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Key dates over December 1914

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Lives lost on this day: 0

3rd December 1914 - Troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) disembark in Egypt to complete their training after it is decided conditions in Britain are unsuitable

Rolling casualty count: 536

1st Batt: La Gorgue: In billets 2-4 Dec. 100 men admitted to hospital mostly with bad feet; 2nd Batt: Orders received to have Battn on the Materen-Bailleul Road in Brigade for inspection by HM the King. At 12 noon the King motored slowly through the Brigade drawn up in 2 ranks on either side of the road. Battn was at the order with bayonets fixed, and 3 cheers were given for His Majesty as he arrived at head of Battn. Marched back and dismissed at 12:30pm; 3rd Batt: Locre & Kemmel: 3 companies N Kemmel. Company ‘A’ at Locre paraded for visit by HM the King – Companies at Kemmel relieved by 8th Brigade. Battn then concentrated in billets at Westoutre and rejoined 7th Brigade.

How they pass their time: The Belgian soldiers now being treated at the Infirmary, are having quite a happy time. Under the kind tuition of the Sisters and nurses, of whose kindness they speak most gratefully, they are making considerable progress with their English…Their industry in grappling with the perplexities of our language is most commendable. Each word which presents a difficulty is searched for in the French-English dictionary. They no longer greet one with the “Bonjour,” but “Good Morning, “ and they are as proud of their English as some French students are of their French…The hospitable Belgians handed round Russian toffee and French cigarettes, and as these were enjoyed by Belgians and English alike, we felt allies indeed.

National Reservists leave Worcester: The No 2 Worcs (Railway Protection) Company, National Reserve, under Col AB Williams, left the city this morning for their war station, on a railway in the south. Since the 1st Company left for an adjoining station, these men have been billeted in the city. They marched to Shrub Hill, headed by the 8th Battalion Band, under Bandmaster Davies. A large number of their friends gave them a hearty send-off.

One of the strangest true stories heard from the front, where the maddest things are happening every day, concerns the experiences of a young infantry subaltern. He was in a deserted and partially ruined farmhouse with half a dozen brother officers when a shell burst in their midst. When he recovered consciousness and realised that, though stunned and shaken, he was untouched, he found all the others dead save one, who was severely wounded. How long he had been unconscious he could not tell, but he judged some time since the furious cannonade had ceased, and all was still. He took his wounded comrade on his shoulders and set out towards the British lines, walking slowly across country with his burden. He was rather surprised to find the wounded man struggling feebly and murmuring something about lying down, but attributed it to delirium. When he reached the nearest British lines he discovered that he had crossed unscathed a battle zone absolutely swept by the enemy’s fire. He was stone deaf for a fortnight, but his wounded comrade had heard the bullets whizzing all the time.

Information researched by Sue Redding