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Key dates over June 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 66

16th June 1915 - Third battalion in heavy fighting around Hooge

Rolling casualty count: 1489

1st Batt: In trenches; 2nd Batt: Very quiet day, very hot in trenches. Continued work on new front trench and generally improved existing trenches and dug-outs. G.O.C. Brigade visited Battn. HQ at 10am. (2 casualties from shell fire); 3rd Batt: The 9th Inf. Bde. supported by 7th Inf Bde ordered to attack the enemy’s trenches North of Hooghe. After heavy bombardment by our artillery 9th Inf. Bde. advanced up to Bellewarde Lake, with little loss. Owing to rapid advance of our Infantry and smoke due to bombardment, our artillery were unable to see advance of Infantry and the enemy’s third line and part of their second line had to be abandoned owing to our heavy Shell fire on these positions. The orders to the Battalion were to support and consolidate the positions gained by the 9th Inf. Bde. in the captured trenches about “Y” wood and to the North of Hooghe, and help them consolidate. After an examination of the position had been made, it was decided that immediate support was not necessary. After the assault by the 9th Inf. Bde. the 7th Inf. Bde. had orders to occupy their assembly trenches and this was done. The H.A.C. at once followed the battalions Royal Fusrs. and 1st Lincs. and helped them to consolidate, but after communication with them in captured trenches it was found that immediate support to the H.A.C. which had been ordered, was not necessary, so battalion remained in the assembly trenches vacated by the 9th Inf. Bde., remaining there under heavy shell fire, and a good many casualties occurred. [Killed: Capt EW Buckler, Lt B Muir, Lt RN Loring; Wounded 11 officers. Rank and File: Killed 30, Wounded 255, Missing 24 TOTAL 309] At 3.15 pm orders received for the Battalion to push through captured trenches and endeavour to take enemy’s third line trenches about Bellewarde Lane. Orders were that an Artillery Bombardment on these trenches would begin at 3pm. When ‘B’ Company under command of Capt. Maitland supported by ‘C’ Company under Capt Buckland advanced to attack. The attack was held up by heavy shell, Rifle and Machine Gun fire and companies could not advance. Situation was then ‘B’ & ‘C’ Companies by “Y” Wood. A & D Companies in 9th Bde Assembly Trenches near Witteport Farm. At 7pm Enemy opened very heavy artillery bombardment on trenches and our line about “Y” Wood, Railway Wood, and Witteport Farm. Bombardment lasted till 8.15 pm and heavy casualties occurred, as many as 90 shells per minute being fired on our positon. 8th Inf. Bde. with 2 battalions of the 14th Div. 41st Bde. came up at dusk and took over the position won, and at 11pm Battalion was withdrawn to bivouac near Vlamertinghe, men very exhausted. The missing men are undoubtedly killed and were buried during the heavy Bombardment by the enemy; Royal Field Artillery: Petit Pont: Nothing to report, wind NNE, weather fine.

12th Worcesters Leave Fowey: A record reaches us of the pleasant leave-taking of the 12th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from Fowey. The Battalion is now with the Mediterranean Force. The members of the Borough Council and a number of tradesmen presented a solid silver table centre to the Officers’ Mess. The Mayor (Ald. Purcell) asked the acceptance of the gift as a token of Fowey’s earnest goodwill and of their admiration of the conduct of the men of the 12th Battalion in the town during the winter;

Soldiers visit the Cathedral: On Tuesday afternoon Col. Edwards gave the band boys at Norton Barracks a half-holiday to visit the Cathedral, at the invitation of the Dean of Worcester. They numbered 56, and were joined by a number of the wounded from Battenhall Hospital. The Dean conducted the tour of the sacred building, and at various points gave most interesting lectures on historical events from 660, which led to the building of the Cathedral, and pointed out the fashions and features in architecture in vogue when different sections were built. By an interesting coincidence, the day was the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, fittingly referred to by the Dean while the company were grouped around the tomb of King John;

Local Soldier’s DCM: Mrs. George Clarke, 47 Sandys Road, Barbourne, has received a letter from her husband, Pte. G. Clarke, formerly in the 3rd Worcesters, but now in the Engineers, stating that he has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He encloses an official field telegram from Capt. Johnson, stating the fact, and adding his congratulations. Pte. Clarke has been at the front since the beginning of the war, and he has been fortunate enough to escape with barely a scratch;

Fruit and Vegetables for the Fleet: The Hon. Secretary of the Vegetable Products Committee writes to thank those generous and patriotic people in the district to whom the Fleet is indebted for the magnificent consignment of 113 packages of gifts despatched by Mr. Fearnside, Secretary of the Pershore Branch of the Association, to the ships’ companies in the North Sea Fleet. This was one of the biggest consignments ever despatched by any of the 230 branches, and it consisted of a most attractive assortment of those vegetables most wanted and appreciated by the men of the Fleet. These gifts have added greatly to the comfort and welfare of our brave fellows afloat.

Information researched by Sue Redding