GHELUVELT CHATEAU

The Menin Road is the straight and the quickest way into Ieper (Ypres). It had to be held at all costs, but to do so was not easy on 31st October 1914. The fast dwindling battalions of the British army were facing overwhelming odds as the Germans fought to dislodge them from their hold at Gheluvelt. The South Wales Borderers guarding the Chateau were sorely pressed. If the British line were to break here the German army would be quickly down the Menin Road and into Ypres itself. General FitzClarence ordered up his last reserve – three companies of the 2nd Worcesters - from Polygon Wood. Charging down from the wood, a distance of some 1000 yards and despite some 100 casualties, they managed to reach the chateau just as the South Wales Borderers and the remnants of the Scots Guards were about to be overwhelmed. The German thrust was temporarily stopped. But for this magnificent charge by the Worcesters it is clear that the fall of Ypres, with all its consequences, would have followed.

After the war the citizens of Worcester named a park in the town "Gheluvelt Park" in recognition of the actions of the regiment on that day in 1914.

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