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.

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.

War Diary June 1917

War Norfolk
Daylight Air Raids

Daylight raids on London by 18 German Gotha bombers continue and 157 people are killed and 432 injured

Germany’s Fanciful Report of a Raid

 A Berlin Official telegram stated “One of our Airship Squadrons under Captain Strasser attacked with success on the night of May 23rd and 24th, places in the south of England – Harwich and Norwich.”

Latest reports show the movement of Zeppelins were hopelessly lost, not only over England, but also on their return trip back to Germany.

New Recruits for the Allies

The first contingent of American soliders arrives in France and Portuguese troops see action for the first time on the Western Front.

Norwich Tribunal Receives Anonymous Letters

People are writing to the Military Representative about people who have not signed their names up for service. He urges people to come and see him privately and that any conversations will be confidential. He would then be able to explain from his records why such and such person had not been called up. He remarked some of the letters were extremely insolent to the Tribunal and to himself as the military representative.

War Diary May 1917

War Norfolk
Convoy System Introduced

To combat the German submarine threat, British introduce the convoy system, moving large numbers of merchant ships together under naval protection.

Memorial for Edith Cavell

 The Norwich District Nursing Association announced at its annual meeting on Tuesday May 22nd that there was a lot of support for an Edith Cavell memorial, with nearly £1,000 already subscribed. The sculptor Mr Pegram was commissioned to place the statue on Tombland opposite the District Nurses premises

Imperial War Graves Commission Formed

 The Imperial War Graves Commission is formally established in London – it becomes the present Commonwealth War Graves Commission in 1960

Extreme Crop Protection Ideas

 The killing of house sparrows and rats was recommended by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries to help maximise the crops produced in Norfolk during 1917. People were also encouraged to destroy sparrow nests and eggs.

War Diary April 1917

War Norfolk
America Joins the War

Following on from the Zimmerman Affair, President Woodrow Wilson declares war on Germany

Lifeboat Man Rewarded

Coxswain Henry G Blogg of Cromer Lifeboat was presented with the Lifeboat Institution’s gold medal for courage and devotion after rescuing the crew of S S Ferebo. The 4-mast steamer struck a mine off Cromer and split in two in rough seas in January 1917.

Battle on All Fronts

 Attacks are launched by the Allies in France, Salonika and Gaza for very few gains. The exception is the success of the Canadians who seize Vimy Ridge.

Food Restrictions

 In an effort to combat the food shortages caused by the German submarine blockade Norfolk people were warned in the press that  “If you waste food stuffs or eat more than the recognised daily allowance you are a traitor to your country.”  Meanwhile an auctioneer at Wells-next-Sea was fined 60s for selling potatoes in Burnham above the regulated price of the Food Control Act.

War Diary March 1917

War Norfolk
Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Founded 

Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) formed in Britain, offering women the chance to serve directly in the armed forces. Before the end of the war over 57,000 women enrol in the WAAC, with 9,000 serving in France.

 

Conscientious Objector Arrested

A Norwich man was charged with “absenting himself without leave from the Army” when called up for permanent service. He argued he was a C.O. but was fined by the bench and handed over to the military.

 

Some Mesopotamian Victories

Baghdad captured by British forces in Mesopotamia. However during the First Battle of Gaza British forces from Egypt led by General Sir Archibald Murray nearly break through Turkish lines in Palestine but fail to exploit their success.

 

Objection to Land Requisition

The proposal from the Central War Agricultural Committee to plough up the school playground in Dereham was opposed by the council who claimed that “the school has prepared the field at considerable expense and that ploughed pasture does not produce a good crop.

 

 Russian Abdication

The Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, abdicates the throne. The Provisional Government takes control and early in April Lenin returns.

War Diary February 1917

War Norfolk
German Retreat

German forces facing the Somme withdraw around 40km (25 miles) to new, strongly prepared defences known to the British as the Hindenburg Line. The withdrawal continues until 5 April.

Art Exhibition

An exhibition of art work was displayed in Norwich Marketplace it had been created by wounded soldiers from the Norfolk War Hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and many of the V.A.D. auxiliary hospitals

 Food Shortages

Public campaign launched in Britain to encourage people to eat less bread as a result of shortages. The shortages are worsened by the Germans navy restarting unrestricted submarine warfare.

Appeal to Housewives

The Lady Mayoress of Norwich appealed to the women of Norwich “to arrange, voluntarily, the provision of her household… as to make compulsory rationing unnecessary” as this would be of great benefit to the State.