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Key dates over March 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 3

25th March 1917 - First potatoes, then sugar - now shortage of cardboard

Rolling casualty count: 5694

War Front: 2nd Batt: Divine service in a field next to the football ground.

4th batt: There was a Sunday service in the town hall at 9.30am. Lewis gunners and signallers practised during the day.

2/7th Batt: Batt HQ, B and C coys moved to Morchain. D Coy went to Morchain Mill. More men filling in Villecourt Crater.

2/8th batt: Batt moved to Potte and worked on the Somme Bridge.2nd Lt Clement and I other rank joined from Base. 2nd Lt Leete left to join the Flying Corps.

SMD RFA: B Coy wagon lines moved to Peronne.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: The bulk of the infantry had reached the new position in readiness for the forthcoming battle. There was a rumour that tanks had arrived on the Palestine front but none were seen in Rafa. Turks in force at Gaza, Huy Telal sharia and Abu Harura. The right flank at Gaza was rather exposed.

Home Front: To the Editor: Sugar Shortage: Sir, in spite of the Food Controller’s Order – “The purchase of sugar is not to be conditions” – a certain city grocer’s shop still continues to make the amount of sugar purchased conditional in a way which is slightly altered, and which would be rather difficult to prove. I went to this shop for my groceries, and purchased a quantity, and was told I could only have 1lb. If, I was told, I purchased another 3s. worth of groceries, I could have another 1lb. Can anything be done to stop this infringement by more stringent rules? A Mother of Five.

It is anticipated that within the next few months the use of large cardboard boxes by traders will have practically come to an end, the stocks being exhausted. Owing to the shortage of tin, which is required for more necessary purposes, many tin box manufacturers have latterly been making receptacles of cardboard, and now restrictions on the imports of paper and pulp are threatening this resource also. The time would seem to have arrived for an appeal to the public to preserve empty tins and cardboard boxes. There is an enormous waste in both these articles, and if a central organisation made arrangements to collect and re-issue the “empties,” the stocks would go further. Something in this nature is already being attempted in a few localities, and tins are being made into a variety of useful articles that formerly came from Germany.

The Potato Shortage: This morning the only considerable consignment of potatoes for sale was one of 14 cwts. which Mr. James, Pump Street, had received since he sold half a ton on Friday. When it became known that he had a supply, the inevitable crowd of Worcester housewives took up their stand. At the start there was about 100 in the queue formed by the police. They were supplied with 2lbs. with the utmost despatch, but despite their efforts they made no effect on the length of the queue, which extended for some 50 yards, four abreast. Mr. Ford had no supply of eating potatoes today. During the morning two drays of seed potatoes arrived, and a crowd quickly assembled only to learn with disappointment that the consignment was seed.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team