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Key dates over May 1917

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Lives lost on this day: 5

24th May 1917 - Four Sons Lost in the War

Rolling casualty count: 6473

War Front:

4th Batt: At 5pm 1 man went over to a German saphead to the right of our line and found it unoccupied but it contained a machine gun. He brought back a letter case and identity disc from 1 of the enemy dead. During the night we were relieved by the Composite Batt of 6th Corps of Cyclists and went back to Railway Triangle to rest

2/7th Batt: Batt left Sus St Leger and with the brigade, marched to Lebacdu Sud and went on buses to Dainville in the Arras area. Batt billeted in farm buildings, huts and under canvas.

10th Batt: One officer patrol reported a crater in Nags Nose was unoccupied. Other patrols reported a sniper`s post about 20 yards in front of the line, on the right hand of the sector. The crater and trench in front of Bois Quarante also unoccupied as was Object trench.

SMD RFA: A Coy was withdrawn to the wagon lines at dusk to be in reserve. They had orders to reconnoitre positions to cover the whole of the Divisional Front and to have a section harnessed up from 1 hour before dawn daily until the “All Clear” was received form every Batt in the Line.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: The Imperial mounted Division moved from the support line to the outpost line.

Home Front:

Empire Day Celebrations: Between 5,000 and 6,000 City children, boys and girls of the elementary and secondary schools, assembled on Pitchcroft this afternoon. Many of them carried flags, and some of the schools brought their school banners. The band from Norton Depot, and the O.T.C.’s of the Cathedral and Royal Grammar Schools were also present. The whole assembly salute the flag, and sang the National Anthem. The Mayor then addressed the children, and read the King’s proclamation relative to economy in food.

War Work for Worcestershire Women: Sir, I would like to appeal through your columns for women workers for the land. We have started training Hostels where girls are housed, well-cared for, and looked after by the ladies of my Committee. They are given a month’s training, for which the Government allows 15s. a week for board and lodging, and when they are out of work they can return to the Hostels. We also want gangs of women from the towns, either as part time or whole time workers. At the present moment the production of food is of even greater importance to the nation than the making of munitions. This is war work, and I feel sure that we shall not have to appeal to the Women of Worcestershire in vain. Virginia Deerhurst, Chairman, Women’s War Agricultural Committee, Shirehall, Worcester.

Red Cross Workers Devotion: Rather a pleasing incident happened on Tuesday at the Guildhall Depot of the Red Cross, of which the Mayoress (Mrs. Carlton) is the Commandant. In addition to the work parties who meet in the day time on Tuesdays and Fridays for the Red Cross work, Mrs. Carlton has a special working party on the same evenings of ladies who are engaged during the day. Now that the finer weather has come, the Mayoress thought that the latter ladies would like to avail themselves of the bright evenings during the next two or three months for recreation. She suggested this to them on Tuesday evening, but even whilst she was speaking two or three of the ladies called out that they would rather go on working. So after she had finished speaking, she thought it best to put the matter to the vote, and every lady voted in favour or working in the evenings during the summer as they had done during the winter….That is the spirit of the gentlewoman, and the noblewoman. We take off our hates to them for setting before themselves, and us, such a high ideal of civic and patriotic duty. Their’s not to discuss sordid shibboleths like “dilution of labour,” their’s but to do if possible that their men folk may not die. It is due to their indefatigable zeal that the Guildhall depot, in addition to hundreds of ordinary garments sent to the various hospitals and to soldiers at the front, turn out over 2,000 surgical articles every month, which help to supply the needs of the local hospitals and the various Red Cross Hospitals in London.

Four Sons Lost in the War: Mrs. Kitsull, of Hindlip, has received news that her son, Pte. Harry Kitsull, of the Worcestershire Regiment, has been killed in action. He leaves a widow and three children. Before joining the Army he was employed as a coal carter at Malvern, where his wife is now living. Mrs. Kitsull, sen., has lost three sons in this war. Her eldest son, Corpl. John Kitsull, of the Worcestershire Regiment, was killed in November, 1916. He left a widow and three children, who reside at Hindlip. Pte. Charles William Kitsull, also of the Worcestershires, was killed in Mesopotamia after service at the Dardanelles and the Persian Gulf. A fourth son, Pte. Joseph Kitsull, of the Worcestershires, died from wounds received in the South African War.

There are about 40,000 dependents of Canadian soldiers stranded in this country at the present time – wives and children who either followed their menfolk across to be as near them as possible while they were on active service, or came over to see them in hospital after they had been wounded. They are not stranded in the e ordinary sense of the word, for no cases of want have been reported. But it seems impossible for the bulk of them to return to Canada now or for some time to come owing to lack of passenger accommodation, and it is stated that even were the war to end soon fully eighteen months must elapse before tonnage could be spared to transport so large a body of people.