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Key dates over January 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 3

17th January 1915 - Amazing story of escape from death

Rolling casualty count: 593

1st Batt:La Gorgue: In Corps Reserve Billets; 2nd Batt:In billets at Gorre3rd Batt: In billets at Westoutre.

Local Farmers’ Generosity: The novel means of raising money for war relief funds, that of an agricultural jumble sale, has appealed to the imagination of local farmers, who have promised something like 200 lots for next Thursday’s sale at the Worcester Corn Exchange. Almost every conceivable lot likely to be found on a farm has been sent in, and many of the gifts are of considerable value. Though many of the lots will appeal mainly to the agricultural community, there will be much offered by auction of interest and of value to the citizens. Further, as part of the proceeds will be devoted to the Worcester War Fund, there will be a special inducement to citizens to attend. There are to be some interesting competitions, and altogether a novel and enjoyable attraction is promised. The bands of the Worcestershire Artillery and of the 8th Battalion will play during the day;

Worcestershire Private’s Extraordinary Escapes: “If I am able to tell my own story,” said Pte. D. Lightfoot, of the 3rd Worcesters, now at home wounded, “it is not the fault of the powers that be. No man has been knocked about by them so much as I have been. At the present time I can’t say whether I am alive or dead, with the regiment or missing. Last month my wife was advised that I had died in hospital at Havre, and was buried there. My grave may be seen with that of others. Two days later she was informed that I had recovered and was back with my company, but there was no explanation of how a dead man could recover. I expect that’s one of the secrets that the Censor won’t let out. By the same post she got a letter from me announcing my arrival in Liverpool, where I was in hospital. When I got home at last I found a letter from the War Office telling me I was ill in No 12 General Hospital at Havre. I shudder to think what will happen to me next. I had enough adventures out there without these strange ones. I was buried in the trenches twice, and captured by the Germans once. When captured I managed to hide a knife in my puttee, but this was taken from me. I was taken to a trench where there were a sergeant and 12 British soldiers who had been captured. Our hands were tied behind our backs and our feet were tied with ropes. While our captors were enjoying their wine we were left at the bottom of the trench. I managed to get to a bayonet and rifle that had fallen from the top of the trench, and by working my hands up and down cut the cords on the bayonet’s edge. I quickly released the others, and at the end of the trench I brought down the German sentry by vaulting on to his back. He shouted, “Don’t kill me; I’ll go with you,” and he did;”

City Gain a Couple of Points: Worcester City have had unfortunate weather for their home matches. On Saturday, and a week ago, the weather was such as to discourage any but those who are enthusiasts from attending the game. As the expenses of the Club have been considerable during the season, a good gate was needed to give the finances a lift. However, the Committee are able to face the season with better prospects than most clubs.

Information researched by Sue Redding