Key dates over December 1914
Lives lost on this day: 2
5th December 1914 - Saved by his Pay Book!
Rolling casualty count: 540
1st Batt: ‘A’ Lines 5-7 Dec: Remained in trenches, less shelling than previously. We appear to have established a considerable preponderance of Artillery over the Germans, in fact the Germans only appear to be using field guns against us: 2nd Batt: In billets at Bailleul; 3rd Batt: Westoutre: In billets.
Territorial Recruits Wanted: Recruits are still wanted for both the 8th (Reserve) Battalion and the 2nd South Midland Brigade. The former unit want a considerable number of men (although the establishment of 1000 was reached some weeks ago), but only 24 are wanted for the Artillery. This popular Brigade has recruited 150 men in the past ten days.
In the circumstances of the present time, and in the absence on Service of so many Old Vigornians, who usually assist, it is not proposed to issue invitations for the annual School concert this year. Instead of this, the members of the School Dramatic Glee, and Orchestral clubs propose to give an entertainment, in aid of the funds for helping dispossessed Belgians.
Terrors of an Indian Charge: The German Army is beginning to realise the fighting qualities of the Indian troops. A soldier writes to-day:- For the first time we had to fight against Indians and the devil knows that those brown rascals are not to be under-rated. At first, we spoke with contempt of the Indians, to-day we learned to look on them in a different light. For three days we lay in our trenches under an uninterrupted shell fire from the English, and were lacking in the barest necessaries, as only at night time could we obtain provisions. Of water we had enough – both above and below us, but we were hungry. The English seemed to have a diabolical pleasure in showering shells on us.
Next Weeks’s Diet Sheet: Sunday – Breakfast: Steak and onions; Dinner: Baked and boiled meat, peas, cabbage, and currant roll; Tea: Mixed cakes; Monday – Breakfast: Tinned salmon; Dinner: Steamed and roast meat, mixed vegetables, butter or haricot beans; Tea: Assorted potted meats; Tuesday - Breakfast: Tomatoes and boiled bacon; Dinner: Curry, stew and rice, mixed vegetables, jam rolls; Tea: Fried Steak and onions; Wednesday - Breakfast: Fried sausages; Dinner: Meat pies, butter or haricot beans;Tea: Tinned salmon; Thursday - Breakfast: Fried haddock; Dinner: Baked meat and brown stew, cabbage and peas; Tea: Fried Steak and onions; Friday - Breakfast: Boiled bacon and Worcester and Yorkshire sauce. Dinner: Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding; Tea: Currant cake and jam; Saturday - Breakfast: A la mode beef and pickles; Dinner: Boiled meat, mixed vegetables, rice pudding; Tea: Sardines; Soup is issued at 7:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and bread and cheese every night at 7:30 pm. Potatoes are provided each day for dinner, and bread and butter at breakfast and tea. Tea is provided each morning at breakfast, except on Sunday and Wednesday, when coffee is given.
Saved by his Pay Book: Bombadier Frank Banner, RFA, son of Mrs Banner, St John Street, Bromsgrove, writes home to say he had a lucky escape at Ypres. A rifle bullet struck his left breast pocket, in which, fortunately, he had a lot of letters and a couple of books. The bullet penetrated the letters, but his pay book stopped it, and he is keeping it as a souvenir.
Pte Harry Juggins, of Worcester Street, Bromsgrove, of the 1st Worcesters, has returned home suffering from a bullet wound in the wrist sustained at La Bassee. Juggins’s father and two brothers are also serving in the Worcesters.
Information researched by Sue Redding
- Sgt Joseph Lawrence Hemming
- L/Cpl William George Curtis