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Key dates over November 1914

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Lives lost on this day: 9

16th November 1914 - Revd. Studdert Kennedy preaches at Cathedral Service

Rolling casualty count: 502

1st Batt: St Vaast ‘A’ Lines: Germans ranged with 5.9 on support trench occupied by 2 platoons B Company. No damage done, shells dropping over and short of trench.

2nd Batt: A very cold wet day spent in dugouts in wood. Men very done up after continual strain in the trenches and exposure to weather;

3rd Batt: In 5 trenches with Company D and half of Company B from Somersetshire L Inf. 11/2 companies in Reserve trenches to Rifle Brigade. Relieved by Rifle Brigade (3 companies) by 10pm and marched to billets at Petit Pont.

Mr. JW Willis Bund presided at a meeting of the Executive of the Worcestershire Committee for the Prevention and Relief of Distress, at the Shirehall on Saturday afternoon. The Chairman read a letter from Queen Anne’s Gate, stating that the Committee had to deal only with cases of civil distress and must make grants strictly on the scale laid down by the Central Committee. Some misapprehension appeared to exist on that point…Some extraordinary views had been expressed by the applicants as to who were dependents. One lady had a son by her first husband, who had gone to the front. She was living with her second husband and family and imagined that she was entitled to an allowance in respect of her son, as well as sundry allowances in respect of her children by her second husband, and so on. The compassion of the pension officer was so great that he passed the case. (Laughter.)

Work for Women Fund: The collections which were made by Boy Scouts in the Theatre Royal and Silver Cinema last week for the Queen’s Work for Women Fund amounted, up to Saturday’s matinee, to £12.

11th Worcesters’ Training: The 11th Worcesters, who arrived in the city on Friday, from Salisbury Plain, have quite settled in their new quarters at Barbourne College, where the offices of the Battalion have been fitted up. The grounds prove useful in many ways. Recruit drill usually takes place on the flat piece of ground in front of the College, where in recent summers tennis has been played. Now the courts and cricket pitch are devoted to sterner pursuits, and , instead of the tennis racket and bats the occupants handle rifles. For the present the 4 Companies drill on Pitchcroft, pending the discovery of a more suitable training ground. Practically all the men are proficient in the ordinary squad drill, and the 8 hours a day which they are supposed to work are occupied by instruction in musketry and the other branches of infantry training. The blue-coated figures of the 11th Worcesters are becoming quite familiar in the city, and if the uniforms are not so much admired as khaki, the men are.

Over 2000 men on parade: The number of men who paraded to the Cathedral for divine service was between 2300 and 2400, the soldiers occupying every seat. It was the greatest number ever seen at a parade, and it was witnessed by thousands of people. [900 11th Battalion, RAMC Yeomanry 480, 8th Battalion 700, Artillery 300.] The clergy in attendance were: Canon HB Southwell, Minor Canon F L Whatley, and the Rev Studdert Kennedy (Vicar of St Paul’s), who preached. “Lord God of Hosts” and “Fight the good fight” were the hymns, and the men joined heartily in the singing… The Voluntary Aid Detachment (No 3) also attended. The Bands of the Yeomanry and 8th Battalion played on the march to and from the Cathedral. There was a parade to the Roman Catholic Church, Sansome Walk, and the Noncomformist soldiers attended Pump Street Wesleyan Church.

Information researched by Sue Redding