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Key dates over January 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 4

13th January 1915 - More reports of Christmas in the trenches

Rolling casualty count: 584

1st Batt: ‘B’ Lines: The old fire trenches by this time were about 3 feet deep in water and it was necessary to contruct breastworks behind the rear parapets, these were constructed chiefly of sandbags, and owing to the sodden state of the ground they were only dug 1foot 6inches deep; 2nd Batt:In billets at Vieille Chapelle; 3rd Batt: In trenches at E. Kemmel;

Writing home, Fred Langton, a well-known Leeds racing motor cyclist, who is at the front as a despatch rider, says: “The following incidents will give you an idea of how some of our Tommies spent Christmas Day. The Scots Guards and the Germans opposite, by mutual consent, mixed freely with each other. They exchanged addresses, and promised to write to each other – a typical habit of Tommy’s. Two of the German officers took dinner with our two officers, and before they left arranged to play a football match on New Year’s Day. Six of the Worcesters had lunch in the German lines, and the same number of Germans had lunch in ours. Before parting, it was arranged that before firing recommenced on either side three volleys should be fired in the air. A week from now these men on both sides will be doing almost unspeakable things in order to kill each other;”

Gifts to Bromsgrove Soldiers’ Wives: On Saturday evening, the wives, mothers, and children of Bromsgrove soldiers and sailors with the colours were entertained at the new Drill Hall, where, under the management of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families’ Association, a Christmas tree was provided for the children, and parcels of groceries presented to the adults. A duologue entertainment was subsequently given by the Misses Middlemore;

Swine Regulations: Jesse Sutton, market gardener, South Littleton, was summoned for failing to deliver up a swine movement license to the police. PC Rose stated the facts. Fined 10s, including costs;

Driving a Motor Car Backwards: George William Whitehouse, Compton Scorpion, Ebrington, was summoned for driving a motor backwards an unnecessary distance, at Broadway. PC Woodings said he saw defendant drive a car backwards for a distance of 400 yards or more. Several cyclists passed, and there were workmen on the road at the time. When asked to account for it, defendant said he did not know he was doing wrong. There was no danger to anybody. He backed the car up so as to pick up two people. Supt Hill said that as this was perhaps the first case of its kind in the district, he would be content if it were dismissed on payment of the costs. This course was adopted;

Mr Cyril G. Bull, OV (son of Mr G.W. Bull), who joined the University and Public Schools’ Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, in September last, has been appointed Second-Lieutenant in the 11th Worcesters.; Private’s Plucky Act: Pte CE Lively, of the 2nd Battalion Worcs Regt, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for digging out an officer who had been buried alive. This brave act was accomplished under heavy artillery fire. Pte Lively, who was wounded in the arm and neck, has been on a visit home, and is returning to the front immediately;

At St George’s Roman Catholic Church , on Sunday, instead of the usual sermons, Cardinal Mercier’s pastoral letter, which was suppressed by the Germans, was read. The collections on Intercession Sunday for the Red Cross Fund amounted to £6 1s.; Mr Edwin Finn, of Worcester, who received a commission in the 11th Battalion of the Worcs Regt soon after the outbreak of war, has since been promoted to the rank of Captain. The Battalion is billeted in the South of England.; Brisk Recruiting: Last week 430 recruits were enrolled at Norton. This total, following the 447 of the previous week, shows that the country is still responding well to the appeal for men. A party of 400 men have been sent to join the Special Reserve Battalion;

King’s Gift to the Infirmary: His Majesty the King sent a gift of five brace of pheasants for the sick and wounded at the Infirmary;

On Monday 95 recruits were enrolled at Norton Barracks – another good start for the week;

A Pioneer Corps: Recruits are needed for the Forest of Dean Pioneer Corps, of which full particulars can be obtained at Norton Barracks. Muscular men, navies, masons, bricklayers, carpenters, joiners etc, or any accustomed to digging, are specially wanted. For these men the pay will be 2d per day more than the ordinary infantry rates.

Information researched by Sue Redding