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Key dates over January 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 2

31st January 1917 - Another death from skating on ice

Rolling casualty count: 5375

War Front: 2nd Batt: Rations were issued and water bottles filled. The batt was relieved by the 9th HLI in the left sub-section of the Line. Coy marched off at 6pm via Mary Avenue.

4th Batt: There was heavy shelling of the duckboards between Batt HQ and the right sector of C COY HQ but no damage was sustained.

2/7th Batt: D Coy took over billets from the Royal Engineers at Marcheville.

10th batt: The Brigade Scheme was carried out before the Army Commander. Batt still guarding the water with 1 NCO and 9 men.

Home Front: County War Tribunal: Worcester Case: William J. Hutton (33), iron and metal dealer, asked for further time to clear up his affairs. Mr. Hemming said that Hutton had 20 tons of old iron to collect from Upton, Witley, and other places, and he asked for a month. His pony fell recently, and that accident had delayed him. Appellant said that he weighed 17st. 2lbs. Capt. Glanfield: Was it because of your weight that the pony met with the accident? (Laughter) Dismissed.

A Soldier’s Absence: Pte. J. Edkins, Worcestershire Regiment, was charged with desertion. Evidence was given that he was absent from roll call on March 6, 1915, and that he was arrested at 42, St. Alban Street, Birmingham, where he was concealed under bed clothes on January, 18th of this year. Accused said he had intended to come back. Sentence will be promulgated in due course.

Mr. Maurice Forgas, an assistant master at the Wells House School, Malvern Wells, went skating on New Pool on Monday morning. Later in the day he was missed, and it was feared that he had drowned as the deeper part of the pool was not frozen over. Sergt. Cale and P.C. Lloyd started to clear some of the ice, at 8am on Tuesday, and dragging operations were then commenced, the body of Mr. Forgas being recovered at 2 o’clock. The deceased, who was aged 24, was of Spanish nationality. [See Jan 30]

Too Much Light: Frank Fripp, of Sidbury, Worcester, was summoned for showing too much light on his motor-car. He pleaded not guilty. P.C. Bennett stated that he was on the Wells Road when he saw a motor with four bright lights. Defendant said they were approved by the Worcester police, and he had travelled from Hereford without being stopped. It was a dark night, and there was a thick fog over the British Camp. He could not see his way with less light. A fine of £1 2s. was imposed.

Skating: There is skating on some of the frozen pools in the district, notably on Mr. Barnard’s ice at Bevere.

Motor Accident: Alfred George Kinchin, aged 7, 1 Court, Barbourne Road, was knocked down on Tuesday by a motor car driven by Bernard S. Baker, 125, Droitwich Road. The boy was picked up by two nurses, who had him removed in Baker’s car to the Infirmary. There he was found to have a fractured skull.

Gloves for Shell Workers: Government tenders have been issued for tens of thousands of gloves for use by munition workers. It is believed that the wearing of gloves will minimise the risk of accidents. At Bermondsey Tribunal, Mr. Frank Bryan, glove manufacturer, Bromwich Road, Worcester, in appealing for the exemption of four employees, said he was making over 6,000 pairs of gloves a week for the Government a his three factories at Woodstock, Worcester, and Bermondsey. He understood the Government were unable to obtain the quantity of gloves they required, and were going to stop the manufacture of gloves for civilians. The Military Representative said glove cutters were highly skilled men, and could not be replaced. The cutters were each granted three months’ exemption, the manager of the Worcester factory six months, and a foreman packer and examiner three months’ final.

Important and far-reaching changes in the electoral system of the United Kingdom are recommended in the report of the Parliamentary Conference, issued on Tuesday night… One of the most interesting proposals is that some measure of woman suffrage should be conferred. This was decided by a majority of the members, who were of the opinion that the most practical form would be to confer the vote in the terms of the following resolution: “Any woman on the Local Government Register who has attained a specified ate, and the wife of any man who is on that Register, if she has attained that age, shall be entitled to be registered, and to vote as a Parliamentary elector.” Various ages were discussed, of which 30 and 35 received most favour.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team