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Key dates over February 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 0

8th February 1915 - Winter Battle of Masuria. In East Prussia, Germans defeat the Russians who begin to retreat. Battle continues until 22 February.

Rolling casualty count: 640

1st Batt: Rained hard about 6am and then turned into the warmest day we have had. Very little shooting on either side all day. Relieved by 2nd Northants Regt and billeted at La Gorgue as IVth Corps Reserve; 2nd Batt: Shelled again during the day. Improved defences;3rd Batt: In trenches at Kemmel.

Women and Agriculture: Sir, we are anxious to support the proposal recently made by Lady Castlereagh that means shall be found to provide for the employment of women in agriculture. We believe there is a great opening for the resumption of this old practice, that certain of the work is of a character which is entirely suitable for women, and that immense advantages may be conferred both upon our national industry and upon the women themselves, if a workable scheme can be developed. In order that a start may be made we have decided to do all we can to bring agriculturalists and women seeking employment together, and any communications addressed to Philip G. Cambray, Esq., either by agriculturalists or by women who are anxious to be sent to farms, will be dealt with as speedily as possible. The matter is really very urgent, especially in the dairy districts, where the need is both great and pressing;

The appeal for mouth-organs for the troops, uttered on December 28, was not made in vain. Hundreds of those instruments have been received from kindly donors, and the result can be heard on all sides. Not only do cheerful sounds proceed from the billets and dug-outs, but many of the detachments and small bodies of men moving from one point to another move to the sentimental notes of “Tipperary” or the lilt of “Get out and get under,” instead of tramping the slush in silence. The craving of our men for music has evidently touched all classes and ages. Even small children have sent their own well-worn and tiny instruments – probably cherished possessions – as a contribution to the soldiers at the front, who are, after all, fighting their battle. The following is a simple letter from a small boy - an entire stranger – received at one collecting centre:- “Dear…., Allison and me are sending you our mouth –organs for the soldiers. They are new ones, but I hadn’t any sixpence. With love from …..” This letter from “Allison and me,” conveys better than any description the extent to which the heart of the nations is with its fighting men at the present moment;

“Sport” at the Front: Several Worcestershire soldiers have written home expressing thanks for gifts. Pte H. Aninge and Pte. H. Harper, 1st Worcesters write: “It is so kind of you all to think of the ‘bhoys’ out here. We send our best wishes for all. We are two ‘bhoys’ from Birmingham, and we are seeing plenty of sport over here.”

Information researched by Sue Redding