Antonio Sant’Elia, an architect allied to the Italian Futurist Movement was killed on October 10 during the Second Battle of the Isonzo. His designs for a Citta Nuova, a “New City” were visionary masterworks but his death insured that they would live on in the pages of Futurist journals. We can never know whether Sant’Elia’s would have been realized had he lived, but they remain a part of Futurism’s vibrant legacy.
The English author Hector Hugh Munro, who signed his work “Saki” was a teller of mordant tales. His “Sredni Vashtar” has graced many an anthology of horror fiction. Refusing a commission, Munro enlisted as an ordinary trooper and rose to the rank of Lance Sergeant. He was shot and killed by a sniper during the Battle of Ancre on November 14, 1916. Ironically, one of his pre-war works was a political satire When William Came, A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns.
Emile Verhaeren was a towering figure in the Belgian literary world and a leading poet in the French-language Symbolist Movement. Far too old to serve in Belgian army, Verhaeren went to war in his own fashion, writing stirring appeals in defense of his country and touring widely to rally the allies. Returning from such a speaking engagement in Rouen, France he fell beneath the wheels of a moving train and was killed instantly on November 27, 1916.
A non-literary death of note was that Emperor Franz-Joseph I, who ruled over the Austro-Hungarian Empire from December 2, 1848 until his death on November 21, 1916. During the course of his long reign he lost both his nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Empress Elizabeth, to assassins. His son and heir, Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide in 1889.