August

1 August 1917

Heavy rain falls across the Ypres battlefields for almost the whole month, preventing any progess Pope Benedict XV makes another appeal for peace

3 August 1917

Mutiny in the German High Seas Fleet at Wilhelmshaven

6 August 1917

Alexander Kerensky becomes Prime Minister of Russia

20 August 1917

French launch a new attack at Verdun and recapture more ground lost the previous year

22 August 1917

Dover & the European War Dover Express & East Kent News 22/08/1917, 10.26 a.m., Raid by Gothas. Lucy Wall aged 17, killed by bomb in the yard of the ‘Admiral Harvey’. Lucy Wall was a servant girl at the Admiral Harvey public house. She was killed on 22nd August 1917 during an air raid. Four bombs were dropped on Dover, with the largest falling at the back of the Admiral Harvey, where it did a great deal of damage. The only occupant at the time was Lucy, and she was found at the back of the house very badly injured. She died on the way to hospital.

At the inquest her father, Stephen William Wall, of 27 Union Road, said he had identified the body. Mrs Jane Sutton, who was a widow living at 20 Paul’s Place, said “I was standing on a table in the back bedroom looking at the German aeroplanes. I saw the deceased standing at the back door, and she shouted, “Are they Germans?” and I replied, “Oh yes!”. She came outside the door a little bit further to watch them. I said, “You had better go further back inside,” as the guns were getting louder and louder. At that moment something came down and blew me off the table on to the bed, and I lost myself for ten minutes. When I woke up I was covered with glass. The flame was something dreadful. The bomb burst ten yards away from me. I was only bruised and scratched a bit. Afterwards I saw them taking the poor girl away on a stretcher.”

Mr E W Ewell was a special constable and a chemist, and he said, “When the firing commenced I was in High Street, and after the bomb dropped I saw the smoke and ran in its direction. I could not see where the bomb dropped, and enquired at several houses, and then had to take refuge owing to the shrapnel dropping. I was afterwards told that the girl was in this public house alone. I climbed over the wall, and searched the house, and found the body lying partly in and partly out of the back door. She was not dead but unconscious. She however died before we put her on the stretcher. I sent her on to the Hospital then. There was a bad wound under the left breast, and other smaller ones. She was 30 feet away from where the bomb burst, and all around her on the wall were marks where fragments had hit. At the Hospital Dr Clarke said that she was dead.”

Mr Rogers, the landlord, said that the girl was by herself in the house, his wife having gone to London. The only living thing in the house was a dog that had a piece of bomb in its paw, and he took that out the previous night.

Post Script: A pear tree at the rear of the Admiral Harvey was blasted by the bomb; its leaves withered and the pears fell off. But by October it was budding again and even in bloom. An observer remarked, “the tree didn’t mean to be beaten by the Hun!” Dover War Memorial Project website

Service casualties: Party of 32nd Training Reserve Bn at Dover College, 2 killed, 3 wounded.

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