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Key dates over September 1914

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Lives lost on this day: 0

17th September 1914 - Known as the 'Race to the Sea', the German, French and British armies move north from the Aisne and try to outflank each other. Continues to 16 October when the lines reach the Belgian coast.

2nd Batt: in reserve during the day, enemy shelling everywhere as usual. Pouring with rain. Occupied advance posts again at dusk;

3rd Batt: Shelled from 8am throughout day. At times very heavy.

Letters from the Front – Local Soldier’s Terrible Experience.

Mr E Smith, of 28, Dolday, has three sons in the Worcestershire Regiment (the eldest, Edward, is in the 2nd Worcester’s; the second, Charles is in the 5th Battalion; and the youngest, Ernest, is in the Territorials). Edward was in the fighting in Belgium, and was wounded, and now lies in hospital at Sheffield. Writing to his sister, he says : - “We have had a rough time of it in Belgium. We have seen plenty of life and shells. We have come under fire in a village just before Mons. We had orders to fix bayonets, but not to fire, as there were Germans in the village, and we were to charge them. But our Brigade came up, and there was no one there. But on a ridge just beyond there was a great line of big guns. So we built up some head cover and waited till dawn. Then they started. There were shells dropping all round us. The first wounded was a poor chap named Richardson. About a quarter of an hour after one of our chaps was standing against a wall, reading a message, when a shell hit the wall between his legs. Another chap had 10 bullets in him. We were lying there, and could not see anything to fire at till they came closer, and then we got our own back with interest. The Germans are a lot of murderous dogs. I was fetching a bottle of water. I crept to one house. The woman tried to tell me something in French. I could not understand, so she pulled me in the next room. There was a woman just confined. She was on the point of madness. I could not do anything, so I told my officer. He sent me for the parson, and got some of us together, and we carried her, bed and all, to a safe place. The Germans are collecting all the women and children, and placing them in front of them so as we shan’t fire on them. But the day of reckoning is drawing near, and they will wonder what has got hold of them. I expect I shall be going back as soon as I am well enough. The sooner the better.