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Key dates over January 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 1

22nd January 1915 - Women's Volunteer Corps movement growing

Rolling casualty count: 606

1st Batt: Billets at Red Barn; 2nd Batt: Position shelled by Germans for most of the day but not as severely as yesterday. Asked the RA to shell a German working party about 100yds in front of our trenches; 3rd Batt: In trenches at E. Kemmel.

A recruiting rally was held at Lye on Wednesday. Great enthusiasm was shown, the township was gaily decorated with flags. Captain Green stated that there were 19,000 Worcester men serving with the Worcestershire Regiments-infantry, artillery, and yeomen alone. That meant that about 33 per cent of the whole male population eligible – between 19 and 38 – were serving with the colours, taking no account of those serving in the navy and in other regiments. (Applause) . He chose ten men in the audience from those signifying willingness to enlist;

How severe the strain of war is and how subtle its reflex action may be illustrated by one case that cannot be exceptional. An invalided officer, now home on leave, who had gone through all the campaign in France since August, and without a scratch, states that he soon got used to the sensation of shell and rifle fire. He was not conscious of being conscious of it, after a bit. But since he came back to England he finds himself “suddenly on the lookout for shells;”

County Police Officer Killed: Information has been received at the HQ offices of the Worcestershire Constabulary of the death of PC Oswald P. Pollard, of that Force, which took place at Boulogne, from wounds received in the firing line. Pollard was appointed a constable in the Worcester County Police, on the 6th August, 1913, and rejoined the Colours on the 6th August, 1914. He served in the Grenadier Guards;

Meeting of Worcester Corps: From the large attendance at the meeting of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve Corps, held at the Guildhall on Tuesday evening, it was evident that the interest in the movement is growing. Two meetings had been held, both of which had been well-attended, and met with good results. Drills were progressing satisfactorily, and they were indebted to Lt. Freeman for drilling them…Sir Henry Urwick remarked that of all the good things which had arisen from the war, he thought that the most obvious and clearest was the very great moral uplifting of the whole people. They saw the people united, and a pervading spirit of brother hood and service. One idea of that women’s movement was to turn these emotions to some practical account. ..From the moment the war began there had been a desire on the part of all sections of the community, whether men, women, or even children, to do something for the common good. They found that, in spite of their intense desire, they could do nothing, not having had the necessary training. Men were, to a large extent, now getting that training, but few women were. There had not been nearly enough women taking the place of men and doing their work, thus setting the men free to enlist. It was only lack of training which prevented women from doing certain work, not any natural incapacity. Every woman who did any sort of work which a man had been doing previously, was thus able to release another man to go into the fighting line, without reducing the industrial effect upon the community, and was, therefore, doing as good a work as if she herself was shouldering a rifle and taking part in the fighting…If they entered the movement, they must be were prepared to be laughed at. All good things were laughed at in their infancy. The must be prepared to be talked about as a body of amazons who were going out to fight the Germans in Belgium.

Information researched by Sue Redding