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Key dates over March 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 2

16th March 1918 - Pte. T. Ogben escapes terrible death

Rolling casualty count: 8557

War Front:

4th Batt: The whole Batt worked on the Army line, W and X Coys on Square Keep, Y and Z Coys on How Keep. 25 OR of Y Coy were attached to the 171st Tunnelling Coy.

Home Front:

Butter and Margarine: It is officially notified that the public cannot demand 4oz. of butter or 4oz. of margarine for weekly ration, but must accept a whole of either, or a total of 4oz. made up of the two, according to available supplies.

Worcester’s Tank Week will commence on Monday, but there will be an interesting preliminary spectacle on Sunday, when the German aeroplane, which will be exhibited in the City during the week, will be taken from Shrub Hill to the Cathedral Green. It will be conveyed on a lorry between eight and nine o’clock tomorrow morning and from it will be distributed en route cards which may form an interesting souvenir. The Tank Julian is expected to arrive at Shrub Hill during Sunday. It will be unloaded and placed in readiness to proceed to its post in the Cathedral Green. At 10 o’clock on Monday it will amble through the streets probably giving a demonstration en route of its ability to surmount obstacles, to the Cathedral, where it will occupy a position in the gravel walk. It is not intended that the tank shall go on on the turf.

To The Editor: Sir, - It has come to my knowledge that some of our fellow citizens regard the permission given by the Dean and Chapter that the Tank should stand inside the Cathedral burial ground as a “sacrilege.” Is it not consecrated ground? they ask. They speak of “the riff-raff” “spoiling the lovely green and flowers” and hint that “some would subscribe if the Tank were not there.” In the Dean’s absence I think it well to reply to those criticisms. They are surely offered under a grave misconception. It the war is not being fought in a sacred cause, then the less the Cathedral and any of us, has to do with it the better. The Tank in the consecrated ground, the regimental colours in the consecrated Cathedral, our solemn requiem for our dead and our daily prayers for God’s guidance and blessing in our conduct of the war would be all equally a desecration and a mockery.

On Tuesday last, a private in the Forage Department of the Midland area escaped a terrible death by the presence of mind of a comrade, an Evesham man. A civilian driver, William G. Robbins, of Harvington, was engaged driving his engine, which was working a mechanical baler. He observed Pte. T. Ogben stumble (his foot became entangled in some hay or straw) and fall into the baling chamber. In this chamber a ram moves backwards and forwards 24 time each minute. Robbins immediately stopped his engine dead and this saved Ogben from being crushed into an unrecognisable mess. His chances of life, it will be seen, lay in effective action being taken in two and a half seconds. This will indicated how prompt Robbins was to realise the peril and act.

The Cultivation Sub-Committee decided to ask the Food Production Department what could be done with regard to tame pigeons and corn destruction. A lady had 300 pigeons and she said that they did no damage to anybody, (Laughter.)

Beer Rationed by the Trade: Proposals for rationing beer have been made voluntarily by the licensed trade in order to secure a fairer distribution of present supplies. The Liquor Control Board has issued no order. If necessary it is prepared to organise a scheme but it is hoped there will be no need for compulsory drink rations. The matter rests with the public, and the advice all round is “Drink less!”

The casualty lists issued Friday night show the following losses: - Officers: Dead 18, wounded or missing 20; total 38. Men: Dead 128, wounded or missing 322; total 450.

On or after Monday all tea, including National Control tea, must not be sold in England and Wales at a price exceeding 2s. 8d. per lb. Vigorous protests against Lord Rhondda’s scheme have been made by the tea trade and the grocery trade and now the Consumers’ Council, which is attached to the Ministry of Food and which was called into existence to protect the consumer, refuses to give the scheme its approval.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team