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Key dates over May 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 1

17th May 1918 - Boating Accident at Chadbury

Rolling casualty count: 9720

War Front:

1st Batt: Batt relieved by 2nd Northants and returned to Divisional Reserve at Ventilay and last Coy arrived in camp at 6.30am on the 18th.

2nd Batt: Poperinghe was shelled in pm. There was a heavy barrage on the Front Line at 9.30pm.

4th Batt: HQ party inspected for CO in fighting order. The vicinity of the camp was shelled during the day. There was more work on the station and 50 ORs worked on “elephant shelters” for Batt HQ while in the Support area.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: Men now in training in Gas drill, bombing, bayonet fighting and riding school.

Home Front:

Boating Accident at Chadbury – Narrow Escapes – An alarming boating accident occurred on the Avon, near Chadbury Mill on Saturday afternoon and it is fortunate that it did not result in the loss of one or more lives. Mr S Russell of Broadway hired a boat from Mr Collis’s boatyard at Evesham and with his wife and two officer sons, proceeded down the river with the intention of going as far as Fladbury. Mr Russell’s acquaintance with the Avon is confined to two or three journeys thereon, but he noticed that it did not appear to be so pretty as usual and that the water was very low. He had however no knowledge of the fact that the water was being drawn and the floodgates at Chadbury Mill were open. He and his son Sec. Lieut D Russell sculled to Chadbury and Mrs Russell and Sec Lieut S Russell M.C., who is still incapacitated through a recent wound, occupied the steering seat. Arriving at Chadbury they attempted to find the rollers, quite unconscious of the danger they run through approaching too near the flood gates. Suddenly the craft was caught in the stream which was running like a mill race and was dashed with great force against the gates and the occupants were thrown into the water. Fortunately they were able to keep their heads above water and Lieut D Russell managed to climb up the wall and with some difficulty rescued Mr S Russell. It seemed almost impossible to rescue Mrs Russell and his wounded son without a rope and ran to the Mill for help and Mr Bomford’s man came, and with his assistance they got out.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team