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Key dates over May 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 2

5th May 1915 - Councillors argue over "Men" and "Women" or "Ladies" and "Gentlemen" toilets

Rolling casualty count: 1078

1st Batt: In billets at Sailly. Preparations being made for offensive operations; 2nd Batt: At 4.20am the Germans blew up a mine about 50 yds in front of right Coy killing 1 and wounding 13 men. This was followed by half an hour’s shelling of trenches and village. The Mining expert considered that at least 1000 lbs explosive must have been used to explode the mine which formed a crater from 25-30 yds diameter and 15 feet deep. A later report estimated the explosive used at 3000 lbs. The field of fire from the trenches near the crater was considerably reduced by the earth thrown up. Apparently this mine was in connection with sap-head shelled yesterday and its premature explosion was directly due to this bombardment. Much shelling was done by enemy at intervals during the whole of the day, but very little damage was done. After dark a sap was commenced from our trenches towards crater of mine and patrols sent out during the night, a listening post being established on the lip of the Crater. Germans could be heard singing but none entered the Crater. Hand bombs were thrown into the crater at intervals during the night to prevent its occupation by the enemy. Front line Coys (D & B) were relieved by ‘A’ and ‘C’ Coys respectively after dark. Before morning our sap-head had reached to within a few yards of the Crater; 3rd Batt: In billets at Dickebush;

Primitive Methodist Stations: The Synod of the West Midland District of the Primitive Methodist Church was held on Monday. The following are the local stations of ministers for 1915-16: Kidderminster, Mark P. Pearce, Albert Cole; Bromsgrove, Matthew Amer; Worcester, William Woodley;

Lady Huntingdon’s Free Church: The 123rd anniversary services of the Sunday Schools were held on Sunday, the preacher being the Rev. J.W.Green of Whittlesea (the father of the Pastor). There are three schools connected with the Church, at Birdport, Dolday and Broadheath, containing about 600 scholars, and 40 officers and teachers;

At a meeting of the Town Council, Mr. Harding, asked Ald. Walter Caldicott if the lettering over the public lavatories could be altered from “men’s” and “women’s” to “ladies” and “gentlemen’s” (Laughter.) The present lettering looked out of place. Ald. Caldicott said the alteration could be made, but it would involve expense. He thought the objection to the present lettering was “sentimental nonsense.” Mr. Harding obtained leave to move that the names be altered, and Mr. Gibson seconded. Mr. Harding said the present lettering would cause no end of criticism all over England. (Laughter.) Mr. Gibbs: Who is responsible for this slur on humanity? (Loud laughter). The motion was defeated, the Mayor declaring, amid laughter, that “the men and women” have it.

Information researched by Sue Redding