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Key dates over June 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 11

20th June 1915 - Drought causing problems with crops

Rolling casualty count: 1529

1st Batt: In Brigade Reserve billets along La Bassee road; In billets at Noyelles-Les-Vermelles. A few shells (shrapnel) came into the village between 8.30 and 9.30 am, otherwise quiet. (While Battn was at Divine Service in the open two shrapnel came in the vicinity but did no damage). Working party of 300 men employed on trenches; 3rd Batt: In trenches S. of Hooghe; Royal Field Artillery: Petit Pont: Nothing to report, wind NNE, weather fine.

Worcester Volunteer Regiment: Maj. Winnington, D.S.O., who is returning to the Front this week, has, while completing convalescence at home, taken an active interest in the Worcester Volunteer Training Corps. On several occasions he has attended on Pitchcroft to give ‘B’ Company instruction in company drill. On a recent evening both ‘A’ & ‘B’ Companies enjoyed a very instructive and interesting lecture from him on sentry and support duties. This afternoon, having obtained a short extension of leave for the purpose, Maj. Winnington took the two companies for battalion drill, and at the conclusion, Col. A Webb, Commandant of the Battalion, on behalf of himself, the officers and members of the Corps, expressed great appreciation of Major Winnington’s kind interest and great assistance. Capt. A A Maund said he had been asked by the members of B Company, not only to thank Maj. Winnington for his kindness in drilling them, but also to ask him to accept from the Officers, NCO’s and men of the Company, a sincere token of esteem. The present consisted of a silver matchbox inscribed as follows : “Presented (with pipes, pouch, etc.) to Major J F S Winnington, D S O., by officers and men of ‘B’ Company, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Volunteer Regiment. God speed and good luck. June, 1915.” With the matchbox was a case of Barling’s pipes, and another pipe in pocket case with the Major’s name inscribed;

Crops and Drought: The drought continues, and the need of rain is growing serious. Excepting in some places, favoured by the thunderstorm early on the morning of June 8th, we have had no rain since the middle of May, and crops of all sorts are very badly in need. The drought will shorten the strawberry season but, with the busy pests thinning out the fruit crops generally, it can still be said that fruit prospects are good. Growth is now being checked owing to lack of rain, and early potatoes particularly make very little progress. On the farms all crops now need rain. Haymaking is now commencing, and crops generally are light, a fact much to be regretted, this year especially, when much is needed for the Army. Hay is likely to be dear. Pastures are bare for the time of year. The long spell of dry weather is not only bad for the crops, but it gives rise to the disquieting fear that the wet weather may come in harvest time. A wet season for harvest would be a great misfortune in this year of labour shortage;

Asylum Attendants for the Army: Moving the adoption of the annual report of the Powick Asylum Visitors, Canon Coventry said that they had had some difficulty because of the large number of attendants who had left (in a good cause) to join the army. He appealed to members who knew of elderly respectable men, to recommend them as attendants. They would get good wages, and their services would be a great value.

Information researched by Sue Redding