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Key dates over January 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 2

21st January 1915 - 11th Batt still waiting for uniforms

Rolling casualty count: 605

1st Batt: Billets at Red Barn; 2nd Batt: Position shelled by the Germans intermittently from 10am to 4pm, both with high explosives and shrapnel; 3rd Batt: In trenches at E. Kemmel.

Writing home to a friend, Pte. W.J. Higgins, of the 2nd Worcs, says: “You ask whether we see any Germans. Well, when we make a charge we see too many, but otherwise you many only see one or two cheeky ones going for wood or rations at night. We can hear them every night singing and playing instruments. As for fur coats, they are certainly warm, but if they get wet they smell horribly. It will be a lot better in the trenches in about a month’s time, when the weather gets a bit better. You will then being to read of some startling developments by the Allies. The war will then soon be over;”

11th Worcs Battalion Uniforms: Sir - Will you allow me, on behalf of myself and comrades, to ask why we should not be dressed as soldiers. By that I mean, in a decent suit of khaki. I, for one, have left civilian life where I could, after doing my daily toil, go home and change into a fresh suit, and thereby feel afresh, but I now go with my comrades day after day in the same uniform and follow my work in trench digging , etc, and find at the end of the week I have to give it a good brush up so as to make it look more respectable for Sunday observance. And what is a sore point is to see the Territorials with nice uniforms and shiny buttons, and often have a remark passed as to our general appearance. I therefore think it high time that the poor infantry men of the 11th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment were made to look more soldierlike, and feel that we ought not to have to wait for our khaki until we are ordered to the Front. I and my comrades feel very grateful for the kindness we receive from our billets, and it is our desire to be able to look clean and respectable men. From ‘one whom it affects;’

Jumble Sale, Goat Realizes £24: The most exciting sale of the afternoon was that for a little goat. Mr Griffiths put it up, and it was knocked down for 6s. The owner put it up again, and process was repeated time after time. After the first dozen sales the whole procedure gained additional interest. Altogether the auctioneer put it up no fewer than 70 times, and, when it was finally knocked down for 6s, it had realized about £24.

Information researched by Sue Redding