Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

Nicholas II

(Russian Tsar)

6 May 1868 – 17 July 1918 (Aged 50)

Born in Pushkin, Russia. Died in Yekatarinburg, Russia.

Nicholas II was the last Tsar of Russia, ruling from November 1894, until his forced abdication in March 1917 following the “February Revolution”.

He was given the nickname ‘Nicholas the Bloody’, due to his violent repression of the 1905 Revolution and the outcome of the Russo-Japanese War.

Nicholas, his wife, Alexandra, their 4 daughters, Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga, and Maria, and son, Alexei, were executed by Bolsheviks, having been imprisoned in a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The family was lured into the basement before executioners drew handguns and began shooting. Nicholas was shot several times in the chest, while the girls survived the first hail of bullets.

The sisters were wearing jewelry and had gems sewn into their clothing, which provided initial protection from the bullets. They were then stabbed with bayonets and shot at close range in the head.

In 1979, the bodies of Tsar Nicholas II, Alexandra, and three of their daughters were discovered near Yekaterinburg. In July 2007, the bones of Alexei and the remaining sister were also discovered near Yekaterinburg.

Manfred von Richthofen

(German Fighter Pilot)

Nicola Perscheid / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

2 May 1892 – 21 April 1918 (aged 25)

Born in Breslau (Wroclaw), Poland. Died in Vaux-sur-Somme, France.

Manfred von Richthofen was famously known as ‘The Red Baron’, who served as a German fighter pilot during World War I and is credited with 80 air combat victories.

The Red Baron is one of the most widely known fighter pilots of all time, seen as a national hero in Germany, and was even admired by his enemies.

On the morning of 21 April 1918, he was shot down and killed while flying over Morlancourt Ridge near the Somme River, in northern France. Richthofen had flown to the aid of his cousin who was under attack when a bullet pierced his heart and lungs.

Australian commanding officer Major David Blake was responsible for Richthofen’s body, and organized a full military funeral by the personnel of No. 3 Squadron Australian Flying Corps, such was the regard in which the Red Baron was held.

The body was buried in the cemetery at the village of Bertangles, on 22 April 1918. The body was reinterred at the Invalidenfriedhof Cemetery in Berlin, where many German military heroes and past leaders were buried.

However, during the Cold War, the cemetery was on the boundary of the Soviet zone in Berlin, and the tombstone was damaged by bullets fired at attempted escapees from East Germany. In 1975, the body was moved to a family grave plot in Wiesbaden.

Claude Debussy


By Nadar / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918 (Aged 55)

Born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. Died in Paris, France.

Debussy was a renowned French composer and pianist, recognized as one of the most influential of the late 19th, and early 20th century.

Debussy died from cancer at his home in Paris at the age of 55.

With Paris still under German aerial and artillery bombardment in the final throes of World War I, a public funeral was not permitted, nor were graveside orations.

The funeral procession made its way through empty Parisian streets to Père Lachaise Cemetery as the German guns attacked the city.

In 1919, Debussy’s body was reinterred in the small Passy Cemetery sequestered behind the Trocadéro, where his wife and daughter are also now buried.

Edward Alexander Bouchet


By Warren, Boston and Cambridgeport, Massachusetts / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

15 September 1852 – 28 October 1918 (Aged 66)

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Died in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

In 1876, Bouchet became the first African-American to earn a doctorate degree from an American university, graduating from Yale.

Despite his qualifications, Bouchet could not attain a role as a professor due to his race. Instead, he spent over 25 years teaching at the School for Colored Youth in Philadelphia.

Bouchet was among the first Americans of any race to earn a doctorate in physics.

Ferdinand Braun


 Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

6 June 1850 – 20 April 1918 (Aged 67)

Born in Fulda, Germany. Died in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Braun was a German physicist who shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Guglielmo Marconi.

His work greatly contributed to the development of wireless technology, television, and radio.

Prior to the U.S. entering World War I, Braun went to the United States to help defend the German wireless station at Sayville, New York, against attacks by the British-controlled Marconi Corporation.

After the US entered the war, Braun was detained but could move freely within Brooklyn, New York. He died before the war ended in 1918.