HOMECOMING heroes from the fierce fighting and carnage of the Boer War in South Africa were treated to a civic lunch at Worcester and presented with their service medals during this week exactly a century ago.

The Journal of 1901 stated:Centuries ago, Worcester won for itself the title 'The Faithful City,' and in recent times the city has again upheld the best traditions of loyalty and patriotism. It has sent large contingents of soldiers regulars and volunteers - to help do the country's work against the Boers.

"Those who have so far returned from service in South Africa were entertained to lunch at the Guildhall yesterday by the Mayor, Councillor Walter Holland. The streets were lined by large crowds as the 70 men of the Worcester Imperial Yeomanry and the 120 members of the Worcester Volunteer Service Company arrived at the Guildhall, and everywhere in the city were displays of Union Jacks.

After lunch, the men marched through the crowded streets to the Shirehall, where the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, the Earl of Coventry presented each soldier with his South Africa War Medal.

Several times during the day, the military band played 'Home, Sweet Home,' whose sentiment was warmly approved by the soldiers.

This was certainly not surprising as many of their comrades were still fighting and dying in South Africa. The same Journal edition carried an official War Office report expressing high appreciation and admiration" for the way men of the 5th Battalion of the Worcester Imperial Yeomanry and of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Worcestershire egiment had behaved in action a week earlier.

All ranks showed the greatest gallantry and, by sheer hard fighting, drove off the enemy who were greatly superior in numbers. However, the loss of so many of our brave men is deeply deplored, but it is gratifying to record they died like men and soldiers, bravely at their posts and upholding the honour and good name of their battalions.

On the local military front, the Journal of 200 years ago informed readers that a public subscription fund had been opened to compliment non-commissioned officers and privates of the Worcester Militia on their zeal on all occasions and primarily for their having gallantly volunteered their services in the late threatened fighting in Ireland.

Fifty years ago, the Journal reported: "Norton Barracks will have its first intake of National Servicemen under the new Army Training Scheme on January 3 next. Regular recruits to the Worcestershire Regiment will also go to the depot.

''This will be the first time since the war that the Worcestershire Regiment has been able to train its own intakes in its own Depot.