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Key dates over March 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 49

25th March 1918 - Bromyard Woman’s Sad End

Rolling casualty count: 8894

War Front:

1st Batt: After severe fighting, the Batt was forced to retire and took up a position on the railway line, south of Marchelepot, which was held. Before midnight the Batt was ordered to retire to works east of Ablaincourt.

3rd Batt: Owing to the troops on the left flank withdrawing, Batt withdrew and took up position on the Ridge with the 9th Loyal North Lancs on the right and 11th Lancs Fusiliers on the left. Troops were streaming back on the right so Batt crossed to west side of the railway.

By 3.30pm the enemy had failed to push on so Batt re-crossed the railway and held a Line along the old communication trenches. From this line the Brigade was withdrawn through the 62nd Division, who were dug-in east of Achiet le Petit. Batt spent the night at Ballemoy.

10th Batt: Orders received to occupy a Line further back from Le Barque to Avesnes-lez-Bapaume as support Batt on the southern outskirts of Grevillers, near the 3rd Worcs who were entrenched on the Ridge overlooking the village. Enemy attacked at 8am and although checked for a while, eventually broke through and troops of the 41st Division were driven back. The 62nd Division came up in the rear and entrenched at Bucquoy. They were the 1st fresh troops to fight there. Batt ordered to retire behind the new line where they had a welcome hot meal.

Home Front:

The Food Problem: Freedom of purchase at any shop of bacon and ham is to be withdrawn as from May 5. Cards must be registered with a particular tradesman by that date, just as registration applies to butcher’s meat now. Registration of a card for bacon will not interfere with its use for buying butcher’s meat or any other kinds of meat or meat meals elsewhere. Lord Rhondda has fixed a flat rate of 1s. per lb. for all kinds of margarine sold by retail, except to persons requiring 2lbs or more per week, when the price will be 11d. per lb. Where the purchaser requires delivery ½d. per lb. may be charged in addition. The new prices come into force today.

Military Cross: T./Capt. W. L.W. Knox-Little, M.G. Corps who personally led forward fourteen machine guns with the leading waves of the attack. He selected all his positions, sited each gun and sent in most valuable reports. Though his Company suffered severe casualties, by his coolness and contempt of danger he set a magnificent example to all ranks. He is the fourth son of the late Canon Knox-Little.

A mass meeting of Worcestershire farmers, arranged by the Worcester Branch of the National Farmers’ Union, was held in the Theatre, Worcester today. A resolution was passed unanimously urging the Government to bring in at once a measure ensuring Security of Tenure to the tenant farmer and it was also decided to send a telegram to the Premier saying that the local farmers expressed consternation at the large number of prospective disturbance through sales of farms and appealing to him to bring in a measure empowering County War Agricultural Committees to veto such notices in order that farmers may carry out their requests to produce more food.

Bromyard Woman’s Sad End: Mary Ann Corbett, about 70 years of age, residing with her sister, Mrs. Smith at the Clover, Bromyard, left home on Saturday afternoon to fetch some milk from Mr. J. W. Depper’s, about a quarter of a mile from home. She was seen to return but instead of going to her home she took the turning to Highwell. On Sunday morning information was given to the police and upon the strength of finding the old lady’s hat, cape, gloves and tin of milk near the brook at Bisbell, the police commence to drag the brook but without success. About 6 o’clock in the evening, Joseph Walwyn was walking in a meadow close to the brook, when he discovered the woman dead in a ditch. She must have entered the brook on the Little Froom side, got out the other side and then in an exhausted condition reached the ditch, where she died.

Assault on Husband: Annie Link, Canal Road, Hereford, was charged with assaulting her husband, Henry Link, 9 Grosvenor Walk. Mr. Hemming prosecuting, said that the case arose out of the separation of these parties, by which the complainant had to pay 10s. per week. The money had been paid regularly and punctually. On March 12 defendant waited for her husband and struck him. Two days later she struck at him with a tin opener. He was able to ward off the blow or more serious consequences might have arisen. All that complainant wanted was that his wife should keep the peace and leave him alone. The defendant admitted the offence. The Bench bound her over for six months and ordered her to pay the costs, 6s.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team