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Key dates over December 1914

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Lives lost on this day: 5

11th December 1914 - 200 spades needed for 8th Battalion trench digging

Rolling casualty count: 548

1st Batt: ‘A’ Lines: 2 Platoons ‘B’ Company were billeted near Battalion HQ; 2nd Batt: In billets at Bailleul. GOC inspects billets; 3rd Batt: E. Kemmel: In trenches.

Comfort Day for Soldiers: The Mayoress of Worcester (Mrs Hubert Leicester) asks for a special effort to provide 3000 soldiers now in Worcester with much-needed woollen mittens and mufflers. To-morrow (Saturday) is the day appointed, and the Mayoress begs for contributions in cash or kind at the Guildhall on that day. By ordering a very large number of mittens they can be procured at 1s 1d per pair, so that anyone giving this sum can ensure one of our local soldiers having warm hands, and any multiple of this amount will be used in a like manner. If, however, people prefer to buy or make mittens, then these will be gratefully accepted.

A Worcestershire football referee tells a tale of a unique experience. He went to act as referee in a match in the north. When he was waiting on the platform he fell in with a soldier who was also travelling to see a football match. Tommy had been at the front since the war began, and was home on leave for a short time as he had been wounded. His one passion for the moment was to see a football match. The football official looked up Tommy’s train and found that he would arrive too late for his match, and told him so. “Why not go to the same match I’m going to.” “I don’t mind,” said the soldier, “so that I see a football match.”The football official hailed a “taxi,” and almost staggered “Tommy” by inviting him to accompany him. At the ground the referee was able to get the soldier a place in a stand – a prominent and comfortable seat! After the match, the referee was in the dressing-room, when in walked the soldier. He commenced effusively to thank the referee in the way some Tommies do, when they are overwhelmed by kindness. It was a case of “pooh pooh” on the one side, and a sense of supreme obligation on the other, and for both it became an embarrassing situation. Suddenl y a bright idea struck Tommy. There was some favour he could do, some privilege he could bestow. He looked relieved, and eagerly remarked, “Shall I show you my wounds?” And he did!

Recruiting at Norton: During the four days of this week 110 have been enlisted at Norton Barracks.

Appeal for Spades: Captain Vigors appeals for more spades and picks for the 8th Battalion. Up to the present about a dozen spades have been given; and an appeal is made for the load of spades if people cannot spare them as gifts. At least 200 are needed at once. Arrangements have been made for the members of the Battalion to do trench digging on Mr. Darling’s Farm, Lyppard Grange.

Over 100 Belgian Refugees in Malvern: The Rev J Cathcard Davies (All Saints, the Wyche), writes:- “There are now over 100 Belgian refugees quartered in the Malverns. They are provided for by many who delight to think of them in their distress as England’s guests. It has been suggested that some of the people in the Wyche district might like to contribute weekly towards the necessary expenses. A penny or halfpenny a week would help considerably, and the Belgian Relief Committee would be very grateful. If this suggestion meets with approval, a collector could be appointed to call regularly upon any who desire to give in this way.”

Information researched by Sue Redding