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Key dates over March 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 3

31st March 1917 - First members of the WAAC arrive in France

Rolling casualty count: 5713

War Front: 2nd Batt: Batt on route march via Fouilloy and Aubigny. In pm , the Batt beat the 1st Queens 1-0 in the soccer match.

3rd Batt: Batt moved to La Creche area near Steenwerck.

4th Batt: A draft of 133 other ranks arrived at 1215am.

2/8thBatt: Men had use of the baths.

10th Batt: Batt relieved by the 9th Batt Cheshire Reg and marched back to Curragh camp at Loire.

SMD RFA: Registration of all batteries for attack on Epihy. At 5 am, a barrage was formed in front of Epihy while the infantry patrols went out, but uneventful.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: British casualties at Gaza were 3700. 900 Turkish prisoners were taken. 7000 British cavalry and 200 Camel Corps prevented the advance of 17000 Turks in scattered positions.

Home Front: Theatres and Music Halls: Owing to the necessity of exercising stringent economy in the supply of artificial illumination, a proposal has been submitted to the Theatrical Managers’ Association to consider the advisability of reducing the hours of performances in theatres, music-halls, and picture palaces. It is felt that through the shortage of labour in the coalfields the question of the supply of coal in bulk may henceforth call for serious consideration. The consumption of electric current in places of amusement has been found to be very considerable, and the suggestion made to the profession is that they should consider how far they can reduce the hours of performances. It is hoped that before very long an arrangement will be made whereby music-hall performances, where there are two shows nightly, will be curtailed to an hour and a half each, theatrical performances may be proportionally “cut,” and special regulations made to apply in cinema performances.

Mr. Guy Calthrop, the Controller of Coal Mines, whose organisation is now complete, is endeavouring to relieve the pressure on the railways of the country by arranging for the transport of more of the coal traffic by the canals. Mr. Calthrop is working in conjunction with the Canal Commission, who are heartily co-operating with him. This policy will have the effect at once of relieving the congestion of the railways, and of setting free many more wagons for war and other purposes. The main idea, however, is to confine the distribution of coal as near as possible to the locality in which it is produced.

The Mayor of Worcester announced at a meeting this afternoon in support of his scheme for providing homes for disabled Worcestershire soldiers and sailors that Miss Marie Corelli had written in support of the fund a booklet on the records of the County Regiment in this war. He said that despite the fact that the County Council would have nothing to do with his scheme (the country memorial question is to be considered at the end of the war), the influential Committee associated with his scheme intended to carry it to a successful issue.

The Potato Shortage: Tickets in Worcester: The potato shortage has been most marked in Worcester during the last week, and, in the opinion of the leading potato merchants the increased price next week will not bring large supplies on the market. The demands for the Army are enormous, and Mid-Worcestershire (where many tons are grown) is supplying great quantities for the Troops which would otherwise have come on the local markets. On Friday Mr. Thompson, Pump Street, had a consignment of about 15cwt., and he disposed of them in a very short time, but there were some 300 persons in the long queue who had to be disappointed. Expecting a ton this morning he decided to distribute tickets to all those who could not get a supply, saying that they should have first chance today.

Wounded Soldiers Entertained: On Friday afternoon the performers from the Theatre Royal visited Worcester Infirmary and entertained the wounded soldiers in Rushout Ward. There were about 40 soldiers present, and they thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment.

Worcester has experienced the epidemic of measles which has swept over so many of the thickly populated parts of the country. Happily there are signs that it is on the wane. It is also satisfactory to note that, although a thousand cases have been notified locally since the beginning of November, the mortality has been very low, only 5 cases having proved fatal, giving a rate of ½ per cent of the whole number. As soon as a case is notified the Health Nurse visits it, and, if the child is very ill and the mother consents, the District Nurse takes over the case, paying visits day by day. In this way the little patients have proper treatment, the risk of complications (which are the dangerous element) is minimised, and many young lives are saved.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team