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Key dates over November 1914

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Lives lost on this day: 2

6th November 1914 - Indian Army troops land in Mesopotamia to protect British oil interests in neighbouring Persia, and encourage an Arab revolt against Turkish rule

Rolling casualty count: 391

Letter from Pte JE Caffrey to his sister Mrs W Willis of ‘Westbourne’ Sansome Walk, Worc. He has been at the front since the commencement of the war. He has taken part in more than one bayonet charge without receiving a scratch (up to Oct 28). He writes: “I am still in the best of health. I received the ‘Worcester Daily Times’ and the cigarettes, also a parcel containing cocoa, chocolates etc., and was glad of them. I was pleased with the paper, as I had nothing to read that day. I passed it on to the Worcs, who were lying in the trenches next to us; they were pleased to get it, as they could get some news from home…I have just made a cup of cocoa for my ’10 o’clock,’ and it has gone down A1. I have at present almost ¾ of a pound of tobacco for making ‘fags’, about 80 cigarettes, and 4 pkts of cigarette papers, so you see I am almost as well off as Messrs WD and HO Wills. The Germans are only 400 yards away, and the ‘coalboxes’ and ‘kitbags’ (shrapnel) are whizzing over our heads at the rate of about 3 a minute. This is another letter written in the firing line, it is the best opportunity we have for writing, as we have to ‘get under’ or ‘put our checks in.’

Pensax Aid for Belgians: The farmers and others sent gifts of apples, potatoes, rabbits, eggs, bread, groceries, warm clothing, etc yesterday to the Belgian Refugees and Belgian wounded soldiers. All were greatly appreciated.

Appeal to Motorists: Motorists are asked to drive slowly, especially whilst the roads are so dirty, when passing Territorials on the march. During the past few days a good number of the Territorials have been badly splashed by the mud thrown up by these motors (one of which is a particular offender), and apart from the inconvenience to the men, several of the red tunics have been damaged.

About 50 members of the “B” (Worcester) Company of the 8th Battalion arrived home for a week-end leave. There was a large crowd at the station to meet them. The men, who looked remarkably well, have to return on Monday afternoon. They were accompanied by members of the “C” (Malvern) Company.

During the 5 days of this week 185 recruits have been enrolled at Norton Barracks. The reduction of the height standard to 5ft 3ins is having a good effect on the progress of recruiting, but more men are urgently needed. There are now only about 200 recruits at the Depot, batches having been sent away regularly to the main Battalions in training during the past few weeks.

Information researched by Sue Redding