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Mayor to unveil Belgium memorial to Worcestershire soldiers who died at the Battle of Gheluvelt

Published: 17 March 2023

Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Adrian Gregson is to visit Belgium next week for the unveiling and re-dedication of the memorial to the actions of The Worcestershire Regiment in the Battle of Gheluvelt in the First World War.

Cllr Gregson will be joined by representatives from Worcestershire Ambassadors, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association and the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment at the ceremony which will be held at Geluveld, Zonnebeke at 2pm on Friday March 24.

The memorial, which features the names of the 34 men of the 2nd Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment killed at Gheluvelt, has been renovated and extended and will be unveiled and re-dedicated.

Later that evening, the mayor will lay a wreath at the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony, which is held every evening.

The Battle of Gheluvelt, after which Worcester's Gheluvelt Park is named, took place in October 1914. Around 400 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment fought at Gheluvelt. Their counterattack saved Ypres from capture and the British Army from defeat.

Weary from two months of hard marching and fighting, unshaven, unwashed and in torn uniforms but good spirits and with plenty of ammunition, they forced the young and inexperienced German enemy to withdraw and, with the few soldiers of the battalion of South Wales Borderers who had been left behind in the retreat, they cleared the area of enemy.

The heroic success of the 2nd Battalion's counterattack turned the course of the War, helping Allied forces to organise a more substantial defence against the Germans.

Mayor of Worcester, Cllr Gregson said: "It is a great honour to be unveiling the renovated memorial commemorating the Battle of Gheluvelt and the brave soldiers from the Worcestershire Regiment who died there in a battle which helped turn the tide of the First World War during one of the British Army's darkest hours.

"The memorial in Geluveld was privately funded and we felt it needed renovation. The memorial now has two new panels and a brick surround, thanks to funding from the Worcestershire Ambassadors, the Mercian Regiment, Worcester City Council and the Worcestershire World War 100 project." 

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