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Key dates over November 1914

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Lives lost on this day: 2

17th November 1914 - Territorials prepare to join war stations

Rolling casualty count: 504

1st Batt: St Avaast ‘A’ Lines: Extremely cold and a white frost during the night, causing trouble to the mens’ feet which were still wet from previous rain. The 2 platoons of B Coy on East of Road shelled, 3 shells pitching in trench inflicting considerable casualties.

2nd Batt: Very trying wet day in dug outs. Usual artillery bombardment. Front line broken through by Germans. Wilts sent forward to retake it. 2 officers’ patrols sent out by Battalion to get information as to the situation. Batt again under the orders of 5th Brigade;

3rd Batt: Petit Pont: One company (A) rejoined at Petit Pont from support trenches to Hamps Regt at Ploegsteert. Batt marched and arrived at Neuve Eglise at 8am and was attached to 8th Brigade and went into billets. (C) company sent out at 8pm in reserve to Suffolk Regt, E of Wolvergheim, returned 6 am on 18th.

Recruiting is taking place at the Silver Street HQ for the 2nd Worcs Company of the National Reserve. The first Company left Worcester for railway protection duty, and this new one is being raised for the same purpose. They will be billeted mainly in Flagge Meadow Walk and Lansdowne Road. Up to this morning 40 men had been enrolled towards a Company of 120. The officers of the new Company will be Col AB Williams, Capt Milward, and Capt Avery.

Worcestershire Footballers’ Example: Contributing to a London newspaper on football and patriotism, a “Cheshire Parson” quotes the following from a Worcestershire Parish magazine: “I am glad to be able to state that our Football Club is unable to carry out its proposed programme this winter, as every member of its team, except one, has enlisted. It is a welcome contrast to the men of so many of the great Association clubs, who in this time of their nation’s crisis, prefer to hire themselves out to kick balls.”

More Territorials Leave: This morning a draft of 30 Territorials left Shrub Hill to join the 8th Battalion on the East Coast. They were accompanied by Capt HM Griffiths, who will return home tomorrow with a draft of Home Service men. These are the men who for various reasons, but mainly medical ones, are not going on foreign service. Of others who have returned to the city to join the Home Service Battalion, 50 per cent have failed to pass the strict medical test. The party were headed by the Band, under Bandmaster Davies, and by Capt Vigors (Garrison Adjutant), Capt Griffiths, and the Rev BA Berry (Garrison Chaplain). As the train steamed out the Band struck up with “Auld Lang Syne.” A considerable number of the men’s friends were on the platform, and they gave the soldiers a rousing send-off.

A “Particularly Fine Capture.” Pte S Collins (3rd Worcs Regt) has written a letter to his wife in which he says: “The Germans are surrendering in hundreds, throwing their rifles and begging for mercy. We have had one particularly fine capture in which about a thousand gave themselves up to 40 of our chaps. They were boys from 16 to 18 and old men from 55 to 60.” When war broke out Collins was a reservist. Although ill at the time he quickly joined his regiment and has been in several big battles.

The Evesham Territorials who have volunteered for foreign service had an enthusiastic send-off from Evesham on Monday afternoon, on leaving after their 3 days’ holiday. It is believed that the men are shortly to be sent away on active service, and a general desire was expressed in the town to give public appreciation and good wishes. The Mayor issued notices asking the town people to display flags, and to meet in the Market Place at 2.30. Consequently the streets were gay with flags, the Union Jack largely predominating, and before half past two o’clock the Market Place and approaches were crowded. The Market Place was attractively decorated with flags and streamers, and the members of the Fire Brigade assisted the Police to keep clear a space in front of the Town Hall. The soldiers met at the Drill Hall in Bengeworth, and a large crowd marched with them to the Town Hall.

Information researched by Sue Redding