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Key dates over July 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 5

26th July 1915 - A Kidderminster VC

Rolling casualty count: 1622

1st Batt: In Divisional billets at Sailly. Working parties on support lines ; 2nd Batt: Battn in billets at Beuvry; 3rd Batt: In Trenches ‘T’ Sector of St. Eloi. German mine exploded on our Right Front. Took over Trenches on our Left Front from 2/R.J.R. R&F 2 wounded; Royal Field Artillery: 3rd Battery preparing position immediately South of Hebuterne. Training remainder.

A Kidderminster VC: The King has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to Capt. Eustace Jotham, 51st Sikhs (Frontier Force) for most conspicuous bravery at Spina Khaisora. Capt. Jotham was the son of Mr. F.C. Jotham, of Linden House, Kidderminster, and was educated at Bromsgrove School. During operations against the Kbostwai tribesmen, Capt. Jotham, who was commanding a party of about a dozen of the North Waziristan Militia, was attacked in a nullah and almost surrounded by an overwhelming force of some 1,500 tribesmen. He gave the order to retire, and could have himself escaped, but most gallantly sacrificed his own life by attempting to effect the rescue of one of his men who had lost his horse.

At dawn on 26th July 1915, five men from the Worcestershire Regiment were executed on the Ypres Ramparts in the largest single execution by the British during the entire War. Corporal Frederick Ives 12295 3rd Bn; Private Ernest Fellows 9722 3rd Bn; Private John Robinson 7377 3rd Bn; Private Alfred Thompson 7625 3rd Bn; and Private Bert Hartells 8164 also of 3rd Bn were shot at dawn. Their names did not appear on official casualty lists though their burial sites are known and recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Worcs Regts Comfort Fund: Sir, We desire to ask the courtesy of your columns to bring to the notice of the people of Worcestershire the claims of the Comforts Fund of the Worcestershire Regiments. This fund was organised by Mrs. Wodehouse and other ladies of the Regiment, and has already sent “comforts” to our County Regiments with the Expeditionary Forces as stated: Sept. 7 – Nov. 5, to 2 Battalions; Nov. 5 – Apr. 1, to 3 Battalions; Apr. – Apr. 16, to 4 Battalions; Apr. 16 – June 29, to 5 Battalions. From June 29, 7 Battalions and South Midland Brigade R.F.A. Each unit receives every week 4,500 cigarettes, two 11lb parcels of comforts, and one or two 56 lb cases. Altogether, from Sept. 5, 1914 to June 30, 1915, 260 of 56lb each of mixed comforts, 130 boxes of cigarettes (4,500 in each), and 3,336 parcels have been packed and forwarded. In addition to this the names and addressees of 146 prisoners of war in Germany have been obtained, and 20 parcels are sent to them every week. The comforts sent to the troops consist of shirts, socks, sweets, cigarettes, and cigarette papers, stationery and pencils, candles, bootlaces, handkerchiefs, Vaseline, boracic powder, lemonade powder, matches, chocolate, condensed milk, braces, soap and brushes. Those sent to the prisoners of war consist of shirts, socks, tinned meat, tea, bacon, soap and cigarettes;

To Help Wounded: A successful whist drive was held on Saturday afternoon at the works of Mr. Collins, Barbourne, to raise funds to assist the wounded soldiers at Norton Barracks. Except for the inclement weather it would have taken place in the picturesque ground at the Bungalow, Kepax…Several guessing competitions and the efforts of Mr. Collins’ dog “Scot,” with a collecting box, augmented the funds.

Information researched by Sue Redding