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Key dates over April 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 105

23rd April 1917 - Major attack on Arras Front: 4th Batt. in the thick of it

Rolling casualty count: 6002

War Front: 1st Batt: Batt relieved the 2nd Batt Middlesex Reg in the outpost line forward by 300 yards.

2nd Batt: At 4.40 am the Queens attacked the Hindenburg Line and the 98th Brigade attacked Fontaine on the left. The 100th Brigade attack penetrated the Front Line but owing to a shortage of bombs and a counter attack, they were driven back to the Quarry. The Germans withdrew behind Fontaine.

4th Batt: At 4am batt in jumping off trench and at 4.45am the barrage started.

Batt advanced taking Pick and Shrapnel trenches in its stride and about 80 prisoners were taken. Coys became disorganised owing to the high losses of officers and NCOs. Consolidation of position commenced but hampered by constant sniping from Bois du Vent. The Germans attempted 3 counterattacks which were unsuccessful although there was a shortage of flares and ammunition. By 2pm the batt had put up some wire in front of shrapnel trench. Two limbers and 10 horses were lost to shell fire. Rations were brought up to Fosse Farm.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: Two hours after midnight the whole division arrived at the native village of Abason el Kebir and a new camp was established with bivouacs.

Home Front: TO THE EDITOR – ALMSHOUSES – Sir, Just now, when times are pressing so hardly on the very poor, I cannot help thinking that greater care should be exercised in the allocation of almshouses to suitable candidates. It would hearten many a man now fighting abroad if he could know that there was a fair chance that the old folks at home would be thought of first in the matter of shelter for their old age. It is a real disgrace that people who have no dependents on them, who have had good work all their lives, and good health to do it, and (if the truth was known) good savings too, should be the ones that most often get them.

CALL FOR MORE DOCTORS – Worcester’s Answer Not Yet Decided – Discussing how the medical shortage may be met, a medical correspondent says “The call has come at the time of year when doctors can best spared. Influenza, pneumonia, acute bronchitis and other cold weather diseases have passed their maximum; so have the child diseases. There are few doctors who are not overworked, but with suitable organisation it should be possible to release a large number without depriving the people of necessary medical attendance.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team