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Key dates over March 1915

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Lives lost on this day: 99

12th March 1915 - Britain forms the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force under General Sir Ian Hamilton to carry out military operations at the Dardanelles

Rolling casualty count: 824

1st Batt: At 5:30 am a counter-attack along the whole line but mainly directed against the right flank took place. The following occurred. The Sherwood Foresters retired right back to their support trenches. ‘A’ Company, 1st Worcs Regt immediately formed at right angles to their own trenches and brought a withering fire on the German attack, this they repulsed with heavy losses and charging with fixed bayonets retook the Sherwood Foresters’ trenches. By 7am the position was as follows:- ‘A’ Company some distance in front of the Sherwood Foresters’ trenches and much scattered among houses and orchards. The Germans now brought heavy fire to bear on us with machine guns and at 11 am ‘A’ Company was forced to retire. The Sherwood Foresters had meanwhile re-occupied their trenches but had made no attempt to support us. In the meantime on the left the remainder of the Battalion had repulsed the attack with heavy loss to the enemy and at 7 am advanced under a very heavy fire reaching a line on road which they held for an hour and a half. At 10 am, the Battalion, being unsupported either in rear or on either flank retired and regained their original trenches, in which they remained until 11 pm. The retirement took place under a very heavy fire and we lost heavily. About 1 pm OC Sherwood Foresters ordered ‘A’ Company 1st Worcs to try and gain a position nearer the German lines. It was only possible for Capt Arden, who was commanding the Company to collect about 20 of his own men. With these and about the same number of Sherwood Foresters he advanced another 150x and held on to his new position until late in the afternoon. Then, as no support arrived and casualties were very heavy he returned to his original trench. About 9 am orders came that the 2nd Devons were to occupy our trenches and in conjunction with ourselves and the Sherwood Foresters to make a night attack on the same position. Arrangements for this attack were concluded about 11 pm and until 3 am of the 13th we remained lying on the ground awaiting the order to advance. At this hour we received orders that the attack would not take place and that the Battalion was to march back into Brigade Reserve behind ‘B’ Lines on Rue Tilleloy. Lt F.C. Roberts took on the duties of adjutant ;

2nd Batt: In billets at Bethune. Standing by ready to move;

3rd Batt: Kemmel. Marched from Locre at 2.30 am and occupied ‘Assembly Trenches’ west of Spanbroek Molen preparatory to an assault on German Trenches on Spanbroek Molen. The orders for the assault were that it was to be carried out by 2 Companies Worcs Reg on right and 2 companies Wilts Regt. on left. The remaining two companies of each Battalion being detailed one (each) to dig communication trench to captured German trench and one (each) to consolidate and place in state defences the German Trench when captured. The assault to be preceded by an artillery bombardment to commence 7am. The assault at 8.40am – owing to fog the former was unable to commence and the hour of assault consequently was postponed. The 13th lay in the assault trenches all day, they were very wet. The fog clearing off sufficiently, the artillery bombardment commenced at 2.30 pm. During the night the wire in front our trenches had been moved and some plank bridges made across the trenches. Punctually at 4.10 pm the leading company left their assault trench followed by the second company. They came after passing our trenches under heavy rifle and machine gun fire. Heavy casualties occurred but a party of about 40 Coms and men with 2Lt Holland and Lt Martin RE succeeded in occupying a point on the front German trench. 2Lt Clarke was hit just going into the trench and carried in dying shortly afterwards. A party had been collected but these were just about to make a dash for the German trench to support when our own Artillery unfortunately dropped a high explosive shell in their buildings killing those surrounding and scattering the remainder. The party that had gained the trench proceeded at once to attack each end and succeeded in holding on for over 3 hours until ordered to withdraw under cover of darkness. They succeeded in bringing away all the wounded from the German trench. Under cover of darkness the Battalion was withdrawn and returned to Locre. The attack by the Wilts on left had been held up almost immediately in their passing their own wire chiefly by machine gun fire from their left. The casualties were very heavy as shown in their records - all the officers of ‘A’ Co were killed.

Worcester Millers Sued: The London and North Western Railway Company sued Messrs. T.S. Townsend and Sons, of the Albion Flour Mills, Worcester, for £19 10s., damages for negligent driving of a motor lorry. The action was the result of a collision outside Wolverhampton, between one of the Company’s vans and a motor lorry belonging to Messrs. Townsend. The Judge found defendants to blame, and gave judgment for £8 7s. 6d. with costs;

Mutiny Veteran’s Funeral: The funeral took place at Astwood Cemetery this afternoon of Corporal Thomas Grimley, an Indian Mutiny veteran, who died recently, at the age of 8. Corporal Grimley belonged to the 107th Foot, and went right through the Indian Mutiny. He possessed medals for ’57 and ’58. He was a pensioner for over 40 years. He lived at his son’s house at 6, Little Chestnut Street. The son, Martin Thomas Grimley, is now serving in the Navy, and his grandson is in the Royal Marines. A military funeral was arranged by the Worcestershire Yeomanry, and a firing party of twelve, under Sge Norman, fired volleys at the graveside. The band of the Worcester Yeomanry accompanied the cortege, and trumpeters played the Last Post. Sergt. Peploe of the 2nd Worcesters, was among the mourners.

Information researched by Sue Redding