leader of the Conservative Party, was dubbed 'The Iron Lady' in the Soviet newspaper 'Red Star' after her speech on the threat of Communism.
1986The beginning of the end for London's Fleet Street, home to most of Britain's national newspapers, when staff of the 'Sun' and 'News of the World' were told that they were moving to new premises at Wapping, in London's Docklands.
2001Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson resigned from the Cabinet over a passports for cash scandal. It was the second time he had left the Cabinet in disgrace since Labour came to power in 1997.
2014 Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor DC declared a major incident throughout much of the Somerset Levels. The village of Muchelney was cut off by flood water from the River Parrett for almost 10 weeks. See picture of the River Parrett at normal levels
2015 A racehorse named Sir Winston Churchill netted a win, on the 50th anniversary of the wartime leader's death, in the 3:25pm race at Uttoxeter racecourse.