While you read last week’s blog I was waking up after an exhilarating and humbling day in Belgium. Along with around 20 Worcestershire people, including the Ambassadors and Regimental veterans, we finally unveiled a new memorial to the Worcestershire Regiment in the First World War. We had a guard of serving soldiers from 1 Mercian, standards, pipes and bugles, and local aldermen from Zonnebeke including Burgemeester (Mayor) Ingrid Vandepitte.
The memorial is in the village of Gheluveld (ask me later how really to pronounce it!), the scene of the famous defence by the Worcesters in October 1914.
The same evening three of us were honoured to lay wreaths at the Last Post ceremony held daily since 1922 in the Menin Gate, Iper. Lt. Col Mark Jackson laid one, and read the exhortation ‘They shall grow not old…’, while the other wreathbearer was Russ Walker, whose great grandfather actually fought in the battle.
The rest of the weekend was spent looking round cemeteries, museums and a brewery. Well, it is Belgium!
I was at the Worcester 6 business park for the launch of a new HQ for ZwickRoell, a German machines-testing company, where the owner recounted that he had a pilot’s licence. His father had also been a pilot. In the last war. It’s amazing and poignant that we have come so far in just two generations.
I teamed up with the Ambassadors again for a Question Time session on the current state of Worcestershire. We covered cost of living, mental health, foodbanks, and quality of life, all intrinsic elements to a healthy business economy.
Lastly, the Declaration of the new High Sheriff, Louise Hewett at Worcester’s Shirehall. This is an annual appointment. Interestingly the role is not only High Sheriff of the county, but also of the City and County of Worcester.