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Key dates over March 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 2

12th March 1917 - Start of the first revolution in Russia

Rolling casualty count: 5673

War Front: 1st Batt: Batt suffered some losses from shell fire-I killed and 7 wounded . Men were miserable in the bitter cold and were glad to be relieved by 1st Sherwood Foresters.

2nd Batt: A party of 120 men picked from the Batt with the “Drums” under Capt Underhill formed a Guard of Honour at a presentation of medals to French interpreters by the Corps Commander in the market square. The Divisional Band was present and all looked very smart.

2/7th Batt: Lts JG Dixon, WC Cassels, 2nd Lts FD Hitchens and HS Gadsby joined from Base.

2/8th Batt: Lt ER Mitchell joined from Base.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: The races took the men`s minds off the war and the impending battle. I t was all ” very funny and British “ was later written by Mr Murray, the war correspondent with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Home Front: Inspection by General Calley: The brief spell of extreme weather on Friday and Saturday led to a modification of the arrangements for the inspection of the 2nd Worcestershire Volunteer Battalion. The other Companies from the southern end of the county were to have joined the Worcester Companies on Pitchcroft for the inspection by Brig. General Calley. This order had to be cancelled, but the programme of the Worcester (A and B) Companies was not materially affected. Instead of parading on the Croft they fell in at Headquarters, and marched from there to the Croft. They were pleasantly surprised to find that the surface at the top end of the Croft had so far recovered after the snow and rain that the marching conditions were good. There was a full muster of 12 officers and 598 men, and Col. Webb (Commanding Officer), before starting off from Headquarters expressed his pleasure at such a representative attendance.

A Sinai Yeomanry Memorial: A Worcester officer now in Sinai, writing home, says: Last week I made a pilgrimage to the place where our Yeomanry were killed. There’s a good solid wooden cross on the hill with an inscription. All round the country is finer than here, many palm groves and millions of small wild flowers. There were three of us. We left here at six in the morning and got back in the evening.

Treatment of Insane Soldiers: The Chairman said he had a letter from the Board of Control as to the status of insane soldier and sailor patients in asylums. Soldiers and sailors would be divided into two categories – those who were incurable would be sent to the asylum. They would first be treated in Government hospitals, and those which were curable would be maintained in Government hospitals and those who were incurable would be sent to the asylum of the district to which their settlement belonged. The Government would pay whatever was the weekly rate of maintenance, and would make a payment (though what it was the Treasury had not yet decided) towards the capital cost of the asylum. It was not intended that any of the charge should fall upon the rates. The Chairman said that it was important. There were a considerable number of these men.

An incident which gave rise to a crop of sensational rumours occurred near the Shrub Hill Road Canal bridge this morning. A watchmaker names S.W. Shearing, not having complied with an ejectment order obtained against him, the police were obliged to enforce it. They found the door locked, but this they forced, and they politely but firmly ejected Shearing and his stock in trade.

Reginald G. Rowe, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Rowe, of 33, Britannia Square, has obtained a commission in the Machine Gun Corps. He is another old scholar of the Cathedral King’s School to add his name to the already long list of old Vigornians now serving with His Majesty’s Forces.

Shire Horse Society: The annual meeting of the Worcestershire Shire Horse Society which was formed to promote the breeding of good cart horses in the county, was held at the Crown Hotel, Worcester, on Saturday…The annual report showed that there were 77 members. The Earl of Dudley was re-elected President. The Committee had secured at a fee of £400 the well-known stud horse “Sussex Statesman,” who served, among other good colts, Mr. F.O. Bomford’s foal, which sold for 150 guineas… It was announced that the “Sussex Statesman” would arrive in Worcestershire at the end of March, and would start on its round on the first Monday in April.

Motor ‘Bus and Car in Collision: On Sunday afternoon a motor omnibus and a private motor-car, driven by Thomas Alcock, collided on the Cross near Angel Street. Both cars were being driven in the direction of the Cross, and when near St. Nicholas Street the ‘bus, in turning down St. Nicholas Street, came near Messrs. Fearis’ shop…Two young girls were standing on the path near the shop , and the car struck one of them, Nellie Swinborne, a kitchenmaid at the Infirmary, knocking her down and cutting her eye. The owner of the car, with the assistance of P.C. Knight, took the girl to the Infirmary, where she was found to be suffering from shock.

G.W.R. Goods Guards: At the quarterly meeting of the Sick Benefit Society at the New Inn, George Street, it was decided not to have the accustomed dinner on Good Friday, seeing that so many comrades are fighting for their King and country, and that it would not be right for those who are left behind to be enjoying themselves. A presentation was made to goods guard W. Thomas of a purse of money on his retirement from the service of the G.W.R. Company. Brother F. Cuff made the presentation in a very able manner, wishing Brother Thomas better health in the future to enjoy his well-earned pension.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team