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Key dates over December 1914

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Lives lost on this day: 0

14th December 1914 - New facilities opened at Norton Barracks

Rolling casualty count: 551

1st Batt: La Gorgue: 24th Brigade became Corps Reserve. Battalion marched at noon to Estaires 2 miles and billeted (in a linen factory) on the northern outskirts of Estaires. Ready to move at ‘short notice’; 2nd Batt: Waiting to move at 1 hour’s notice; 3rd Batt: Locre: In billets.

Comforts for the Territorials: The Mayoress (Mrs HA Leicester), at the Guildhall this morning, had the satisfaction of witnessing a very generous response to her appeal for comforts for soldiers now in Worcester. Many parcels containing mufflers, mittens, etc were handed in, and a number of people gave contributions.

Motor Ambulances for Red Cross: Messrs. McNaught and Co., of the Tything, Worcester, have recently converted an 18 hp Austin private car into a four-stretcher ambulance for the British Red Cross Society. The car was given by a gentleman to the Society. The body has been removed, and the stretcher ambulance fixed on it. The ambulance is built to the standard model designed by an expert of the RAMC. It is beautifully sprung, so that it will travel with practically no vibration, and it is fitted up with all the regulation requirements. The car is now on view at the works. The firm have also built a number of horse-drawn four-stretcher field ambulances for the War Office.

The Dean of Worcester opened a new building, at Norton Barracks, to replace the YMCA tent, which had done such good service, and will be carried on under the auspices of the same Association. The building is a suitable wooden erection, with a tiled roof, well heated and lighted, and will serve as a capital reading and recreation room. The Dean announced that the cost of it was £350, beside which he had undertaken to provide a room at Sutton Vevey, for the 11th Worcesters, who would be camped there in huts after they left Worcester. With expenses connected with that building and the Shirehall recreation room, £170 was still needed to pay for what had been done, and he appealed for subscriptions. The room is admirably adapted for the purpose. There is a postal counter at one end, with a store room adjoining, and at the other a platform. Tables, chairs, and writing materials occupy the rest of the space, and writing materials are provided. The dimensions of the hut are 70 ft by 25ft. It is heated with stoves and lighted by gas. On Monday, when the opening ceremony took place, the room was decorated with the flags of the Allies, bunting, and evergreens, and on the platform were plants, lent by Mrs Kershaw of Wood Hall, and Mrs Graham, of the Orchards, Norton.

Worcesters and Jack Frost: Sgt HR Coward of the 1st Worcestershire Regt – a former Birmingham schoolboy, who recently returned from Egypt – writing to his father. “We have had our periods in the trenches, and at times it is hell. We are shelled about ten times each day, but we are well under cover, and they do very little damage. The Germans have some good snipers, and as soon as you pop your head up they have got you. We have had a few casualties, but very small under the conditions. Our only drawback is Jack Frost, and he has bitten us very badly. We get plenty of food, and our living is excellent under the circumstances, so we have nothing to grumble about.”

Information researched by Sue Redding