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Key dates over January 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 7

17th January 1917 - Silver War Badges to be issued to men no longer fit for active service

Rolling casualty count: 5209

War Front: 2nd Batt: A Brigade bombing demo was held in am at Gorenflos. The CO inspected some billets.

3rd Batt: Batt was relieved from the trenches by the 11th Cheshire Reg, 75th Infantry Brigade and moved to Divisional Reserve at Pont-de-Nieppe.

4th Batt: Very cold and snowing hard. Batt moved to a new camp at Guillemont. The huts were very crowded, wet and without floors.

2/7th Batt: Batt marched 15 miles to new billets at Heuzencourt in snow.

10th Batt: Baths were allotted to Batt. We remained clear of snow while working for the town Mayor.

Home Front: Rank and File- Trench Feet: Mr. W.H. Cox, of 13, Rogers Hill, Worcester has been officially informed that his son, Pte. E. Cox of the Worcester Territorials, has been admitted into No. 1 Australian General Hospital B.E.F., suffering with trench feet. Before enlistment he was employed by the G.W.R. at Shrub Hill.

Orations at German Prisoner’s Grave: Lieutenant Hans Schindlbeck, 6th Bavarian Infantry, one of the German officers interned at Donington Hall, who died from appendicitis at a Leicester base hospital, was buried at Leicester, on Tuesday with military honours. Twenty German officers attended from Doninton Hall, and four of them delivered funeral orations.

Silver War Badge: It was intimated in Army orders on Tuesday night that the King has approved of the silver war badge being issued to officers and men of the British, Indian, and Overseas Forces who have served since August 4, 1914, and who, in the case of officers, have retired or relinquished their commissions, or, in the case of men, have been discharged from the Army, on account of old age, wounds, or sickness, such as would render them permanently unfit for further military service, provided their claims are approved by the Army Council.

Mr. C. Knight-Coutts, the well-known referee and football lecturer, who was operated on at South Bank Nursing Home, Worcester, for knee trouble, so as to enable him to obtain a position in the Army in January, 1915, and afterwards had a commission in the R.F.A, has been promoted to Captain in the same, as and from the 1st January last. Mr. Knight-Coutts has for a long time been abroad. He will be remembered as a science master at Evesham Grammar School, and was well=known in the football world, having taken many of the chief Football Association Cup matches, English League, and other matches. He was also a prominent member of the Worcestershire Football Association, took great interest in hockey, and, among other hobbies, was an enthusiastic bee-keeper. Mr. Knight-Coutts’ many friends will be pleased to know that, although he has had some lively times, he is quite well.

Antarctic Adventure: In spite of the severe weather, there was a large attendance at the Public Hall to hear the lecture on “Antarctic Adventure” by Capt. Priestly, who is attached to the Engineers…Mrs. W.E. Moore Ede introduced Capt. Priestley and said how grateful they were that he had undertaken to give the lecture on behalf of the Y.W.C.A, and how pleased they were that the announcement had attracted so large an audience…Capt. Priestley then retold briefly the history of the Shackleton endeavour to reach the Pole, describing and picturing the work and sufferings of men and beasts, and the strivings and achievements of both in the land of eternal ice and snow. He explained how he went as a geologist with the Shackleton expedition, and was in New Zealand working out the scientific results of observations and discoveries, when Scott, who was setting out on his expedition and had lost the services of a geologist by illness, prevailed on him to go again to the Antarctic. He proceeded to describe the incidents of the Scott expedition. It was all as graphic as it was thrilling, and the audience frequently applauded.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team