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Key dates over May 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 4

2nd May 1918 - War Honours – D.C.M. For Worcestershire Men

Rolling casualty count: 9646

War Front:

1st Batt: Batt did a route march to Guigenicourt. Two officers and 23 ORs joined the Batt.

2nd Batt: Batt CO inspected the latest draft from the Worcs Reg and Hants Reg. At 9.30am. Coys doing field work and PT on a large common near the billets. Lewis gun and bombing classes continued. There was planning of a move to Steenevoorde area by bus next day. There was a conference of officers at Batt HQ at 6pm.

3rd Batt: Batt relieved by 1/4th Yorks and Lancasters and moved to orders of the 49th Division and under 2 hours’ notice to move.

4th Batt: W, Y and Z Coys worked on Reserve Line.

1/7th and 1/8th Batts: Patrols sent out. Men gradually getting used to mountain warfare.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: The infantry had not been successful so the Cavalry captured Es Salt and was in possession of high ground surrounding the town and the Es Salt to Jericho Road. They were fiercely counterattacked but the enemy was in danger of being cut off from supplies unless they used goat tracks. It was decided that there should be an attack on the bridge so A and D Squadrons climbed the highest mountains to extend reconnaissance. Arrangements were made with the Arabs of the large Ben Sakhr Tribe for them to help when the British attacked but they did not keep their word! After fierce battles and difficulty in moving ammunition forward, plus failure of extra help from Arabs and other regiments, the order was given to retire. Men were hungry, thirsty and exhausted when they reached camp around 6.30pm.

Yeomanry/Cavalry: Day spent resting in camp. Emergency rations for men and horses were used up. There was difficulty rescuing the wounded from the steep sides of the wadi to the road where a captured German motor ambulances drove them to hospital. Reg standing by for an immediate move. At 8.30am the Brigade made its way back to the valley as the enemy, emboldened by its success, were advancing into the foothills. Orders were given to gallop and the men lost much equipment-sun-helmets, gas masks and steel hats (which could not all be worn at once!)

Home Front:

War Honours – D.C.M. For Wor’shire Men – COY. Q.M.SERGT. A Avery, Worc.R. (“E” Birmingham) He collected a party of 50 men and led them to the counter attack, in which the enemy were driven back. Afterwards he went back under heavy fire and collected another party of men, whom he brought up as reinforcements. Throughout the day he showed a complete disregard of danger and was a fine example to all ranks.

CORPL J Kendall, Worcs.R. (Bromsgrove) He was working with a fatigue party behind the lines when the enemy broke through. Collecting a party of 20 men, he kept the enemy at bay with rifle fire until reinforced some hours later. He then led his men forward in a counter attack, drove the enemy out, dug and consolidated the position and held it until relieved. His skilful leadership and fine display of initiative undoubtedly saved a critical situation.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team