A century ago this week, an article in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, sang the praises of the wile white clover plant, which it said was increasingly being used by farmers as a means of reinvigorating the soil.
The article said: “It is well known... it acts as a natural fixer of nitrogen from the air and stimulates the roots systems of all other grasses in its vicinity.”
Of course, this was not just idle chat - there was a war going on and crop production was seen as paramount to the survival of the nation.
Reports from the battles raging across Europe abound, like this one from June 8, which details the capture of a number of prisoners.
It states: “On the Trentino front, artillery activity was normal. There were small engagements of reconnaissance patrols. On the night of June 6, the enemy attacked in force our lines in Bacher Valley (Sexten) but was repulsed with loss.
“On the Carso yesterday, the enemy, reinforced by numerous fresh troops withdrawn from another theatre of war, was unusually active. Violent attacks were made on our positions from Hill 247, south of Versie, to the houses on Hill 31, east of Jamaino, defended by the 61st Division. The engagement lasted nearly the whole day, with varying fortune but in the evening the enemy was completely repulsed. During the various engagements, we took 102 prisoners, including four officers. Two of our bombing squadrons carried out important raids.”
War timeline: June 7, 1917 saw the start of the Battle of Messines, led by General Herbert Plumer, with the detonation of 19 underground mines underneath the German mines, on the Messines Ridge, a natural stronghold southeast of Ypres.