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27th August 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

27th August 1917

On this day:

  •    Extract from The Times

    “Women in the Army

    A Statement will be issued shortly by the Ministry of Labour of the position as regards the recruiting of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, telling women where to apply and when and what numbers will be wanted immediately for different sections. Widespread interest is being taken in the drastic substitutions which are to take place in certain units, formations and offices administered by the army Council at home, at the bases and on the lines of communications overseas, in addition to those that have already been made. The approximate basis of substitution is four women for three men. For instance, four women with technical knowledge are regarded as equivalent to three technical soldiers in the Royal Flying Corps and the Army Service Corps. The women cooks, who have introduced many reforms in cooking since they took over the base kitchens, consider that in their case he basis should be reversed.

    The women march to their work in the morning and march back again in their dinner hour. They are subject to strict discipline, but they understand this before going to France. The women who are already out in France have lived up to their uniform so well that only three of them have had to be sent back from France for disciplinary reasons, and these not very serious offences. One of the first batches sent out committed a technical offence against discipline out of the fervour of their sense of justice. They found that beds had been provided for them in a hut which had previously been occupied by men who only had mattresses. They took the beds out, folded them up and used only the mattresses. It happened that a number of wounded soldiers had just been brought to a hospital nearby where the beds proved very useful.

    Only one fortnight in a year furlough is given, the terms of service are for a year or the duration of the war, which ever is longer. The women have to go through a medical examination as severe as that of the men, as in the hut where six women would be accommodated at close quarters it is advisable to have all fear of contagion removed. No promise is given to be able to send friends out together, but where ever it is possible this is done and it humanizes the not very interesting life lead by the average woman in the Army Auxiliary Corps in France. So far the most difficult kind of worker to get is the charwoman, who is needed for scrubbing and washing up. The women who do this kind of work are usually old and with many home ties, and not likely to be able to leave home.

    The pay of the administrative appointments is not munificent, though offering a living wage.... Of the NCO's and rank and file the forewoman telegraphist is the best paid receiving 50s per week. A qualified forewoman motor-driver mechanic received 40s and a shorthand-typist 39s 6d.”

  •    From - The Times "Recruiting for the Women's Army

    How to Join the Corps

    The transfer of recruiting on behalf of the War Office for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps from the National Service Department to the Employment Department of the Ministry of Labour has now been completed.... The preliminary enrolment of candidates for the Corps will in future be effected exclusively through the local machinery of the Employment Department, and all applications should be made, either personally or by letter, to the nearest Employment Exchange.

    The business of recruiting throughout the country is now in operation. An opportunity of assisting the Army is thus open to women, who are needed both at home and abroad for service with the troops to take the place of men who will be released for other purposes. It is intended that members of the corps shall be employed in various capacities, such as clerical work, motor driving, domestic work, printing and other more technical employment in the engineering and electrical sections. The women's Corps will be an auxiliary service to the British Army, with it's own uniform and serving under a special code of discipline.... The age limit for home service will be 18 years, but no candidates under the age of 20 will be accepted for service abroad. At the moment the urgent demand is for domestic workers, both to replace men and to prepare the arrangements for the other women who are to follow.

    All women selected, except those chosen for employment with local units, will in the first instance be posted to receiving depot hostels. These are now being established in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Warrington, Edinburgh, Bristol, Doncaster, Newcastle and Dublin, and a special hostel has been established for women chosen for foreign service....The candidate will be interviewed and asked to fill in a form giving particulars of her age, experience, references &c., and the capacity in which she wishes to serve, if she appears on the whole suitable, her references will be taken up and if these again prove satisfactory, her name will be sent forward and she will in due course be invited to attend before a Selection and Medical Board. The Selection Board will consist of a local administrator of the Corps, a representative of the Employment Department, an Army officer called in to advise in technical cases where women with special qualifications are required, and such additional members may be necessary, meeting under the chairmanship of the Recruiting Controller, who will be a woman appointed by the Adjutant-General's Department.

    Together with her notice of calling up for an interview, any candidate living more than five miles away will receive a free return railway warrant. Applicants who are chosen as suitable will be passed on forth-with for examination by the Medical Board, which in every case will meet on the same day as the Selection Board, so that there will be no uncertainty or delay on this score, and a candidate, having once been passed by the Medical Board, will be asked to fill up the final undertaking to enrol as from the date upon which she is free to take up duty, and will then be recognised and paid as a member of the WAAC. After selection an applicant will, according to circumstances, be posted direct to her hostel, or allowed to return home until she receives her calling up notice. In the interval she will draw pay as a member of the WAAC from the date she is free to take up her duty and the calling up notice, which will direct her how and where to join, will again be accompanied by a free railway warrant. Where necessary, Women will be seen off from the station and met on their arrival.

    Women who are already engaged in government or munition work or on hospital work (VAD or otherwise) as well as those working under municipal or education authorities, will not be accepted for the WAAC unless they bring with them written permission from their employer of chief to volunteer; and no woman whose husband is serving overseas will at present be accepted for employment in the same theatre of war as that in which her husband is serving."

  • Activity in Front Line   245 Machine Gun Company

    Mercatel – sheet 51B France 1/40,000 M.24.c.2.4 and trenches

    The OC. 245 MGC, Capt WR Thomson proceeded on leave of absence to UK for 10 days. Lt. LW Rees assumed temporary command of the Company.

    Weather during the night, very violent storm, strong wind and rain, several tents were blown down and sheets of (screens?) displaced. (Note: the war diary for last item very faint and difficult to read)

    War Diaries

  • Move to Lugy   9th Queens Royal Lancers

    27th Aug - Bivouac Lugy - The regiment paraded at Calonne 0615 and marched to brigade Starting point Robecq Church arriving 0715. Route followed Busnes, Lillers, Auchy au Bois, Febvin Palvert, Laires and Lugy. Regiment went into bivouac about 1300. Very wet day.

    war diaries

  • 27th Aug 1917 On the March

  • 27th Aug 1917 Wet Day in the Trenches

  • 27th Aug 1917 Training

  • 27th Aug 1917 Reliefs

  • 27th Aug 1917 Reorganisation

  • 27th Aug 1917 Reliefs

  • 27th Aug 1917 Training

  • 27th Aug 1917 On the Move

  • 27th of August 1917 Waiting to go in the line

  • 27th Aug 1917 Preparations

  • 27th Aug 1917 Reliefs Completed

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

If your information relates only to an individual, eg. enlistment, award of a medal or death, please use this form: Add a story.

Want to know more?

There are:15 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.

  • L/Cpl. Charles Bennett. West Yorkshire Regiment 9th Battalion
  • Pte. Isaac Brown. Lincolnshire Regiment 10th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Thomas Chadwick. Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment Regiment 8th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Alfred Charles Clutterbuck. Gloucestershire Regiment 2nd/4th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Harry Fletcher. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 8th Btn.
  • Pte. George Henry Gunshon. East Yorkshire Regiment 6th Btn.
  • Cpl. Thomas William Hawkins. Worcestershire Regiment 2/8th Battalion Read their Story.
  • 2nd Lt. William Arthur Imber. Royal Warwickshire Regiment 2/7th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. James McRoy. Yorkshire Regiment 6th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Spr. T. W. Trenholme. 1st Canadian Tunnelling Coy.
  • Cpl. Lockhart "Lockie" Urquhart. MM Seaforth Highlanders 8th Battalion
  • L/Cpl. William Wetherell. Northumberland Fusiliers 27th (Tyneside Irish) Btn. Read their Story.

    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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