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Key dates over April 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 14

29th April 1915 - Military cross conferred on Lieut E B Conybeare

Rolling casualty count: 1055

1st Batt: Changed billets to Rue de Bruges ; 2nd Batt: In billets at Bethune;3rd Batt: In trenches E. Dickebush;

The Military Cross has been conferred on: - Lieut. E. B. Conybeare, 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. For conspicuous gallantry and ability from March 10 to 14, at Neuve Chapelle. He handled his trench mortars with dash and ability on March 10, and did not retire until two of his guns had been damaged by shell fire and his powder exhausted. He then rejoined his Battalion with the gun teams, and subsequently led forward his platoon very ably;

The First Fatality: Information was received by Major Reddie, Secretary of the Worcestershire Territorial Association, this morning, of the death at the front of 729 Pte. A. Boot, of the 7th Battalion. He belonged to Halesowen. This is the first Worcestershire Territorial to fall in action;

A member of our staff now with the 8th Battalion in France writes: “ I am getting used to being in the trenches now, also of the roar of the guns. It is a nice rattle. It is fun hearing our chaps shouting at the Germans and getting their answers. Early in the morning someone will shout “Good morning, Fochy,” and they have their parapet hit with a bullet as an answer. Our trench is about 8 yards from theirs, but in places less, and they and our chaps talk to each other…When we have nothing to do we have to resort to singing hymns, and it sounds well at times. I am sorry to learn from a pal out of my Company that Bourne’s brother Bill has had two fingers shot off. We are now billeted in houses, where the people seem to have left hurredly;”

High Street Improvement: The Streets Committee report that the question of obtaining compulsory power for acquisition of any properties required for this improvement which the owners might not want to sell on reasonable terms, was discussed. It was resolved that the Council be recommended to apply to the Local Government Boards for a provisional order authorising the compulsory purchase, for the widening of the High Street, of such of the properties required for the completion of the improvement which the owners may not be willing to sell on reasonable terms;

Mr. S. L. Turner, of Love’s Grove has received a letter from her brother, G. Sheppard, who gives an interesting statement of the bountiful spreads which the men sometimes enjoy. He says: “Yesterday we had: Breakfast, fried bacon and sausages, fried cheese, bread and butter, and tea; lunch, coffee and cake; dinner, Irish stew, potatoes, and bread pudding; three o’clock, cocoa and cake; tea, fried cheese and sausages, bread pudding, cake, bread and butter, and jam. At 7.30 pm we had a good drink of rum and coffee. What do you think about that for war time? Of course, we don’t live like that every day. Before we went to bed we had a smoke and a tune on the mouth organ. The Germans keep on dropping ‘Jack Johnson’s’ just in the field behind me. One of our big howitzers, just behind me, is firing, and we can hear the shells come screaming over our heads. We are properly in the middle of it now. I can’t write much this time. We are expecting to pump a few more shells into them at any minute. I’ll send your love over on the next shell we fire. I’ll write it on the bottom.”

Information researched by Sue Redding