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Key dates over May 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 87

27th May 1918 - Third Battle of the Aisne. Third German offensive (Operation Blucher) against the French line, centres on the Chemin des Dames above the River Aisne. Fighting continues to 6 June.

Rolling casualty count: 9829

War Front:

1st Batt: An enemy barrage opened at 1am and the enemy attacked at 4am. At 11am Col Davidge took up a line between Roussy and Boufignereux with Lewis guns of the 24th and 25th Infantry Brigades and all the stragglers of the Batt. The line was forced to retire and a successive line was taken up north of Montigny on the high ground.

2nd Batt: Batt provided working parties from 6am to 6pm. Major Stanley lectured all officers and NCOs on the operations at Neuve Eglise from April 11th to the 14th.

3rd Batt: At 1am the bombardment began. At 8.30am Batt placed at the disposal of the 50th Division. At 9.15am, Batt moved up to Concevreux and took up positions with A and B Coys covering the bridgehead. C Coy formed a defensive flank and crossed the canal at Pontavert, moving in a south westerly direction. At 2.30pm the enemy broke through the Batt on our left and worked behind 3 Front Line Coys and got into Concevreux. After heavy casualties Batt managed to withdraw and get to higher ground south of Cioncevreux but in the fighting some men went too far left and lost the Batt. At 10pm Batt had to withdraw to south west of Ventelay. Capt. EA Humphries, 2nd Lt EV Matthews, 2Lt RO Goolden and Lt WBJ Wall were all missing and Capt. T Grant was wounded.

4th Batt: The 86th Infantry brigade made a raid about 2am and captured 3 prisoners and a light machine gun. Enemy aircraft very active. Batt relieved in the left front, Support and Swartenbrouck defences by 2 Coys of 2nd Hants. Batt moved back to Brigade reserve at Marbecque.

Home Front:

Worcester Baker’s Throat Cut – On Monday evening at 6.10pm George Clifford (56) Baker of 1, Providence Street, Worcester, was found dead in his house. He was lying in a pool of blood with a deep cut, which had been inflicted by a razor, in his throat. He had been ill for some time with heart disease and dropsy.

In The Mowing Grass – Alleged Whipping of Worcester Girl – At the Worcester Petty Sessions on Tuesday, Bertha Pope (36) Battenhall St. St. Peter’s was summoned by Doris Brewer (19) 25 Bath Road, Worcester, for assault and Mrs Pope summoned Miss Brewer for damage to a hay rick. Miss Brewer said she went through a gate into the field at Battenhall occupied by Mrs Pope. There was a path to a hay rick, where she sat to read. Mrs Pope came across to her and told her to get out of the field. She did not give her a chance to move, but struck her with a riding whip; she continued striking her on the chest and across the shoulders across the field and on the road. Witness suffered from the effect of the blows for several days. Witness said she did not know that the field was “put down” for mowing grass. The field was separated from the road by an iron railing and barbed wire, but she entered through the gate which was open. She did not damage the hay rick. She did not refuse to leave when requested. The Bench held that Mrs Pope did not use more violence than necessary in removing Miss Brewer from the field and dismissed the charge of damage against Miss Brewer

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team