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Key dates over June 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 48

15th June 1918 - Battle of the Piave. Austro-Hungarians launch a renewed attack on the Italian line in the north-east along the River Piave. The attack is beaten off. Fighting continues to 24 June.

Rolling casualty count: 10096

War Front:

1st Batt: Batt billeted in Huppy.

2nd Batt: Major OVC Symons of the Glos Reg joined the batt as Major in HQ. Batt relieved the 1st Queens in the sector south of Ypres around Zillebeke Lake. B and C Coys were in the Front Line.

4th Batt: Two platoons of X Coy under Lt JS Graves and 2nd Lt CE James, attempted to raid Tern Farm at 1.15am. They failed to get through enemy wire due to the strength of the enemy on the right flank of the raiding party and the weakness of the artillery support. Lt Graves was wounded and missing and 12 OR were wounded or killed. At 3.15 am, W Coy was attacked from the front and rear, suffering severe casualties and losing their posts as the enemy broke through. Lt CW Morton MC was wounded and 111 OR were killed or wounded. The whole garrison was withdrawn from the Front Line to the Support Line at dusk. 4000 gas cylinders were to be discharged but this did not happen owing to a change of wind.

1/7th Batt: At 3 am the enemy launched an attack in force with the Austrians on every British position and hit a dump of shells. There was terrific explosion, followed by more explosions and Batt HQ, Company HQ and all telephone wires were cut, (they were not buried deep enough.). The Batt at Santa Dona was woken by the explosions and hurriedly went into battle operations up the mountain to the camp at Brusabo. Batt issued with extra ammunition and went in lorries to Carriola and then to Cesuna Switch. The Brigade made a counter attack at 7.15 am. At 7.30 am the advance began with the men showing up in their light khaki in the moonlight. The firing was low and accurate, the Austrian fire was intense but high and badly directed. By 8pm the Batt had reinforced the leading Coys and 300 yards of ground was won. At 11pm the firing in the forest was still heavy and a converging attack was planned from Lemerle Switch to support the Batt.

1/8th Batt: At 3 am the batt at Brusabo was woken by shells exploding from the Austrian bombardment. Men were stood to arms but no orders were received until the evening. Batt ordered to counter attack with the 1/4th Glos and moved up to reinforce the Bucks Batt at Lemerle Switch.

Home Front:

The caterpillars that are damaging the fruit trees have been filmed by the Charles Urban Company, and will be shown almost immediately at cinemas in every part of the country. At a private view which was given in Wardour Street on Friday, the caterpillars were seen at their work of destruction on the trees. A companion film is in course of preparation which will show the allotment holder’s friends.

Angel Street Congregational Sunday School Anniversary Services, June 16th.- The Rev. Bernard Vaughan Pryce, M.A., LL.B., Minister of the Church, who has just returned from Y.M.C.A. work in France, will preach at 11am and 6.30pm. The afternoon service will be conducted by the Rev. Wesley Green.

Mr. and Mrs. G. Clarke, of 16, Church Walk, St. Clement’s, Worcester, have received, from their son, Gunner A. Clarke (who is serving with the R.F.A. in France), a card of commendation sent to him by the General of his division. It reads as follows: “To Gunner A. Clarke, R.F.A. – I wish to place on record my appreciation of the conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty displayed by you on the night of 20-21st May, 1918. When the camouflage and some charges were set on fire by a direct hit on one of the pits, although ordered to get under cover, you rushed forward and put out the fire at great personal risk, thereby preventing the explosion of the main dump.” Gunner Clarke has now been awarded the Military Medal. Before the war he was employed at the G.W.R. Sheet Department, and is an old St. Clement’s schoolboy. He joined up in September, 1914, and has served in France and Italy, having been overseas since April, 1915. During that time he has been home once.

Rifleman W. Maund (son of Mrs. Maund, of 90, Blakefield Road, St. John’s, Worcester), died from wounds on April 24th. He first joined the Army at the age of 15, enlisting in the Royal Horse Artillery. In due course he went to France and served there for some time before the authorities discovered his real age. They sent him home to wait until he was 18. He re-enlisted on his eighteenth birthday in April, 1917. He went to France again last Easter and received wounds which proved fatal. Prior to the war, he was employed by Messrs. McNaught, Tything, Worcester.

The General List: Today’s general list contains the names of 326 officers, including 22, previously posted missing, now reported prisoners in the hands of the Germans. Casualties in the ranks total 4,783: killed 370, died of wounds 235, died 42, wounded 3,144, wounded and missing 95; missing 695.

Local Notes: Among the visitors to Worcester have been two American officers lately returned from a Red Cross Mission to Roumania. Strange as had been their experiences in crossing the vast Eastern Continent to arrange order out of chaos and recrossing it (a 49 days’ railway journey) to escape Hunnish barbarianism and to regain civilization, their recent experience in England has been no less impressive. So they said. They had been “fed up” with the idea that the people of England are “effete,” but they had been pleasantly disillusioned by discovering the depth and sincerity of the national character and the inexhaustibility of her energy and her resources. In Worcester, they were charmed by by the atmosphere of history, but still more by the international spirit of hospitality underlying the Mayor’s scheme (which is part of a greater national scheme) for organizing in Worcester the entertainment of soldiers from Worcester, Massachusetts, when on leave from the front, and of course unable to cross the Atlantic.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team