1 March 1910 David Niven, Scottish-born film actor whose films includedThe Pink Panther and The Guns of Navarone.
2 March 1545 Thomas Bodley, scholar, diplomat and founder of Oxford’s famous Bodleian Library
3 March 1847 Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born inventor of the telephone, photo phone, graphophone, microphone and a host of other really useful phones
4 March 1928 Alan Sillitoe, author and playwright whose books included Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
5 March 1133 King Henry II, son of Matilda and Geoffrey of Anjou who was to become the first Plantagenet king of England
6 March 1806 Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Victorian poet whose works including Sonnets from the Portuguese, are perhaps now overshadowed by her more famous husband Robert Browning
7 March 1802 Edwin Henry Landseer, painter and sculptor of the lions in London’s Trafalgar Square
8 March 1859 Kenneth Grahame, Scottish author of the children’s book The Wind in the Willows
9 March 1763 William Cobbett, radical author, politician and journalist who championed the cause of the underprivileged and wrote the Rural Rides in 1830
10 March 1964 Prince Edward, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II.
11 March 1885 Sir Malcolm Campbell, holder of the world speed records on land and sea.
12 March 1710 Thomas Arne, English composer who wrote Rule Britannia
13 March 1733 Dr Joseph Priestley, scientist who, luckily for us all, discovered oxygen in 1774
14 March 1836 Mrs Isabella Beeton, author of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management – everything a Victorian middle class woman should know!.
15 March 1779 William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne, twice British Prime Minister in the early 1800’s. His wife Lady Caroline, scandalised London society with her affair with Lord Byron
16 March 1774 Mathew Flinders, English explorer after whom the Flinders mountain range and Flinders River in Australia are named
17 March 1939 Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail single-handed, non-stop around the world
18 March 1869 Neville Chamberlain, British prime minister who tried unsuccessfully to make peace with Hitler. He returned from Munich in 1938 claiming ‚peace in our time’. Within a year, Britain was at war with Germany
19 March 1813 Dr David Livingstone , Scottish missionary and explorer, the first white man to see the Victoria Falls. His missionary work was less successful – apparently he only ever made one convert.
20 March 1917 Dame Vera Lynn was born in London and by the age of seven, was singing on a regular basis in working men’s clubs. She made her first broadcast in 1935. During the Second World War Vera found fame as the „Forces Sweetheart”, keeping up the spirits of the public with such songs as „We’ll Meet Again” and „White Cliffs of Dover”. These songs, and some films, catapulted Vera Lynn into what would now be referred to as superstardom.
21 March 1925 Peter Brook, director of stage and film
22 March 1948 Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of musicals includingCats, Evita and Phantom of the Opera, to name but a few
23 March 1921 Dr Roger Bannister, who, as a medical student, was the first person in the world to run a mile in under four minutes (3 min 59.4 sec)
24 March 1834 William Morris, socialist, poet and craftsman who was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
25 March 1908 David Lean, film director responsible for such greats as Lawrence of Arabia, Dr Zhivago and Bridge over the River Kwai
26 March 1859 Alfred Edward Housman, scholar, poet. and author of A Shropshire Lad
27 March 1863 Sir Henry Royce, car designer and manufacturer who co-founded, with C.S.Rolls the Rolls-Royce motor company
28 March 1660 George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1714. Became king following the death of Queen Anne. He spent most of his reign in Hanover, never having mastered the English language.
29 March 1869 Edwin Lutyens, architect known as the last English designer of country houses. Other works include the cenotaph, vice-regal palace in New Delhi and Roman catholic cathedral (Paddy’s wig-wam) in Liverpool
30 March 1945 Eric Clapton, songwriter and guitarist
31 March 1621 Andrew Marvell, poet, political writer and buddy of John (Paradise Lost) Milton