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Key dates over May 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 5

1st May 1917 - Local woman faces double tragedy

Rolling casualty count: 6265

War Front:

1st Batt: Batt in trenches between Villers-Guislain and Honnecourt. Weather is very fine and the nights moonlit. Working parties joining up posts in the outpost line in the evening and carrying equipment with little interference from the enemy. Enemy aircraft flying low and firing at objects on the ground.

2nd Batt; Batt marched to Ficheux and billeted in bivouacs and tents.

3rd Batt: Batt relieved from trenches north east of Mont St Eloy by the 10th Cheshire Reg and went to Brigade reserve at Bethune Road, into dug-outs. Batt HQ at Mont St Eloy.

4th Batt: Batt left Coigneux at 7.30am and marched to St Amand via Souastre.

1/7th Batt: Batt at Germaine. Inspection by GOC Division and presentation of parchments for gallantry in action to the following: Pte C Chater, Pte J Harrison and Pte H Nicklin.

2/8th Batt: Inspection by Maj Gen CB Mackenzie commanding 61st Division and presentation of parchments for gallantry in the field to C S M Child, Sgt Stanton and L Cpl Spawton.

9th Batt: Russian Allies had been operating through NW Persia and reached Mesopotamia Frontier. To assist them, the British Commander despatched our Batt plus a troop of Yeomanry and 3 armoured cars (called Ferguson`s Column.)

10th Batt: Batt at St Lawrence Camp, Poperinghe. One officer and 43 other ranks detached for duty with 1st Australian Tunnelling Coy.

11th Batt: Batt in Divisional Reserve near Jumeaux Ridge, Macedonia, resting and reflecting while plans made for a new attack.

SMD RFA: At dusk the remaining guns were moved out to Tincourt and Coys moved into action.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: Men camped along El Buggar Ridge. A constant cause of annoyance was the bombing of camps and watering places by enemy aircraft.

Home Front:

Lieut. C.F. Wightwich, Worcestershire Regiment, was charged at a General Court-martial at Westminster with drunkenness. Accused said he was dining with other officers when he was suddenly seized with severe pains in the region of the heart. He left the table, but getting no relief returned and ordered some brandy. He had had previous heart attacks and once fainted in the street at Cardiff. Evidence was given to his moderate habits and it was stated that he was absolutely abstemious and mostly a water drinker.

Mr. Edward Smith, dairyman of Claines, has received news that his son, Pte. A. Smith, Worcester Territorial Battalion, has been wounded in the right arm during the great advance. Pte. Smith joined the Army in March, 1916, and arrived in France in June of the same year. Previous to joining the Army Pte. Smith was employed at Messrs. Heenan and Froude’s.

Drowned while coming home: Mrs. Insley, of Boughton Street, St. John’s, has received intimation that her husband, Armourer Sergt. T.B. Insley, of the Nigerian Frontier Force has been drowned through the sinking of a steamship. Sergt. Insley, who was 43, had been in Africa since 1908. He was invalided home and was coming to England when the vessel was sunk. On Monday Mrs. Insley received news that her eldest son, Pte. E.A. Insley of the Canadians, has been wounded. He enlisted when he was 17 and has spent three birthdays in the trenches.

Children’s Court: Fred Yarnold (16) was charged with damaging an iron hurdle, value 5s, the property of D.W. Barker. Charles Jones, foreman, said that defendant got on the hurdle and broke it. The hurdle was put up to keep the cattle from going down a bank. Defendant was fined 2s. 6d. and ordered to pay the damage, 5s.