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Key dates over March 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 35

23rd March 1918 - Following their advance through the former Allied lines, the Germans use a long range railway gun to shell Paris. Continues to 15 August.

Rolling casualty count: 8810

War Front:

1st Batt: Batt detrained at Nesle and marched to Epenancourt. Batt was positioned along the west bank of the canal with the right of the Batt resting on Pangry. In the pm, A and B Coys took up position east of Falvy and fought a rear-guard action to extricate another Division. Falvy was then evacuated and former positions on the canal were reoccupied. The enemy entered Epenancourt at 9.40pm but was ejected by a swift counter attack, led by Lt Col FC Roberts.

3rd Batt: Batt was withdrawn to Fremicourt and marched back to Bihoucourt Church where 74th Infantry was concentrated. Batt remained in Savoy Camp, Bihoucourt that night.

4th Batt: Enemy artillery and machine guns very active all day. 2Lt GG Royal was wounded at Inch Houses. 1 OR of X Coy was wounded. The Front Line Coy were strengthening wire in front of all posts and building up parapets and parados. 1 Officer and 50 OR were carrying rations and RE materials to Front Line and support Coys.

10th Batt: At dawn there was a heavy barrage from the enemy and great waves of their infantry advanced and a general retirement began. The Batt let the retreating Batts pass until the Front was clear, driving the enemy back with rapid bursts of fire. Three Batts of guns from 104th Brigade were in position behind Velu Wood and 35 men from our Batt, under Sgt AJ Cartwright and 35 from 8th Glos, under their Reg Sgt Major, were sent to protect them, (no officers could be spared.) They entrenched in front of the guns.

After mid-day enemy attacked again and 3 Batts of the 57th Brigade were almost surrounded and they were forced back with heavy losses. The remnants of 3 Batts were ordered to reserve at Barcourt to rest.

Home Front:

Today is the Tank Bank’s last day and it is certain to be a record one. The weather was glorious and there were many visitors to the city during the day. Some of them visited the Tank and invested their money quite early. There was quite a run of small and large investors. Quite a number of children and parents with children had their War Savings Certificates stamped and were followed immediately by one or two large investors. The Norwich Union Office, through their district managers, Messrs. Watkins and Sayce, invested £5,000. Messrs. J. Ward and S. Craddock invested £2,000 on behalf of the Worcester Building Society. £82,250 had been raised up to 5.30 on Saturday bringing the total for the week to £391,908.

Fort Royal Park: Mrs. Woodward, of Arley Castle, has presented to Fort Royal Park a number of young conifers of rare species lately brought from China. Botanists may be glad tohave their names: Pinus laricio, var. pallasiana, pinus monticola, abies recurvata, picea asperata, picea notabilis. She has also sent a seedling of the extremely rare Pyrus sorbus. The trees were planted by Canon Wilson on Friday.

Ploughing Champions: C. I. and Mrs. E.V.V. Wheeler have presented Ptes. Moore and West, driver and ploughman respectively of the Tital Tractor and Ransome plough in the Worcester Unit, with the Championship Flag of the county. This awarded by the Board of Agriculture. The presentation was made this afternoon, at Hawford Grange where the men are now at work. This award is in addition to the Champion Flag of the Unit, which the men won a few weeks ago. Both these soldiers have fought in France and were discharged medically unfit. They had their first lesson in tractor ploughing under the Worcestershire Food Production Department about six months ago. The award of these flags is for the greatest acreage ploughed per month.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team