Key dates over August 1914
Lives lost on this day: 1
23rd August 1914 - First contact for local battalions
Pte. George Pearce 12252 F & F. 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment killed
First contact for local battalions as German artillery shelled British front line, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire regiment in 5th Brigade, 2nd Division, on Mons-Mauberge Road: 3rd Worcestershires, in 7th Brigade, 3rd Division, in the line at Ciply.
The Battles of Mons and of Le Cateau continued to engage the 2nd and 3rd Battalions until 4th September. They were swiftly followed through September at the Battles of the Marne and the Aisne.
After nearly 4 hours marching, the 2nd Worcs Batt. finally crossed the Franco-Belgian border near Malplaquet at 7:17 am. After just 2 hours in billet they were ordered to entrench immediately south of Mons. No sooner entrenched when urgent order to 'fall in' and march west to Frameries. It was supposed that the Germans had penetrated the British lines and the order was to retake Frameries 'at the point of the bayonet'.
Nothing happened until dawn, then continual bombardment from 3 am to 8 am when orders came to evacuate. 5 men were wounded and 21 reported missing.
The 3rd Worcs. Battalion finally entrenched late afternoon in broken ground southwest of Ciply Railway Station. The digging was carried out amid British artillery action from the left, right and behind them. As darkness grew the British front line withdrew and by 9pm no British troops were left in advance of the 3rd Worcs; all that night the Battalion remained on alert, ready to meet the attack of the enemy. Stacke’s regimental history records that one of the first shells killed the Adjutant Lt. BC Stenhouse's horse, the Battalion's first loss.
There were several casualties among the 2nd Batt. The severly wounded were carried to safety by CSM A. Mayston who was subsequently awarded the DCM: Another of the wounded was rescued by 2 stretcher bearers whose names remain unrecorded.
At Home, employers were asked to assist to prevent unemployment by 1) working short time, 2) as far as possible filling vacancies caused by workers called up for military service with temporary workers, 3) putting on extra workers instead of overtime, 4) keeping on workers, as far as possible, even if they suffered losses.
Public asked not to buy more food than really required, not to hoard gold, to pay accounts as soon as possible, consider how they economise (if deferring purchase might cause unemployment).
Employers wanting workers advised to go the Labour Exchange, 'on whose books are names of women trained for various kinds of employment'.
Japan at war with Germany.
Image courtesy of Worcestershire Regiment Museum
- Pte George Pearce