Worcester Artillery Day to go off with a bang!

Worcester residents are being warned that there will be loud bangs in the city on Saturday (August 16), as guns are fired for Worcester Artillery Day.

First World War and contemporary weapons will be giving the salute at Worcester Racecourse as one of the highlights of the special day, which marks the 150th anniversary of the city’s local Army Reserve unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery, and the centenary of the First World War.

The exciting day, suitable for all the family, includes a service of remembrance at Worcester Cathedral, a parade of soldiers and weapons through the city centre and an afternoon of activities at Pitchcroft.

Regimental light guns will be firing as part of Worcester Artillery Day

Regimental light guns will be firing as part of Worcester Artillery Day

Military event organiser Major Tony Ball said: “Worcester Artillery Day has something for everyone and we’re hoping thousands of people will turn out for it.

“We’ll be giving Worcester people a real sense of what we do in the Royal Artillery and wider military, so you can expect plenty of loud bangs in the afternoon until about 8pm.”

The day begins at 9.30am with a service of remembrance at Worcester Cathedral and then members of 214 Battery will parade through the city centre from midday, with artillery guns past and present and the famous Royal Artillery Band.

The parade route will be City Walls Road, Charles Street, Pump Street, High Street, The Cross, Foregate Street and Castle Street before arriving at Pitchcroft.

The salute will be taken outside the Guildhall by the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Lt Col Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE; the Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Alan Amos; and Major General JR Free CBE of the Royal Artillery.

From 1pm the focus will switch to the Racecourse site at Pitchcroft, where thousands of visitors are expected to enjoy an afternoon of military activities, music, displays and exhibitions. Admission will be free.

An opening salute of regimental light guns will set things off with a bang, and the afternoon will feature tanks, rocket launchers, a re-enactment of War Horse-style First World War battles, an RAF parachute display and miniature tanks for children.

Visitors can also get up close to military vehicles past and present, try a bit of target practice on a laser clay pigeon shoot and face the challenge of an army climbing tower.

The Hootsie Tootsie

The Hootsie Tootsies

The renowned Royal Artillery Band will be playing throughout the afternoon and there will be 1940s song-and-dance from local performers the Hootsie Tootsies.

Visitors can get a real flavour for life in the First World War, as the nation marks the centenary of the conflict, with a range of 1914-themed displays and re-enactments.

The timetable for events in the display arena is:

  • 1pm – Opening salute with regimental light guns
  • 1.30pm – Firing of World War One 18-pounder & World War Two 25-pounder guns
  • 2pm – Live War Horse display by Welsh Horse team
  • 3.30pm – Freefall display by RAF Falcons parachute team
  • 4pm – Firing of World War One 18-pounder & World War Two 25-pounder guns

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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Tanks big and small, ‘War Horse’ and fun for all the family on Worcester Artillery Day

Tanks, rocket launchers, a re-enactment of War Horse-style First World War battles, an RAF parachute display and miniature tanks for children – these are just some of the attractions on the afternoon of Worcester Artillery Day on Saturday, August 16.

Hundreds of people are expected to flock to the Worcester Racecourse site at Pitchcroft from 1pm for the family fun afternoon – part of a day of events to make the 150th anniversary of the city’s local Army Reserve unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery, and the centenary of the First World War.

Admission to the family fun afternoon will be free and will follow a freedom parade through the city centre by 214 Battery from midday.

Among many other attractions, the Pitchcroft event will give visitors the chance to get up close and personal with a range of modern battlefield equipment, including a Challenger-2 62-tonne battle tank, an AS90 45-tonne self-propelled artillery gun and a 30-tonne Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLSR).

AS90 self-propelled artillery gun

AS90 self-propelled artillery gun

Stepping back in time, displays will also include First World War 18-pounder artillery guns, World War Two guns, a 5.5” Howitzer, 26-tonne Sexton (a 1940s tracked artillery vehicle) and much more.

The afternoon will include plenty of opportunities to try your hand at military life, including a round of target practice on a laser clay pigeon shoot, the challenge of an army climbing tower and even mini tanks – small enough for children to drive.

The renowned Royal Artillery Band will be playing throughout the afternoon and there will be 1940s song-and-dance from local performers the Hootsie Tootsies.

Visitors can get a real flavour for life in the First World War, as the nation marks the centenary of the conflict.

The Welsh Horse team will recreate the true story of War Horse, when horses were recruited alongside soldiers and then deployed on the battlefield.

The Discover History team will show you around an authentic World War One bell tent and give you the chance to handle kit bags and weapons of 1914 soldiers. And the harsh realities of war a century ago will be recalled with the recreation of a First World War medical station.

Worcester’s own Vamos Theatre, the internationally acclaimed full mask theatre company, will be performing throughout the afternoon, giving a light-hearted insight into the role of midwives in the early years of the 20th Century.

Mini tanks

Mini tanks

Local Army, Sea and Air Cadets will be staging displays and visitors will also have the opportunity to find out about the work of many armed forces veterans’ charities.

The timetable for events in the display arena is:

  • 1pm – Opening salute with regimental light guns
  • 1.30pm – Firing of World War One 18-pounder & World War Two 25-pounder guns
  • 2pm – Live War Horse display by Welsh Horse team
  • 3.30pm – Freefall display by RAF Falcons parachute team
  • 4pm – Firing of World War One 18-pounder & World War Two 25-pounder guns

Loud gun fire will be heard during the afternoon, between 1pm and 7pm.

The family fun afternoon will start at 1pm and will form the climax of Worcester Artillery Day, following the city centre parade by 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery.

Military event organiser Major Tony Ball said: “The people of Worcester have always given great support to 214 Battery and the family fun afternoon at Pitchcroft is our way of saying thank you.

“I am confident it will be a great afternoon for everyone and a fitting end to a day to remember.”

 

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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.

17pd noon day gun

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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Parachute display will be highlight of Worcester Artillery Day

The skies over Worcester will be witness to a spectacular sight on Saturday August 16, as the world-renowned parachute display team jump in to the Faithful City.

Their daredevil display will be just one of the highlights of Worcester Artillery Day, an event which will mark the 150th anniversary of 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery and the centenary of the First World War.

RAF Falcons

The day will include a service of remembrance, a parade through the city centre and an afternoon of displays, exhibitions and activities for all the family at Pitchcroft racecourse – all free to the public.

214 Battery is part of the Army’s 104 Regiment Royal Artillery.

The Regiment’s Commanding Officer, Lt Col Frank Whiting, said: “Throughout the 150-year history of 214 Battery they have always had very strong ties with Worcester and the majority of recruits have come from the city and county.

214 Battery on parade

“Worcester Artillery Day will be an opportunity for us to thank local residents for their support, for the people of the Faithful City to gain a deeper understanding of the bravery and loyalty of the men and women who serve in the Battery, and for all of us to remember the great sacrifice of those who fought in the First World War.”

The RAF Falcons’ display will form part of an afternoon that will give people of all ages the chance to see military vehicles, both modern and vintage, at close hand; watch displays by dog-handling teams, gun crews and many others; and come face-to-face with the experiences of soldiers in the First World War through authentic re-enactments.

UC 18 Pdr

The day will begin with a service of remembrance at Worcester Cathedral at 9.30am and then from midday members of 214 Battery will parade through the city centre, enacting the right given to them when they were awarded the Freedom of Worcester in 1964 (at the time the regiment was known as 267 (Worcestershire) Field Regiment Royal Artillery).

Full details of the parade route will be confirmed nearer the time.

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, 214 Battery has seen action in 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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