HUNDREDS of people from across the county are expected in Worcester’s Gheluvelt Park on Saturday as Worcestershire stages its own Festival of Remembrance to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

The regimental band of the Grenadier Guards will be taking part in a special Drumhead Service – a religious service conducted in the field during conflict and in peacetime, with neatly-piled drums draped with flags creating a makeshift altar – and there will be a display of poppies from the Tower of London art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.

The Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Lt Col Patrick Holcroft, a former officer in the Grenadiers, said: "The Drumhead service will be a poignant act of remembrance for those men and women of Worcestershire who died fighting for their country. I very much hope that residents of the county will join us for this service."

The free event is part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Worcestershire World War One Hundred programme. The final part of the ceremony will be to create a spectacle of ceramic poppies, purchased by people across the county after the Tower of London art installation in 2014, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper and brought to Ghleuvelt Park for the day.

The installation marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and contained 888,246 poppies, one for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the war. The work was one of the most powerful memorials of the centenary and was visited by more than a million people. The original poppies were sold raising millions of pounds, shared equally amongst six service charities.

Adrian Gregson, Worcestershire World War One Hundred project manager, said: “Like many people I was incredibly moved by the art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London and purchased my own poppy. We know that more than 500 were bought by the people of Worcestershire and the Festival of Remembrance is an opportunity to join together and make your poppy part of a temporary area of remembrance at Gheluvelt Park.”

The service will be led by Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley, with participation by other faith groups and will start with a procession including all the chairmen and mayors of the county districts and towns with local armed forces, British Legion groups, cadets, scouts, guides and police all participating. It will start at 12.30pm and is open to all with visitors requested to be present by 12 noon.

It will be the second time the Grenadiers Guards musicians will appear in Worcester this weekend. Because the previous evening, at 7.30pm on Friday, the band will play at a special WW1 commemorative concert in Worcester Cathedral. Tickets costing £20 and £15 are on sale through Worcester Live on 01905 611427.

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