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Key dates over January 1917

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: 2

18th January 1917 - Fatal Troop Train Crash in France

Rolling casualty count: 5211

War Front: 2nd Batt: The transport left Ailly in advance of the Batt at 8.30am.There was a route march on the Abbeville Road and practice attacks were ordered during the march.

The Soccer Competition continued pm.

4th Batt: Batt relieved the 16th Middlesex Reg in the left subsection in Morval sector of the Divisional Front. Men wet up in greatcoats carrying 2 days` rations and solid fuel. The duckboards were very slippery owing to the frost. Our front was 800 feet long. Trenches wet from temporary thaw. It was impossible to reach Batt HQ on the telephone by day.

10th Batt: Baths allotted to rest of the men. General cleaning up of equipment.

Home Front: Bombshell for Local Farmers: The announcement made last Wednesday that it had been decided to call up one-half of the farm hands who had been exempted until January 1st, came as a bomb-shell to local farmers and to the men who were called. It was announced late in the autumn that no more men would be taken until January 1st. The farm hands thought that when the last emergency arose they have the usual 15 days’ grace, but when on Wednesday they received the sudden and unexpected call to the Colours, and when they realized that the expected opportunity of appealing had gone, they were absolutely surprised…Mr. Willis Bund spent the whole of Wednesday despatching telegrams to try to dissuade the Military Authorities from acting so summarily, and to assuage the farmers and their men in their dilemma. They interviewed officers from Norton Barracks (who, of course, were doing only their duty in sending out the notices) and urged them to try to get permission from the higher authorities to stay their hands. But the result does not give ground for hope.

War Loan: We understand that Messrs. Fownes Brothers and Co. are going to purchase a fair sum in the new loan, and to allow any of their employees the privilege of obtaining a portion. The repayment of every £5 being spread through the year, no interest is charged by the firm, and the interest upon the stock is immediately credited to the employees subscribing. The firm also allowed the same privilege for the 1914 4½ per cent. loan, and a considerable sum was thereby purchased by the employees.

Troop Train Crash: A railway accident, involving, so far as is known as the hour of telegraphing, 10 deaths and injuries to 32, occurred shortly after 11 o’clock on Wednesday morning at Masey-Palaiseau, about 20 miles from Paris, to a special train carrying British officers and men returning from leave. So numerous were the coaches that it took two locomotives to pull them...Several carriages were overturned and smashed to pieces. From the numerous soldiers caught under the debris rose heartrending cries and appeals. The local inhabitants, aided by railway employees, did their best to rescue the victims. Several soldiers were killed by the collision. Others died later.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team