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Key dates over February 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 4

19th February 1917 - Conscientious Objectors tried at Norton

Rolling casualty count: 5497

War Front: 2nd Batt: Trenches beginning to get very muddy and required a lot of work. Coys worked on Wurzel and Moinville Trenches from Rafa and were constructing a position of great strength at Wadi Sheikh Nura, at Shellal, and in the front line in view of possible raids.

2/8th Batt: Two Coys in the front Line, 1 Coy in Guillaume trench, 1 Coy in Hibou and Iris Trench.

Yeomanry /Cavalry: Turks were holding Khan Yunis, a village 7 miles into Palestine and resisted all efforts to dislodge them

Home Front: Court Martial at Norton – Three Concientious Objectors – Three conscientious objectors were tried by Court Martial at Norton Barracks this morning. They were Edward Norton, 52, Hugh Whiteman 55 and Leonard Edwards 25. The Court consisted of Major Sandham, Gloucestershire Regiment and Lieut. Strickland, Worcestershire Regiment, Major Chichester, Worcestershire Regiment prosecuted. Each accused were charged with refusing to put on uniform. They pleaded not guilty, and formal evidence proving the charge was produced. Accused did not cross examine the witnesses, but they each made a statement. Horton said he had a firm belief in the sacredness of human life, and he believed that war was not only barbarous but utterly futile. The doctrine of non resistance taught by Jesus, was the only real guide to human conduct. Edwards said the whole spirit of Christ’s teaching was opposed to war. Organised force as a means of settling disputes was a doctrine of might is right: but he believed that right would triumph in spite of might. He was charged with being disloyal to the King. It would be a much greater crime if he were disloyal to his Heavenly King. Whiteman said that the Court might dispose of his body, which was mortal, but it could not affect his soul. He had been taught to believe that human life was sacred and such judgment as he had gave overwhelming confirmation of that view. He could not take the easy way of undertaking civil work and thus relieving another man to fight. Sentence will be promulgated later.

Comforts Fund – The Worcestershire Regimental Comforts Fund sends comforts to prisoners of war and to men serving with the County Regiments, either at home or abroad.

Pensions Scale for Loss of Limbs – The Admiralty have now adopted the scale of pensions for amputations. Loss of leg:- Off up to the hip 16s weekly; Short thigh 14s weekly; Above the knee 12s.6d weekly; Below the knee 10s.6d. Loss of arm:- Right arm to the shoulder 16s weekly; Left arm to the shoulder 15s weekly; Above or through elbow joint (right arm) 14s weekly; Ditto left arm 13s weekly; Below the elbow (right arm) 11s.6d. weekly; Ditto (left arm) 10s.6d.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team