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Key dates over May 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 6

12th May 1917 - Shocking Railway Accident at Worcester

Rolling casualty count: 6352

War Front: 2nd

1st Batt: Batt relieved in Sorel by 13th East Surrey Reg and marched to Moislain in fine weather.

2nd Batt: The Corps on the right attacked during early am and Germans shelled them all am. Considerable aeroplane activity in the evening.

4th Batt: At 3.45am, CO and 2nd in command started to reconnoitre the strong posts north of Cambrai road, near La Bergere Farm. These were to be wired at night and a dump of wire and stakes was formed at La Bergere Farm.

2/7th Batt: Men had baths. Working parties still on the Brown Line. 2/4th Glos attacked and occupied Cepy Farm with the help of Batt D Coy.

SMD RFA: C and D Coys withdrawn and C moved to the wagon lines in Bouchy Park.

Home Front:

Worcester City Tribunals: Mr. Harrison appeared for Mrs. Watkins, fruit merchant, who applied for her son, Joseph Watkins (38), whose five brothers were said to be serving. Lieut. Dixon suggested that if this son went it would not hit the mother very hard, but she said that she thought she ought to keep that one. It was explained that another brother went on condition that Joseph remained and the Tribunal last August exempted the man on that understanding. Certificate continued; Mr. Hemming elicited that Ernest Booth (39) painter, originally rejected and now passed for B2, had lost part of several ribs and had also the casing of one lung removed and could not do any work which required twisting the body and then suggested that Lieut. Dixon did not want a man of that sort. He could not carry a knapsack or anything which rubbed the body. Lieut. Dixon said that the Medical Board were the best judges and the Army pressed for the man. The Chairman said that if he went he would be placed in his medical category, to which Mr. Hemming replied that he would not be in any category for many days. Lieut. Dixon thereupon suggested that he had better go at once, in which case he would soon be back. Mr. Hemming said that if he went he expected that he would be sent straight back again. They would have some doctors there with sense. The Chairman said that he expected that the man would be returned. Certificate withdrawn in 14 days.

Three awards of the Victoria Cross are included in a list of war honours published as a supplement to Friday night’s “London Gazette.” Among the other recipients of honours are a number of offices and men of Midland regiments. Temporary Lieutenant Storey M.G. Corps, receives the D.S.O. for gallantry and initiative when in command of a tank. He was responsible for the taking of between 200 and 300 prisoners.

Shocking Railway Accident at Worcester: This morning a man named Thomas Phillips (67), a shedman residing at 134 Astwood Road, met with an accident at the Locomotive Depot, Shrub Hill. He was taken to the Infirmary, having had both his legs and his left arm cut off. All details of the accident are withheld. The man died early this afternoon.

A Soldier’s Fall: This afternoon, a soldier with the Army Veterinary Corps, William Shergould (20), of Temple Laugherne, was admitted to the Infirmary. He had fallen off his bicycle and sustained a cut to the forehead. He was on the roadside some time before he was found.

The Food Problem: A Pint a Day and Lighter: Supplies of beer are running so short that some publicans in the country are rationing their customers. It is estimated that the beer available until November will allow only one pint a day to each habitual beer drinkers. At canteens beer is served only with meals and at the taverns and clubs managed under the Central Control Board no man is permitted to have more than a pint a day. Several brewers are producing a lighter beer, which they are selling at 80s a barrel and this is retailed at 3d. a half-pint.

Mr. W. Cooper, 39 Tybridge Street, has received intimation that his son, L.-Cpl. J. Cooper, of a Territorial Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, has been killed in action. An officer writes home: “…the impression of him left on me is that of a cheerful, straight and clean soldier and I only hope that when my turn comes I may leave behind as good an impression on my superior officers. Your son appears to have been wounded early in the fight. He was hit again fatally later on, when going to the dressing station.” One brother of his, George, has been killed and another, William, has been badly wounded. All three sons (all that Mr. Cooper had) joined the army soon after war broke out.

Excitement in Worcester Broad Street: This morning a serious accident was averted by the presence of mind of the driver of a cart, Arthur Hurley, 22 Dolday, was driving across the Cross then his horse struck a bicycle ridden by James Manton. The horse took fright and galloped down Broad Street. Hurley was thrown on his back in the cart and tightened his grip on the reins, but the horse continued. The horse, after running down Broad Street, ran into the back of Lieut. Dixon’s motor car (which was standing near the Crown Hotel), smashing the back of it, but doing no other damage. Happily no-one was in the car. The horse was slightly cut about the legs. Hurley was badly shaken.