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Key dates over July 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 3

26th July 1918 - Major Edward Mannock, Britain's highest rated 'air ace', shot down and killed. Mannock was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Rolling casualty count: 10266

War Front:

2nd Batt: Coys bathed and cleaned up followed by inspections.

4th Batt: The football competition continued. Three officers and NCOs per coy inspected the Blue Line and approaches.

14th Batt: Batt resting and cleaning up.

Home Front:

Supplementary Ration Books: As from July 28th bacon and ham are released from coupon restriction, and these ration books will no longer be valid for any purchase. Further details will be advertised tomorrow.

The King has approved the award of the Victoria Cross to the following: Maj. and Bt. Lt.-Col. (T. Brig. Gen) G.W. St. George Grogan, C.M.G., D.S.O., Worc. Regiment: For most conspicuous bravery and leadership throughout three days of intense fighting. Brigadier-General Grogan was, except for a few hours, in command of the remnants of the infantry of a division and various attached troops. His action during the whole of the battle can only be described as magnificent. The utter disregard for his personal safety, combined with the sound practical ability which he displayed, materially helped to stay the onward thrust of the enemy masses. Throughout the third day of operations, a most critical day, he spent his time under artillery, trench mortar, rifle, and machine-gun fire, riding up and down the front line encouraging his troops, reorganising those who had fallen into disorder, leading back into the line those who were beginning to retire, and setting such a wonderful example that he inspired with his enthusiasm not only his own men but also the Allied troops who were alongside. As a result the line held, and repeated enemy attacks were repulsed. He had one horse shot under him, but nevertheless continued on foot to encourage his men until another horse was brought. He displayed throughout the highest valour, powers of command and leadership.

Local Notes: With the official announcement of the award of the V.C. to Brigadier-General Grogan, the Worcestershire Regiment, becomes one of the leaders in the competition among line regiments for the largest number of such decorations obtained during the present war. Including Captain Leefe Robinson, “the fine repairers” have now gained nine crimson ribbons during the past four years – a number which only three British infantry units have exceeded. The Lancashire Fusiliers come first in the list with thirteen, the Royal Fusiliers and the Rifle Brigade tie for second place with ten each, and the Worcestershire Regiment and the Yorkshire Regiment tie for fourth place with nine each.

Killed: Pte. Joseph W.F. Stallard, Worcestershire Regiment (eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Stallard, 13, Victoria Street, Barbourne, Worcester) was killed in action in Flanders on August 18th, 1917. He had been previously reported as wounded and missing on that date. He was an old St. Stephen’s boy and had been employed at Messrs. Ward and Sons’ leather works as a warehouseman for seven years. Two other sons are serving with the Colours and one has been discharged.

The news of the death of Pte. Oscar Bruce, aged 30 years, the third son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bruce, of Church Cottages, was conveyed by telegram from Warwick. He died from a fractured spine in a dressing station in Italy. Pte. Oscar Bruce joined the old Volunteers as a bugle boy at the age of 16, and has continued in the Campden Company ever since. He was called up at the outbreak of war and went to France in the following January, and was sent from there to Italy last November. He leaves a wife and one child.

Courage Overrides Grade: By a bold poster distributed throughout the city and county the Royal Air Force is seeking to attract young men who have failed at general tests for the Army to volunteer for actual flying. It is announced that men from the age of 18 to 31 are eligible. What is wanted is men with sound hearts and the Worcestershire degree of courage. Low grading is no bar. No matter that a young man is lame or has some little defect in leg or foot. If his vital organs are good he is potentially suitable for flying. While men of faultless limbs are being recruited by the thousand for the infantry, it is felt that there remain many fearless, though not faultless, men who are ready to engage in this fascinating and adventurous part of the War, and are suitable.

On Tuesday two valuable milking cows were struck by lightning and killed on the farm of Mr. John Lane, of Wolverton, Spetchley. Fortunately the loss is covered by insurance in the Norwich Union Insurance Society through Messrs. Watkins and Sayce, district managers.

Mr. William Harvey, of St. George’s Lane North, was found dead in bed at his home on Thursday morning. He was well-known in the City. At one time he was a traveller for the Worcester Foundry (Messrs. Hardy and Padmore). Latterly he met adversity, but he did so cheerfully and bravely, taking whatever occupation offered, however humble. He had been in feeble health for some time. He was 70 years of age.

Capt. J.T. Hurry, City Police, Court Missioner and Probation Officer, forwards the balance sheet of the Worcester Robins Fund for 1917, audited by Mr. W.B. Leicester. The total amount raised in subscriptions from citizens was £12 5s., and with the exception of a balance of 2s. 4d., the whole was expended on giving 60 families of the poorest in the city, representing a total of 260 persons, a dinner on Christmas Day. The gifts consisted of meat, bread, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, and apples.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team