WORCESTER’S historic Gheluvelt Park was the venue for a ‘proud and poignant’ ceremony to reveal a memorial bench to remember all battalions of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, known as the Woofers.
The bench was unveiled on Saturday (April 27) and is the first memorial of its kind to the regiment in Worcester and representatives from across the armed force were in attendance at the memorial gates at the junction of Barbourne Road.
A regimental badge feature on each end of the ‘Hardy Padmore’ bench which was manufactured in Worcester. The plaque on the bench reads: “This seat is dedicated to the memory of all who served in the Regiment and to honour those that were killed on Operational Active Service and those that died whilst serving.”
The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment served with distinction from 1970 to 2007, in Northern Ireland, the Rhine in Germany, Belize and Hurricane Greta, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Bosnia and Afghanistan plus numerous postings, training overseas and in the UK on essential duties, such as providing training for the British infantry, covering firemen’s strikes and royal duties in London.
On the day, Mercian Regiment mascot Pte Derby, Ram Major and Ram Orderley was on hand to emphasise the connection to the Mercians while branch president Lt Col (ret’d) Mark Jackson spoke about the amalgamation of Worcestershire Regiment and Sherwood Foresters Regiment.
Col (ret’d) John Lowles gave a short talk on the 37-year history of the regiment and reeled off the names of all those who died on active service from memory before unveiling the memorial bench.
Speaking after the ceremony, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association chairman Nigel Fish paid tribute to all those who had donated towards the cost of the bench and those who had ensured its place in the park.
“It was a proud and poignant day having the bench unveiled in Gheluvelt Park. We have finally got somewhere that we can remember our fellow soldiers who served in the Regiment,” he said.
“It has unfortunately been a process of two years but in the end well worth it,” he added.