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20th March 1917 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day



20th March 1917

On this day:


  • Reliefs   236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report C236 Battery first section relieved one section of B104 Battery today from Corps Reserve and took over B235 Battery Wagon Line.

  • Hospital ship   

    HMHS Asturias

    HMHS Asturias

    The Asturias was built in 1907 for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. and went into service on the Southampton - Buenos Aires run. When war with Germany was declared in 1914 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted into a Hospital Ship. Within a few months she was handed over to the Army and was soon employed making regular crossings to France carrying back the wounded from the Western Front. She had accommodation for 896 patients, but on one occasion due to very heavy casualties at the Front, she transported 2,400 sick and wounded. She served in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Dardanelles Campaign, returning wounded from Gallipoli, Egypt and Salonika to the UK. In March 1917 after landing her wounded at Avonmouth, she was attacked by German submarine and struck by a torpedo which blew off her stern, killing 35 of her crew. She was declared a total loss, but her hulk was put to use as a floating ammunition store at Plymouth for the rest of the war. Remarkably, her hulk was repurchased by Royal Mail Line in 1920 and rebuilt as a Cruise Liner, renamed Arcadian, she operated Mediterranean and West Indies cruises until 1930, and was finally scrapped in 1933.

    • Hospital Ship or Ambulance Service during WW1.
    • Medical Staff strength.
    • Officers:8
    • Nurses:24
    • Other:65
    • Accommodation capacity.
    • Officers:
    • Cots:413
    • Berths:483
    • Period of Service as Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport.
    • Date From:22nd August 1914
    • Date To:21st March 1917
    • Ships Crew details:

    Asturias was torpedoed by UC-66 on the 20th March 1917 with the loss of 35 crew members.

  • 20th March 1917 Musketry and scouting courses

  • Conclusion of Railway Work   6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment

    20th to 23rd March - HQ, A and C Companies Thievres, B and D Companies St Leger engaged on Railway Construction Work and Specialist Training. Major CH French joined the Battalion on the 22nd March. Railway work ceased on the 23rd March preparatory to move to Orville.

  • 20th Mar 1917 Sherwoods relieve Leicesters

  •    FIENVILLERS

    March continued from FIENVILLERS to NEUVILLETTE (HQ, A & D Cos) RANSART (B & C Cos)

  • 20th Mar 1917 On Leave

  • 20th Mar 1917 Patrol

  • 20th Mar 1917 Artillery Active

  • 20th March 1917 Sulky

  • 20th Mar 1917 Training

  • 20th Mar 1917 Roads

  • 20th of March 1917 Work Parties





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Want to know more?


There are:13 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.




Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. William Gibson. Northumberland Fusiliers 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. John Charles Lake. Border Regiment 1st Bn.

    Add a name to this list.


  • Items from the Home Front Archive


    Do you have any letters, photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia from the Great War? We would love to include copies. Please use this form to submit diary entries and letters or photographs for this new Section: add to this archive.





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