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Key dates over September 1917

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Lives lost on this day: 2

6th September 1917 - Problems of Women War Workers

Rolling casualty count: 7475

War Front: Sergeant John Thomas Wall 13216 3rd Bn Worcestershire Regiment from Tenbury, was executed by firing squad at Poperinghe, aged 22. Wall was the 7th man from the Regiment to be shot at dawn, charged with desertion. Wall had enlisted in 1912 and was steadily promoted from Private to Sergeant. Any suggestions he was suffering from battle fatigue were not considered at his trial. Five other men from his Battalion were shot on 26th July 1915; Pte Oliver Hodgetts was executed on 4th June 1915; and Private Robert Young 11th Bn was executed in Greece on 18th September 1918.

2nd Batt: The 55th Division held a horse show near Nordausques. In the evening orders received to move B and D Coys from their billet to billets at Hellebrouck, recently vacated by the Cyclists corps. The personnel of the 19th Corps took B and D `s billets.

3rd Batt: Batt resting and refitting.

1/8th Batt: Batt training under Batt arrangements north east of St Jan der Biezen. Lt Col HA Carr DSO took over command of the 144th brigade. 2nd Lt L McLean reported for duty from 46th Infantry Brigade.

10th Batt: Batt moved to Corunna Camp near Westoutre.

Home Front:

This afternoon there was an interesting ceremony at Norton Barracks, when Lieut.-General Sir H.C. Slater, G.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Command, presented the French Military Medal to 151725 Corpl. C. Ripp, R.E. The deed for which the medal was awarded was officially described as follows: While in charge of No. 43 Sub-Section 13 Corps Wireless, in action with the First Naval Division at Gavrelle on April 22nd, 1917, Corpl. Ripp made four successful trips under heavy shell fire from the wireless station to the neighbouring R.E. dump, to obtain further supplies of stores required for immediate use at the wireless station. By this means the station was kept in action and an S.O.S. message was successfully transmitted by wireless when all other action had failed. This message was intercepted and acted upon within 7½ minutes of transmission, enabling reserves to be brought up the infantry holding the trenches, who were heavily counter-attacked at the time.

Problems of Women War Workers: The National Federation of Women Workers submitted a resolution, which was adopted, dealing with the mobilisation of women and recommending, among other things, the provision of benefit enabling them to get a decent living during unemployment and of training, with maintenance, for women who cannot find employment in their own trades, to equip them for new occupations. Miss Mary McArthur urged that all women workers should have a month’s holiday at the end of the war.

Wounded soldiers must salute every time they see an officer- no matter where or when, says the “Daily Telegraph.” A drastic order to this effect has just been issued by Lieut.-General Sir Francis Lloyd, commanding the London district. By this order soldiers are instructed that they must salute all officers, whether they pass them in the street, meet them in a shop, in a railway station, restaurant, theatre or in a tea-shop. If they enter an omnibus and see that an officer is sitting down they are to salute him; should they happen to be sitting in a crowded tube train and an officer is strap-hanging they will stand up and salute. The old rule of “no saluting after sunset” no longer holds good and nothing short of foggy weather will be taken as an excuse.

Pte. Harry Stiff, Worcestershire Regiment, was killed in action on August 17. He was the husband of Mrs. Bessie Stiff, of 7, Portland Street, and the second son of Mr. and Mrs. George Stiff, of Diglis. His friend, L.-Cpl. J. Hail, says that Pte. Stiff was hit by a piece of shrapnel in the head. He lost consciousness and died about half an hour later. He adds “We were amidst some awful fighting, with only shell holes for cover. The men of the platoon are very sorry to lose such a good man as Harry. He was buried where he fell.” The Captain says: “He lies buried in the front line. He was in my platoon and I looked upon him as one of my best men. He was always cheerful and ready to do anything he was asked to do. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and yours in your great sorrow.” Pte. Stiff had been in the Army for nearly three years. He had been at the front for 16 months when he was wounded. He recovered and went out again about six months ago.

At an investiture at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, His Majesty the King decorated Capt. Arthur Birch-Jones and Quartermaster and Hon. Lieut. William Jones, both of the Worcestershire Regt., with the Military Cross.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team