A GLITTERING poppy sculpture commemorating members of the Worcestershire Yeomanry who were killed in battle has been unveiled in a Worcester park.

The sculpture, by Malvern artist Victoria Harrison, honours the lives of the officers and men who were killed in the adjoining battles of Qatia and Oghratina during the First World War.

On Saturday - the 100th anniversary of the battles - crowds gathered in Cripplegate Park to watch a parade and service, before the nine foot high sculpture and commemorative stone were unveiled.

Colonel Stamford Cartwright MBE TD, chairman of the Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry Comrades Association, said: "I hope that in the future it will come to be recognised as a point at which people will stop and first of all associate the poppy with sacrifice. At the same time I hope they will consider a regiment that served the city and the county for over 200 years."

The battles of Qatia and Oghratina saw the Worcestershire Yeomanry - also known as the Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars - face a 3,000 strong Turkish force in the Egyptian desert, resulting in virtually all the Yeomanry being killed, wounded or captured.

Around 60 members of the Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry Comrades Association attended the event, during which wreaths were laid at the sculpture.

Brian Smart, 73, who was in the Yeomanry for 35 years, said: "I think it has gone very well, we usually come here every year. It is keeping traditions alive. It [the sculpture] looks great."

The memorial service formed one of many events within the Worcestershire World War One Hundred project, which is commemorating the First World War across the county until 2018.

Su Bale, project officer with Worcestershire World War One Hundred, said: "It is a really important event and it is important for the Yeomanry. It is a really important event as well because it raises the awareness and remembering which is really what the Worcestershire World War 100 project is all about."

Ms Harrison, who crafted the poppy using galvanised steel and stained glass mosaic tiles, said: "I wanted to find a simple form that everybody could actually relate to and I felt a single poppy did that.

"What is quite nice for me is the end of a journey. I know we are commemorating but in a way it is a celebration as well."

The sculpture was funded by Councillor Richard Udall and the Worcestershire County Council Divisional Fund. It is supported by Worcestershire Stone Masons of Hylton Road, Worcester.

More information about the Qatia 100 Commemorations can be found on the Friends of the Worcestershire Yeomanry Museum Facebook page and at ww1worcestershire.co.uk