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Key dates over November 1914

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Lives lost on this day: 5

14th November 1914 - Worcester is a garrison town

Rolling casualty count: 489

2nd Batt: In the trenches. Usual sniping;

3rd Batt: Ploegsteert: 3 companies in billets. At 6pm took over 5 trenches with Company D and half of Company B from Somersetshire L Inf. 11/2 companies in Reserve trenches to Rifle Brigade.

Stirring Reception: Worcester is becoming a garrison town of some importance. Already, including the new arrivals of Friday, there must be something like 4000 troops billeted in the city. During the last few days Cpt Lloyd Bozward and Lt Phillip Leicester have been making arrangements for the billeting of the 11th Worcesters, part of Lord Kitchener’s New Army. Although it was not generally known by what trains the men were coming, pedestrians passing Foregate Street Station scented something in the wind, and soon the police had to exert their authority to keep back the continually increasing crowd. The Battalion came in two train loads of about 600 men…They looked more like the real fighting men than the spruce soldiers in full dress at a church parade, and their march down Barbourne should prove a stimulus to recruiting in the city. When formed up outside the station in fours, the line stretched well into the Tything. As they marched along the Barbourne Road the band struck up “Tipperary.” A few started singing at first and more joined in, until the whole lot were singing lustily the popular marching song… Outside the gates of Barbourne College the band drew up and the men marched into the grounds, where they enjoyed a little relaxation for a short time. Barbourne College, after being empty for so many years, has at last been put to useful purpose as the HQ of the 11th Worcs… The men are lodged over practically the whole of Barbourne. There was little difficulty in fixing the soldiers up in their billets, since arrangements had been made thoroughly beforehand. The detachments marched along until they arrived at a billet. The officer would consult a paper, call “Two here!” or “Three for this place!” as the case might be, until the number of men and of houses was exhausted. Some ladies men the soldiers with a smile of welcome. Other housewives wore a natural look of apprehension as they looked askance at the muddy boots of the men, and thought of tracts of clean linoleum within.

Barbourne and Billeting: Sir, - The unpatriotic conduct of a number of Barbourne residents in evading their responsibilities as to entertaining our gallant soldiers just arrived from Salisbury Plain, while they publicly boast of the cunning of their wives in being out when the Billeting Officer called makes one wonder if a country made up of such is worth fighting for. I would suggest to the neighbours of these people that they mark the pavement outside the residences of these patriots with a figure “0.” Six months’ of German rule would bring them to their senses. It is my pleasure to have two nice lads billeted with me, while my neighbours, with double the spare room, have excused themselves the trouble. ‘Mr Barbourne.’

At Kidderminster, Mrs Elizabeth Sophia von Hornhurst, a widow lady of independent means, residing in Blakebrook, was charged as an alien enemy with not having registered herself. Chief Inspector Smith said that on November 5th he called at the defendant’s residence and told her that he was making enquiries as to her nationality. She said she was born in Ireland, her father being an inspector of army schools at Curragh Camp. Some years later she met Otto von Hornhurst, a German gentleman…and married him in 1881. He died 3 years’ later, and she returned to this country, where she had lived ever since amongst her own friends…The defendant said she could not bear the idea of calling herself an alien enemy, as she had never thought of herself in that light. The Chairman said that, as an educated lady, the defendant ought to have obeyed the law. She would be fined £1 and costs, and bound over to register within seven days.

Information researched by Sue Redding