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).

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.

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.”