ON SATURDAY 21 October 2017, regular and army reserve soldiers of The Mercian Regiment will parade through Worcester to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the regiment’s formation.
Exercising the Mercian Regiment’s freedom of the city, the soldiers will march with colours flying, led by The Band of the Mercian Regiment, who recently performed in London at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Beating Retreat on Horseguards Parade.
The parade will step of from Worcester Cathedral at 11am and will follow a route through the city centre to Dancox House Army Reserve Centre on Pheasant Street.
The Mercian Regiment was formed in on 01 September 2007 at a parade held in the Tamworth Castle grounds. It was formed from the three antecedent regiments: the Cheshire Regiment, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment; and the Staffordshire Regiment.
Known as ‘the Heart of England’s Infantry’, the Mercian Regiment is one of the most decorated and operationally experienced regiments in the British Army. This will be a rare treat for the people of Worcester and surrounding areas to see their locally recruited regiment proudly marching through the town’s streets.
Private Frederick Dancox VC memorial plaque to be unveiled
The event will also mark the centenary of the award of the Victoria Cross to Pte Frederick Dancox of the Worcestershire Regiment.
At approximately 11.30am, a plaque in memory of Pte Dancox will be unveiled at the end of the parade at Dancox House Army Reserve Centre.
Pte Dancox was serving with the 4th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment during the Passchendaele offensive in 1917. On 7 October the battalion led the attack at Poelcappelle and were able to seize their first objective, only to find themselves then pinned down by machine gun fire from an enemy bunker.
Before trench mortars could be brought into action, the firing stopped and a group of some 40 Germans approached with their hands up, followed by Pte Dancox carrying their machine gun. He had become detached from his patrol and had somehow worked his way round behind the blockhouse while dodging enemy machine gun fire and British artillery and captured the occupants.
His award of the VC was gazetted in November but he never received it as he was killed on 30 November 1917.
Captain David Maddock, Mercian Regimental Adjutant, said, “This day is one of a series of events to mark this significant milestone for the Mercian Regiment. We will be able to celebrate the successes of the regiment in its first ten years and the dedication and commitment of its soldiers in their role keeping the the people of Great Britain safe.
"The Mercian Regiment's links with the City of Worcester are very strong, with soldiers from the area serving in the regiment. It will be great for us to be able to thank the people of Worcestershire for their support for our antecedent regiments and the Mercian Regiment.
“To be able to combine the Mercian Freedom Parade with the unveiling of the Dancox Memorial makes the day all the more important, drawing together the links between Worcestershire and its county regiment over the last century.”