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Key dates over February 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 3

7th February 1917 - "Horse racing must continue": Lord Coventry

Rolling casualty count: 5421

War Front: 2nd Batt: The 9th HLI with batt in support , made a good raid on the German main line near Peronne Road. German retaliation not heavy.

4th Batt: Batt HQ heavily shelled. Batt relieved by the 6th Oxford Reg and Bucks LI. Men had soup at Guillemont on the way back to Carnoy.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: Regiment patrolling to east and south. Small parties of Turks and hostile Bedouins constantly met and prisoners were taken-many of them were deserters.

Home Front: Racing and Horsebreeding – Lord Coventry’s Views – A meeting of the Association of Racehorse Owners, Breeders and Trainers under the Presidency of Lord Coventry was held in London, to consider the prospects of racing in the coming season. A statement was handed to the Press that Lord Coventry, in opening the proceedings said: “You will remember that only last year there was a great danger that racing might be altogether abandoned during the war, but the Jockey Club restored confidence by arranging a series of meetings at Newmarket which were, I understand, a complete success and we shall be glad to know that similar steps are to be taken this year. We know that difficulties stand in the way of racing at many of the old courses, but we are confident that the Jockey Club will go thoroughly into the matter and we can rely on them in the future to study the interests of racing as wisely and judiciously as they have done in the past. It is necessary that we should make every effort to keep our great national sport in existence, for if it was abandoned for even one year our extensive horsebreeding industry, which has been so carefully and successfully built up for centuries, would suffer a severe shock and perhaps never recover the prestige that it has enjoyed for so long a period in the history of our country”.

Worcester and Hereford Hop Industry – At a special meeting of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Hop Growers’ Association, Mr G H Bray, who presided, said that the President could not give a promise that there would be no further restrictions on the output of beer. It was a matter which rested entirely with the Food Controller. He also said distinctly that he had no intention of bringing forward measures for the compulsory grubbing up of the existing hop acreage. It was realises that although it might be possible to destroy the hop industry in a few months, it would take several years to re-establish it.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team