Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A century of military history on parade in Worcester City Centre

Artillery guns spanning the history of the last 100 years will be taken on parade through the city centre as the centrepiece of the dramatic Worcester Artillery Day.
The city’s local Army Reserve unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery, will be staging a freedom parade through the Faithful City to celebrate their 150th anniversary and mark the centenary of the First World War.
World War One-vintage guns and other weapons ranging up to the present day will be pulled and driven through the city as part of the parade, all manned by soldiers in appropriate period uniform, as part of the spectacular event on Saturday, August 16.
214 Battery is part of the Army’s 104 Regiment Royal Artillery.
The Regiment’s Commanding Officer, Lt Col Frank Whiting, said: “The histories of 214 Battery and of Worcester are closely linked, so I think local people will be very excited to see some of the weaponry we have used throughout our history.
“I’m sure thousands of Worcester residents will want to greet the volunteer men and women of 214 Battery as they parade through their home city, as part of what I know will truly be a day to remember.”
The parade starts at midday at City Walls Road, and then proceeds along Charles Street, Pump Street, High Street, The Cross, Foregate Street and Castle Street before arriving at Pitchcroft.
The running order of the parade will be:
  • 105mm Light Gun – 214 Battery’s present-day ceremonial guns
  • Marching troops of 214 Battery
  • The Royal Artillery Band
  • Veterans
  • Two 18-pounder First World War-era artillery guns, complete with wooden wheels
  • World War Two-period 25-pounder gun
  • 5.5 Howitzer, used in the Battle of El Alamein during the Second World War
  • A Sextant, a self-propelled WW2 artillery gun
All crews accompanying the artillery guns will be parading in the appropriate period uniform.
Worcester Artillery Day will begin with a service of remembrance at Worcester Cathedral at 9.30am. The parade will follow at midday, as members of 214 Battery exercise the rights they have under the Freedom of Worcester, awarded to them in 1964 (at that time the Regiment was known as 267 (Worcestershire) Field Regiment Royal Artillery).
The day will continue with a fantastic family fun afternoon at Pitchcroft from 1pm, giving you the chance to see some of the artillery guns in action, watch a thrilling parachute display by the RAF Falcons and much more. Admission will be free and more details will be announced very shortly.
An Army Reserve unit, today’s 214 Battery was originally formed in 1864 as the Worcestershire Volunteer Artillery Corps. The regiment fought in France and Italy during the First World War and in North Africa during World War Two. In more recent years, soldiers from 214 Battery have seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Worcester Artillery Day is being supported by Worcester City Council, the Worcester Festival and the Worcestershire World War One Hundred campaign.

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