1-12 Ghueluvelt Park


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Reference WMO255516

Address:

Barbourne Road

Worcester

England

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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Memorial Homes/Alms Houses
Materials:
  • Brick Brick
Conflicts:
  • First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial: The battle of Gheluvelt was an early engagement in the First World War. The British Expeditionary Force had established a line to prevent the German forces reaching the Channel ports. On 31 October 1914 the Germans broke through this line and the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire regiment was sent to plug the gap and did so with a bayonet charge in the grounds of the Chateau at Gheluvelt in Flanders. They pushed back the German force of more than a thousand men, but with the loss to the battalion of 34 men and 158 injured. The victory was seen by many as highly significant, and a turning point in the early history of the war. At the opening of the park, on 17 June 1922, Field Marshal John French said that 'on that day the 2nd Worcesters saved the British Empire'. A group of twelve houses, built for former sailors and soldiers in 1919-1920 and designed by Alfred Hill Parker in a picturesque vernacular style. Red brick and pebble-dashed, and colour-washed render with plain-tiled, hipped roofs. The cottages are clustered in six groups, to either side of a wide pathway in Gheluvelt Park.(WMO 255501) A bungalow is positioned to the south of the path at the eastern end, but the other, two-storey houses are all placed in groups of two or three on the north side. Each has two first-floor bedrooms and a living room and parlour (which the architect's plans indicate could instead be used as a bedroom, if needed) with kitchen and service rooms at ground-floor level. Except for the free-standing bungalow, the show fronts of Nos. 2-12 are all oriented to the south, while the backs are accessed from Lavender Road. The majority of the windows across the buildings have been replaced by uPVC-framed casements. Chimneys across all of the buildings are to full height.
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At lower right of the front of No. 2 is the foundation stone which is of painted stone with inscribed lettering which reads: ‘THE FOUNDATION STONE / OF THESE HOMES WAS LAID BY / GENERAL SIR W.R. ROBERTSON. / G.C.B ; K.C.V.O ; D.S.O ; / A.D.C. GENERAL TO HIS MAJESTY THE KING. / COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF H.M. HOME FORCES / JANUARY 16TH 1919’, below which are given the names of the chairman of the General Purposes Committee of the council and the architect. At the centre of the first floor of No. 5 is a shaped plaque which bears the words ‘LEA MEMORIAL’. Immediately to the right of the door and set at a level below the widow ledge is a painted metal plaque with lettering in relief which reads 'IN MEMORY OF / CAPTAIN GERALD ERNEST LEA, / WHO DIED FROM WOUNDS / RECEIVED IN THE BATTLE OF THE AISNE, / 15TH SEPTEMBER 1914, / WHILE COMMANDING D. COMPANY OF THE / 2ND BATTALION WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT'. To the centre, above the door of No. 9, is a stone plaque with a moulded boarder, which reads, in relief, '.GHELUVELT. / (OCTOBER 1914)

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