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Key dates over March 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 11

26th March 1918 - At a conference in Doullens, French General Ferdinand Foch becomes General in Chief of all the Allied armies in France

Rolling casualty count: 8905

War Front:

1st Batt: Soon after daylight, the enemy came on again and invaded the works at Ablaincourt so the right flank was ordered to retire via Limons. The enemy was in possession of Chaulnes to Rosieres and took up a position between Vrely and the Road Junction south east of Rosieres.

3rd Batt: Batt took up position near La Brayelle Farm in the old German trenches, but had to side-step to allow the 7th Brigade who were joining them. At 11.30 pm the Batt was ordered to withdraw to Brigade Assembly Point west of Fonqueville on the Souastre Road.

4th Batt: Enemy artillery very active during am on Bellevue and Batt HQ. Z Coy was withdrawn to English Farm and W Coy took over in Front Line.

10th Batt: Batt marched back and at 8am reached Essarts, where they were directed on to Fonquevillers. Australian troops arrived to defend Hebuterne but Batt remained in trenches near the road from Fonquevillers to Sailly-au-Bois.

Home Front:

Arrangements have been made by the Ministry of Food to help those spending the Easter holidays away from home but “take your food with you” is a hint that should not be ignored. Supplies from local shops and arrangments made by the Food Committees must be considered in conjunction with the fact that traders and local food offices will be closed on some of the days of the holidays. Plans have been made to increase the supplies of meat and margarine at holiday resorts but it has been found impossible to provide for a full amount of meat in all localities for a great influx of visitors and butchers must consider their registered customers before supplying visitors.

Blow to Biscuit Bakers: Biscuit bakers on a large scale will find they have to pay some thousands of pounds per week extra if they are to continue their business and the public may expect to see a further shrinkage of those articles and pay higher prices. From Monday, the cost of a license jumped from 18s. to 36s. per 280lb. of flour.

News has been received in Worcester today from Sergt. W.T. Hayes, who is in the Worcestesrshire Pioneers (and is well known by every rowing man), that he has been gassed. He is now in hospital in Dewsbury and he writes a cheery note to his mother saying: “I am in “Blighty” again. Got gassed, but pleased to say I am very much better already. Don’t worry about me I am quite comfortable. Shall get ten days’ leave before going back.”

Theft of Sardines: Charles Russell (11) and James Willmott (10), were charged with stealing two tins of sardines, valued 1s. 2d., the property of Mr. Thomas Mapp, 8 Pump Street. Complainant said that on March 8, out of a stock in his window of 24 tins of sardines, he missed two. D. S. Penlington said that he searched Russell and found on him a tin of sardines, which had been opened. He later saw Willmott, who admitted going into the shop and taking a tin. The boys were ordered to receive six strokes of the birch each.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team