Hereford & Worcester

'Woodbine Willie' war memorial service in Worcester

A re-dedication service has taken place at a newly restored war memorial in Worcester.

The memorial by St Paul's church unusually depicts Christ with his head raised to signify the soldiers' victory and was dedicated in 1921.

Weathering has since eroded many of the names of the troops who died during World War I.

Their names have been restored with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the War Memorials Trust.

'Hard-fought'

The memorial was commissioned by the Reverend Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy, who was known after the war as Woodbine Willie because of all the cigarettes he handed out to soldiers in the trenches.

Family historian Sandra Taylor said: "The figure of Christ has his head raised in victory rather than the usual bowed head.

"This was a very hard-fought battle by Woodbine Willie and the church.

"He insisted that this took place as a tribute to the soldiers as they were victorious, therefore we have a unique war memorial in Worcester."

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