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30th Jun, 2022

Weekend of celebrations will be a walk in the park

Rob George 17th Jun, 2022

CELEBRATIONS to mark the 100th anniversary of an iconic Worcester park will be held this weekend.

The 100th birthday of Gheluvelt Park will be marked on Saturday (June 18) with a packed day of events to celebrate its century.

After the Great War Worcester City and Worcestershire decided they wished to create and open a public park in the city as a permanent and living memorial to all who had fallen in the First World War.

Included along one side were a number of new homes built by the Haig Fund specifically for disabled veterans.

In honour of the extraordinary actions of the 2nd Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment at the Battle of Gheluvelt on October 31, 1914 it was decided to name it Gheluvelt Park.

It was opened by the 1st Earl of Ypres, Lord French, on June 17, 1922.

Since then it has become a memorial to all who have fallen in subsequent conflicts.

The Haigh Homes continue to be used by veterans, the Worcestershire Regimental Stone and the WFR Memorial Bench have been added.

In 2010, Heritage Lottery Fund cash was used to create the Gheluvelt Memorial at which the annual memorial service is held on the Sunday nearest to October 31.

Dignitaries from across the county will arrive at 10.30am before a presentation on the Battle of Gheluvelt explaining its importance in the early stages of the conflict will be made by Lt Col (Retd) Mark Jackson OBE, Chair of Trustees of the Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) and president of Worcester Branch WFRA.

A talk by a representative from the City Council on the opening of the park, its history and its future will then follow.

Clergy from Worcester Cathedral will then lead a short service with the Roll of Honour read out, a wreath laying, the exhortation, the Last Post, one minute silence, by Reveille and the Kohima Epitaph.

A tree planting by the Lord Lieutenant and Lady French will then be made with a tree kindly donated by St Peters Garden Centre which has the Worcestershire Regiment and Norton Memorial Garden within its grounds.

A range of displays and stalls are also planned with the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association being planned near the regimental stone.

Celebrations will come to a formal close at 4.30pm when the branch, along with other associations and cadet forces will play the Last Post ahead of a further minute’s silence and Reveille to mark the end of their involvement in the day.

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