14 October 1318

Edward Bruce, brother of Robert, is defeated and killed at Faughartnear Dundalk by an Anglo-Irish force under John of Birmingham. His defeat is a blow to the Bruces' policy of uniting the Celtic peoples of Britain against English domination.


14 October 1322

The Scots under Robert Bruce routed the English at the battle of Byland in North Yorkshire. Edward II was forced to make a hurried escape, leaving his personal baggage behind.

16 October 1847

An unknown author called Currer Bell – actually the young Charlotte Brontë – publishes her debut novel, Jane Eyre

14 October 1882

Irish patriot Eamon de Valera is born in New York.

14 October 1939

The British battleship HMS Royal Oak was sunk at Scapa Flow by German submarine U-47, commanded by Lieutenant Gunther Prien. 833 men lost their lives.

14 October 1940

When a Luftwaffe bomb falls on Balham tube station, one of the tunnels collapses, killing 66 people who were sheltering from the air raid.


14 October 1941

Listeners to the BBC Nine O'Clock News were intrigued to hear a mystery voice, which attempted to pass acerbic comments on the items being read. Newsreader Alvar Lidell carried on as usual but eventually announced: "You may be able to hear an interruption to this programme. Do not listen to this voice – it is the voice of the enemy". Further attempts to disrupt news broadcasts were made in this manner over the next few nights and the voices continued intermittently until early December when they were finally silenced by BBC engineers.

Browse more On this day in history