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Key dates over July 1915

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Lives lost on this day: 2

23rd July 1915 - The Worcesters at Gheluvelt

Rolling casualty count: 1611

1st Batt: Section I. Everything very quiet ; 2nd Batt: Quiet day on the whole. Our Trench Mortars fired at intervals day and night. When the mortars were fired the enemy nearly always “swish-banged” the Cabbage Patch. Lieut. E.P. Bennett and 25 other ranks arrived. Quiet night; 3rd Batt: In Trenches ‘T’ Sector of St. Eloi. Transport in Farm on Hallebast. Ouckrdom Road heavily shelled. R & F 4 wounded. 5 horses killed, 9 wounded; Royal Field Artillery: Authie: Training on 18 pr.

The Worcesters at Gheluvelt: Sir A. Conan Doyle writes to the “Daily Chronicle”: - “May I be allowed to make a few corrections in the account of the above battle which has been circulated by the Worcestershire county authorities? It is so near the truth that it is a pity not to try to make it absolutely so. The brunt of the attack in the centre fell, as stated, upon the 1st Queen’s (Surrey) and the 2nd Welsh, in the neighbourhood of the village. On their immediate right was the 7th Division, the flank regiment of which, the 2nd Royal Sots Fusiliers (not ‘Royal Scots’ as stated) occupied an awkward salient, which was broken by the German advance. The regiment which had fought splendidly for 10 days and was reduced to 200 men was practically annihilated, and the 7th Division was exposed upon the flank, and fell back. The Welsh and Surreys made, as described, a magnificent resistance, but were finally driven from the village, when they had been reduced to a mere handful. Ninety Welshmen and sixty Surreys were all who mustered that evening. This left a great gap in the centre of the line through which the Germans advanced. The situation was made more serious by the simultaneous injury which a single shell caused to General Lomax, of the 1st, and General Munro, of the 2nd Division (not ‘of the 7th,’ as stated). When the 2nd Worcesters were ordered to advance it was with the design of filling the gap between the village on the right and the trenches of the 1st South Wales Borderers on the left. This they most gallantly did, as described. They did not take the village, nor was it ever at any time regained by the British, but they captured the house nearest to their own trench and so made a bastion for their defence. After the action the British line was roughly restored on both sides, and the village faced by a semi-circle of trenches. There are many smaller points, but I think that these larger ones represent the essential facts.”

Funeral of Mr. W. Aston: The funeral took place on Thursday of Mr. William Aston, who was a well-known figure in Worcester for many years. He came to Worcester from Birmingham about 60 years ago, and started a saw mill in James Street. Mr. Aston, who was 83 years of age, took a great interest for many years in the Lowesmoor Chapel, and the first part of the funeral service was held there, Mr. E. Berry conducting it. The interment took place at Astwood Cemetery.

Information researched by Sue Redding