War Diary October 1917

War Norfolk
Battle of Caporetto

Austro-Hungarian and German soldiers break through the Italian lines in the Isonzo region and force a retreat of 90 miles. 300,000 Italian prisoners are taken. Fighting carries on until 10 November.

Soldiers Caught Robbing Canteen Stores

Two army drivers plead guilty at Norwich Guildhall to stealing cigarettes and chocolate worth £3. 6s. 10d. from a warehouse at 37 Surrey Street which was the property of the Soldiers and Sailors Canteen Committee.

Last Zeppelin Raid on London

The last German airship raid on London takes place on 19th October. Raids on the rest of the UK continued until August 1918.

Blackout Breached

A greengrocer from Cromer was reported, and subsequently fined 10s for failing to obscure light from her house after it was found she had been given two previous warnings.


War Diary September 1917

War Norfolk
Battle of the Menin Road Ridge

Renewed attack by British, Australian and New Zealand troops towards Passchendaele begins and steady advances, in dry weather, are made.

Visitor Fined for Taking Photographs

A London school teacher was fined 10s for breaching the Defence of the Real Regulations by taking photographs of minesweepers off Sheringham. Police claimed there was adequate signage throughout the town.

Stormtrooper Tactics Used

 Germans capture Riga on the Baltic coast using their new ‘stormtrooper’ tactics for the first time.

Norfolks’ Graves in Gaza

 Lieut. Larking returning to Norwich on leave had photographed the graves of Norfolk men to give to their relatives. Four were unknown to him so he wrote to the Chronicle so the relatives could write to him for the photographs.

War Diary August 1917

War Norfolk
Heavy Rain in Belgium

Heavy rain falls across the Ypres battlefields for almost the whole month, preventing any progress from either side.

Stress of War

The coroner passes a verdict of “found drowned” after a soldier’s body is found partially dressed in river. Having not appeared to have been bathing, the soldier’s death comes after said soldier had absented himself from The Sutherland Highlanders (although returning) and suffered disappointment at not being chosen to perform farm work.

German Mutiny

 There is a mutiny in the German High Seas Fleet which is stationed at Wilhelmshaven.

Archiving the War

 The Norwich Public Library Committee inaugurates a collection of war documents as a natural development of their collection and appeals to the public for further donations.

We Plough the Fields and Scatter: The Tractor Ploughing Scheme of 1917

From records held at the Norfolk Record Office and newspaper archives at Norfolk Heritage Centre.

As horses and men were sent to the Front, there was an urgent need for both to be replaced at home to maintain food supplies.  Women replaced many of the men while tractors replaced many of the horses.

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War Diary July 1917

War Norfolk
Red Sea Port Captured

An Arab force from the Hejaz guided by T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) captures the Red Sea port of Aqaba


Land Girls in the County

The Norfolk Women’s War Agricultural Committee report over 5,000 women working on the land in Norfolk.  Girls were being given 4 weeks training at training centres to prepare them for heavy work.


Third Battle of Ypres

The Third Battle of Ypres begins, popularly known as Passchendaele. Fighting continues until 10 November.


POWs Put to Work in Norfolk

The committee of Norfolk War Agricultural Committee plan to employ German prisoners to improve the River Yare and Taas (sic).


British Monarchy Changes Name

To combat anti-German feeling King George V changes his family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.


Memorial Window Installed

The stained glass memorial window to Edith Cavell placed in Swardeston parish church above the altar at the east end.

Captivity in Turkey: from the diaries of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Cecil Lodge Part 2: January-December 1917

The Norfolk Regiment in Mesopotamia

Captivity in Turkey: from the diaries of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Cecil Lodge

 January – June 1917

This is a continuation of the postings of 16 November, 2016 and 26 May, 2017. Some entries have been omitted if they are unduly repetitious, or where they contain financial details other than about pay or refer to private family matters. The diaries are held in the archives of the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum.

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