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Key dates over April 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 9

28th April 1917 - Battlefront report from the Scarpe

Rolling casualty count: 6248

War Front: 1st Batt: men were working all night on the intermediate line of defence known as the Blue Line.

2nd Batt: batt marched to the old German trenches and had batt drill until10am. Afterwards there were classes in drill and platoon training.

2/7th Batt: All men had foot bathing and special foot treatment.

2/8th Batt: CSM Child, Sgt Stanton and Lance-Corp Stanton were awarded parchments.

4th Batt: A draft of 109 men arrived from base. Day spent cleaning up and re-organising. It was a lovely spring day.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: The troops were listless and stale after the depressing result of the Battles and there was a general outbreak of septic sores. Some men were admitted to hospital.

Home Front: “NO SURRENDER” WORCESTERS – CUT OFF IN COPSE FOR DAYS – Heroic Endurance Mr Phillip Gibbs writing on Wednesday evening says:- The battle still in progress east of Arras is developing rather like the early days of the Somme battles, when our men fought stubbornly to gain or regain a few hundred yards of trenches in which the enemy resisted under cover of a great gunfire, and to which he sent up strong bodies of supporting troops to drive our men out by counter attacks. In the ground east of Monchy between the Scarpe and Sensee rivers the situation is exactly like that, and the line of battle has ebbed to and fro in an astonishing way, British and German troops fighting forwards and backwards over the same ground with alternating success.

SHIELD SAVES OMBERSLEY SOLDIER – Mr W Slade of 92 High Street, Worcester, has an interesting exhibit in his window. It is a soldier’s body shield, indented, but not pierced, by a sniper’s bullet. It was worn by Pte C Underwood, Grenadier Guards, Line Holt, Ombersley, who writes to Mr Slade as follows:- “I am sending you the body shield that was purchased from you for you to see. I was putting up barbed wire, when I was shot by a sniper , no more than 50 yards away. It struck the shield, but I had only a slight wound in the arm. I am home on sick leave now. I think yo woul like to know that I am thankful I had it as I am sure it saved me”.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team