Monument at park would mark city's involvement in Civil War

May 11 2021
Monument at park would mark city's involvement in Civil War

The Battle of Worcester Society is campaigning for a monument to commemorate the English Civil War.

The society is chaired by Richard Shaw, who lives on the edge of St Peter’s.

September 3 this year will be the 350th anniversary of the battle, the last and deciding one of the nine-year war, fought between 1642 and 1651.

The society wants to see the anniversary marked by the erection of a monument designed by local sculptor, Kenneth Potts, who sculpted the statue of Edward Elgar, which stands in Worcester’s Cathedral Square.

Mr Shaw said: “The monument features Parliamentary soldiers forcing open the Sidbury Gate, with the man who later became King Charles II on the other side waiting for them with pistol drawn.

“We have applied for planning permission and it is proposed that the monument would be placed in Fort Royal Park, which was the epicentre of the Battle of Worcester, where 1,500 Royalist soldiers died defending the fort.”

As well as commemorating the battle where 3,200 Scottish and English soldiers were killed on both sides, many Royalist soldiers were killed as they fled from the battle and were ambushed as they tried to escape towards Scotland.

Many more injured soldiers died of their wounds in the days and weeks following the battle. 

An unknown number of Worcester civilians were also killed.

More British soldiers were killed at Worcester than at Waterloo – 1,550 – and on D-Day – 2,235, British and Commonwealth.

The Preacher to the New Model Army, Hugh Peters, addressed the victorious Parliamentary soldiers after the Battle of Worcester, saying: “When your wives and children ask you where you have been and what news, tell them you have been at Worcester, where all our troubles began, and where they are now happily ended.”

It is estimated that 85,000 soldiers were killed in combat during the Civil War, with more than 100,000 civilians dying of war-related disease and starvation.

Mr Shaw, who was born at Norton Barracks, said Worcester would be an appropriate venue for the monument as it was where the war began with the first battle at Powick Bridge on September 23, 1642 and where the war ended on the streets of Worcester.

Donations to the project would be welcomed.

The Battle of Worcester Society is also planning a large scale Civil War re-enactment at the Worcester Woods Countryside Centre on Saturday and Sunday, September 4 and 5 as well as the annual Drumhead Service in Fort Royal Park on September 3.