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Key dates over August 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 13

25th August 1918 - Diglis Lock Sensation – Another Passenger’s Story

Rolling casualty count: 10439

War Front:

1st Batt: Men worked at laying duckboards, revetting and wiring on the new trench, which was named the “Worcestershire Trench.”. Two ORs were wounded.

2nd Batt: Platoon Training carried out am in very hot weather.

4th Batt: Enemy sent over more gas causing many casualties. All Coys worked on the front Line, deepening trenches, cutting fire steps and connecting up Kismet Post. Lt Col Tudor Fitzjohn DSO, took over command of the Batt.

2/7th Batt: I platoon of B Coy attacked Aisne house but was unsuccessful.

Home Front:

Diglis Lock Sensation – More Singular Evidence – Another Passenger’s Story – Jury and ‘Engineman’s Negligence’ – The adjourned enquiry was held at the Guildhall today, concerning the steamer accident at Diglis, when Annie Stroud, aged 21, munitions worker, back of 159 Great Francis Street, Saltley, was drowned. The inquest had been adjourned for the attendance of Walter Birch, the steersman, who it was stated last week had returned to work on a boat on the Staffordshire Canal, but before he was called another passenger, who had volunteered evidence, told his story. It was reported a week ago that a man named Frederick Chadwick, who was also on the boat, had been missing since the day of the accident from a Temperance Hotel in Kidderminster, where he had been staying, but later information showed that he was safe and had returned directly to Birmingham. It will be remembered that the Stourport boat, Princess Beatrice, returning from a trip to Tewkesbury, entered the Diglis Lock and crashed into the upper gate. The bow became wedges in the gate and water flowed over the deck of the steamer, causing a panic among the 120 passengers. A number were rescued from the water and others from the water-logged deck, it was later discovered that Miss Stroud was missing. The Coroner examined another passenger, named John Wood, who said that the engineman came up on deck several times to talk to Miss Raven and the deceased. On the return journey, when they passed a motor boat moored to the side of the river, the steersman gave a bell signal, witness said that he took it that it was to slow down. The engineman was on deck at the time and he had to jump into the cabin, but he could not slowdown in time and nearly swamped the motor boat. The Coroner said “swamped” was a rather large term and he asked what exactly happened at Diglis. The steamer came practically to a standstill just outside the lock, when the signal was given. After that signal speed was put on and they dashed straight into the top gate. What do you mean by dashed: - That speed was put on and we dashed straight into the lock. The impression on my mind by your remark was that you went very fast to the gate? We did go into it very fast. Who was attending to the engines when the driver was talking to the ladies? - No one.

Information researched by The Worcestershire World War 100 team