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Key dates over March 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 4

30th March 1917 - Local branch of the Rail Union rejects the national Service Act's attack on trade unionism

Rolling casualty count: 5710

War Front: 2nd Batt: An attack was carried out on Corbie in accordance with the Tactical scheme held earlier. The Batt took over the outposts in the evening and formed a Line from Heilly to Vaux-Sur Somme.

4th Batt: Batt marched to Vignacourt arriving at 12.30pm. The billets were much better. Alarm ports were fixed and latrines dug at once.

2/8th Batt: During the night, the Batt advanced our Line to Marteville with no enemy opposition. Men dug strong posts which were later heavily shelled. 4 other ranks evacuated sick.

10th Batt: Artillery below normal and enemy guns were very active. Batt HQ was heavily shelled. 2 officer patrols left our line and entered the bosch line to find it empty. The ground in No Mans` Land was very bad. An enemy machine gun was located and quietened by our gun fire.

Home Front: City Police Court: Arthur Clements, 17, Croft Villa, Croft Road, was charged with riding a bicycle without a light. P.C. Guy said that defendant had no lights on his bicycle. He was very rude and said to witness, “It will gain you nothing. I will mark you.” The Bench fined defendant 20s, or 14 days.

Billeting of Munition Girls: In the House of Commons, Mr. Kellaway introduced two important Bills for the Ministry of Munitions. The Billeting of Civilians Bill is specially designed to meet the case of women munition workers. “The Times” says: Women are undoubtedly being charged extortionate rates for accommodation in some munition areas. This is not, of course, the universal experience for in one or two crowded districts good results have been obtained from a canvass for voluntary billeting. The Government, however, feel that the case for compulsory powers has been proved. They hope that the existence of these powers and of a scale of Government rates which can be enforced will be sufficient to bring the charges down to a reasonable level. The second Bill is an amendment of the Munitions of War Acts. It gives the Ministry the power to enforce dilution on any kind of private work.

Post Office Notice: In consequence of the cessation of the 4.15am train from Worcester to Pershore on Sundays, there will be no Sunday delivery of letters in Pershore and the surrounding district after the 1st April. The Sunday collection of letters now made in the country district will also cease. The Sunday despatch of letters from Pershore will remain as at present.

Railwaymen Resist National Service: The following is the text of a resolution passed at a Worcester branch meeting of the National Union of Railwaymen:- “This meeting views with suspicion the passing into law of the National Service Act because we are of opinion that its provisions are designed for the purpose of obtaining cheap labour, and are a menace to organised Trade Unionism. We, as railwaymen, see no reason for bringing into the provisions of the Act railwaymen, who are and have been always engaged in National Service. We, therefore, decide to support whatever action the Triple Alliance may take to oppose this Act. We call upon all organised workers to be on their guard to defeat the actions of Capitalism, as we are of the opinion that this effort is designed with an ulterior motive against Trades Unionism.”

Need to Ease Strain on Railways: The Board of Trade desire to urge upon the general public the necessity of avoiding travelling on the railways during the Easter holidays. The public are warned that the passenger train service during the holidays will be greatly reduced in comparison with previous years, and that is of paramount importance that the operations of the railways should be reserved to the fullest possible extent for essential war work.

Court Martial at Norton Barracks: A Court-Martial was held at Norton Barracks, before Lieut. –Col. F.J.B. Butler, when William Henry Lawrence, Birmingham, and Clifford Arkinstall, Quinton, conscientious objectors, were charged with refusing to obey orders. Sentence will be promulgated later.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team